Woburn Signalling Changes

Back in 2001 or 2002, when I heard that the signalling at Woburn was to be changed, I decided to document the project. Little did I know that the project would drag on until 2007!

The work simplified access to the Gracefield Industrial Line and eliminated the need for a signalman to be rostered on duty to hand wind the points. The Gracefield line provides access to the Hutt Workshops; the Gracefield Yard (closed in April 2002) and the Seaview Sidings (out of use by 2002). The once extensive interlocking had not been repaired after arson at Woburn station in 1994.

This page documents the changes.

45 Up to Down Main crossover points padlocked. The points motor was still in place when this photograph was taken. Photo taken from boundary fence.

Work started in early 2003 but was then put on hold. Statements on this page should therefore be read with caution. ......Work started again in August 2005 and then stopped again....Now some more work in May 2006.

The work was finally finished in January 2007. I will update this page when I am motivated....

Woburn Track Layout


2002 Woburn Track Layout, showing the Gracefield Branch junction. The yard had been in this basic configuration since the opening of the Hutt Valley Deviation Line in 1927. Details of the changes over the years are described on my  Woburn Signalling History  page.


???? Woburn Track Layout, after the rearrangements.

In December 2005 the work had not been completed so the final arrangement is not known.

Preliminary Work

The preliminary work at the north end of Woburn was carried out in the final week of February 2003. The work included laying cable, removing 42 switchlock and the fittings for 42 and 44 trap points. The points motor for 44 Down Main to Siding points was removed. For a few hours one morning the lower unit on automatic signal 1314 was rotated 180 degrees, presumably while some wiring changes were made.

On May 17th 2003 the north end of Woburn was still in its temporary state with 45 points padlocked (with points motors in place) and 44 points padlocked and the points motor removed. A 40kph speed restriction was in place over 44 points.

On 18 May 2003 I noted that 42 points, which were once controlled by a switchlock, had been converted to spring points. Otherwise no other changes were visible.

Click on an image for a full size photograph.....

Conditional Stop Advance Warning Board south of Epuni. A temporary Outer Speed Board is in the distance. The sign in the middle reads Railway 2 Tracks. There was a forest of signs between Epuni and Woburn with several sets of heat boards.    (45/1)

Temporary Outer Speed Board photographed from the legal pedestrian crossing opposite Porutu Street, south of Epuni. Looking towards Waterloo.   (45/2)

Conditional Stop Board on the Down Main at the 15km peg between Woburn and Waterloo. Conditional Stop Protection was used while cables were being laid.   (45/3)

Hi-Rail Vehicle on the Down Main just south of 44 points. The Loop is in the foreground. Photographed from Cambridge Terrace.    (45/6)

Transfield Employees standing on the Down Main. Conditional Stop Protection is in place. .Photographed from Cambridge Terrrace just south of 44 points.   (45/4)

A Pile Of Ballast was dumped on the boundary fence just south of 44 points (the vegetation had earlier been cut back). The ballast was used quite quickly - I am not sure where. Photographed from Cambridge Terrace.   (45/5)

45 Crossover looking towards Woburn. The "T" board in the middle of the photo is for a Heat restriction. The "T" corresponding to the "C" is beside the yellow heat advance warning board in the background.   (45/12)

44 Traps in the Loop. Shunt signal 14C has since been removed. Cable appears to have been laid from 13 signal on the Up Main to the location cabinet for 45 crossover. Paint markings on the ballast suggest that cable may have been laid back to the relay building in existing duct. Looking towards Waterloo.   (45/7)

45 points with 44 Down Main to Loop points in the background. The 44 points motor has been removed and the points padlocked. Atemporary 40kph speed restriction is in place.    (45/16)

44 Points with the motor removed. Note that the lock bar has been retained. A 40kph speed restriction is in place over these points. Looking towards Woburn Station.   (45/17)

42 Loop to Siding Points. The switchlock and rodding to the traps has been removed.   (45/14)

Facing Point Lock (FPL) on 42 Loop to Siding points. Obviously not required in the new installation as the mechanism has been gas cut and is bent - as though a digger has driven over it.    (45/15)

Points Indicator, electrical detector and rod guides recovered from 42 traps sit in the long grass.    (45/18)

Signal 1314 on the Up Main at the Ava bridge. The lower unit was rotated 180 degrees for a few hours, presumably while some wiring changes were made. Looking towards Woburn.    (46/1)

On 18 May 2003 I noted that 42 points, which were once controlled by a switchlock, had been converted to spring points. Otherwise no other changes were visible.

Photo to be added.  

44 trap switch bolted and padlocked open.

Photo not taken.  

The Changeover

Click on an image for a full size photograph.....






Click on an image for a full size photograph.....






In the week ending 22 February 2003 work began on the alterations. Work included bolting and padlocking 44 and 45 points, removing rodding from 44 and 42 traps, disconnecting 42 switchlock and laying cable from 21 signal to the location cabinet next to 44 points. Conditional Stop Protection was in place. A temporary speed restriction (40kph?) was in place.

27 February 2003. The temporary speed restriction was still in place in December 2003. A temporary speed restriction was also in place overe the south points on the down main in the later part of 2003. Special bulletin #126. WOBURN Commencing forthwith and continuing until further advised, No.42 switchlock loop to siding at Woburn has been removed. XX Network Controller (from TRP mailing list)

On Friday 28th February I noted that 42 switchlock, 14C shunt signal and the motor for 44 points (down main to loop) had been removed.

On 18 May 2003 I noted that 42 points, which were once controlled by a switchlock, had been converted to spring points. Otherwise no other changes were visible.

On Sunday 20th September 2003 I noted that white numbers had been painted on all track structures. I assume that these refer to paragraphs in a work order. I also noted that the detectors on 45 points had been removed, although the lock and throw bars were still connected.

On Thursday 4th December 2003 I noted that what looks like a points motor has been installed at 44 Down Main to Loop points. Fixed to the sleepers beside the case is a depressed steel plate with mounting holes. Is this where a switchstand will be mounted? However, this is an existing plate - it was used for the trap points cranks. One of the rods from the case looks ready to connect to a switchstand operating rod. Does the "points motor" case contain an FPL, detectors and an electric lock? The crossover motors are still in place. A temporary speed restriction was in place on the Down Main at the south end points.

Saturday 6th December 2003 - A Caution 25 board is on the down main just north of Waterloo Station. This is for the speed restriction over 39 points at the south end of Woburn (1360m - 1988 rule book specifies 1200m). The Caution 40 board that was once near the Porutu St crossing has gone, as have the C & T boards at 44 points - the bolt through the switch is no longer the only thing securing the points. 44 traps are bolted and padlocked open.

Week ending 21/8/05. The previous week the switchstand for 45 points (down main) had been bolted in place but not connected.

20/9/05. Work has stopped yet again. Switchstands for 45 points (down main) and 44 points (main to loop) installed. The targets are not installed.

30/5/06. Work resumed again. Loop traps switchstand installed. New location cabinet installed. Signals 13 and 6 fixed red while signals tested. A-Lights on so Stop & Proceed rules applied. Conditional stop protection. Noted that points on Up Main are no longer padlocked but that Down Main points are padlocked.

Further work......

Last Updated: Tue Mar 18 18:04:31 NZDT 2008

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