Watercress Line

Alton - Watch This Space!

Thursday 18 April - Signal Engineering Department Report


Work still continues at Ropley as part of the phase 2 work and all new multicore cables that run between lineside location cases have now been terminated (at last!) Likewise the cables that run up the new signal posts for electric lighting and signal arm detection are in place and we are now in the process of testing the new work – at least its turning a bit warmer when working out in the country.

Focus of attention is now turning to Alton with some major interface changes looming with Network Rail later this year. NR has announced the closure of Farnham, Aldershot and Ash Vale signal boxes with control transferring to Woking Area Signalling Centre. How will this affect us you may ask? Since the extension to Alton was completed many years ago, we have had a main line connection via Platform 2. Train or locomotive movements between us and Network Rail are currently managed verbally with the Farnham signaller. As part of the changes NR is making, a new signalling interface is being designed whereby our Alton signalman will be able to signal trains to and from Platform 2. To facilitate this, new Junction Indicators (affectionately known as ‘feathers’) have recently been installed on the two colour light signals (AT55 and AT57) on the approach to Alton signal box. The current NR signal at the country end of Platform 2 will also have its yellow aspect reinstated whereby, under our control, Woking signallers will be able to clear this signal to allow movements onto the MHR. This will require new cross boundary signalling cables and concrete cable troughing to house these is currently being laid between Alton signal box and the white boundary gate. 


Rod Wicks 

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