SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS
CONTENTS FRONT COVER The opening of the Pretoria North signal cabin in the early 1900’s with all the relevant engineers & management present. Photo courtesy Transnet Heritage Library / Harry Ostrofsky. FRONT COVER (Inside) 19D 2703 puffs past Modderpoort’s Ladybrand branch Home Signal destined for Ladybrand, with a classic & common V-8 Guards Van. 1986. Photo Anon. PAGE 2-3 INTRODUCTION by Greg Hart PAGE 4 INDEX OF FEATURED STATION LAYOUT DIAGRAMS PAGE 5-7 A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS (Robert Horlacher) PAGE 8-57 FEATURED STATION LAYOUT DIAGRAMS PAGE 58 (Above) The Orange Express passes through Beconsfield South with class 25NC 3454 doing the honours. 2nd August 1991. (Below) Class 25 3511 with the all stops passenger train at Houdkraal. 2nd August 1985. Photos courtesy Robert Horlacher. BACK COVER (Inside) Koppies Home Signal on the northern side of the station at dusk. The Loop line removed some years ago, and with that it’s Loop signal was also removed. 21st August 2013. Photo Greg Hart. BACK COVER Signalling & Train Control Equipment Examples. Graphics by Greg Hart.
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INTRODUCTION by Greg Hart The redrawn and remastered plans of stations and diagrams of signalling that feature in Volume 4 of SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS have been prepared as accurately as possible from historical photos and from old signal engineer diagrams of mechanically, electrically and manually operated stations from around South Africa, ranging from the very early 1900s to the early 2000s. Most of these layout diagrams have changed at one time or another over the years in order to adapt to the evolving needs of the South African Railways, and as such, the ones featured here represent a configuration of the relevant stations based on the version contained in the reference material available to me to work from. Historically, the preparation of the signal diagrams & station layouts changed over the years, varying from region to region and from drafts person to person. In the early days of the South African Railways the labelling, technical and advisory information on all the diagrams was given in English only. A bilingual approach to this procedure was introduced during the 1930s when Afrikaans started appearing alongside the English text. There were specific colours used for the different tracks and for indicating track circuits. All the colours varied, main or through lines were normally coloured in blue, and the sidings were coloured in brown. The points on the diagrams were shown in the normal / open positions for main or through lines. Hand points were not normally indicated in sidings, unless they were locked by special keys. Patrick type locks (left & right) at detector locked stations were normally shown on the diagrams and sometimes the tracks were coloured in black over those points. Semaphore Signals around the country looked and worked differently from one province to another prior to the establishment of the South African Railways (31st May 1910). Most of the signals in the Natal Government Railways (N.G.R.) and Cape Government Railways (C.G.R.) up until that point were Lower Quadrant, with the Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (N.Z.A.S.M.) and Central South African Railways (C.S.A.R.) being Upper Quadrant. The standardisation of all signalling & train workings, which had been inherited from the various provincial railways then followed, and it was decided that all signalling was to be converted to Upper Quadrant from that point onwards. From the 1940s most of the stations on the South African Railways network had been equipped with various types of interlocking. Stations that were equipped with just had tumblers and that had no signals were commonly known as Bicycle Stations. these stations were normally found on secondary main lines & branch lines where traffic was not as frequent and busy as main line stations. The Station Foreman would proceed to the points, set them & flag the trains in & would constantly help out with the shunting movments when needed to be. An example of this type of station in this issue is Donnybrook. Detector Locking Stations were the most common stations in the very early days. Signals were worked from the lever frame at the station and the points were worked by hand tumbler attached at the points. The signals were detected through the position of the points. The Station Foreman had to proceed to the points on foot or by bicycle to set them, then make his way back to the signal cabin to set the signals for the corresponding line. This wasnâ€™t a particularly safe system, as you could still operate signals for the line that was already occupied. Examples of stations that were equipped (or portion) with Detector Locking in this issue include Aliwal North & Modderpoort.
Electric Locking was also being installed at stations where track circuits were required, the locks would prevent the signalman from operating a signal for a line that was already occupied. Foot plunger switches were installed on the floor below the corresponding signal lever to release the electric lock behind the lever, providing the line was not occupied. Some examples of stations equipped with Electric Locking in this issue include Elstow, Koppies, Modderrivier, Viljoensdrif & Westonaria. Back-Stroke Locking was very common (meaning the Home Signals could only be operated once a safety bar lever related to the same line as the signal to be operated, was pulled over and replaced back to the normal position first). If there was a train standing on that line over the Safety Bar (normally in front of the signal cabin), it would not be possible to pull the safety bar lever over in the signal cabin, because the train wheels would prevent the bar from raising, therefore not allowing the operation of any of the Home Signals associated with that line. The Safety Bar is marked by white horizontal sleepers or upside down rails running along the length of the Safety Bar. The Safety Bar is normally about 14m long i.e. longer than the wheelbase of any wagon on the South African Railways. The Train Working Rules require all trains or light locomotives to occupy that mark with some part of the train. The Safety Bars on the diagrams are indicated with a red block, much like how the Lock Bar on the points are indicated and normally in the middle of stations. Some examples of stations equipped with Back-Stroke Locking in this issue include Barandas, Bethulie, Bloedrivier, Buffeljagsrivier, Donkerpoort, Endicott, Fairbreeze, Groot Marico, Lynchfield, Long Hope, Scheepersnek, Stilwater, Tendeka & Umkomaas. Some Colour Light Stations were also controlled by lever frames. The Standard SAR pull over lever frames and the older Saxby & Farmer, Westinghouse and McKenzie & Holland type were nomally used. Some examples of stations equipped with Colour Light signalling from lever frames in this issue include Klapmuts & Wattles. Sadly, the days of mechanical signalling are now numbered in South Africa and this wonderful, mostly reliable, system of railway traffic control is fast disappearing into the history books forever. Special thanks to the many Facebook / social media users who share my interest, Robert Horlacher for the majority of photographs for this issue, Harry Ostrofsky, Piet Roodt & Yolanda Meyer from the Transnet Heritage Library, for their assistance and help in providing the majority of the old reference pictures and layout diagrams, which form the basis of the remastered versions on the pages that follow. Lastly, if by any chance there are readers who may have access to, or possess, decent quality old diagrams / layout sketches (or photographs), which can be used as reliable reference material for this ongoing project, please could you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - Thank you.
INDEX OF FEATURED STATION LAYOUT DIAGRAMS PAGE STATION CODE No. REGION SECTION Year
Sannaspos - Dreunberg
Pmb - Ladysmith
Mossel Bay - Klipplaat
18/19 BUFFELJAGSRIVIER BJS
208/2 Cape Western
Queenstown - Springfontein
Glencoe - Vryheid
Worcester - Hartenbos
Orange Free State Springfontein - Noupoort
ETW 391/1 Orange Free State Springfontein - Noupoort
30/31 GROOT MARICO
Western Transvaal Krugersdorp - Mafeking
Orange Free State Vereeniging - Kroonstad
36/37 LONG HOPE
Orange Free State Bloemfontein – Bethlehem
Kimberly - De Aar
SCN 982/5 Natal
Glencoe - Vryheid
SWE 982/7 Natal
Glencoe - Vryheid
Vryheid - Hlobane
Durban - Port Shepstone
Orange Free State Vereeniging - Kroonstad
Western Transvaal Union - Klerksdorp
WTI 510/5 Western Transvaal Midway - Bank
Western Transvaal Apex - Breyten
Pietermaritzburg - Kokstad
Stanger - Empangeni
Bellville - Wellington
Port Elizabeth - Craddock
440/2 Orange Free State Bloemfontein – Bethlehem
Above:- Modderpoort’s Route & Shunt Signals sit at “Danger” while class 25NC 3408 gets her coal topped up at the coal stage on the 17th May 1986. Photo courtesy Robert Horlacher. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Below:- Colesberg’s Home Signal gives access for class 23 3300 with the “Indian Ocean Ltd” train to enter the loop on the 12th July 1999. Photo courtesy Robert Horlacher.
The Orange Express, pulled by the immaculate class 25NC 3481 passing the northern Home Signals at Belmont on the 30th July 1991. Photo courtesy Robert Horlacher.
Class 15F 3149 departing Modderpoort with a freight destined for Bloemfontein on 12th July 1985. Photo courtesy Robert Horlacher.
Above:- The Orange Express passes through Beconsfield South Cabin with class 25NC 3454 doing the honours. 2nd August 1991. Photo courtesy Robet Horlacher. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Below :- Class 25 3511 with the all stops De Aar to Kimberly passenger train at Houdkraal. 2nd August 1985. Photo courtesy Robert Horlacher.
Absolute / Interworking Tablet
Van Schoor Machine
Tyerâ€™s Double Line Absolute Lock & Block Instrument
Wooden Train Staff
Mechanical Lever Frame
2 Way Points Indicator
SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS (VOLUME 4)