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1st message | this message only posted: 25 Sep 2012 17:51
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from:
davelong
 

 

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Hi all. As I'm turning my attentions back to UK prototypes, I've found a great location to model. It's Bloxwich Crossing, in the West Midlands close to Walsall, on the Cannock chase line. My time period is somewhere around 86-89.

However I thought I'd post a few images that are quite interesting track wise. There was a wonderful mixture of Flatbottom rail and BH rail at this location. It seems as though during the period that renewals were taking place, but due to the line being freight only until 1988, renewals seemed to have been quite selective.

Funnily the Up main which for the most part was FB rail on a mixture of concrete and wooden sleepers still has semaphore signals, and the Down main for the majority is BH rail and has modern colour aspect signaling.

The interesting bits are, the tandem that forms the loop and entry in to both sidings. The tandem is linked to the main via a single slip.

In this photo its all BH which is dated as 86:
http://railonline.zenfolio.com/p426225132/h353FB9B3#h353fb9b3

However not too much longer things start to change:

Although these are much later photos, (used to highlight the track) I believe that the renewals began in 87 although I could be wrong but not by much.

The tandem, which is a mixture of FB and BH, which I personally have not seen before, but I'm sure they weren't that uncommon.


Bloxwich Level Crossing by Kevin R Boyd, on Flickr

and again from the other side:


South View from Bloxwich Signal Box by Kevin R Boyd, on Flickr

Then we can see here in 95 that some of the FB track is laid on wooden sleepers:

http://jandjcottrell.zenfolio.com/p17677343/h21447728#h21447728

Then if you watch this youtube video, again late 90s early 2000s I think, it shows that the loop to down main turnout just north of the crossing is a FB turnout, but the track to the right on the Down main is still BH. From 1:41 min, onwards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ30G3kZaAM

Its a shame that I cant find more photos online to show you, but if you have an interest and the Railway Modeller from Aug 1998, you'll be able to see a great article by Phil Bartlett, (he is a RMweb member not sure about here).

In this article you can see that the track between the turnout noted above in the youtube video and its connecting turnout on the Down main is a section of BH track but the Down main turnout is again FB (as of 1993). However Track either side of that turnout on the Down main is BH upto the level crossing and at the start of the turnout working north up to the road bridge.

The Bull head seems to continue up to the single slip on the Down main, although I cant find reference to photos to suggest when the single slip into the tandem was semi renewed with FB. I have a photo of recently ballasted BH from the level crossing towards the slip but it blocked out after only a dozen sleepers, which is dated as 1997.

I hope none of you have nodded off! All this diversity has given me a real boost to actually build this. I hope you've had a enjoyable read. If any of you have any info to share that would be great.

If your interested there are a couple of threads going on rmweb:
re signalling: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/61387-bloxwich-signalling/
re prototype:http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/61164-bloxwich-and-the-cannock-chase-line/

Best regards

Dave
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