Operations Week 3 – Highworth

The Tuesday Operations Conference was held this evening, with more interesting discussion and uncovering forgotten history of the Swindon Panel area.

This evening South Marston to Swindon East was covered. Some interesting points to come out of this:

* A replacement switch was added in 1975 according to the WON, in connection with bridge works. This was removed by 1990. By its temporary nature it may not even have been a conventional switch in the panel. Will not be modelled. Same applies to DM74.


The WON from January 1976.

* SN22 and SN24, flashing yellows were added in May 88. Will not be modelled. (The flashing yellow DM81 was added in 1979 so will be modelled, so there will be examples of flashing yellows on the preserved panel).

* 321 points, Highworth

Shown in early material as a trap, and currently is a trap, but there is evidence that it was a run off to a buffer stop in between. Panel Domino shows buffer stop and Google maps shows a ballast trail and the remains of a buffer stop, and shows 321 in new ballast suggesting a relatively recent re-lay.

Will be modelled with buffers. No interruptor.


Click to enlarge.

* Noted that all the HCR telephones at Uffington (x3), Bourton and Highworth (east) had auto phones, but the one at Highworth Junction had a direct phone.

* SN24 – The Down Reception was converted to a Down Goods for one month before the stencil indicator on this signal was removed and a number 1 feather provided.

* 277 (A ground position limit of shunt that can be pre-set by a main aspect – my lords!)

This signal moved about quite alot. Was at 76+330 until 1977, then the WON shows it moved to 76+220. Current photos (2009), scheme plan (2006) and cab ride video (c1992) all show the GPL as being 5-10 yards Swindon side of SN24. No evidence of when it was moved to its current position, but it looks as though it has been moved to achieve maximum standage between 277 and 216. Will be modelled at 76+220.

The operations groups meet by telephone conference on Mondays and Tuesdays and are working out exactly which items of infrastructure are going to be shown on the preserved Swindon Panel. There have been a lot of changes over the years, but a period of roughly the mind-1980s is being followed.