In addition to on-going maintenance and refurbishment of existing signalling equipment, the MHR Signal Engineering Department currently has one major project in progress.
Following the completion of Ropley Phase 2 and the Alton Network Rail ‘fringe’ schemes, there is some minor follow-up work ongoing at Ropley involving the installation of a banner repeater signal for the Down Inner Home signals plus the provision of track circuits through the Loop and Main platforms. The photo below is of an old electro mechanical banner signal that has been recovered from storage and is undergoing testing prior to a complete refurbishment and installation at Ropley.
Medstead & Four Marks
Plans are now coming together for the complete refurbishment of Medstead Signal Box that has seen almost 30 years of service since initial commissioning on the MHR in 1985 (see section for Medstead Box). This is a major project that will take between 18 and 24 months to complete. Medstead is an important crossing point for trains that is essential to enable a ‘balanced’ timetable to operate over our single line. To enable this to continue during the refurbishment work, a temporary signal box is to be installed in the form of a large Portacabin. One half will be used as the signalling operating area, the other half serving as a relay room. This project is affectionately known as “Medtemp”.
The new facility arrived at Medstead in early May and was hoisted into position using one of the railway’s steam cranes. Work will now start fitting out the building ready for the decommissioning of the existing box early 2016.
During the temporary stage, eight new DC track circuits will provided throughout the station area and all points will be motorised. Six semaphore signals will be retained to provide the basic signalling required and all will be converted to electro/hydraulic operation. A small wall mounted panel will be provided that will have rotary switches for the individual control of points and signals and a diagram to display track circuit and treadle indications. Interlocking will be achieved using plug in relays.
(Updated 1 June 2015)