Exeter (and Westbury) were the last big WR panels to open in 1985 and 1984 respectively. They are a different type to the 1960s and 70s WR panels such as Swindon as they are Westinghouse M5 panels. These have a small push-push button panel in front of the operator and very large indications panel behind the console. The panel is semi-circle shape to give all operators a good view of the area layout.
SPS will be visiting Exeter Panel on 8 July, and here are the joining instructions for those who are booked on the visit. Please note that only pre-booked members may attend, unfortunately it will not be possible to accommodate anyone arriving on the day without being pre-booked. A small number of places remain available, please contact us if you are not yet booked on and would like to attend.
– Please meet at the front of Exeter St David’s station by 11.15am. (Please do not go straight to the panel by yourself.) If you are going to be late for any reason please ring Danny Scroggins so that we can make arrangements for you.
– We will walk round to the panel in one group (across the very interesting Red Cow crossing)
– Local signalman Phil Bellamy will show us around the panel and the operating room. The operating room of Exeter is very well-kept, the signallers are very proud of it (no stickers allowed here!). The panel room also has a lot of photographs from Exeter’s history in display cases which are fascinating to look at.
– There are stairs to the operating room and there isn’t a lift. Please contact us in advance if you think this will be an issue for you.
– Signal box visiting etiquette strictly applies to safeguard the reputation of preservation groups visiting NR signal boxes:
Mobile phones to off or silent in the operating room
Follow the direction of the host at all times.
Definitely don’t touch any panel controls (unless invited).
Wherever possible avoid noisy talking in the operating room, especially when signallers are on the telephone.
Taking photographs is no problem, signallers generally prefer to not be in them so please respect that as much as possible.
– HV is not required. To avoid any confusion, please don’t wear it.
As always, the visit is subject to no operating incidents etc going on at the time, and may need to be cancelled, curtailed or postponed at any time. SPS is not liable for any train fares etc incurred – that’s the risk we all accept when attending these visits.
There is no fee to attend this visit, but there may be a collection of donations in aid of the panel signalmen’s domestic amenities.
Thank you very much indeed to Network Rail and particularly Exeter PSB signalman Phil Bellamy for arranging this visit.