BRITISH RAILWAYS 1920 - 1970

 

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HAND AND LAMP SIGNALS, AND TRAIN LAMPS

Hand-held signals: lamp and flag signals

Hand signals are made with flags by day, and with lamps by night, or in tunnels, or during fog or falling snow (Rule 50). A red hand signal indicates danger, and, except as shown below, must be used only when necessary to stop a train. In the absence of a red light, any light waved violently denotes danger.

Red lamps, held steadily, were used to supplement the aspect of distant signals, in which red lights were used, in the cases of fog, falling snow, a defective signal or single line working.

Yellow hand signals were used in similar circumstances, where distant signals used yellow lights, and to authorise a driver to pass a multiple aspect signal which was out of order.

The purposes for which a white hand signal were used are as follows:

Signal Movement of signal, etc
   
move away from signal in shunting slowly up and down
move towards signal in shunting side to side slowly across body
to show to passenger guard that the train may proceed held steadily by person in charge
to show guard that the driver is carrying a single line staff held steadily by signalman
to indicate to signalman that the points require to be turned moved quickly overhead by guard or shunter

 

The purposes for which a green hand signal were used are as follows:

Signal Movement of signal etc
   
move slowly away from signal in shunting slowly up and down
move slowly towards signal in shunting side to side slowly across body
guard's signal to driver to start and to indicate that guard or shunter has rejoined train steady light or waved flag above head
to indicate by night to fireman of goods train after starting that train is complete slowly side to side by guard
to indicate to driver that train is divided slowly side to side by signalman
to give a Clear signal to driver where there is no starting signal held steadily by signalman
to authorise a driver to pass starting or advanced starting signal at Danger for shunting purposes as above
to authorise a driver to move after having been stopped at signalbox as above
to indicate to driver and guard during fog or falling snow that the signal is at Clear held steadily by fogman
to reduce speed for permanent way work slowly side to side by hand signalman
to give Clear signal to driver when fixed signal (other than amultiple aspect signal) is out of order held steadily by hand signalman at signal
to authorise driver to draw forward to signalbox when fixed signal is out of order and before hand signalman has arrived held steadily by signalman at the box
to indicate to driver that section is clear, but station or junction is blocked held steadily by signalman as train approaches box or after giving a verbal warning
to indicate to driver of goods train timed to stop at a station that there is nothing to pick up and if there is nothing to put off, the train it need not stop slowly up and down
to indicate that catch points, spring points, or unworked trailing points are in right position for train to pass in facing direction held steadily by hand signalman at points
to caution driver entering terminal station, or station worked under special instructions if line is not clear held steadily by signalman after bringing train to a stand and giving verbal caution
to caution driver of following train when permissive block system is in operation as above

 

Arm signals

In the absence of flags the following arm signals were used:

Danger or Stop both arms raised above head
(or when riding on a vehicle) (either arm moved up and down)
Caution or Slow Down either arm held in a horizontal position and the hand moved up and down
All Right either arm held above head
Move away from hand signal either arm moved in a circular manner away from the body
Move towards hand signal either arm moved across and towards the body at shoulder level

Train tail lamps and side lamps

Any train must display a red lamp at the rear to signify that it is complete. On locomotive-hauled stock the lamp was commonly fitted on the most accessible (nearside) lamp-iron. Exceptionally, two lamps were displayed in vertical array, to indicate that the train had been divided and that the second portion was following. Two lamps were also shown on the L.N.E.R. streamlined stock. Three lamps in a triangular array were displayed on certain lines pre-war.

Side lamps were formerly displayed, for example near the guard's compartment, until the practice was discontinued by all of the main-line companies in 1933.

 

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COPYRIGHT R.D.LAKE 2009