Colour Light Signalling
Platform is still on site, but is in poor condition
The mid 1890s were a tumultuous period for the WAGR. The 1890s Gold Rush had resulted in a staggering increase in rail traffic, straining the system and particularly the Eastern Railway between Midland and Spencers Brook, to near breaking point. Under a scheme instigated by the great engineer C Y O’ Connor, the Eastern Railway was virtually rebuilt, involving substantial regrading, the laying of heavier rail, and installing strategically located crossing loops to increase the line's capacity. One of the crossing loops installed as a part of this process was located at the 47 mile peg (as measured from Perth) , near the top of the climbs from both Perth and Spencers Brook. This crossing loop was initially named Mount Baker, but was soon renamed Baker’s Hill.
On Thursday, 19th September, 1907, after arrival of No. 21 at Clackline the existing single line working between Karrijine and Clackline will cease, and double line will be brought into use as soon as necessary alterations are made at Karrijine, Baker’s Hill, and Clackline, which will be about 5 p.m.
The signal-box at Karrijine will be cut out and "Not in Use" boards fixed on signal-arms. Points leading from Up road to ballast pit will be spiked over.
Lines of way and signal arrangements at Baker’s Hill and Up end of Clackline will be re-arranged to suit double line, in accordance with diagrams; copies of same will be supplied to depôt stations concerned.
The sections will be Wooroloo - Baker’s Hill, Baker’s Hill - Clackline, and the traffic will be worked under the Absolute Block system; Winter’s Block instruments being used.
Speed not to exceed 18 miles per hour between Clackline and Baker’s Hill on Up road, and between Karrijine and Baker’s Hill on Down road, until further notice.
C. T. M., 17970/07.
When the duplication between Karrijine and Clackline was opened. Absolute Block working using Winters instruments was introduced on both the Up and Down lines. This form of Safeworking was to remain in force until 1924, when permissive block working from Wooroloo to Baker’s Hill was introduced.
Following the opening of the duplicated line from Karrijine and the closure (or more correctly, the closures) of that box it worked with Wundowie when it was open, and Wooroloo when it was not. After 1926, it worked with Koojedda. To the east Baker’s Hill only ever worked with Clackline. A signalled siding on the up line between Bakers Hill and Clackline was in use around 1909 although there is no evidence to suggest that it was ever used as a block post.
Baker’s Hill was closed as a crossing loop but remained open as an attended station, servicing the small local community and acting as a block post.
The signalling arrangements at Baker’s Hill were that befitting a block post equipped with a siding. Up and Down Distant, Home and Starter Signals were provided, together with an Advanced Up Starting Signal. A loop siding graced the Up (left hand as looking towards Fremantle) side. This siding was accessed from both mains, a crossover at the eastern end of the station allowing Down trains to shunt the siding. This facility was no doubt of considerable assistance to the prompt clearing of 'divided loads'. That is, if the crew of a locomotive found itself unable to haul the train over a steep grade they could 'divide' the train by leaving a sufficiently secured (braked) portion of it on the main line then take the front part of the train forward and to another siding and detach it, then return for the portion left behind.
As reversing was not an option between Spencer’s Brook and Bellevue, a locomotive unable to haul its train had to detach its loading at location such as Baker’s Hill and return for the balance. A considerable amount of time could be wasted if the locomotive had to return “wrong line” i.e. against the normal direction of travel, to retrieve the balance of its load. Up trains dividing their load at Baker’s Hill could stow the load in the siding and, as the siding was capable of being accessed from both mains, the locomotive could return via the down main to retrieve it without blocking following up trains.
Information researched and interpreted by Justin Smith of the Signalling Interest Group of W. A. with additional information provided by Chris. J. E. French of SignallingWA
Photographs © by David Beazley and W.A.G.R. - Diagram of Signalling from the "Plan and Estimates Book" courtesy of Rail Heritage WA Archives
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BAKERS HILL 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.
|Asmutaitis, Herbertas||26/02/1958||Safe Working Porter|
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