Railway Signalling and Track Plans
Bob Essery's series of essays on the working of the steam railway is becoming an essential reference for steam railway practice in the UK with a view to providing modellers with the prototype information necessary to build and operate layouts in a realistic way.
This latest is not a book of track plans in the C J Freezer mould, but an account of how track came to be built the way it was, and the requirements that Parliament laid on the operating companies. The reader will learn about the proper positioning of catch and safety points, the rules relating to facing points, running lines and goods loops, with examples of operation from training manuals of the steam era. Thus the reader will be able to design layouts that contain elements drawn from the real railway, rather than copying what appears in the model railway press.
The account of signalling and block working is also very strong, with practical information about the changes that took place over time. Unusual subjects such as the railway telegraph network (and thus telegraph poles) are also covered with a further section on signal boxes, point rodding and locking signals with points. Throughout, the text is related to the statutory requirements of the day and the development of technology - such as vacuum brakes - that significantly changed operating practice.
Plenty of text supported by a profusion of photographs, packed with detail and often demonstrating startling truths about the prototype railway that don't show up in most models.
Softback, 112 pages, black & white photographs, drawings
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Updated: 1 January 2021