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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.

© COPYRIGHT STATEMENT All Rights Reserved. All the photos, graphics, drawings and text contained in SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS are copyrighted, and remain the property of, and / or, under the control of Greg Hart. None of the content may be copied, saved (stored on a PC or / Retrieval System), print screened or posted / distributed on other web pages or websites (including social media platforms), either in part or in full, without the permission of 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 wasn’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.

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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 grogz11@gmail.com - Thank you.

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INDEX OF FEATURED STATION LAYOUT DIAGRAMS PAGE STATION CODE No. REGION SECTION Year

8/9

ALIWAL NORTH

AWL 378

Cape Eastern

Sannaspos - Dreunberg

1968

10/11 BALGOWAN

BGN 832

Natal

Pmb - Ladysmith

1927

12/13 BARANDAS

BRZ 310

Cape Midlands

Mossel Bay - Klipplaat

1968

14/15 BETHULIE

BSN 389

Cape Eastern

16/17 BLOEDRIVIER

BDR 982

Natal

18/19 BUFFELJAGSRIVIER BJS

208/2 Cape Western

Queenstown - Springfontein

1971

Glencoe - Vryheid

1965

Worcester - Hartenbos

1968

20/21 DONKERPOORT

DNK 390

Orange Free State Springfontein - Noupoort

1964

22/23 DONNYBROOK

DBK 941

Natal

1940

24/25 ELSTOW

ETW 391/1 Orange Free State Springfontein - Noupoort

1968

26/27 ENDICOTT

EDC 684

1974

28/29 FAIRBREEZE

FBE

30/31 GROOT MARICO

GMO 584

Western Transvaal Krugersdorp - Mafeking

1969

32/33 KLAPMUTS

KLS

Cape Western

1972

34/35 KOPPIES

KPY 416

Orange Free State Vereeniging - Kroonstad

1981

36/37 LONG HOPE

LOP 238

Cape Midlands

1967

38/39 LYNCHFIELD

LYF

40/41 MODDERPOORT

MPT 446

Orange Free State Bloemfontein – Bethlehem

1969

42/43 MODDERRIVIER

MRS 073

Cape Northern

Kimberly - De Aar

1972

44/45 SCHEEPERSNEK

SCN 982/5 Natal

Glencoe - Vryheid

1965

46/47 STILWATER

SWE 982/7 Natal

Glencoe - Vryheid

1979

48/49 TENDEKA

TDA 985

Natal

Vryheid - Hlobane

1967

50/51 UMKOMAAS

UKS 915

Natal

Durban - Port Shepstone

1981

52/53 VILJOENSDRIF

VJD 421

Orange Free State Vereeniging - Kroonstad

1977

54/55 WATTLES

WTL 518

Western Transvaal Union - Klerksdorp

1970

56/57 WESTONARIA

WTI 510/5 Western Transvaal Midway - Bank

Western Transvaal Apex - Breyten

898/3 Natal

017

Pietermaritzburg - Kokstad

Stanger - Empangeni

Bellville - Wellington

Port Elizabeth - Craddock

440/2 Orange Free State Bloemfontein – Bethlehem

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1986

1972

1976


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.

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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.

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Class 15F 3149 departing Modderpoort with a freight destined for Bloemfontein on 12th July 1985. Photo courtesy Robert Horlacher.

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8/9


10/11


12/13


14/15


16/17


18/19


20/21


22/23


24/25


26/27


28/29


30/31


32/33


34/35


36/37


38/39


40/41


42/43


44/45


46/47


48/49


50/51


52/53


54/55


56/57


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.

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Tablet Pouches

Absolute / Interworking Tablet

Van Schoor Machine

Tyer’s Double Line Absolute Lock & Block Instrument

Wooden Train Staff

Points Tumbler

Mechanical Lever Frame

Semaphore Signal

2 Way Points Indicator

SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS  

SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS (VOLUME 4)

SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS  

SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS SIGNAL DIAGRAMS & STATION LAYOUTS (VOLUME 4)

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