Implementing, Maintaining and operating GCRN's signalling
The GCRN Signalling and S&T team are comprised of two associated groups:
The GCRN S&T Team (Responsible for implementation and overhaul of S&T equipment) & The GCRN Signalling Team (Responsible for operating our signalling and signalboxes).
Both teams work closely together to ensure that the signalling at GCRN continues to be developed and operated, and both are comprised entirely of volunteers. The efforts of members of both teams are not always obvious to the visiting traveller from the train window. However, if you look as you pass over the level crossing, or perhaps see a group of individuals, all kitted-out in high-visibility orange jackets working on a signal or strange grey box, then you are seeing members of these teams hard at-work. Without their efforts, we simply could not run services.
What we do (S&T)
GCRN is a developing railway with huge potential and an exciting future. Work is currently concentrated on:
We maintain (and are always seeking), additional S&T materials to be used on the railway. We have been lucky to obtain materials made redundant from the national network due to re-signalling and modernisation activities, including colour light signals from the Midland Line in the East Midlands, Sea Houses on the Durham Coast and "searchlight" signals made redundant from schemes in the South East. The latter are of particular interest as the East Leake area (which is part of our railway) was signalled with "approach lit" searchlight colour light signals by the LNER in the 1940s. Some old signal heads can still be seen along the line, between Barnstone Tunnel and East Leake. Look out for these from passing trains - and think how we have the prospect of re-installing near-original type signals to this section. It will be an exciting development that captures the look and feel of the line as it had been during it's heyday.
What we do (Signalling Team)
Our key operational focus is currently on providing signallers to operate the often-busy Asher Lane level Crossing box, regulating cars and trains safely. But during 2008 we are expecting to broaden our activities to cover:
How we work
Our teams are based at Ruddington where we have a large base. Signallers operating our signalboxes normally go straight to the signalbox they will operate for a day (or part of a day).
For S&T projects, we plan our work weeks and often months in advance, and allocate volunteers to specific projects. Where necessary we provide training and instruction to members of our team to enable them to help with the development of our signalling infrastructure. We could be wiring in a "location" cabinet one week and digging in cables or manual signal "benches" the next.
Our operational signallers are rostered to duty. Joe Peck collates the availability of signalling volunteers and then diagrams them to a specific session in a specific signalbox.
As our team comprises volunteers both retired and in employment, we have groups within the team that work weekdays and/or at weekends. Weekends is when we have the greatest number of people engaged on our projects.