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Signalling & Gradients

Groombridge Signalling Scheme
The Spa Valley Railway is capable of crossing two trains at Groombridge to enable an increased service on our 5.25 mile line, the original loop at Groombridge was used up until opening to Eridge in 2011 for 'run rounds'. It was always a longterm ambition to upgrade this loop with signals to allow trains to pass at around the half-way point in the journey. Signal posts started to 'pop up' from 2007 onwards, built in house or overhauled by our volunteers. Phase 1 of the Groombridge Signalling Scheme was brought into use on Friday 1st August 2014, just in time for our Summer Diesel Gala. This was a system known as a 'Temporary Block Post' which allowed, under very strict control measures, trains to pass but needed to include the Ground Frame at the Eridge end of the loop and a Hand Signalman.

In February 2016 the crossover at the Eridge end of Groombridge Loop was renewed for a CV Flat Bottom turn out, replacing the former Bullhead turnouts and thus removing the last bit of Bullhead track on our railway other than within the Tunbridge Wells West station site. This introduced for the first time motor points and Phase 2 of the Groombridge Signalling Scheme was brought into use on Wednesday 3rd July 2016, again in time for our Summer Diesel Gala.

Since then, behind the scenes the project has continued albeit at a slower pace, electric lamps have been fitted to many of the signals to reduce the need to work at height and bonding has been installed throughout the area for more track circuits, but due to a shortage of volunteers with signalling design and installation knowledge within our workforce the project has slowed. If anyone reading this has experience of signalling design and installation and would like to volunteer with us to finish the project then please get in tough with Jonnie Pay by email here

It is our aim to increase the number of track circuits at Groombridge, commission the Up Home, Up Advanced Starter, Down Advanced Starter and a further Shunt signal in the Up Loop. We also own four Tyers No. 6 Tablet Instruments and it is our intention to commission these locked witht the Advanced Starters to remove the need for staff and ticket working in the future. 

Currently in use Fixed Signals

Stop Boards


Running through No.3 and No.14 points are two DC track circuits.

To enable safe operations at either end of the line (Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge) and access to the single line section, we have stop boards. Authority to take the single line token and proceed past the stop boards into either section is given by the Groombridge Signalman. Movements within station limits at Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge are under the control of a Person In Charge or the Driver being in possession of the relevant 'Station Limits Token'.

Whilst we aren't the longest or steepest railway in preservation, we are able to offer the opportunity to see locomotives working along the line. By clicking HERE you will be able to view our Gradient Profile. 

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