The track plan at Kingscote grew substantially with the opening of the line to East Grinstead with the Signalbox there now having control of the main running line and loop line, as previously, plus control of the line on to East Grinstead; and will soon have control of the Up sidings. These are not presently connected to the 'box but are installed with the signals fixed at danger. The Down siding will not be controlled from the 'box and its points are simply clipped and padlocked with the route normal, though the points are detected. The 'box has closing out facilities to enable a single line token to be withdrawn at Horsted Keynes when it is necessary to run a train to Kingscote whilst that box is not manned. The 'box has an eleven lever frame (one of which is spare) that was previously used as a ground frame before being stored in the open, resulting in the handles of the levers being quite badly corroded so they are not the usual polished steel but are painted white. There are sixteen track circuits presently installed to tell the signalman the location of movements out of his sight and to lock the levers to prevent any accidental setting up of a conflicting movement. Let's follow the progress of the first train of the day arriving at Kingscote, where the box is manned and the train has been accepted by the Signalman, with the necessary signals pulled off.
The signalman is advised of an approaching train by means of a short audible warning when an approaching train arrives on his first track circuit - KA - shortly before reaching the Kingscote Up distant signal. When the signalman was advised that the train was "in section" by his opposite number at Horsted Keynes he will have ensured the route is set for the appropriate platform (that the point (5) is locked (4) and then that signals 2 and 3 are "off".) Except when trains are required to pass at Kingscote the Main platform is used during the winter (and is assumed for the illustrative sequence described above and below), whilst the Loop platform tends to be used in the summer, where it is convenient for the picnic area and refreshment kiosk. During special event days, the two platforms are used in equal measure. N°2 is the home signal and N°3 is a preceding shunt signal which is required if an engine requires to run round its train, or should there be the need to enter the platform road when it is already occupied, eg. to strengthen a train with extra coaches or to join two trains to make one. Obviously, no movement is ordinarily allowed past a signal at danger, so N°3 signal must be "off" for any movement into the platform road, not just for a shunt movement. Thus it is known as a Preceding Shunt Signal. Although a shunt signal is not normally backlocked in this case N°3 is mechanically locked to the home signal and therefore controlled by the latter's backlocking. This means that the point 5 cannot be moved until the train is safely beyond them
N°2 signal is the uppermost arm and controls entry into the Main platform road. The lower signal, N°1, controls entry into the Loop platform road and being upper quadrant, does look a little odd when pulled "off" under N°2 signal which of course can only be "on". Although not common for this type of situation in the latter years of semaphore signalling (bracket signals were more usually to be found) the practice of mounting two or more home arms on one post could be found on many parts of the pre-grouping railway map. The top arm applies to the left-most road and, as you work down the post, each arm you come to controls the next road across to the right. Some gantry signals at terminal or large intermediate stations had four or five arms to each post. Very well-known examples of multi-armed country signal posts that survived until the late 1960s were to be found on the Isle of Man Railway. N°3 signal, the shunt signal mentioned above, controls either road according to how the point (5) is set.
The signalman's first action when he sees the train approaching is to advise the station staff of its imminent arrival with one ring on the platform bell (or two if using the Loop Platform). As the train approaches his 'box he will go outside to meet it and exchange the single line tokens (as this is the first movement of the day the Signalman will have already obtained the token for, and set the route and signals for, the line to East Grinstead which is operated as a "one engine in steam" section), returning inside but not replacing the Horsted Keynes - Kingscote token in the token instrument until he has satisfied himself the train is complete (i.e. has a tail lamp) and he has replaced his signals to "on". When the signals are "on" and the key token is in the instrument he will then send "train out of section" to Horsted Keynes.
Left: The current (temporary) signal box at Kingscote. The signalman watches the train pass the box, after receiving the token. The small preceding shunt signal (3) is also visible. Most other semaphore signals at Kingscote are full size upper quadrant arms on SR-style rail-posts though the Loop platform starter has a lattice post and advanced starter is on a tubular post.
With the exception of the Up starting and advanced starting signals the line to East Grinstead is controlled by colour light signals, with the run-round at East Grinstead enabled by the train crew operating Ground Frame "B" there with the aid of the one engine in steam token. When the train returns to Kingscote from East Grinstead the Signalman will be advised of its approach by a short audible warning when the train arrives on the EA/EB (these are for the time being combined, to give earlier warning) track circuits. Assuming no further movement from Horsted Keynes is due, and that the Signalman has obtained the token for the Kingscote - Horsted Keynes section, the necessary signals allowing departure will be pulled off and at the due time the train will leave the station, passing the box slowly whilst exchanging the single line tokens, (the Signalman having already sent "train entering section" and not replacing the Kingscote - East Grinstead token until he has seen the train is complete) with the driver keeping a sharp lookout should the signalman need to replace the Advanced Starter and the guard (due to the close proximity of the Advanced to the signalbox making it possible the signalman might not have sufficient time to replace the signal, should the need arise, once the train has passed him) keeping a watch on the signalman until he sees him re-enter his box after the train has passed safely into the single line section.
In the event that it is required to cross trains at Kingscote an authorised person will collect the Down train's token, check that the train is complete and having ascertained that it is, will replace the East Grinstead - Kingscote token in the Token Cabin (North Signal Box) where he will insert the token in the instrument there and will then give three beats on his bell tapper to advise the Kingscote signalman that the Down Train has arrived complete with a tail lamp, that the token has been replaced in the instrument and the Kingscote-East Grinstead Section is now clear. To obtain the token for the Up Train the authorised person in the Token Cabin will obtain the Signalman's permission to withdraw the Kingscote - East Grinstead Section by sending five beats on his bell tapper to the signalman who, if it be clear to do so, will acknowledge and give a release. Under no circumstances is the token ever handed from the Down Train to the Up Train without passing through the instrument. When the token has been withdrawn at the Token Cabin, the authorised person will confirm this by one beat on his bell tapper. The successful withdrawal of the token will release the Section Signal and the Signalman will confirm that he has such release and has successfully cleared his Up Advanced Starting Signal by one beat on his bell plunger.
Inside the box the signalman is provided with indication lights for his Power Supply, to advise when Horsted Keynes box is switched out and to advise him when the backlocking of signal levers 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 is free and the levers can be replaced. There is a warning light to alert him to any Power Failure whilst a separate box controls the electric signal lighting. There are repeater instruments for signals 1 & 2, 9 10 and lamps of the appropriate colour above the controlling switches for 50, 51, 53, and 53R, grouped above the controlling switches, whilst 52, 54 (Up Platform Starters) and 56 (Up Advanced Starting) [Section Signal] (being semaphores) are repeated by conventional (old type) repeaters showing "On/Wrong/Off". The point 4 is electrically detected and the facing point lock stands out when the lever is normal in the frame. The longest signal wire pull is 538 yards, which is not much more than a third of the 1,474 yards that we used to have at Horsted Keynes!
Points are presently indicated by white lights, against which are labels to indicate whether the light illuminated shows "Normal" or "Reverse". Only Points 5 and 62 are presently controlled from the Signal Box, the others being clipped out of use for the time being. They are, of course, fully detected in the signalling system.
To come soon - The Kingscote Up Distant, presently fixed at Caution, will soon become operational, when a machine to operate it has been overhauled and installed. This signal will not be directly controlled from the signal box, but will operate automatically when the route is set via the Main Platform, all appropriate levers/switches operated and Signals 2, 52 and 56 proved "Off". If the route is via the Loop Platform, this will always remain at "Caution".
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