LMS (NCC) SEMAPHORE SOMERSAULT SIGNALS SAVED FOR PRESERVATION
Translink NI Railways has donated three LMS (NCC) somersault signals for preservation at Whitehead and Downpatrick.
The signals were in use until November 2016 at Castlerock station between Coleraine and Londonderry, but became redundant when the passing loop and signal box closed.
Translink NI Railways donated one to Whitehead and two to the Downpatrick & County Down Railway, retaining a fourth for its own pool of spares.
The RPSI’s example – originally Castlerock’s Up starter – was installed on Whitehead Excursion Platform on October 11 and will now be connected to the museum’s newbuild LMS (NCC)-style signal box.
DCDR Chairman Robert Gardiner said they hoped to begin work on bases for the signals in the New Year: “We have been comparing notes with the Bluebell Railway to see how they erect their wooden signal posts, and will probably copy that technique.”
The LMS (NCC) somersault signals were distinctive in Ireland because most railways opted for the lower quadrant design.
The last outpost of somersault semaphores is Portrush, and preservation enthusiasts hope that they will survive the current £5.5m upgrade of the station in advance of next July’s Open Golf Championship.
Under the control of the 25-foot tall Up starter signal at Castlerock, Compound No. 85 runs round the RPSI’s ‘Semaphore Finale’ train on October 30 2016, the final occasion on which a steam-hauled train used the loop.