Friday, 5 July 2013

Pointless signs - Kidsgrove

This from the Manxman...

In this instance more a case of pointless clocks!

Two time zones on display at Kidsgrove station, depending on your direction of travel! 

Not of course that accurate time is in way essential to the smooth operation of the railway.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Steve Kilometer...

The station clocks around the network depend on the time signal from the MSF radio signal transmitted from Anthorn.

As do many of the watches issued to railway employees with time-critical jobs, like Train managers/Guards or whatever they are now called.

The MSF radio signal is a dedicated time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time, based on the NPL time scale UTC(NPL). It is available 24 hours a day across the whole of the UK and beyond. The signal operates on a frequency of 60 kHz and carries a time and date code that can be received and decoded by a wide range of readily available radio-controlled clocks. The MSF signal is transmitted from Anthorn Radio Station in Cumbria by Babcock (formerly VT Communications), under contract to NPL.

Sadly they don’t have a backup clock thingy (“we can put a man on the moon, but TWO clocks?”) so when it is maintained the signal is turned off and clocks just drift. Sometimes wildly.

Here are the current outages:

Essential maintenance work - signal off-air

Please note that the MSF 60 kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be continuously off-air for maintenance work from:

Monday 1 July, 08:00 BST to Friday 5 July, 18:00 BST
- service off-air continuously

Then it will be off during the day from:

Saturday 6 July to Thursday 18 July, between 08:00 BST and 18:00 BST
- service off-air each day (but will be back on air overnight)

So, sadly the inability of this system to have a back-up means many clocks and watches could go wrong in the next few weeks.

It'll be interesting to see whether this has a noticeable affect on PPM.