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SIGNALLING ON THE LINE

The railway is operated in two sections for the purposes of signalling, however normally there is usually only one train working the service,called one engine in steam, having two sections allows the railway to operate demonstration freight, driver experience and two passenger trains at the same time as is required by the operations department.The two sections are Matlock to Darley Dale and Church Lane to Rowsley South, both sections are single line track and are controlled of a combined Annett’s / Staff key system, the Annett’s key is a mechanical key which unlocks the ground frames on the single line sections to access the sidings, the up Staff/Annett’s key unlocks Rowsley South and the runround loop there, and the down Annetts/Staff key unlocks ground frames at Matlock for runround of the locomotive as well as the south yard sidings at Darley Dale.Attached to the Annett`s key is the Staff key, this allows the signaller one release of the starting signal into the single line section,the Staff/Annettes key is given to the driver of the train on passing the signalbox, by this way the signaller cannot release a second train into the section as there is no key to release the signal,the lever frame interlocking is also connected to this.

Church Lane is controlled by a fifteen lever (railway signalling company lever frame, Manchester and Liverpool) of which five levers are used, the points are electro-hydraulically operated.The signals at Church Lane are of Midland railway lower quadrant semaphore type on wooden posts dating from 1927, with the exception of the down home starter signal which is a B.R standard bracket post ex Seamer Junction.

Darley Dale is controlled of a seven lever ground frame acting as a crossing cabin,based in a structure alongside the level crossing, the points are mechanically operated and locked.The north yard ground frame at Darley Dale is electrically released from Darley Dale by a lever in the cabin,Darley Dale controls the release of the up loop signals which are worked from Church Lane, likewise Church Lane controls the electrical release of the down loop signals at Darley Dale.

Photographs; D Beglin,I Allison,,and others.

The section of line between Darley Dale and Church Lane is double track, which acts as the passing point for trains, this is controlled under Absolute Block working, this is a system of electrical relays and visual indicators, which require the signaller and the system to agree at every stage in the operation of the instrument to allow a train to pass.The Absolute Block system is linked into the track circuits, which prove the presence of a train in the system, the entire quarter mile of track from Darley Dale to Church Lane is fully track circuited.

The signals in the platform area are of Midland railway origin,with the signals approaching from Matlock being British Railways standard metal round post type.

Click on the left links to reach different pagesClicking on underlined text will take you to a wikpedia article on that subject

Click on the signboard (left) to link to a youtube video of the line in 1961

Above; signalling plan for Riverside box at Matlock.

Click on the link (left) for a timeline YOUTUBE video of the railways signalling from steam centre to operating railway


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