Facing Points?

Hi All,
I have had a few replies on the RMWEB to my request for suggestions
improvements to my new track layout. One of the criticisms that has been
levelled at the layout is the fact that there is a set of facing points at
the west entrance to the station.
I have looked at many photographs of station approaches and they all seem to
have some means of changing tracks at the entrance and exit of the station.
I assumed that this was so that a train could be diverted into the opposite
platform should the need arise, hence the facing points, and this would also
allow a train that had been diverted into the opposite platform to return to
its main line on departure.
Now my question is this:
What is the protocols regarding station approaches?
Eddie
Reply to
Eddie Bray
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It depends on what prototype you are modelling. If the station is an ex-MR station, then that company had a policy of never ever having facing points - and this meant some unusual moves had to be done instead. Other companies did have facing points, to greater or lesser extents.
Reply to
John Ruddy
"Eddie Bray" wrote
Facing points are in widespread use and have been for throughout the history of railways. Without them easy access to passing loops and station platforms would be impossible. There is a requirement however that facing points on passenger lines have to have a device fitted called a 'facing point lock' which locks the point blades in position and prevents them moving whilst a train travels over them.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I haven't seen your plan, but facing points should have facing point locks and treadles that prevent the FPL from being released while a train is taking either route.
I have rarely seen these modelled. It was one of the things that impressed me when I saw the Bromford and High Peak layout - and was an ice-breaker when I commented on them.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
Eddie,
On a double track through station, if there was going to be a requirement for using the opposite platform face on a regular basis that required a facing crossover, then you might find that the station would then get a loop added on the same road, with an additional platform face, to avoid the necessity for a facing movement onto the opposite running line.
A facing crossover between two running lines is a head-on accident waiting to happen and that situation would be avoided where possible.
If your facing connection was there to allow branchline trains access from the main line into the branch platform, then you might find that the facing crossover could be changed with a single slip replacing the two points on the upper line so that there was only access to the branch platform road from the lower running line, and no road to the upper running line.
With large, complex through stations with many platfrom faces, you would find facing connections between roads that allowed access to many platforms from a running line, but you might find that (relatively) high speed non-stopping through trains used a through or avoiding road to keep them well clear of conflicting moves by stopping trains.
Other than operatioonal safety considerations, facing points took a hammering compared to trailing points and the maintenance required could be quite high on a busy main line, so minimising facing points on running lines had a financial benefit as well.
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
It depends who built your station. Some companies had an anathama for facing points, the Midland in particular. On the whole 70-odd mile stretch of the Settle-Carlisle there were originally only two pairs; one at Settle Junction itself where the S&C diverged from the Morecambe line and one at Appleby where the connection to the Eden Valley line diverged through Appleby Yard. All the goods yard connections were by way of trailing connections, as were the lay-by sidings. Later (LMS days ?) some of the lay-byes were converted to loops (Blea Moor and Howe & Co. Sidings), and new loops were installed at Long Meg. Kirby Stephen has lay-byes with trailing connections to this day (or it did the last time I looked).
As John said, facing connections meant facing point locks, which meant additional expense. Of course, holding the job up to reverse long trains into lay-byes also ultimately meant expense but the railways have always preferred onging revenue loss to spending capital in the first place :-) If you need facing points to access your platforms then put them in, but only where operationally necessary. Nowadays power-operated points are self-locking so the problem doesn't arise.
Slightly off topic, the FPL at Appleby was an "economical" FPL worked off the same lever as the points. Economical of lever movements that is, not in terms of cash. It had a zig-zag-slotted plate over a peg on the tie bar; the first 1/3 of the movement unlocked the points, the next 1/3 moved them and the last 1/3 locked them again. By 1992 it was a complete PITA, everything was out of adjustment and although the S&T did their best, the whole thing was loose in the ground and moved everytime you walked past. Hence the ritual of padlocking and unpadlocking the points evertime we needed to use the yard. Anybody who was at Appleby for steam trains in 1992-94 will have seen either me, Paul H or the handsignalman beating hell out of the EFPL with a sledge hammer to get the bloody thing to lock. One of Railtrack's more enlightened ideas was to concrete the whole thing in solid and fix it.
Stuart (ex-Signalman & Ops Supervisor)
Reply to
Stuart.
You can see the main board track plan here
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select New Track Layout from the menu on the left hand side.
Or you can see both the main baseboard track plan and the plan for the top Lh side which includes a triangle turning junction off of the main UP line here
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then select General Forum and then New Track Plan.
The reason for my wanting the facing points is to enable ease of use of the turning triangle, but would like things to be relatively prototypical.
Eddie.
Reply to
Eddie Bray
Aha. Realization dawns. Your facing connection does look a bit odd but it could be used the make the bottom platform (can't see it clearly enough to read 'up' and 'down') bi-directional for branch trains. Conversely a trailing crossover in the same place would make the top platform bi-directional for branch trains.
If you leave it as a facing crossover, an additional trailing crossover at the signalbox end would make the bottom platform bi-directional for trains on the main line too. As drawn it's not wrong, but it's the sort of thing which would only be provided if traffic patterns dictated it, i.e if it was neccessary for branch train to stand in the 'wrong' platform to let something else overtake it. Or, indeed, if it was necessary to allow locos to reach the turning triangle without running facing road through the top platform.
Stuart.
Reply to
Stuart.
Hi Stuart,
It has already been suggested that I fit a trailing crossover to the right of the double slips to enable better access for goods trains to the UP line, and as you say this will enable bi-directional running, I have losts of spare points at the moment if I put a trailing crossover where the facing ones are at the present and move the facing set to the left of these that would make both routes fully bi-directional, would this be okay?
Eddie.
Reply to
Eddie Bray
If your traffic pattern justifies having two bi-directional platforms at a smallish station, then yes. It would be expensive in real life and therefore very unusual, but I think it could be done if there was the need and the will to do it.
Stuart.
Reply to
Stuart.
Hi Stuart,
If you have another look at
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than General Forum and New Track Plan. I have made changes to the Track Plan and hope to start laying the trackbase tomorrow so final suggestions would be gratefully received.
Eddie.
Reply to
Eddie Bray
In the 1970s, when I had to attend meetings at the Shire hall Cambridge, I was always fascinated by the station with its very long single platform face (there may also have been bays at each end). There were several crossovers along it so that trains from both directions could use sections of the platform. Is it still the same?
Alan
Reply to
Alan P Dawes
Certainly was 'economical' in terms of cash, primarily because it saved levers which in turn simplified the locking and allowed use of smaller and thus cheaper signal cabins.This saving was realised even though, in the early years at least they had to pay royalties for use of the patent (to one of the companies own engineers IIRC). The downside being that the working was heavy for the bobbie as the point movement had to be done over only half the lever throw and the slide plate is not very efficient mechanically. Keith
Reply to
Keith
Fair comment; at Appleby it only saved one lever but resulted in (IIRC) not having to extend a 25 lever frame.
The signalmen at Appleby had a very economical technique. The buggers used to pop the catch handle then watch me and the HSM bar them over :-)
Stuart.
Reply to
Stuart.
Hi Eddie, Removing the double slip on the down line does indeed avoid the departing branch train going wrong road along the down, but the other side of that slip provided your down main connection off the branch. The only way off as redrawn is into the bay or facing road into the up main platform. Either way, to regain the down main requires a reversing move. Can you replace it with a single slip instead ? Apart from that it looks fine. Good luck !
Stuart.
Reply to
Stuart.
Due in part to the language barrier, I am having a bit of trouble understanding what you all mean by "facing point" and "trailing Point". Part of the difficulty is that on my side of the pond we also have our concept of facing and trailing which may, or may not, be different. However, any set of points that is trailing in one direction, is necessarily facing in the opposite direction. At least that is the way my mind's eye sees it. I can't conceive a mental picture of points that can trail in both directions, AND, I don't believe that is what is being said. ". . .LMS had a phobia about facing points . . ." someone said ( or words to that effect), but how else is it possible to turn out into a passing loop or leave the main track by any other means than a facing point? If you trail through and make a reverse move, as soon as you reverse you now have a facing point. If you are coming the other way you have a facing point; i.e., if the points open (face) NORTH and you are moving southward, it is a facing point. So then, would anyone care to take a shot at illuminating me on this matter so that I will be able to hold an intelligent conversation on the subject in the future?
Reply to
66class
Don't ask me I'm as confused as the next man. :o)
As I understand it set of facing points are a set arranged in the direction of travel, whereas a set of trailing points are arranged against the direction of travel.
Direction of travel----
----------------\----------------- \ facing points -------------------\------------------
-----------------/--------------- / trailing points ---------------/------------------
Best I can do with no graphics.
But, I may be wrong.
Eddie.
Reply to
Eddie Bray
Hi,
"Facing" and "trailing" are only meaningful when referring to double-track. In the UK most main lines are double track, with Up and Down lines providing uni-directional running on each line.
Points can be facing or trailing on each track, depending on whether they offer a diverging route to traffic running in the normal direction (facing) or not (trailing).
Even for single-track branch lines, these frequently break into uni-directional double track through stations, and again within this area points can be facing or trailing.
On any line with bi-directional running, such as single-track line, all points are facing for one direction of running. If such runing is of a passenger train, a facing-point lock is required to be fitted.
Despite what has been said about the supposed dearth of facing points, there are a great many of them. It would be impossible to run a passenger railway without them. In times past when every station had a local goods yard, the practice of reversing into it via a trailing connection was more common.
regards,
Martin. ---------------------------------- email : snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web :
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Reply to
Martin Wynne
Your almost right, there is no physical difference. It is only when you are talking about the *normal* direction of travel that there is a facing or trailing concept. Think of a unidirectional track (one half of a double track) and it is quite clear as to the difference between facing & trailing.
Now for single track, a point can be trailing if a train is approaching and you can only enter the diverging route by stopping & reversing.
For facing points some complex rules applied, mainly because in the early days there were horrific accidents caused by point blades moving under trains or signals showing conflicting information in describing the way points were set.
The reason why many British railways avoided facing points (the Midland Railway was a well known avoider of using facing points & later became part of the LMS) was because of these special requirements which were enforced by the Board of Trade (the current terminology would be regulators), required full interlocking of these locations.
Where traffic levels allowed, it was considered economic to say run freight trains past a yard, stop, change points & reverse in. This saved the cost of providing full interlocking at the cost of an obvious delay while a train was backed in.
Now if passenger trains were required to diverge here then interlocking *must* be provided, also where there was a large number of freight movements. This latter occurred in many locations during WW2 where large areas had a huge increase in working & many facing points were installed to improve traffic flow.
It should also be obvious that single track lines carrying passengers *must* be interlocked.
Hope that simplified description helps, cos its getting late.
Kevin Martin
Reply to
Kevin Martin
Facing is were the first part of the point / switch / turnout that a loco trundles over are the blades, trailing is were the loco trundles over the crossing vee / frog first, if you see what I mean?
Facing ---->> ___/___
Trailing ----->> ____\___
Reply to
:::Jerry::::

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