THE SIGNAL BOX

BLOCK SYSTEM

BRITISH RAILWAY SIGNALLING INSTRUMENTS

One Engine In Steam single-line staffs

One Engine in Steam Staff

One Engine in Steam StaffThe simplest, and earliest, safe method to ensure only one train could proceed on a single line at a time was to issue the driver with a staff, without which the train was not permitted to travel.

This method had its drawbacks - trains had to run alternatively one way then the other, or you would find the staff was at the wrong end of the section!

For this reason, the system was developed first into the Staff & Ticket system, then the Electric Tablet, Staff or Token.

However, the basic OES principle has remained sufficient for locations where the service always runs in alternate directions. The most common usage is on dead end branches, as is the case of the example illustrated here.

Notice how the two extremes of the single-line section are engraved on brass plates on the staff so the driver can be sure he has been issued with the staff for the correct section.

The example illustrated is at Cromer Yard, more details of which will be found in the Photo Gallery.