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Block Systems


Originally, the whole line between Callander & Oban Junction and Oban Station was worked by the Train Staff and Ticket system. Time interval working was in force between Callander & Oban Junction and Tyndrum as there were no block instruments on that part of the line. Block instruments were provided between Tyndrum and Oban. John Anderson considered that it was virtually impossible to work the line by Train Staff and Ticket and applied to the Board of Trade for permission to use the more flexible Tyer's electric tablet system. Approval was granted, and the tablet instruments were put into service in 1880 between Oban and Dalmally. The original Train Tablet Regulations for working the line between Oban and Dalmally can be viewed here. Tablet instruments came into use on the remainder of the line in 1881. The short sections of double track were worked by Caledonian Railway two-position block instruments.

The Killin Railway was originally worked by One Engine in Steam, with block instruments. The block instruments were removed in 1935.

The Ballachulish branch was worked throughout by the Tyer's tablet system from its opening and remained so until closure.

Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB), controlled from Banavie signalling centre, was introduced between Crianlarich and Oban in 1988.

The tables below give a picture of the block systems in use at various points in time.

Key:

       
  Double or multiple line  
  Signal box (Block post)  
  Signal box with switching out facility  
  Single line  
  RETB token exchange point  
  AB Absolute Block  
  ET Electric Token Block  
  NSKT No Signalman Key Token  
  OEIS One Engine In Steam  
  RETB Radio Electronic Token Block  
  Y Yard Working  
       

Callander to Oban:

  1882 1886 1897 1905 1922 1938 1966 1969 1982 1988
Callander & Oban Jcn.        
  ET ET ET AB AB        
Callander East        
  AB AB AB AB AB AB        
Callander West        
  ET ET ET ET        
St. Bride's Crossing ET ET        
  ET ET ET ET        
Strathyre        
  ET ET ET        
Balquhidder East        
  ET ET ET AB AB AB        
Balquhidder West        
         
Lochearnhead ET ET ET        
  ET ET ET        
Glenoglehead        
  ET ET ET ET ET        
Killin Jcn. East        
  ET AB AB AB AB        
Killin Jcn. West ET        
  ET ET ET ET        
Luib        
  ET ET ET ET        
Crianlarich Station ET ET        
  ET ET        
Crianlarich East
 
Lower Crianlarich ET ET AB AB AB AB AB
  RETB
Crianlarich West ET ET
  ET ET ET ET ET
Tyndrum
  ET ET ET ET ET ET
Glenlochy Crossing ET RETB
  ET ET ET ET ET ET
Dalmally
  ET ET ET ET ET ET
Loch Awe
  ET ET ET ET ET ET ET RETB
Awe Crossing ET ET
  ET ET ET ET
Taynuilt
  ET ET ET ET
Connel Ferry East ET ET ET RETB
 
Connel Ferry AB AB AB AB
 
Connel Ferry West ET NSKT
  ET ET ET ET ET ET
Glencruitten ET RETB
  ET ET ET
Oban Goods Jcn.
  AB AB AB AB AB AB AB
Oban Station

Ballachulish Branch:

  1903 1927
Connel Ferry West
  ET ET
Benderloch
  ET
Creagan ET
  ET
Appin
  ET
Duror ET
  ET
Kentallen
  ET ET
Ballachulish

Killin Railway:

  1886 1935 1959
Killin Jcn. (East)
  OEIS OEIS
Killin OEIS
  OEIS Y
Loch Tay

Token Configurations:

Section Configuration Remarks
Callander West - Strathyre No.6 tablet Long section
Strathyre - Balquhidder East Key token "A" -
Balquhidder West - Glenoglehead No.7 tablet Special configuration
Strathyre - Glenoglehead Key token "A" -
Glenoglehead - Killin East Jcn. No.7 tablet -
Glenoglehead - Killin Jcn. No.7 tablet Former Glenoglehead - Killin East Jcn. tablets re-used
Killin West Jcn. - Luib No.7 tablet -
Killin Jcn. - Luib No.7 tablet Former Killin West Jcn. - Luib tablets re-used
Luib - Crianlarich East Jcn. No.7 tablet -
Crianlarich West Jcn. - Tyndrum No.7 tablet -
Crianlarich Upper - Tyndrum Lower Key token "B" -
Crianlarich - Dalmally Key token "B" -
Tyndrum Lower - Dalmally No.6 tablet -
Dalmally - Loch Awe No.7 tablet -
Loch Awe - Awe Crossing No.7 tablet -
Awe Crossing - Taynuilt No.7 tablet -
Loch Awe - Taynuilt No.6 tablet Long section
Dalmally - Taynuilt No.6 tablet Former Loch Awe - Taynuilt long section tablets re-used
Dalmally - Taynuilt Key token "C" From 1974
Taynuilt - Connel Ferry East No.7 tablet -
Connel Ferry West - Glencruitten No.7 tablet -
Taynuilt - Oban Goods Jcn. No.7 tablet -
Taynuilt - Oban Key token "A" From 1974
Connel Ferry West - Benderloch No.7 tablet -