Re: Headlights on British Locos?



The theory is that headlights only allow the driver to see what he is about to hit. ;-) The purpose of headlights worldwide is mostly as a warning device to those who might get in the way of oncoming trains. Public British railways have always been fenced so there is no real need to warn the public of their approach.

The lights were there to identify the type of train to make the signalman's job easier. There were 4/5 headlight mounts, one each side of the buffer beam, one in the center and one in front of the chimney. There was sometimes a fifth mount on the smokebox front about midway between the top mount and the smokebox center. Pre-grouping (1923) some railways had two more, one each side of the smokebox. There was a code of lamp placement on these mounts to indicate the type of train.
I also noriced that many Diesels such as

The lamp coding was replaced by (4) large roller blind letters towards the end of steam in some regions. It was discontinued in the 1970s.(?)
Regards, Greg.P.
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Hi Until recently Britgish diesels and electrics were not fitted with high intensity headlights, they now are with one single lamp in the middle of the cab front panel. This is because British trains don't need to illuminate the road ahead as all British railway lines are fenced off. The diesels mentioned classes; 55, 52 were older locomotives withdrawn before headlights were fitted. The small headlamps fitted to the cab of British steam locos are in fact for train description eg express passenger, stopping passenger, fitted frieght etc. There is one exeption to this in British practice which is the Southern Region where white discs are used instead of lamps during daytime with replacement lights during nightime in this particular case the lamps are used for route description eg London - Dover via Ashford, Exeter - Seaton. Hope this is of some help.

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diskussionsgruppsmeddelandet:bxfRg.25074$ snipped-for-privacy@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk. ..

the
headlights
for
Not to mention the fact that the Caledonian Railway as well as the Glasgow and South Western Railway used a combination of Lamps and semaphore route indicators (over the left buffer) this however before the amalgamation after ww1 after this (1923) the newly formed "Big Four" LMS, LNER, GWR and Southern Railway standardisedon lamp codes each for their own company. Beowulf
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Note that many steam locos on the Continent also had only small headlamps, perhaps not as small as the British ones, but generally much smaller than the North American 'Searchlights'.Here in Australia, large electric headlights only came into use in the 1920's, some early U.S. built engines came out here with big oil headlamps, but generally up to the above time, most systems used the small British lamps, but not as far as I know as a code. Regards, Bill.

illuminate
frieght
daytime
lamps
Glasgow
after
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diskussionsgruppsmeddelandet:45179a60$0$27309$ snipped-for-privacy@news.optusnet.com.au. ..

built
above
as
Salv William, Most of them used them as either codes to tell a signal man the type of train ie local goods, fast goods, express passenger, stopping passenger, royal train etc other companies used them as route indicators ie if the train was going to Aberdeen or Liverpool, etc mostly these lamps /semaphores/ discs were mounted above the buffers however some railways also had them on the cab sides, guards vans also had both rearward facing and side mounted forward facing lamps to inform signal men that the train was complete, as on one famous occasion when a guard used a detonator to clear the stove in his van and set it alight nothing he did could attract the attention of the driver so he bailed out at 60 mph (and survived!) 20 miles later a signal man was shocked when the train rocketed past his signal box and the guards van was a smoking chassis, with all the wood totally consumed :) As far as lamps go I'm not sure if there was a code for "SLIP COACHES" a peculiarly British phenomenum where an express train could leave a coach at a station en route without actually stopping via a system of breaking couplings, the coaches Guard (brakeman) then applied brakes so that the coach coasted into the relevant station, I've never seen this in model form , perhaps with dcc we'll soon see a functioning system :) Val beowulf
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Re braking of slip coaches, as far as I know, there was the train guard (conductor) and the slip coach guard. When approaching the slip point, the train guard would close a valve in the vaccum brake line, the slip coach guard would do the same with his valve, then when the slip took place, there would be no effect on the brakes of either the train or the slip coach. I think that the slip coach guard would then control the braking of his coach by manipulating his hand brake, but I'm not sure about that. Slip coach working must have been interesting to see, one could be standing on the platform and an express goes past at 60 mph., then a couple of minutes later a solitary coach comes rolling into the dock platform and stops there. Regards, Bill.
Regards, Bill.

of
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IIRC, at one time trains going in to some stub terminals in New York would do something similar - they would drop the entire train, the locomotive would accelerate away and duck into a servicing area, and the entire passenger train would coast into the terminal.
I think it only took one brake failure for them to discontinue this practice.
--
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Those now desperately interested in this practice can find all the answers in one of Oakwood Presses little books at
http://fp.oakwoodpress.f9.co.uk/books_si-st.htm
And yes it does have a chapter on accidents.
ASM
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with answers like, that, why bother coming to this newsgroup. Just go to google and unsubscribe to this ng.

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On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 21:24:27 GMT, "J Barnstorf"

This tagline has been certified to contain no political rants.
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If people are too lazy to look it up themselves on Google, then they deserve what they get.
I also edited your post to remove the top posting and extraneous headers and footers. Something else some people are too lazy to do.
-- Cheers
Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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wrote:

LOL :) Getting a bit crabby these days, are we? Must be the BC weather.
Charles Crocker
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"Charles Crocker"

Gotta be it. All this sunshine and above normal temperatures must be getting to me. :-)
-- Cheers
Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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