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Tropical Signal Engineering

Monday 1 July 2013 – Signal Engineering Report

Why is it that most outside jobs coincide with the coldest days of the year (see previous update entitled Extreme Signal Engineering) whilst those jobs inside happen on one of the warmest days of the year so far? Last Monday was such a day and saw one of the midweek team at Alton undertaking cabling work in readiness for the new MHR / Network Rail interface planned for later this year. Many new circuits will be required including controls and indications on the Alton Panel. This necessitates a new 48 core cable from the Relay Room to the Panel on the operating floor. Ron and I started the day by drilling a new large hole through the operating floor and then yours truly joined the MHR gymnastic team on the ‘beam’ under the box to tie this most unwieldy and obstinate cable to the supports and feed it through the new hole under the Panel. It was then cut to approximate length in readiness to terminate it on a new block that was also installed.

In the meantime, Ken Jarvis was busy in the very warm Relay Room fitting additional 110v fuses for new power feeds out to the new lineside location cabinets. This necessitated switching off the 110 volt supply which mysteriously coincided with Alton bound SWT trains having to terminate at Farnham...  not our fault guv, honest! 

By this time the clock was ticking down to the morning break with the usual tea and donuts on the menu for four hot and thirsty volunteers. Fully refreshed, work then continued in the Relay Room with Ron and John Webb replacing some existing bulky ceramic fuse holders with more modern and compact plastic cable termination blocks. With all the additional cables associated with the new works coming into the relay room, this conversion is necessary to create sufficient space to terminate the new cables. Next week we will return as the ‘terminators'... T-shirts and shorts may be the preferred attire if the forecast is correct! 

Rod Wicks

Photo gallery

  • Rod Wicks ‘on the beam’ under Alton Signal Box

  • Ron Patterson hacksawing multicore cable to correct length in back of Alton Panel.

  • 3John Webb fixing new compact termination strip in place in Alton Relay Room.

  • New strip in place awaiting a new 48 core cable to be terminated.