Spa Valley Railway »
Signalling & Gradients
Groombridge Signalling SchemeThe 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.
Work is ongoing to enable Phase 3 of the Groombridge Signalling Scheme which will see Signals No.4, 13, 16 & 20 being brought into use, the timescale of this phase is 2021 however COVID restrictions have delayed this.
Currently in use Fixed Signals
Running through No.3 and No.14 points are two DC track circuits.
To enable safe operations at either end of the line (Tun Wells 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 Tun Wells and Eridge are under the control of a Person In Charge or the Driver being in possession of the relevant 'Station Limits Token'.
GradientsWhilst 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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