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Horsted Keynes Re-Signalling
Archive of Progress 3 (2004/5)

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First Quarter 2004

Many controls and indications have been transferred to the block shelf including the block bells and plungers, platform bell plunger plus TAC (Train Arrived Complete), repeaters for all the working signals and the closing switch. The only indications not transferred yet are the track circuits which will have to wait until the summer when the miniature illuminated diagram will be introduced.


The bracket signal at the south end of platforms 1 & 2 with the mechanical signal arms in position for signals 8A, 8B and 10 and the Nº1 road stop board has been removed. These signals will not operate, however, until the lever frame is commissioned.

Three Road Gantry Roof view

Three different views of the signals at the south end of platforms 1 to 3
The signals shown are, from left to right in the left hand photo, Nº6, Nº8A, Nº8B and Nº10 with the temporary position light signal beneath Nº8A.

North End Work is continuing at the north end of the station with the fitting of Westinghouse type 63 point machines to the Up yard entrance and detection to the first set of handpoints. Much of the work is awaiting the track renewals at the north end of Nº3 & 4 roads which will require the advance starter to be moved, leading to the need to commission the Down outer home to get the required clearances.

Photographs: Chris Majer

Text from Chris Majer



Second Quarter 2004

A new telephone concentrator has been provided with three rows of switches in place of the previous two to allow for the considerable expansion in Signal Post Telephones that will be required once the signalling expands at the north end of the station.

Photograph: Chris Majer

There has been much work taking place behind the scenes to prepare the north end of the station for the next stage. Although not commissioned, most of the new track circuits are now in place and the new point machines are either in situ or ready for conversion. The Leamland Junction points have their machine fitted and the control and detection circuits tested.

In October the P-way will take possession of the track from the north end of Nº4 road towards Leamland Junction for track renewals and slewing of the alignment. This will require the troughing route to be realigned and the cabling to be replaced. To enable this work to take place and trains to continue running under table 3 (one train working), the temporary route in and out of the station will be via platform 3 and the Loop. This will require a new Advance Starter positioned at the bridge and the new Outer Home (Nº3), to allow free acceptance of trains from Kingscote.

The Inner Home (Nº4) will display route 3L to indicate that the route is to platform 3 via the Loop.

This is the simplest method of allowing trains to run and assumes a one train timetable, if two trains were required to cross at Horsted Keynes, the complexity of the signalling alterations would increase considerably.

Signals 29 & 34The new Up Advance Starters (29 and 34) have been fitted with their mechanical fittings and signal machines. As can be seen in the photograph on the left, the new Nº34 signal has had a white background painted on the bridge to improve the visibility of the signal arm. This signal will not be commissioned until the Down Outer Home is ready to ensure adequate overlap separation.

The Up Loop Advance Nº29, will also have a white background and will soon have its arm fitted, although this will intitially be unworked and will act as a limit for shunt moves along the loop towards Leamland Junction.

Photograph: Chris Majer

Text from Chris Majer



Third Quarter 2004

On 24th July the new signalling arrangements at the north end of the station were partially brought into use. The 1st Up Advance Starting signals numbers 29 and 34 were brought into use although Nº29 (Loop line) is fixed On at present. The 2nd Up Advance Starting signal is not yet in position.

In the Down direction the new Outer Distant Nº1R and the associated Outer Home signal, which has co-acting arms for sighting reasons, were brought into use. The Outer Home also has the Inner Distant arm (fixed) that applies to moves towards the Inner Home.

1st Advanced Starting SignalsOuter Distant SignalOuter Home Signal

The 1st Advanced Starting Signals, the Outer Distant and the Outer Home with co-acting arm.

Photographs: Chris Majer

Seven new track circuits were also commissioned between the Up Platform Starting signals and the Down Outer Distant signal. There is a temporary gap in the track circuiting whilst we await the track renewals to be completed just north of the platforms.

Up in the signal box there are new switches to control the signals and new signal repeaters and track circuit indicators. The Leamland points, where the single line splits into the Main and Loop lines into the platforms, are now indicated on the block shelf although not controlled from the box at present.

Text from Chris Majer


By 13th September the new token instruments had been positioned in Horsted Keynes Box ready for the eventual long section working between Sheffield Park and Kingscote, i.e. when Horsted closes out the adjacent boxes give simultaneous releases allowing the long section intruments to be switched into circuit and the short section instruments out of circuit. Under this arrangement both the Up and Down signals reading through Nº3 road will be pulled off and remain off until the box re-opens.

The next big stage is the formation work and ground frame point (to become Nº19 points) renewal at the north end. The work commences on the 27th September and will be complete by 22nd October. InitiallyNº3 road Up Platform Starter (Nº36) will apply over Nº17 points reversed to allow trains towards Leamland Junction via the Loop. The photo below left shows the S&T and PWay teams carrying out preparatory activities.

Marking UpSignals 36A & 36B PostUp Starters

Photographs: Chris Majer

During the possession a new bracket signal (photo above centre shows the structure under construction) will be installed at the end of platform 3 to replace the present Nº36 signal. The gantry will have two dolls (short one applies to the Loop) with 36A and 36B arms reading towards the Loop and Main routes respectively. The photo above right shows the present Up Starting Signals, with Nº36 the one on the left.

Text from Chris Majer



Fourth Quarter 2004

The first full week of October saw another busy work week for the P Way, S & T and the Alf Brown Gang. With the end of daily running work was able to commence on replacing the old ground frame point and associated track, and the erection of new signals at the north end of platform 3. This work should be completed by 22 October, during which a special timetable 2b is in operation in which trains for Kingscote leave platform 3 and use the loop line to reach the single line. Passing of trains, when required, entails the up train arriving in platform 2, then once the down train has departed, setting back to the south side of the Inner Home Signal and arriving once more in platform 3 before proceeding north to Kingscote.

Down Home

Left: The Down Home Signal Theatre Indicator shows 3L for a train signalled into platform three via the loop (or Leamland) line on 14 November 2004. Photo: Jon Bowers

Work started early on Monday 4th October, with the first job being to remove the existing rail-built signal post. Following this a hole was dug for the new four-rail post, made using the traditional Southern Railway method. This was made particularly difficult by the close proximity of the existing signal location cabinet, the main water pipe serving the refreshment rooms, the drainage from the nearby water column and the tight clearance between the lines. By the end of Monday the new post was located upright in position, but it took the whole of the following day to carefully back-fill the hole to ensure that the post was not only upright but precisely located. The superstructure and the lattice dolls were then fitted with partial handover to the S & T Department on Thursday lunchtime so that dressing of signal fittings, as well as both mechanical and electrical connections, can be completed in readiness for commissioning by the end of the week for trains to pass under it on Saturday 9th October. Not bad progress for a week's work!

North end of stationEngineering worksNew starting Signal

The north end on 4th October showing the ground frame point beside the yellow dumper truck and the old Up Starting Signal.

Nº65 shunting in connection with the engineering works to the north of the station shows that by 7th October much old track had been removed in readiness for relaying.

The afternoon of Thursday, 7th October with the S & T personnel dressing the signals 36A & 36B to control the passage of trains to either the reversible loop (former up line) or the main reversible line (former down line).

Photographs: Robert Hayward

Such progress over the week would not have been possible without the generous co-operation of John Millam and of the assistance of several shunters and the footplate crews of the engineering trains.

Text from Robert Hayward of the Alf Brown Gang.

New signal Left: The new signal complete with arms.

Right: As the signal is not yet connected to the Signalbox, the Signalman displays a green flag to allow an up service for Kingscote to depart on 9 October.

Photographs: Paul Pettitt

New signal

Nº35 signal, 4 Road Up Starter, which was slotted with the Signalbox and the Ground Frame, has been altered as a result of the removal of the Ground Frame. The post and some of the fittings have been repainted by Alan Dengate, with a fresh spectacle plate being prepared by Dave Phillips.

Engineering worksEngineering worksJubilee leavinf plat 3

The new point in situ, with the trackbed prepared beyond.

The work site at the north end of the station.

Visiting locomotive Leander leaving platform three for Kingscote, 14 November 2004.

Photographs: Chris Majer

Relaying the track north of the station overran the time allocated and was still ongoing mid-November. The new pointwork is in position and the track bed prepared, but the track and S&T cabling remained to be completed. Another 6 panels of track have been laid along the Ardingly branch and work there is pushing ahead to reach the point where the formation presently ends.

Text from Chris Majer

Following completion of the engineering works, the new points (19B) at the North end of 3 and 4 roads and replacing those formerly operated from the Ground Frame, are now operated from the signal box, together with 19A, which form the South end of the crossover from 3 to 2 road and are located immediately North of the platform end of 3 road. A new Ground Position Light Signal (18) has been provided in the rear of the points on the cess side of the line and applies for moves to Nº3 or 4 road. The signal also acts as a preceding shunt for running moves from the Down Inner Home signal (running dummy) and therefore it must be cleared before the Down Inner Home can be cleared.

Point 19 NorthPLS 18 OnPLS 18 Off

The new Nº19B point.

Position Light Signal Nº18 showing the "On" aspect.

Position Light Signal Nº18 showing the "Off" aspect.

Photographs: Adrian Lee

The Down Inner Home signal (4) now applies as before, to Nº3 road, together with a new route to Nº4 road. The route indicator displays '3' or '4' as appropriate. If the route is set into Nº4 road but not back out towards the single line to Sheffield park, then the Down Inner Home signal will not clear immediately but will be Approach Controlled and only come 'Off' when the approaching Down train occupies the track circuit immediately before the signal. This effectively enforces an automatic application of Rule 39A as the following Starting signal (7) will be 'On'

If the route is set through Nº4 road and out at the South, or indeed through Nº3 Road the signal will clear as soon as the controlling switch is operated. It is then down to the Signalman to apply Rule Rule 39A himself if the appropriate Down Starting Signal is on. The previous method of working Up trains through Nº4 road and Down through Nº3 road was reversed with effect from Sunday 28 November.

Point MachineSignal 4 off for 3 roadSignal 4 off for 4 road

Inside a Point Machine.

Down Inner Home Signal Off for Nº3 Road.

Down Inner Home Signal Off for Nº4 Road.

Photographs: Adrian Lee

Text from Adrian Lee


First Quarter 2005

A new shunt sgnal mounted on a post (to improve driver visibility), is to be commissioned at the north end of platform Nº2. This will allow signalled shunt moves up to Nº29 signal (Up Loop Advance Starter).
Work on the Ardingly Spur is progressing with the track laid up to the edge of the demolished Sheriff Mill viaduct, and the undergrowth in the area has been cleared. Permission has been given to dig out the clay and sandstone spoil at the south end of Imberhorne tip and once further permission has been granted for the planned in-fill, works trains are planned to move the spoil to the Ardingly Spur.
Anyone wondering what has happened to the 3 lever groundframe removed from the London end of 3 & 4 roads can see it sitting behind Horsted Keynes Signalbox awaiting its next assignment!

Platform 2 shunt signalArdingly extensionRetired groundframe

The north end of platform 2 on 20 March 2005, showing the new position light shunt signal under wraps until commissioned. This will eventually be replaced with a semaphore signal.

The far end of the Ardingly Spur, showing the track laid as far as it is presently possible to go.

The retired ground frame from the north end of number 3 & 4 roads, sitting outside the Signalbox.

Text and Photographs: Chris Majer


Second Quarter 2005

The first quarter picture of the Nº2 Platform Up Shunt has changed already with the bracket removed to improve clearances. Reading back into the station is the new Nº13 shunt, at present bagged out of use, that will also be a preceding shunt, reading into platforms 2 and 3, initially.
When the changes are commissioned for the spoil trains from Imberhorne Lane bridge to Ardingly Branch, it will be possible to signal Down trains into platforms 2 and 3 via the Loop line. Similarly Up trains will be able to leave platform 3 going via the Up Loop or Up Main.
However initially only goods traffic or shunt moves will be able to depart from platform 2 in the Up direction, signalled via the shunt signal up to the Up Loop First Advance (Nº29). Work on the Up Second Advance signal (Nº28) is at the design stage at present.

Up shunt signalDown shunt 13 signal16 and 17 points at north end of station

The platform 2 up shunt signal with the bracket shown in the first quarter's photo now removed.

The new Nº13 down shunt signal, presently bagged whilst awaiting commissioning.

Looking back into the station just south of shunt signal Nº13 at point 17, from the up loop to numbers 2 or 3 road, then point 16, from 2 road to numbers 1 road or continuing down 2 road.

Text and Photographs: Chris Majer

Sunday, 22 May saw the S&T, assisted by the P Way gang, working on the installation of the signal motor and arm of the 2nd Up Advanced Starting Signal.

Up shunt signalDown shunt 13 signal16 and 17 points at north end of station

Photographs: Jon Bowers

There has been much activity wiring-up and testing the alterations ready for the running of the spoil trains from Imberhorne tip, with the introduction of the new arrangements at the north end of the station due to be commissioned today, 3 June.
Trains will be able to be signalled over the Loop as well as the Main route, in either direction and with all points controlled from the Signalbox and, for the first time since the resignalling project started, it will be possible to signal trains to and from platform 2 at the north end. The final bracket signal, to be positioned at the end of platform 1/2, is presently under construction.
A new Up 2nd Advance Starter Signal (Nº28) is in position and ready for commissioning on 3 June, as is a new solenoid shunt signal (Nº2) positioned at the Down Inner Home for shunt moves towards all platforms and the Up Sidings. It will be possible to signal trains into the Up Sidings but the signals within the siding area are at present mechanical shunts fixed "on" and are awaiting the commissioning of the lever frame.

Plat 1 Up Starter

The final bracket signal under construction.

Text and Photograph: Chris Majer

Saturday, 4 June, was the first whole day of operating with the new signals following their commissioning of the previous day. We now have a very flexible layout with just about every possible move being accommodated. But when everything is back on the lever frame, the signalman will have to work hard for his pay (0 per hour) on Special Events Days!

Up signal 36AStop board and signal 31PLS 13 and shunt signal 12

On 4 June 2005, P/Way trolley departs under the authority of signal 36A via 19A and 17 Points to take the Loop to Signal 29, Points 5 and thence to Kingscote.

Stop Board applying to No 1 Platform Road and Signal 31 (showing 'on') applying to Nº2 Platform Road. Although Nº 31 Signal is designated 'From Nº2 Road Shunt North', it carries exactly the same level of controls as the Up Starters from Nos 3 & 4 Platforms and can, if required, be used for passenger trains (as with Nº8 southwards from Platform 2).

Position Light Signal 13 (From Loop Shunt) and Signal 12 - Up Siding to Up Yard (Fixed at Danger).

Down signal 4Via loop lineUp signal 28

P/Way Trolley returns to HK with Signal 4 cleared for Nº3 Platform Road via the Loop. Shunt Signal 2, a floodlit solenoid shunt, can be seen to the right. When cleared for a shunt move, the route indicator will only show 'T' or 'L', depending on the lie of Points 5, as being a shunt move, Signal 2 only authorises moves as far as the line is clear, towards the next (shunt) signal, either Nº13 or Nº18.

Blackmoor Vale (21C123) departs for Kingscote and takes the 11.00 ex-Sheffield Park over the crossover from Nº3 Platform Road and up the Loop, towards Signal 29 and thence via Points 5 to the Section Signal, 28 (Up Second Advanced Starting) and thence on to Kingscote.

Blackmoor Vale takes the 11.00 ex-Sheffield Park past Signal 28, watched by Ray Burgess, of the S & T Dept.

Text and Photographs: Adrian Lee

Down signal 4Via loop lineUp signal 28

Above left: Signal Nº2 is 'off' for a non-passenger movement via the loop line, ultimate destination Nº2 road. At the time Nº2 platform road was occupied, hence the shunt signal. Had the route been clear to the next running signal (Nº2 road down starter) then the arm (Nº4) would have been 'off' and the route indicator would have displayed the route (2), as in the photo below.

Above middle: Signal 13 shown 'off'.

The buffer stops at the end of the Ardingly spur were installed on 5 June.

First spoil trainThe first spoil train on 6 June passes Signal Nº4, showing the road is clear into platform 2. It is unnecessary to show the 'L' in this situation as you cannot access Nº2 (or Nº1) road from the main route.

These four photographs: Jon Bowers



Third Quarter 2005

Progress continues with the construction of the new bracket post signal to be positioned at the London end of platforms 1 & 2. This will support the new Up Platform Starters and replace the existing shunt signal Nº31.
The old Ground Frame from north of platforms 3 & 4, now superseded by Nº19 points, is to be pressed into service at Kingscote to control the entry and exit from the Engineer's siding (East Grinstead branch). The Ground Frame is about to be refurbished and relocked to control the trap points and signal.
The clay and sandstone spoil from Imberhorn tip (south end) is now filling up the void on the Ardingly branch and further panels of track have already been laid over it. Please note that there is no access to the work-site without authority.

New signal gantryKingscote ground frameArdingly extension

The new bracket signal under construction.

The groundframe that is being refurbished for use at Kingscote.

As far west as you can go! The present end of the Ardingly line.

Text and Photographs: Chris Majer


Fourth Quarter 2005

The bracket signal gantry has been installed at the end of platform 1 and 2 and work proceeds with fitting it out with a smoke deflector and signal fittings.
The Imberhorne spoil continues to find its way to the Ardingly Branch and the siding can now clearly be seen from the road. Unfortunately the recent wet weather has made the clay difficult to work with and the sandstone is turning to slurry. As a consequence progress is slow at present.
As a footnote to the new life of the Horsted Ground Frame, this has now been installed at Kingscote controlling the trap points at the exit of the East Grinstead Engineers Siding. The protecting shunt signal is oil lit hence Paraffin Pete has been re-employed!

New signal gantryArdingly extensionArdingly extension

The new bracket signal gantry.

The Ardingly siding.

A mountain of mud!

Text and Photographs: Chris Majer

When a spoil train arrives at Kingscote the engine has to run round so that the train may be propelled up the Engineer's Siding. The Token for the Siding will be handed to the driver by the Signalman who will give the Driver permission to proceed onto the Siding. The Guard (or other authorised person) will be authorised to open the gate once the train is clear of the run-round points, using the Token (that will have been handed to him by the Driver) to unlock and set the ground frame and the signal for the train to proceed. Once the train is clear of the Down Stop Board the Guard will re-set the ground frame, close the gate and telephone the Signalman to tell him this has been done. He will then hand the token back to the Driver who may only then proceed to the tip. When returning, the train must stop at the Down Stop Board and the Guard or other authorised person must telephone the Signalbox for permission to enter the station. Once that has been given he will set the Ground Frame and open the gate. Having allowed the train to proceed towards the Main Platform road he will then reset the Ground Frame, close and lock the gate and telephone the signalman to advise him this has been done. The Token will be returned to the Signalman by the Driver as the train departs south.

Kingscote GFArdingly extensionArdingly extension

The Up Signal, Gate and Ground Frame at Kingscote. This is an oil lit signal.

The Token that allows access to the Siding.

The exit from the Siding.

Photographs: Chris Majer


All photographs are © copyright. Non-accredited pictures are © Peter Richards

The page showing the changes to the track layout at Horsted Keynes over the years may be of interest.

Updates from 1997 to 2000 are in the HK Signalling Work Archive 1
and for 2001 to 2003 in the HK Signalling Work Archive 2

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Click to return to the current progress page.


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