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Introduction to the Sectional Appendix

The Sectional Appendix was, and indeed still is, the railwayman’s guide to the routes upon which he/she is required to operate trains. At its simplest, it contains a list of locations (Signal boxes, stations and other features), running lines (Showing the signalling system in use), speed restrictions and mileages. Delving further uncovers a myriad of local instructions, with tables showing special working arrangements, all designed to ensure the safe working of the railway. A typical list of contents from a 1960 Sectional Appendix looked like this:

A List of signal boxes, running lines, maximum permissible speeds and restrictions etc.
B Lines worked under Permissive Block system
C Lines worked under "No Block" Regulations
D1 Electric Token Receiving and Delivering Apparatus
D2 Lines Worked under the Electric Train Token, Train Staff and Ticket and One Engine in Steam arrangements where persons other than the Signalman are authorised to deliver or receive the Token or Staff
E Local code of engine whistles
F Propelling trains or vehicles
G Working in wrong direction
H2 Working of freight trains without a brake van in rear
H2 Working of coaching stock vehicles without a brake van beyond station limits
J Engines assisting in rear of trains – Rule 133
K1 Working of trains conveying Passengers over Goods lines or Goods loops
K2 Lines equipped for passenger train working over which there is no booked passenger train service – Rule 55
L Engineer’s rail motors
M Placing trains or vehicles outside Home signals on falling gradients – Rule 114 (c)
N Trolleys going into or through tunnels
P Level crossing gates – Opening and closing by trainmen
Q Lighting and extinguishing of signal lamps – Rule 73
R Mail bag apparatus
S1 Intermediate sidings at which trains may be shunted for other trains to pass
S2 Trains returning from intermediate sidings or stations on Single lines of railway to the Token or Staff station in rear
T Lineside fires
U Towing of vehicles – Rule 110 (c)
V List of local head-codes
X Tail lamps – lighting through tunnels – Rule 120
– General Instructions
– Local Instructions

Even during British Rail days, and when appendices covering the whole country were issued on the same date, there would often be slight variations in the contents from region to region.

Below are two pages from Section A of the L.M.R. Midland Lines Sectional Appendix dated October 1st, 1960. It covers the lines out of London St. Pancras station. Most of the information can be understood from the ‘Explanation of References’, but some items need more explanation. The additional up and down running lines are divided by two thin black lines. These denote a double track railway (Plus the additional lines, of course). Single line railways are denoted by this divider being a single black line.

All running lines are classified as either up or down lines. The layout of the table corresponds to this practice, so trains travelling from Kentish Town towards St. Pancras – up the page – are on the up line, and visa versa. So between Islip Street Junction and Kentish Town Station there were 2 up passenger lines, two up goods lines, 2 down passenger lines and two down goods lines. The position of running lines is shown in diagrammatic form and does not necessarily correspond to the actual track layout.

Modern Sectional Appendices follow a slightly different format, with the running lines being shown in more of a map form, with points and sidings being shown. Generally speaking, as with timetables, the older a Sectional Appendix is, the less easy it is to understand at a glance.

Hopefully these pages will serve to illustrate the usefulness of the Sectional Appendix to the railway historian. My website will broadly be based upon the set of Sectional Appendices that were issued on October 1st, 1960 covering the London Midland, Eastern, North Eastern, Scottish and Southern Regions of British Railways. The Western Region, dedicated as ever to the cause of being different, issued it’s set at various dates between 1958 and 1959.