Southern Cross - SignallingWA

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Southern Cross

Signal Cabins in WA

SOUTHERN CROSS

WAGR - Eastern Goldfields Railway (E. G. R.)

1938 WAGR MAP Mileage = 237

Lat: ?

Long:  ?

Next Down Station:

Next Up Station:

GARRATT

GHOOLI

Quick Facts

Signal Cabin Opened

Signal Cabin Closed

06/08/1902

24/07/1947

Mechanical

Electrical

45 Levers in 1902

Electric Staff

Fate: Removed and replaced by open-air lever frame


The path to interlocking at the Southern Cross station began as advertised in the W.A.G.R. Weekly Notice No 10, for the week ending 11th March 1898, when staff were advised that the station had been provided with Point Indicators on all facing points even if they were not yet fully interlocked.


The method of train control along the single line section was initally by means of the Staff and Ticket system. The 2nd Appendix to the "Working Time Book" published on 15th April, 1896 stated that theSection Parker's Road to Southern Cross was worked by a Round-handled Green Staff and Green Tickets. Later, when the section was between Doongin and Southern Cross, the Staff and Ticket was replaced by Electric Staff working on 30/07/1898 The Staffs for this section being Green with a Square shaped head as published in the "1901 Appendix to the Working Time Table". Similarly, the Staff and Ticket section: Southern Cross to Ghooli was replaced by Electric Staff on 17/09/1898 using Blue Staffs, each with an Oblong shaped head.


Interlocking finally became a reality here when, on the 6th of August, 1902 a very tall signal box ws opened which towered over the station to give a commanding view of the station and sidings. The Signal box was fitted with a 45 lever frame, a diagram of the track layout and details of the 'Engine Whistles' were conveyed via Circular No 502, dated 30th July, 1902 and advertised to all concerned on page 21 of Weekly Notice No. 33 of 1902. This diagram has not yet been found by SignallingWA and we would be most grateful to receive a copy, should one become available.

The then named 'Interlocking Branch', noted in an Advice of Alteration to Interlocking Adjuster's Sections published on Page 13 of Weekly Notice No. 37 of 1902, that a new section named the Southern Cross Section had been established.






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This new section, which encompassed the interlocking of stations from Wyola to Gunga (inclusive) and was under the charge of Adjuster W. Clegg. His home station being that of Southern Cross.

On the 6th of August, 1911, the W. A. G. R. Signalling Record Card for Southern Cross records that the 45 lever frame was taken out of use in the Signal box and the interlocking re-arranged to suit the introductino of the Bullfinch Junction. This was accomplished by the fitting of an extra 10 levers, making 55 in all and after the work was completed, the station was then interlocked in accordance with Diagram of Signalling / Driver's Diagram E.E.L. Plan No. 12561. The instructions to staff contained in the appropriate entry on Page 676 of Weekly Notice 31 of 1911 that the interlocking would be 'disarranged' from the 4th August, and "...special care must be excerised  to guard against accidents..." and "...until the final alterations are completed and interlocking restored, the signals must be regarded as defective, with no fixed signal being passed (whether lowered or not) undless the driver is hand-signalled to do so by the Hand Signalman exhiting a "Green" flag or light near the defective signal." A new set of Signal Whistles to be given by Main Line and shunting locomotives were published.

As an example of how signalling was not infallible in the early days, on Thursday, 9th of February 1922, the Kalgoorlie Express train was delayed up to two hours due to 'Staff Instrument failure' between Yellowdine and Southern Cross. The following entry in the media recounted the event:

Kalgoorlie Express Delayed. ā€” The transport office of the Railway Department was notified last night that owing to what was described as "an electric staff failure" having occurred between Yellowdine and Southern Cross, the Kalgoorlie express was running about two hours-late. It was thought probable that some of the time lost would be made up on the run to Perth, but the express was not expected to arrive in Perth before about 11.15 a.m. The fact that railway officials in Perth were unable to communicate effectively with Southern Cross last night suggests that a storm has been responsible for the delay to the express. Source: Page 6, The West Australian, Friday 10 February 1922

Twelve years later, another weather event completely severed the East - West rail link when a destructive Cyclone struck the Southern Cross area. This was well reported on Page 4, of The Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper of Thursday, 18th of January 1934.

Unfortunately, the lofty signal cabin at Southern Cross, had a relatively short life, and an entry on page 514 of Weekly Notice 29 of 1947 detailed its demise:

"SOUTHERN. CROSS. - On Thursday, 24th July 1947 the existing Signal Box will be taken out of use and the signalling rearranged.
When this work is completed, Main Line and Branch Line Home Distant and Starting Signals will be provided. Facing points through which the Home and Starting Signals apply will be fitted with Facing Point Detectors. The signals will be operated from a small Lever Frame situated under the existing Signal Box.
The Staff Columns will be housed in the Station building.
A telephone will be provided near the balanced points at the entrance to Loco.
The signalling arrangements will then be in accordance with Diagram of Signalling,
Copy of C.C.E., Plan. No. 36377, as supplied to Depots."
The open-air station frame and Frame 'B' continued the reduced signalling funtions at Southern Cross until the arrival of the Standard Guage line. In contemporary times, virtually no evidence of the original narrow guage line or station can be found. Thanks to the official record-keeping and the photographers (credited in the captions of the photos) at least this long-lost station and signal cabin can still be seen.

NOTE: This page is under constant review - please check back later, however, if you have any additional information on this signal cabin, it would be most welcome - please use the e-mail form provided.

Any additional information on this signal cabin would be most welcome - please use the e-mail form provided on this page.

Information researched and interpreted by Chris. J. E. French of SignallingWA


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SOUTHERN CROSS Employees

This list may not be complete and does not yet include employees who worked here without being appointed.
Where an appointment date is unknown, the Weekly Notice (WN) date advising of the appointment or other official documentation, i.e. Certificate of Competency (CC) will be used.

Name

Appointed

Position

          Is a name missing?
Please submit any corrections / additions with suitable evidence using the e-mail form above.
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