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Friday, 6 May 2016

Project 16 - Down Starter Signal

I did not plan to make a signal at this stage in the project. It came about because I was making a shopping list for my visit to Expo EM this month and signals were an item of interest to buy.

The Down Starter Signal at Crewkerne is a co-acting type on a tall post so that drivers the other side of the bridge can see it. It included a Distant signal for Crewkerne Gates. On my Misterton layout the Distant applies to Hewish Gates, which is the next landmark around the oval layout.

It is most likely that whatever signal kit I bought would need substantial modification to achieve this specific layout and that set me thinking. I had some left over parts from a Ratio LNER signal kit that has been in storage for some years. Perhaps I could scratch build the missing parts to make the complete signal.

The only photograph of the Crewkerne signal I came across showed a LSWR lower quadrant semaphore on a lattice post mounted on the station platform. These signals were generally replaced by the Southern Railway to upper quadrant semaphores on dual Bullhead rail posts and this would have been the arrangement in the BR(S) period of my model railway.

The two 30' rails were 3D printed and pinned together at 2'6" intervals with copper wire 'bolts'. The semaphore arms, lamps, cranks, ladder and track circuit diamond came from the Ratio kit. Access platforms, signal control wires, handrails and post cap were fabricated from card, copper wire, and plastic sprue respectively.

It was never my intention to remotely control these signals . My plan was to simply move the semaphores by hand, if required. However, I did want the lower co-acting starter to move in unison with its parent.

I have always found it difficult to get signals moving correctly by their control wires and this build was no exception. Too much fiddly trialling resulted in the control arm of the starter breaking off and my repair attempts failed to get the two signals working in unison so now it is a static model with the semaphores set in the off position. I can move the arms independently of each other but I doubt I'll bother, except for scene photography perhaps.

To Part 20.

To Part 1.

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