Nos. 3 & 4 - p84


A New Automatic
Locomotive Signalling Apparatus

by K. P. PLANT

    On 30th June a series of trials were made on the branch railway from Haydock Colliery to Earlestown Junction, of a new automatic locomotive signalling apparatus patented by Messrs. Croft & Lomax. This consists of a tappet fixed to a sliding bar which communicates by means of a crank with a disc signal on the engine in front of the driver. Between the rails is sunk a metal box in which an inclined plane is raised or lowered as the signals are set to danger or cleared. When a locomotive passes a signal at danger, the tappet strikes upon the inclined plane and releases a weight communicating with the crank, which moves a red lamp and also a signal arm on the engine, and at the same time blows a whistle. None of these devices can be altered until they are attended to by the driver by means of a lever, so that it is impossible for him to overlook them. The distant and home signals are exactly repeated on the engine, so that in foggy weather the driver can tell which signal is indicated simply by looking at the disc. The tests were made at varying speeds and in every instance the signal was correctly given. A number of gentlemen witnessed the trials, including Mr. John Higson, a Manchester mining engineer, and the general opinion expressed was one of satisfaction.

    Before our Lancashire observers write in to refute the above information, it should be made clear that the year these trials took place was not 1963, but 1883. It would be interesting to learn which locomotives were fitted with this apparatus, and for how long it remained in use. Perhaps somebody would go one better and favour us with an article on Haydock Colliery and its singularly interesting locomotives. The writer is indebted to member Gordon Green for drawing his attention to the Technical Press of the day wherein these trials were mentioned.