The signalling system is based on North Eastern Railway practice i.e., lower quadrant semaphore signals. The signals in the station limits are worked from a fully interlocked 30-lever frame situated in a signal box on the platform near the Down sidings. Both points and signals are operated by compressed air and to increase the safety aspect of the interlocking, valves on the point operating mechanism only allow the signal to show clear if the point blades are fully home. Also, the main signals in the station limits are put to danger by track circuits as a train passes them, thus they are classed as semi-automatic, i.e., they are controlled by the passage of the trains or by the signalman.
The tracks outside the station limits are controlled by fully automatic signals, again semaphore but electrically operated by solenoids. These signals are approach operated as in NER practice, i.e., they are at danger until a train approaches them and assuming the section in front is clear the signal will lower. (The signalman has no control of these signals).
In 2004 a second signal box was opened to control the new freight yard and access to it from the main line.
The track circuit system, (a faithful copy in principle of the full size) controls the automatic signals as well as the semi-automatics. The signalman has a diagram in the signal box with LED’s showing each section as either clear or occupied, this assists him to plan when he can set up a route without stopping a train. The signalmen are trained and passed out as competent and will be pleased to explain the workings. If visiting please do not assume you can operate the signals even if that is what you do for a living as we would not want to cause offense by refusing. All the signals are easily removable for safe storage and are only in position when several trains or a passenger train is running. They also have lights fitted so that night running can take place in complete safety.
In the picture is the recently completed second 30 lever signal box at the Erimus Yard. The bracket signal seen at the right controls access to the new yard from the down main line.
The signals and water-cranes are all built to 71/4″ gauge (1:8th) scale which has a satisfying relationship to all gauges, and particularly, the super-sized drivers.
There is a detailed explanation of the meaning of the signals here.
Visit the Signalling picture gallery