After many months of suspended operations, Gosport Tramway was reopened over the weekend. Prior to recommencing operations, all twelve vehicles were thoroughly cleaned and oiled resulting in excellent operational performance. A video of recent tramway operations is below.
This post addresses what has probably been one of the most talked about and neglected projects on the Banbury Connections Network. While the entire railway has been signaled using semaphores for many years, Birmingham Snow Hill's early adoption of colour-light signals provided an opportunity for their implementation on Banbury Connections. Accordingly, the station has remained dangerously un-signaled for nearly a decade in eager anticipation of working colour light signal technology.
Preparations for colour-light signals have taken place over the last 15 years with a small and eclectic collection begin acquired. With recent momentum for the installation of these signals, scoping works were undertaken to identify precise inventory requirements. Though a Hornby Dublo Junction (a number of Hornby Dublo bulbs were still operational!) and several single signals could be used on the southern end of the station, tight clearances on the northern throat required the construction of four gantry signals. To meet this need, plastic pipe, brass rode and light bulbs were acquired alongside a number of second hand signals which were used to provide lens casings. A modified second hand N Gauge signal turned out to be an ideal ground signal.
Since installation, the signals have proven to be an enormous success and greatly enhanced the operating experience at Snow Hill box. A set of Triang ON-ON Yellow lever-frame switches are used to control the signals.
Unfortunately, the red light on one of the gantry signals has kept developing a resistance so the bulb becomes very dim. After speaking with our expert electrical consultant from North America, it is believed that a short-circuit may be creating surges that damage the bulbs. Improved insulation has been applied to the signal which we hope will rectify the problem going forward.
Pictures of the new signals can be found below along with a video of the first working signal.
In pursuit of more efficient goods handling on Banbury Connections to counter the threat of road traffic, a new moving crane was added to the goods yard at Sheffield Victoria Station. The crane services both the container wagon and steel sidings and enables multiple wagons to be loaded and unloaded without the requirement for time consuming shunting. To improve the crane's durability, metal wheels were fitted to the base instead of the supplied plastic wheels. These wheels were kindly supplied by the General Manager of the nearby N Gauge Hills District Railway.
The former Sheffield Crane was dismantled and taken to Birmingham Snow Hill where it now sits adjacent to the new warehouse and contributes to a network wide modernisation program.
Banbury Connections General Blog
The Banbury Connections blog looks at issues of significant interest involving the railway and its staff.