Hum­ber sig­nalling

De­signed to ul­ti­mately con­trol all the sig­nalling for Net­work Rail’s LNE Route, York Route Op­er­at­ing Cen­tre is pre­par­ing for the com­mis­sion­ing of the new Brough Work­sta­tion. DAVID ALLEN looks at the res­ig­nalling of the Hull Line

Rail (UK) - - Contents - RAIL pho­tog­ra­phy: DAVID ALLEN

With York ROC pre­par­ing for the com­mis­sion­ing of Brough Work­sta­tion, DAVID ALLEN looks at res­ig­nalling for the Hull line.

York Route Op­er­at­ing Cen­tre (ROC) dom­i­nates the south end of the sta­tion. Lo­cated in the ‘v’ formed by the di­ver­gence of the Slow Lines from the East Coast Main Line (ECML), it was built on the site of two for­mer round­house en­gine sheds. Con­struc­tion started early in 2012 and was com­pleted in au­tumn 2014.

The first two Sig­nalling Work­sta­tions were com­mis­sioned in De­cem­ber 2015, when the North Lin­colnshire res­ig­nalling was com­pleted. North Lin­colnshire No 1 and No 2 Work­sta­tions re­placed 13 sig­nal and gate boxes. The ca­su­al­ties were Ap­pleby (Lincs), El­sham, Wrawby Junc­tion, Bar­netby East, New Bar­netby, Brock­lesby, Ul­ceby, Rox­ton Sid­ing, Stalling­bor­ough, Marsh Junc­tion, Pas­ture Street, Bar­ton Road and Im­ming­ham East.

Sh­effield Power Sig­nal Box (PSB) closed in May 2016, and su­per­vi­sion of the ex­ist­ing colour light sig­nalling - pre­vi­ously the re­spon­si­bil­ity of five pan­els in Sh­effield PSB - trans­ferred to the Sh­effield and Rotherham Work­sta­tions in the ROC.

Con­trol ex­tends be­tween Dron­field and Bolton-upon-Dearne. The Sh­effield Work­sta­tion is largely re­spon­si­ble for the south­ern end of the con­trol area. North of Mead­owhall, the Rotherham Work­sta­tion takes over. In ad­di­tion, the Rotherham Work­sta­tion is re­spon­si­ble for the Bar­row Hill lines.

An ex­ten­sion to the Rotherham Work­sta­tion is en­vis­aged. This would re­sult in clo­sure of the SBs at Woodburn Junc­tion, Wood­house Junc­tion and Beighton sta­tion (sic).

Cur­rently, the Rotherham Work­sta­tion fringes to York IECC Ard­s­ley Work­sta­tion (Boltonupon-Dearne), Don­caster PSB (Con­is­brough), East Mid­lands CC (Tap­ton Junc­tion, Ch­ester­field), and the York ROC Sh­effield Work­sta­tion. How­ever, the clo­sure of the three SBs will create an ad­di­tional fringe with Kive­ton Park SBs.

In Jan­uary 2017, North Lin­colnshire No 2 Work­sta­tion was made re­dun­dant af­ter Au­to­matic Route Set­ting (ARS) was fit­ted to the No 1 panel. This con­sid­er­ably re­duced the sig­naller’s work­load. On a nor­mal day, the No 2 Work­sta­tion was not re­quired - it sim­ply du­pli­cated No 1.

The North Lin­colnshire Work­sta­tion now fringes with Scun­thorpe PSB, Brigg, Holtonle-Moor, Im­ming­ham Re­cep­tion Sid­ings, Im­ming­ham To­ken Ex­change, Gox­hill, Great Coates No 1 and Pyewipe Road SB. Re­cep­tion Sid­ings dates from when the Great Cen­tral Rail­way ex­panded Im­ming­ham Docks in 1912, and re­tains a de­light­ful pneu­matic power frame.

A small ex­ten­sion to the North Lin­colnshire Work­sta­tion is sched­uled, but once again this seems to be de­layed. The plan is to abol­ish Brigg SB and con­vert the un­usual gated cross­ing to Ob­sta­cle De­tec­tion (OD). The new fringe on this route will be Kir­ton Lime Sid­ings SB.

In Jan­uary, Phase 1 of the Hud­der­s­field-Brad­ford scheme re­sulted in the com­mis­sion­ing of the Hud­der­s­field Work­sta­tion in York ROC. This was an­other re-con­trol scheme, and re­sulted in the abo­li­tion of Healey Mills and Hud­der­s­field SBs. Both were North East­ern Re­gion struc­tures. This short-lived BR Re­gion only lasted 20 years, and the only op­er­a­tional sur­vivors are at Corby Gates ( Wetheral), Low Gates (Northaller­ton), Free­mans (Blyth), Mil­ford, Tweed­mouth (Ber­wick-upon-Tweed), Hessle Road (Hull) and Tees ( Yard).

The Hud­der­s­field Work­sta­tion fringes with Lon­don North West Route’s Dig­gle SB on the Trans-Pen­nine route through Stand­edge Tun­nel; Barns­ley SB at Clay­ton West Junc­tion on the line to­wards Peni­s­tone; Hor­bury Junc­tion SB to­wards Wake­field Kirk­gate; Bat­ley SB to­wards Leeds; Mil­ner Royd Junc­tion SB on what was the L&Y Calder Val­ley main line; and Hal­i­fax SB on the di­verg­ing route be­tween Greet­land Junc­tion and Dryclough Junc­tion.

Apart from Barns­ley, all the other fringes to the Hud­der­s­field Work­sta­tion are tra­di­tional SBs. Bat­ley SB prob­a­bly owes its longevity to the ad­ja­cent gated level cross­ing. Al­though a diminu­tive ex-LNWR struc­ture, its role has in­creased over re­cent years. In 1985, con­trol was ex­tended to­wards Leeds af­ter the abo­li­tion of Mor­ley SB. Then, in 1990, the non-plat­form Down Main Loop at Dews­bury was com­mis­sioned.

Bat­ley, Dig­gle Junc­tion and Hor­bury Junc­tion SBs are all sur­rounded by large SCs. Bat­ley is be­tween York ROC and York IECC; Dig­gle Junc­tion is be­tween Manch­ester East SC and York ROC; and Hor­bury Junc­tion is si­t­u­ated be­tween York ROC and Wake­field Kirk­gate SC.

Phase 2 of the Hud­der­s­field-Brad­ford project is due to be com­pleted in Oc­to­ber, when the Hal­i­fax Work­sta­tion will re­place SBs at Heb­den Bridge, Mil­ner Royd, Junc­tion (Sowerby Bridge), Hal­i­fax and Mill Lane (Brad­ford In­ter­change).

Al­though there are no longer any semaphore sig­nals, the rel­a­tively old colour lights are be­ing re­placed. The new Work­sta­tion will fringe with York IECC Leeds West Work­sta­tion near Bramley, and the Hud­der­s­field Work­sta­tion near Mil­ner Royd Junc­tion and Dryclough Junc­tion on the Greet­land curve.

Look­ing fur­ther into the fu­ture, Net­work Rail in­tends to com­plete com­mis­sion­ing of the Durham Coast sig­nalling re­newals dur­ing 2019, when the new Hartle­pool Work­sta­tion will re­place the SBs at Ry­hope Grange, Nor­ton South, Nor­ton East, Nor­ton West, Nor­ton Sta­tion, Billing­ham, Greatham and Fer­ry­hill.

Nor­ton South, East and West con­trol the last re­main­ing me­chan­i­cally worked tri­an­gle on NR. Re­gret­tably, Nor­ton East is not nor­mally manned. All SBs ex­cept Fer­ry­hill, Greatham and Ry­hope con­trol semaphore sig­nalling. Work on the Durham Coast

No sig­nif­i­cant changes to per­mis­si­ble line speeds are en­vis­aged, but the sig­nal spac­ing is de­signed for the 100mph run­ning of pas­sen­ger trains.

Most of the SBs be­ing abol­ished on the Hull line date from when the NER quadru­pled the 14 miles be­tween Gil­berdyke and Hessle in 1901-04. This was one of many sim­i­lar projects car­ried out na­tion­wide.

was com­mis­sioned in 2010, when Ry­hope Grange SB re­placed five SBs on the route to­wards Greatham. Sea­ham SB - one of three in the town - was re­tained un­til 2013, pend­ing re­place­ment of the level cross­ing by an un­der­pass.

Com­mis­sion­ing of the Brough Work­sta­tion, sched­uled for April 3, has been post­poned. Con­trol will even­tu­ally ex­tend from How­den (ex­clu­sive) to Fer­riby, and in­clude the route be­tween Goole Swing Bridge (ex­clu­sive) and Gil­berdyke Junc­tion. Selby SB will con­tinue to con­trol the line as far as How­den, and will fringe to the Brough Work­sta­tion.

Over the years, what had been Selby West has grad­u­ally re­placed all SBs in the area. Only Selby Swing Bridge and Barlby GB re­main, and these have spe­cific func­tions. Selby SB is one of those de­light­ful anachro­nisms. Now one of the old­est on NR, a panel re­placed the lever frame when it was over 100 years old.

Con­fin­ing our­selves to the line to­wards Hull, in 1972 Barlby SB was re­duced to a gate box and Barlby North was abol­ished.

Barlby North SB had con­trolled the al­limpor­tant junc­tion be­tween the Hull line and the ECML to­wards Chalon­ers Whin Junc­tion. The lat­ter line closed af­ter the ECML was di­verted in 1983.

The SB at the north end of Selby sta­tion, Selby North, had closed in 1971 and been re­placed by Selby South. Con­trol of this area was then trans­ferred to the present SB when Selby South closed in 1973. The ex­ten­sion of con­trol to in­clude How­den was car­ried out by Rail­track in 1997, with the level cross­ings at Hem­ing­brough and How­den con­verted to CCTV op­er­a­tion con­trolled from Selby.

The Brough Work­sta­tion will fringe with Goole Swing Bridge SB on the route to Thorne Junc­tion. This el­e­vated SB, mounted on the Bridge, is prob­a­bly the old­est on NR. And con­sid­er­ing the com­plex­i­ties of this and sim­i­lar struc­tures, it was not sur­pris­ing to hear NR sug­gest­ing that this and other Swing Bridge SBs would out­live all oth­ers. In 2011, it sug­gested a some­what ar­bi­trary abo­li­tion date of 2045.

Over the years, much dam­age has been caused by ship­ping to the Swing Bridge. In 1974, while re­pair work was be­ing car­ried out, Elec­tric To­ken in­stru­ments were in­stalled in Goole and Salt­marshe SBs. Then, in 1984, a re­pair bill of £ 2 mil­lion threat­ened to close the line!

Be­yond Goole Swing Bridge, the only re­main­ing SB is at Goole. Prior to res­ig­nalling in 1975, it had been named af­ter the ad­ja­cent Booth­ferry Road level cross­ing. At the same time, the lever frame was re­placed by a panel to con­trol new colour light sig­nals. Af­ter the clo­sure of Thorne Moor (1979) and Stain­forth (1980) SBs, Goole has fringed with the then­new Don­caster PSB.

Hull it­self is not part of the scheme. Be­yond Fer­riby, sig­nalling re­mains the re­spon­si­bil­ity of Hessle Road and Hull Paragon SBs.

Hessle Road SB, al­though a rel­a­tively mod­ern unas­sum­ing struc­ture, re­placed a tra­di­tional SB in 1962. At the time, there were 16 level cross­ings within the city bound­aries, and Hull was cursed by them. A cen­sus in 1927 showed Hessle Road cross­ing gates could be closed for around 20 min­utes each hour.

Hessle Road level cross­ing was the first to be elim­i­nated. At the time, there were two dif­fer­ent lev­els of rail­way, and this posed a big prob­lem to con­struc­tion of the fly­over. A new align­ment for what is bet­ter known as the Sal­tend line was also cre­ated.

In 1964, an­other ma­jor fly­over was con­structed at An­laby Road, and the level cross­ing and SB were closed. Al­though ru­moured for re­place­ment at the same time, Wal­ton Street cross­ing re­mains. It is CCTV- con­trolled from Hessle Road SB.

Hull Paragon SB is very his­toric. It opened in 1938, re­plac­ing two NER power-op­er­ated minia­ture lever SBs dat­ing from 1904. Dif­fi­cult to be­lieve that Hull Paragon was one of the busiest NER sta­tions - it boasted 14 plat­forms, nine of which were un­der the train­shed.

The 1938 LNER res­ig­nalling re­sulted in colour lights re­plac­ing the sem­a­phores. Still novel at the time, the sig­nals and points were con­trolled by in­di­vid­ual thumb switches lo­cated on the track di­a­gram. This was the first ap­pli­ca­tion of route-set­ting to a large Bri­tish ter­mi­nus.

Paragon SB only con­trolled the sta­tion. Nearby West Pa­rade SB, con­trol­ling the junc­tions be­tween the Selby, Scar­bor­ough and (in for­mer years) the Hornsea/ With­ernsea lines, was only re­placed by Paragon SB in 1980.

Hull Paragon was again res­ig­nalled in 1984. This time it was ac­com­pa­nied by whole­sale ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion, and a new ‘en­trance-exit’ panel re­placed the age­ing 1938 set-up. Al­though some for­mer plat­forms have been re­tained as sid­ings, the main sta­tion was re­duced to seven plat­forms. On the north side of the sta­tion, there are now three miss­ing plat­forms. The

space is partly taken up by a bus sta­tion.

The sec­tion to be con­trolled from the new Brough Work­sta­tion is presently su­per­vised by Salt­marshe, Gil­berdyke Junc­tion, Broom­fleet, Crab­ley Creek, Brough East and Mel­ton Lane SBs. In ad­di­tion, there are gate boxes at Green Oak Goit, Ox­mardyke, Cave and Wel­ton. All of these ex­cept Crab­ley Creek will be abol­ished. Re­ten­tion of the lat­ter is a tem­po­rary mea­sure while is­sues with the level cross­ing are tack­led.

All SBs, ex­cept at Green Oak Goit, are NER in ori­gin. Af­ter com­ple­tion of this scheme and the planned Durham Coast work, the to­tal of op­er­a­tional ex-NER SBs will be re­duced to 47.

Most of the SBs be­ing abol­ished on the Hull line date from when the NER quadru­pled the 14 miles be­tween Gil­berdyke and Hessle in 1901-04. This was one of many sim­i­lar projects car­ried out na­tion­wide. Schemes car­ried out by the NER in­cluded Church Fen­ton to Chalon­ers Whin Junc­tion (south of York) and Mil­ford to Bur­ton Salmon. For­tu­nately, both these widen­ings sur­vive.

The de­light­fully named Crab­ley Creek

SB is the old­est of the ca­su­al­ties, hav­ing opened ten years be­fore the ‘widen­ing’. It seems some re­align­ment of the tracks will have been re­quired, and the SB was ex­tended to ac­com­mo­date a larger lever frame. In con­trast, Mel­ton Lane SB opened 17 years af­ter the qua­dru­pling. Com­mis­sion­ing co­in­cided with the de­vel­op­ment of the large ce­ment works and the pro­vi­sion of Mel­ton Halt in 1920.

Un­like the other SBs on the line, the older Crab­ley Creek and Ox­mardyke dis­play the char­ac­ter­is­tics of early SBs. From ground to roof they are made of brick, and the op­er­at­ing floor win­dows are rel­a­tively small. In con­trast, Gil­berdyke, Broom­fleet, Cave, Brough, Wel­ton and Mel­ton Lane have much larger win­dows.

In SBs work­ing Ab­so­lute Block (AB), there is still a re­quire­ment for the sig­naller to check that trains have ‘passed com­plete with tail light’. How­ever, things have now come full cir­cle, and the wide­spread use of track cir­cuits has less­ened the need for many sig­nallers to see trains. In­deed, when it comes to pan­els and VDUs, sig­nallers un­der­stand­ably pre­fer the dark!

Ar­range­ment of the four tracks be­tween Gil­berdyke and Hessle was with the Slow and Fast Lines along­side. This is de­scribed as pair­ing by di­rec­tion, as op­posed to pair­ing by speed.

Re­gret­tably, the quadru­ple line sec­tion to­wards Hull, so im­por­tant in the early 20th cen­tury, was con­sid­ered by BR to be sur­plus to re­quire­ments. Dur­ing 1969 and 1970 the sec­tion be­tween Broom­fleet and Hessle was tack­led, and only the Up Slow be­tween Fer­riby and Brough West and a short sec­tion of the Down Slow line through Brough was re­tained.

Then, in 1976, the Up Slow from Fer­riby was cut short at Mel­ton Lane. For the time be­ing, this still left Brough with two is­land plat­forms serv­ing Fast and Slow lines. Later the same year, fol­low­ing the abo­li­tion of Brough West SB, the for­mer Slow lines at Brough were con­verted into bays fac­ing Hull. These were taken out of use over a decade ago.

It wasn’t un­til 1988 that the Slow lines be­tween Gil­berdyke and Broom­fleet were re­moved. This in­volved the con­struc­tion of plat­forms over the trackbed of the for­mer Slow lines at both Gil­berdyke and Broom­fleet. This had not been the case at Brough, 18 years ear­lier. Brough had plat­forms on all lines.

Nine MCB (Man­u­ally Con­trolled Bar­ri­ers) Ob­sta­cle De­tec­tion-style cross­ings will be com­mis­sioned. Eas­tring­ton level cross­ing was con­verted when the SB was abol­ished in 1989. Al­though su­per­vised by Gil­berdyke, the op­er­a­tion of the bar­ri­ers is con­trolled by the pass­ing trains. The level cross­ings at Salt­marshe, Broom­fleet, Brough and Mel­ton Lane are con­ven­tional lift­ing bar­ri­ers.

How­ever, those at Brough and Mel­ton Lane only date from 2008 and 2009 re­spec­tively. Prior to this, the cross­ings were equipped with boom gates - an early 1960s in­no­va­tion de­vised by the North East­ern Re­gion (NER). These were less sub­stan­tial than tra­di­tional gates, and moved hor­i­zon­tally across the road by means of wheels driven by elec­tric mo­tors. To­day, only Cut­syke (Castle­ford) and Ur­lay Nook (near Dar­ling­ton) re­tain boom gates.

The in­stal­la­tions at Ox­mardyke and Cave are far from con­ven­tional. Both use a gate wheel to op­er­ate the lift­ing bar­ri­ers! This was an­other de­vel­op­ment of the NER. Sim­i­lar ar­range­ments can be seen at Bar­ton Hill (near Mal­ton), Driffield, Nor­ton-on-Tees and Nun­thorpe. Manned gated cross­ings re­main at Green Oak Goit, Crab­ley Creek and Wel­ton. All have gates which

open away from the rail­way,

and are nor­mally kept closed when the SB is open.

Green Oak Goit is the sim­plest. There aren’t any sig­nals di­rectly pro­tect­ing the cross­ing. If some­one needs to cross, the cross­ing keeper first checks the in­stru­ments which re­peat the Block in­stru­ments for the Salt­marshe to Gil­berdyke sec­tion. For per­mis­sion to open the gates, the cross­ing keeper needs to tele­phone Gil­berdyke SB. If per­mis­sion is granted, the Gil­bery­dke sig­naller will use re­main­der ap­pli­ances to en­sure trains can­not ap­proach.

Crab­ley Creek and Wel­ton are sim­i­lar. Though one is a block post and the other a gate box, both con­trol gates re­leased by key locks. Ba­si­cally, if all the sig­nals pro­tect­ing the level cross­ing are at dan­ger, the re­lease lever can be re­versed. In that po­si­tion, it is not pos­si­ble to clear the sig­nals, but the sig­naller can re­move the keys re­quired to un­lock the gates.

For the time be­ing, Crab­ley Creek SB will con­tinue to con­trol the level cross­ing us­ing key locks. When Brough Work­sta­tion takes con­trol of the sig­nalling, the Crab­ley Creek sig­naller will need to re­verse Levers 3 or 7 be­fore the sig­nals pro­tect­ing the cross­ing (GH1715 and GH1720) will im­prove to a pro­ceed aspect (an ar­range­ment known as ‘slot­ting’).

Ex­cept for some of Salt­marshe’s colour light sig­nals, the ex­ist­ing mix of sem­a­phores and colour lights will be re­placed by mainly 4-aspect sig­nalling. Sig­nals be­tween Goole Bridge and Gil­berdyke ( both ex­clu­sive) will be plated ‘TG’ (Thorne-Gil­berdyke). Be­tween How­den and Gil­berdyke (both ex­clu­sive), sig­nals will be iden­ti­fied by ‘SG’ (Sel­byGil­berdyke). On­wards from Gil­berdyke to Fer­riby, sig­nals are plated ‘GH’ (Gil­berdykeHessle). The lines be­tween How­den and Fer­riby will be known as the Hull lines, and be­tween Goole Swing Bridge and Gil­berdyke they will be re­named the ‘Salt­marshe’ lines.

Al­though there are no im­me­di­ate plans to elec­trify the route, the sig­nalling is be­ing in­stalled to over­head line equip­ment (OLE) stan­dards. No sig­nif­i­cant changes to per­mis­si­ble line speeds are en­vis­aged, but the sig­nal spac­ing is de­signed for the 100mph run­ning of pas­sen­ger trains.

Changes to the track­work are min­i­mal. The ex­ist­ing trail­ing crossovers at Gil­berdyke, Brough and Fer­riby all re­main. The only track ca­su­alty is the old Horse Dock at Gil­berdyke. The Up Slow be­tween Fer­riby and Mel­ton is re­quired for stop­ping ser­vices out of Hull call­ing at Fer­riby. This line re­mains bi-direc­tional, but the sit­ing of the sig­nals on the Up Hull Slow line will not al­low work­ings to re­turn di­rectly back to Hull from the Up plat­form at Fer­riby.

Of all the SBs un­der threat, only Salt­marshe does not con­trol any sem­a­phores. Like­wise, it is the only SB to be re­placed that doesn’t have a lever frame - a panel was in­stalled over ten years ago.

Most of the sec­tion be­tween Gil­berdyke and Mel­ton Lane is con­trolled by sem­a­phores. How­ever, west of Gil­berdyke on both con­verg­ing routes, all sig­nals (ex­cept those at Gil­berdyke) are colour lights.

The method of work­ing with Selby SB has been Track Cir­cuit Block ( TCB) ever since Hem­ing­brough SB closed in 1997. The sec­tion to Salt­marshe re­mains AB, and Gil­berdyke’s 2-aspect G9 sig­nal is an In­ter­me­di­ate Block sig­nal. This sig­nal in­creases ca­pac­ity by di­vid­ing the sec­tion into two.

AB work­ing presently ap­plies be­tween Salt­marshe and Mel­ton Lane. Be­yond Mel­ton Lane, TCB was es­tab­lished in 1980 when Fer­riby SB was closed and colour light sig­nalling in­stalled. The present po­si­tion of TCB work­ing to Hessle Road was es­tab­lished in 1983, when Hessle Haven SB was abol­ished.

Gil­berdyke is an ex­am­ple of a clas­sic dou­ble Junc­tion, pro­tected by sem­a­phores. For trains com­ing from Hull (Up di­rec­tion), two straight post sig­nals stand­ing side by side act as rout­ing sig­nals. In an age of stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, this ar­range­ment is cheaper than a bracket. The taller G13 (right hand) sig­nal con­trols the Selby line, and the G7 sig­nal con­trols the lower speed di­ver­gence to­wards Goole.

Af­ter res­ig­nalling, this will be re­placed by a 3-aspect sig­nal with a Po­si­tion 1 In­di­ca­tor for the lower speed route to­wards Goole. When the route is set for Goole, the yel­low pro­ceed aspect will be ac­com­pa­nied by the Po­si­tion 1 in­di­ca­tor be­ing il­lu­mi­nated. To warn driv­ers the slower speed route is set up, the pre­ced­ing two 4-aspect sig­nals will dis­play a Flash­ing Dou­ble Yel­low fol­lowed by a Flash­ing Sin­gle Yel­low.

Ap­proach­ing from the Selby and Goole di­rec­tion, the pro­tect­ing stop sig­nals have Dis­tant arms be­low. Be­tween Gil­berdyke and Mel­ton Lane this is quite com­mon, and there are ten sim­i­lar sig­nals (a re­flec­tion of the close spac­ing of the SBs).

Those pro­tect­ing the level cross­ing at Wel­ton are bracket struc­tures. - a clear re­minder of the for­mer Slow lines. In­deed, brack­ets boast­ing a sin­gle arm are not un­usual (for ex­am­ple, Broom­fleet). There are also 13 tra­di­tional ‘fish­tail’ dis­tant sig­nals be­tween Gil­berdyke and Mel­ton Lane.

Al­though com­mis­sion­ing has been de­ferred, work con­tin­ues and the line will be closed to pas­sen­ger trains on var­i­ous dates. Four block­ades dur­ing March will be fol­lowed by a com­plete shut­down over the Easter week­end (March 30-April 2). It seems ‘com­mu­ni­ca­tion’ is­sues are the prob­lem. No new com­mis­sion­ing date has been re­leased.

Prepara­tory work so far in 2018 has in­cluded con­ver­sion of the points at Brough and Gil­berdyke to elec­tric op­er­a­tion. In ad­di­tion, new lift­ing bar­ri­ers have been in­stalled at Broom­fleet, Cave and Wel­ton, al­though they are out of use un­til April 3.

Mel­ton Lane SB won’t be cel­e­brat­ing its 100th birth­day! Hav­ing opened with the new Mel­ton Halt in 1920, it is the youngest of the SB ca­su­al­ties. This view from 1995 shows the boom gates, which were re­placed by con­ven­tional lift­ing bar­ri­ers in 2009. On the left is the Up Slow line, now the only re­minder of the LNER widen­ing of 1901-04. On the Up Main, note the sig­nal pro­tect­ing the level cross­ing. When the Stop sig­nal is “off”, the Dis­tant arm will only clear if all the sig­nals to­wards Brough are ‘off’.

Thurs­day May 19 1904 was a busy day on the Hull line. In con­nec­tion with the ad­di­tion of the Slow Lines (then known as ‘In­de­pen­dents’), Marr House SB (east of Broom­fleet) was abol­ished and the ex­ist­ing Broom­fleet SB was com­mis­sioned. In ad­di­tion, Cave gate box was opened. This view, taken in Oc­to­ber 2012, shows the sin­gle-storey struc­ture still in good con­di­tion. The bar­ri­ers, op­er­ated by a wheel, are shown in their usual po­si­tion (closed to the road). The wicket gates are for the use of pedes­tri­ans.

Ox­mardyke was com­mis­sioned at the be­gin­ning of the widen­ing be­tween Gil­berdyke and Hessle in 1901. Un­like nearby Gil­berdyke and Broom­fleet, it is built to an older style. Note the op­er­at­ing floor win­dows are not con­tin­u­ous. The lock­ing room win­dows are a de­light. The metal stair­case and out­side toi­let are not orig­i­nal! The bar­ri­ers are op­er­ated by a wheel and not a pedestal.

Brough East SB is typ­i­cal of the SBs pro­vided for the NER widen­ing to­wards Hull, with the con­tin­u­ous win­dows for the op­er­at­ing floor a great im­prove­ment com­pared with ear­lier styles. Un­for­tu­nately, the dec­o­ra­tive lock­ing room win­dows have been bricked up. On Au­gust 8 1979, 55009 Aly­ci­don heads the 1245 Hull-King’s Cross. The SB is still known as Brough East, de­spite Brough West be­ing abol­ished in 1976.

At Gil­berdyke on May 27 1979, a Class 124 ‘Trans-Pen­nine’ diesel mul­ti­ple unit forms the 1445 Hull-Leeds. The foot­bridge af­fected sig­nal sight­ing. The plat­for­m­mounted bracket rout­ing sig­nals needed to be low, and a Fish­tail Ban­ner Re­peater was re­quired for Ox­mardyke’s dis­tant sig­nal. Fol­low­ing re­moval of the Slow lines in 1988, the plat­forms were short­ened and widened over the va­cant trackbed. The Horse Dock, to the right, will be taken out of use as part of the res­ig­nalling.

Cave gate box in Novem­ber 1995 with Kevin Tay­lor on duty (com­plete with Rail­track short-sleeved sweater). The Cap­stan Wheel orig­i­nally op­er­ated gates, but is now used to op­er­ate the lift­ing bar­ri­ers. Prom­i­nent here is the blue/brown No 4 Bar­rier Re­lease Lever. When the sig­nal levers are nor­mal in the frame, this lever can be ‘re­versed’ and the bar­ri­ers raised.

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