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  #1  
Old 21st April 2018, 14:49
Isabella Muir Isabella Muir is offline  
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Book research

Hi everyone - I am hoping that someone will be able to help with some research I am doing for a novel. The novel is the fourth in a series of crime mysteries, set in the late 1960s in Sussex, England.

I was wondering about the operation of signals at that time and in that location. How did the unmanned railway crossings operate? What made the barriers open and close? Was it an automatic connection for another barrier further up the line?

Any information you can provide will be very useful.

Thanks in advance


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  #2  
Old 21st April 2018, 20:21
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boilersuit boilersuit is offline  
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Hi Isabella. I hope someone with specialist knowledge of the subject can supply you with the details you need relative to Sussex lines in the late 1960s. But for some general background there is lots of info on Wikipedia – look for "Level crossings in the United Kingdom".
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Old 22nd April 2018, 09:42
Isabella Muir Isabella Muir is offline  
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Thank you! That's very helpful - I will look it out.
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Old 22nd April 2018, 10:54
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Beeyar Wunby Beeyar Wunby is offline  
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Hi Isabella, and welcome to the forum.

Even today, quite a lot of unmanned/unautomated crossing are operated by the user. There are quite a few categories, but UWC (User Worked Crossing) is the the most basic. It just relies on people keeping a good look out for trains.

Once you come away from cities and urban sprawl, it's quite common for farmers, walkers, etc to operate their own gated crossing. Particularly on rural lines.

As to gated crossings, I think in the early sixties there would have been a crossing keeper. On quiet lines they'd live in a house next to the line and come out when needed, and on busy lines there would be a box with a permanent signaller.

Some people on here are from the south east (I used to live in Tonbridge), so if you want to be more specific about the lines and locations we might be able to give a more specific answer.

Best wishes, BW.

Last edited by Beeyar Wunby; 22nd April 2018 at 10:57.
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  #5  
Old 22nd April 2018, 11:57
Isabella Muir Isabella Muir is offline  
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Thanks so much for this information - it is perfect.

The line I am looking at for my story is the one that runs through Pevensey Bay (between Bexhill and Eastbourne). There is a part of it that runs close to the beach (Herbrand Walk) and I think until recently there was an unmanned crossing there. If anyone knows anything about the history of this line - in the late 1960s, early 1970s, that would be brilliant! Thanks again
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  #6  
Old 22nd April 2018, 11:59
Isabella Muir Isabella Muir is offline  
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By the way - I am happy to include the Railway Forum in my acknowledgements for the book - would you like me to do that?
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