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European Railroad Discussion > SNCF mechanical signals Saint-Auban, France


Date: 12/20/23 19:39
SNCF mechanical signals Saint-Auban, France
Author: pdt

A million years ago I rode on the now abandoned  SNCF line from Digne to Saint-Auban, and then from Saint-Auban to Grenoble up the back road thru the hills.

At Saint-Auban we changed from a 1950's  looking doodlebug type self preopelled car (running by itself) to a newer modern day looking  doodlebug..self propelled car pulling one or 2 non-powered coaches)  I was sitting in the front car as we sped out of arnoux, and i could hear the mechanical signals being "knocked down" as we passed them  We went by them too fast for me to really see the signals, but they were mechanical, and it sounded like some part of the signal was actually falling mechanically, as the signal went from clear to red.  It sounded like metal falling on metal.

Anyone know what kind of signals they were.  Any pix?  Any info about how they work.    I looked up SNCF signals on the goog.  Lots of pix, but no idea how the mechanical signals change indication.

TIA

Here's a pic at the Dign station.   The SNCF train to Saint-Aubanon the left, and the Provance (meter gauge) train to Nice on the right.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/23 20:11 by pdt.




Date: 12/22/23 14:49
Re: SNCF mechanical signals Saint-Auban, France
Author: Steinzeit2

pdt Wrote:

> Here's a pic at the Dign station.   The SNCF
> train to Saint-Aubanon the left, and the Provance
> (meter gauge) train to Nice on the right.

I think you should have made clear that you did not take this photograph, but simply lifted it from the internet.  That would also explain in part why your text does not agree with the photo.

SZ

Edited to add:  I find it highly unlikely that you were hearing a sound from the signals themselves.  Since you were in the leading vehicle, it's likely you were hearing the "brush" underneath it making contact with the "crocodile" ramp, which is similar in concept to inductive train stop ATS systems in North America except that there is physical contact for the electrical signal to be transmitted from wayside to car-carried.  The ramps are / were typically placed next to, more or less, the corresponding signal.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/23 16:26 by Steinzeit2.



Date: 12/24/23 21:28
Re: SNCF mechanical signals Saint-Auban, France
Author: pdt

Just posted the pic bc its the same as when i was there., just for reference,   Not making any money off it..just a reference point.  There are so few pix of this operation..   I have Kodak slides of some of the trip from the 1990's. but who has the time to get all that out and digitized.

As for the signals,  You could be right if the signals were tripped physically, not track circuits.     I wasnt at the head end of the train..maybe half a car back.



Date: 12/27/23 05:35
Re: SNCF mechanical signals Saint-Auban, France
Author: Steinzeit2

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just posted the pic bc its the same as when i was
> there., just for reference,   Not making any
> money off it..just a reference point.  There are
> so few pix of this operation..   I have Kodak
> slides of some of the trip from the 1990's. but
> who has the time to get all that out and
> digitized.
>
> As for the signals,  You could be right if the
> signals were tripped physically, not track
> circuits.     I wasnt at the head end of the
> train..maybe half a car back.

1.  The crocodiles do not transmit information TO the signals, they receive information FROM the signal, irrespective of how the signal system is controlled or even the type of signal. Think ATS for a semaphore at Raton as well as a CTC home searchlight on the NYC -- same thing.

2.  No, the picture you took from the Internet is NOT the same as when you were there;  by the 1990's that RGP1 would have been rebuilt into a different-looking machine, perhaps like the one you rode on the second stage of your SNCF journey.  Most pictures on the Internet show that earlier era;  less common are ones that show the rebuilt versions on Alpazur workings at Digne.  What is difficult to find are photos of the non-through shuttle workings at Digne, so it would be "nice" if you could take the time to locate and scan those slides you took -- future TO'er's and Interneters would be grateful, especially if the alternative is a landfill in Nevada.

SZ

Edited to add:  Are you sure the trip was in the 1990's ?  I think the branch to Digne closed in the fall of 1989.......



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/23 11:25 by Steinzeit2.



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