Stop and think!


Previous competitions have covered a variety of signalling subjects.

Details of the questions and the correct answers will be found below, together with the names of the winners.



UR1154, or part of it!OK, I admit it, it was a dirty trick! For the December quiz you were asked to identify and explain an odd feature about a signal plated UR1154.

The signal was unusual because it appeared to not have an "on" aspect. The reason for this is because this is only part of the signal - it is associated with a multiple-aspect head on the opposite side of the running line.

John Alexander, who took the photograph at Dagenham, East London in 2002, writes: The signal was installed as part of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link project and the tracks get moved again in about 6 months. The track to the left of the main head was moved in to allow construction works preventing a straight post. Right hand mounting was precluded because the Up Tilbury is to the right and confusion was possible.

Despite the trickery, several correct answers were received. The randomly selected winner for this month was David Lyas.

Click on the image for a larger view.


Mystery track diagramFor November, we returned to another anonymous track diagram for identification. Plenty of correct answers came in, and John Fowler's name was pulled out of the hat as the winner - identifying the location as Colwich.

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Atherton Goods yardThe October Quiz required the identification of a still-operational signal box almost concealed by undergrowth, but there was no shortage of correct answers. You can click on the image for a larger view.

The first correct answer came from Alan Johntson who correctly identified the box as Atherton Goods Yard, near between Manchester and Wigan.

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HornsbyFor September, another of the popular caption competitions. This time, the picture showed the interior of Hornsby signal box, New South Wales, Australia, when it opened in 1909.

As always, it is difficult to chose one entry as a winner from so many, but that from Danny Scroggins has been selected - his caption was I know Rule 55 says you have to come up to the 'box, but did you have to bring all the passengers aswell?.

Other excellent entries, well worth a mention, were Notice To Signalmen: In the event of an emergency, spare S&T technicians are located behind the frame (Kevin Richards) and Signalling Managers reluctantly agree that the new computerised rostering systems still needs some bugs ironing out (Dave Jones).

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The August quiz was a bit of a riddle - asking the name of a Railtrack signalbox in the United Kingdom that signals both trains and trams across a level crossing.

Too easy, perhaps, for plenty of correct answers were received. The box in mind was Deansgate Junction in Manchester, but several entries were also made suggesting Tyneside IECC which is one your scribe didn't know of!

To be fair, then, two prizes are given for this month - and the winners (selected at random) are: Peter Nichols (Navigation Road) and Malcolm Charlton (Tyneside).

JULY 2002

The July quiz had a European flavour, with four photographs of mechanical signals in Europe - provided by Janet Cottrell. In which countries were the signals located?

Belgium Portugal Germany Ireland
Belgium Portugal Germany Ireland

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Lots of entries were received, but nobody got all four correct. Simon Robinson was one of several people to get three of the four correct, and has been selected to receive the prize.

JUNE 2002
Converted NER signals at Amble Converted NER signals at Amble

For June, you were asked to spot the odd feature of signals at Amble. The most significant feature is that they were NER slotted-post signals that had been converted to upper quadrant.

The photographs have the figure 1969 on the back, which suggests the date of the photographs, but several correspondents have suggested the pictures may be rather earlier than that.

Click on the images for a larger view.

The most complete and correct answer came from Owen Stratford.

MAY 2002

May 2002 competitionThe May competition sought the location of a fully signalled line - panel with SSI (Solid State Interlocking) - worked by one train in possession of a staff.

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The first correct entry received came from Richard Lemon, who identified the section of line as being the Old Dalby Test Track

The question was set by John Batts, who also kindly provided the photograph.

APRIL 2002

V board at Renigunta JunctionIn April, you were asked the meaning of the V board on the signalbox at Renigunta Junction in India.

This board has no signalling significance, but commemorates Victory in World War II. The clue to this was that the photograph was taken in 1946.

The winner this month was Alan Crawford.

Click on the image formore information

MARCH 2002

Clickhere to view the diagramThe March quiz required the identification of an anonymous signalbox diagram created by our very own Mr D Raftsman. No less than 32 correct entries were received, identifying the box as Pelham Street whilst many more were able to identify the location as Lincoln. From all the correct answers, Steve Sharp was the lucky one to have his name pulled out of the hat, and is declared the winner.

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Mountain Top signal boxAnother caption competition brought some interesting responses. This picture shows interesting equipment at Conway signal box on the Lehigh Valley Railway in the USA.

The winning submission came from Phil Deaves, who wrote:
It's the ultimate SPAD deterrent. The train passes the signal, the signalman runs out and shouts into the little end, and the whole of the northern hemisphere can hear about it from the big end.

Many other good entries were, of course, received and three of note were:

  • Hattie Jacques's bloomers drying device, from Andrew Morris
  • Thats a dam big cake we gota ice today, from Roger Sutcliffe, and
  • High speed pilotman exchange will never catch on...., from Stuart Johnson

Click on the image for a larger view.


Telegraph Pole RouteThe first competition of the year asked what was unusual in this photograph taken over the Christmas holiday period.

Many people correctly spotted the telegraph pole route still in use - believed to be one of only two such sections in the country. The example illustrated is between Thetford and Attleborough.

From the winning entries, the name pulled out of the hat was that of Mark Flather.