The Signalling Centre

Signalling Centres – 2000

 

The Signalling Centres – 2000 area brings the visitor virtually up to date with modern signalling practice, and uses the Thames Valley Signalling Centre, which is adjacent to Didcot Railway Centre as an example of VDU based control of trains.

Display Board 5

 

Recent developments in electronics have led to the rise of visual display unit based signalling centres, such as Integrated Electronic Control Centres (IECCs). These feature operators’ workstations with display screens which depict the control area and use automatic route setting based on a pre-programmed timetable.

A VDU based signalling centre offers:

A panel box, with route setting controls, offers:

  • Automatic control of normal running, scheduled trains
  • Further opportunities to locate control in yet fewer locations
  • Further savings in equipment, maintenance and staffing levels

The GWR Railway Policeman of 1837 would no doubt find the working conditions and technology of the modern signalling centre unrecognisable but would still be able to relate to the fundamental job requirements of switching trains to the correct tracks and keeping them the proper distance apart.

The Thames Valley Signalling Centre in Didcot was opened in 2010 and controls the Great Western main line from London Paddington to the Severn Tunnel.

The visitor is encouraged to note the view of the Thames Valley Signalling Centre which can be had across the Radstock level crossing.

Principal Exhibits

Description Original Location (where known)

Pair of Screens

These original monitors display an exact copy of two of the screens available to the operator of the Didcot workstation until 2016. (An emulation constructed using SimSig software - with thanks)

The IECC software used by current signallers has been upgraded and now uses off-the-shelf computer peripherals and a more dynamic, vector-drawn screen diagram.

Thames Valley Signalling Centre

Keyboard

The keyboard is of the type used in the British Rail 'Integrated Electronic Control Centre' (IECC). This equipment was first introduced in 1989 and was installed in the Thames Valley Signalling Centre for its opening in 2010. Note that there are many additional special function keys.

 

Trackball Unit

The trackball unit is of the type used in the British Rail 'Integrated Electronic Control Centre' (IECC). This equipment was first introduced in 1989 and was installed in the Thames Valley Signalling Centre for its opening in 2010.

 

 

 

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