Pre-grouping trackwork

Buildings, civil engineering works, track work, signalling, etc.

Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby Angus » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:46 pm

It's often pointed out to railway modellers that "slips save space".
However, looking through Barrie's books on the South Wales companies before the Grouping, slips very rarely appear in the illustrations. (Dowlais, Cae Harris, plate 15 in his Rhymney Railway book and Pl 58 showing the approaches to Riverside Station, Cardiff in the Barry Railway volume were the only ones I could find). Were slips really rare on the smaller independent lines, or am I drawing conclusions from far too small a sample of pictures?
On pointwork in general, were points built "in situ" in those days or pre-assembled in the workshop? I assume the planing of the point blades is a machine shop task but could the rest of the cutting and bending be done on site?
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby Noel » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:13 pm

Slips require more maintenance and special chairs, and are more expensive to produce than plain points, so companies only used them when they felt it necessary. Much would depend on their internal rules on facing points, access to sidings, and so on.

Angus wrote: I assume the planing of the point blades is a machine shop task but could the rest of the cutting and bending be done on site?


Bending rails is not a simple task, and building a point in situ would be slow, I think, with implications for delay to traffic [except on new lines, obviously]. It may not even be possible, as moving the necessary equipment would not be straightforward. The usual practice, so far as I know, was to make the points at the works according to measurements done at the site, and set them up there, either in the workshop or on a dedicated open area within the works. Errors, if any, could then be dealt with more easily. The pointwork would then be marked up and dismantled into a kit of parts for re-erection on site.
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:18 pm

The Barry used a few of them, especially around sidings. Gladstone Sidings in Barry Docks had four sequences of them across multiple tracks. If you have Cooke's Track Layout Diagrams Section 44B, they can be found on pages 51 and 52. Also there was a sequence of four slips at Barry Station running across the Bay line, the Up and Down Relief lines into the Engine Shed, to be found on page 45.
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby s.w.johnson » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:33 pm

There was a single slip at Penwyllt on the N&B. Also I think there were slips at Defynnog (aka Devynock).
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby NCB » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:28 pm

The Barry did of course give rise to the, ahem, term, Barry Slip. Here's a pic of the ones at Barry Dock:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... -at-barry/

They represented a useful simplification over the standard form of slip.

On the subject of pre-grouping pointwork, I was wondering if any Welsh railways used interlaced sleepers rather than timbers. I came across a reference somewhere which suggested that the Cambrian did, but have never found anything to back it up.

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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:26 pm

That's a great picture, NCB.
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby dwrathan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:44 pm

Lovely picture! Looks like Mon Bank to me. Especially with the Tirpentwys wagons. Lydney Jeff.
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:17 pm

Where's the Mon bank?
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby dwrathan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:33 pm

Mon Bank, full name Monmouthshire Bank, were sidings either side of the Monmouthshire Loop of the Alexander Docks Railway between Maesglas Junction and East Mendalgief Junction. Tony Cooke's Track Layout Diagrams No 38 Pages ii and 44 refer. They were still in use in the 1970s for dealing with Iron Ore traffic between Newport docks and Ebbw Vale. The Barry Slips were a feature, as were the "bob" point levers. Lydney Jeff.
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Re: Pre-grouping trackwork

Postby Penrhos1920 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:28 am

It's definitely not Barry as those POs were not seen at Barry.
Modelling the Alexandra (Newport & South Wales) Docks & Railway, Barry Railway and Rhymney Railway at Penrhos Junctions in SF4.
GWR short (4 & 6) coaches.
http://www.penrhos.me.uk

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