Crewe Junction

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last updated 21 July 2013

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Shrewsbury index | Station area diagram | Severn Bridge Junction | Abbey Foregate | Crewe Junction | Sutton Bridge Junction | Crewe Bank | Harlescott Crossing


26-28/5/07

Crewe Junction Crewe Junction from the castle, with Shrewsbury station building in the foreground. The line to Gobowen and Chester continues straight ahead, while the one to Crewe curves off to the right. The signalbox can be seen on the extreme left.
The layout along the Crewe line. The three-way up homes bracket can be seen in the top right. Line to Crewe
Line to Chester The line to Chester.
Shortly beyond the up Crewe Line homes, Crewe Bank's up starter, carrying Crewe Junction's fixed inner distant, can be seen. Section from Crewe Bank

18/9/06

Crewe Junction The junction from the down platform. The last remaining gantry at Shrewsbury carries Crewe Junction's homes - the colour-lights were installed when the former starters gantry on the Crewe line (see below) had to be replaced. The latter gantry had also carried lower-arm distants for the next box, Crewe Bank, which had been worked from a lever in Crewe Junction box under Indicator working. Crewe Bank's distants are now incorporated as the yellow aspects of these colour lights.
A long-range shot of the line to Chester. The up outerhome, upper quadrant, can be seen behind the far bridge. Note the sighting boards on the splitting signal, which routes trains to either the up and down platform or the up main/platform lines. The sidings to the right of the main lines are but a shadow of their former glory. Long-range shot of Gobowen line
Crewe Junction Crewe Junction from the footbridge above the station. The line closest to the camera is the up main; a train from Chester is signalled into the up main platform, to the left of the brick abutments.
The line towards Crewe. The splitting signal in the distance routes trains to the up and down platform, the up platform or the up main, respectively (left to right). The three signals in the foreground are Crewe Junction's up starters, controlling entry to the sections through the station to Severn Bridge Junction. The bracket signal applies to the up platform line, while the one closest to the camera, for the up and down platform, also applies to trains from the Chester line. The line towards Crewe
Wider view of Gobowen line A wider-angle view of the line from Chester. The signal nearest the camera carries Crewe Junction's starters from this direction onto the up platform and up main lines.
The view from further back along the down platform, with the signalbox framed by the down homes gantry. Note also the banner repeater under the platform awning for the up and down platform line. Down homes gantry and signalbox
Up Crewe line homes A close-up of the up homes bracket on the Crewe line.
The up platform line starter from the Crewe direction. This signal is a relatively recent installation by NR, when its predecessor needed replacement. A lower-quadrant was installed as NR's policy is now to install signals of the same type as the majority of the others at the particular location. (This is a refreshing change from BR days, when Shrewsbury's transfer to the LMR had led to the progressive installation of upper-quadrants.)
It is also unusual in having two dolls mounted on the bracket, one behind the other and both fitted with finials. From this angle, however, you can clearly see this has been done as part of a railed platform where maintenance staff can safely stand when servicing the signal lamp or other equipment at the top of the post.
The illuminated indicator beneath the subsidiary arm lights up when the latter is lowered to indicate whether a calling-on or warning route is set.
Up Crewe to up platform starter
Up Crewe to up main starter The up main starter from the Crewe direction.
The view from the rear end of the up platform. The layout here allows trains to reverse from the up platform, but only in the Crewe direction. The signal in the foreground controls such departures. View from rear of up platform
FPL and detector The Facing Point Lock and Detector equipment that ensures the above signal can only be cleared if the points are correctly set and locked in position. Locking the point is acheived by the FPL bolt A, which slides to the left and fits into one of two notches B cut into the stretcher bar that connects the two point blades. The Detector is the unit at the top of the photo, in which three metal slides are connected via rods to the FPL bar via the angle crank at C and the point blades themselves at D and E. Each of these slides in the detector unit also has a notch cut into it, and all three of these notches must be lined up in the correct positions before slide F, connected to the signal wire, can be moved to the left to clear the signal. The fourth rod, on the right, does not move but anchors the body of the detector to the base of the points to ensure it cannot move out of the correct position.
The signalbox as seen from the vee of the junction, with the Chester line up starters on the left. Box from vee of junction
Down Crewe line starter The down starter on the Crewe line is also slotted as Crewe Bank's down home.

28/7/06

The view towards Chester from the first overbridge after the junction, with Crewe Junction's up outerhome. On the right is all that now remains of Coton Hill yard, for which there used to be another signal box here. Up outerhome and Coton Hill yard
Crewe Junction from the Gobowen line A view in the opposite direction, with Shrewsbury station (and castle) in the background. Note the elevated pair of discs controlling the exit from the siding on the left.
A closer view of the up Chester line outerhome. Up outerhome and

21/9/05

Crewe Junction signalbox This signalbox is also impressive, if not quite a match for Severn Bridge Junction.
The lines from Crewe viewed from the down platform. Lines towards Crewe
Setting back disc from up main This disc controls shunting moves back from the up main.

11/10/09

The rather squat appearance of the box when viewed from station level belies the fact that the railway is on a fairly high viaduct here. This rear view reveals the truth - it's actually taller than Severn Bridge Junction! Rear view of signalbox
FPL bars Other survivors here are two mechanical Facing Point Lock bars. These work in conjunction with the basic FPL mechanism shown above to prevent the points being moved under a train. When the point is locked, the bar remains below wheel level. But withdrawing the FPL bolt causes it to rise above rail level. If a train is standing over it, the flanges of its wheels prevent this, so the point cannot be unbolted.
The same result is normally achieved electrically by track circuits nowadays, so very few of these mechanical FPL bars now remain on the national network.
I noticed from my earlier photos there was something written on the back of the sighting board of the Home 2 signal for the up Chester to Platform 4. Seems it's a note to remind the lampmen that each lamp on this bracket must go in its correct holder. Rear of Home 2 sighting board
Axle counter This axle counter is in the down Chester line just beyond the Ellesmere Road overbridge. Pairs of axle counters are increasingly used instead of track circuits to register when trains are occupying sections of track. The counter at the start of the section counts the number of axles entering, and until the same number of axles have been counted out by the counter at the exit from the section, it is known to be occupied.
  View from Ellesmere Road bridge
Axle counter The up Chester line starters bracket, leading to the up main and Platform 7. It was very noticeable that, since my last visit, much more substantial ladders, platforms and railings have been added to many of the signals, to make working on them as safe as possible.

1/4/13

A face-on shot of the up starter to the up & down platform line. Up starter to up & down platform
Up main second homes and discs from Coton Hill sidings A close view of the up main second homes, and the discs controlling the exit from Coton Hill sidings.
The up Crewe homes bracket has also been fitted with a more substantial maintenance platform and railings.
On the right the disc leading back out of the down goods siding (CJ62) can also be seen.
Up Crewe homes and disc from down siding
Axle counter Another view of the gantry, with Crewe line trains signalled in both direction. The 'L' indication stands for 'London Midland' - the indicators show 'W' ('Western') for the Chester line and 'S' for the down Crewe goods siding. These indications date from BR days when the lines were managed by the respective regions. Obviously with both Crewe and Chester beginning with the same letter an alternative convention had to be used.
The gantry with a shunting move signalled from the up & down platform into Coton Hill sidings. Lo and behold, the letter 'C' is seen to refer to this move.
We can also see that the banner repeater has been replaced with an LED version since the 2006 photo further up the page.
Gantry with CJ97 cleared to Coton Hill sidings
View towards Crewe Bank A long-range view down the Crewe line, with the down starter in the distance and Crewe Bank's up starter visible.
A closer view of the exit disc from the down Crewe sidings. Exit disc from down sidings
Down main platform home A closer view of the down main platform home, cleared. There are two balance weight levers on this doll because until 1988 there was also a calling-on arm below the main signal.

June 1982

The former starters gantry on the Crewe line. Note the old-pattern calling-on arms. The distants, for the next signalbox at Crewe Bank, were actually controlled from a lever in Crewe Junction signalbox, using indicator working. When Crewe Bank pulled his distant lever, an indicator positioned behind the signal lever would click over to tell the Crewe Junction signalman he could clear the signal. Former Crewe line starters gantry

Sept 1981

Crewe Junction signalbox Crewe Junction from the rear end of the up main platform, with the Crewe line curving round to the right. The position of the former starters gantry can be seen in relation to the other signals.

2001

Thanks to Ian Payne for sending me this shot of the previous Crewe line up main platform starter (CJ13) - this was the signal whose post base is in the middle of the shot above, and to Bryn Jones for clarifying the meanings of the gantry route indications and why there are two balance levers on the CJ119 doll. Former Crewe to up platform starter

Shrewsbury index | Station area diagram | Severn Bridge Junction | Abbey Foregate | Crewe Junction | Sutton Bridge Junction | Crewe Bank | Harlescott Crossing


Signals | Abergavenny | Abergele | Banbury | Birmingham NS | Bognor | Brereton Sdgs | Cambrian | Craven Arms | Droitwich Spa | Exeter | Gobowen | GW(S)R | Helsby | High Wycombe | Kidderminster | Ledbury | Lincoln | Llandudno | London | Malvern Wells | Moreton-in-Marsh | New Cumnock | Newton Abbot | Pontrilas | Rhyl | Shrewsbury | S Wales | St Albans S | Taunton | Warrington | Woofferton Jct | Worcester | Wrexham | Yeovil | West Midlands | Home Signal page | SRS | Exeter West Group


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