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Section 21: Stopping Markers

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There are certain places where trains regularly have to come to a stand and markers are provided to assist drivers in stopping their trains at the right location, where this is critical for some reason.


A 'car stop marker' marks the point where the front of the train should stop, usually at a station platform. Where a figure is shown [21.1 - 21.4], this applies to a multiple unit train composed of the number of cars indicated. The colours of the earliest car stop markers were in keeping with the particular colour scheme of the company or British Railways region concerned, as was used on station signage.

[21.1] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Southern Railway   Usage: High   Status: Historical
[21.2] Car Stop Marker.
Area: London Midland Region   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical
[21.3] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Western Region   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical
[21.4] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Scottish Region   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical

A car stop marker may show more than one figure where the stopping positions for trains of different lengths coincide [21.5].

[21.5] Car Stop Marker (e.g. London Midland Region).
Area: Various   Usage: High   Status: Historical

Where a letter "S" was shown [21.6] instead of a figure, this indicated that the marker applied to trains of all lengths.

[21.6] "S" Car Stop Marker (e.g. Southern Railway).
Area: Various   Usage: High   Status: Historical

Some stations on the Great Eastern lines have "stop here" indicators to subdivide platforms [21.7]. These are normally extinguished and are illuminated by the signalman only when needed.

[21.7] "Stop Here" Indicator.
Area: Great Eastern lines   Usage: Low   Status: Current

British Rail standardised on a design of car stop marker with the words "car stop" at the bottom. The standard colouring is white figures on a black background [21.8] but this may be varied to match the colour scheme of other signage at the station concerned [21.9]. At 'Network SouthEast' stations, the markers carried appropriate N.S.E. branding [21.10].

[21.8] Car Stop Marker. Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[21.9] Car Stop Marker.
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[21.10] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Network SouthEast   Usage: High   Status: Obsolescent

A car stop marker may show more than one figure where the stopping positions for trains of different lengths coincide [21.11 - 21.15].

[21.11] Car Stop Marker. Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[21.12] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Various   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[21.13] Car Stop Marker. Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[21.14] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[21.15] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

Where a letter "S" is shown [21.16] instead of a figure, this indicates that the marker applies to trains of all lengths.

[21.16] "S" Car Stop Marker.
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current

When construction work is taking place at a station and the full length of the platform is not available for use, a temporary board worded "trains stop here" [21.17] may be erected to indicate the point at which all trains must stop. In the Midlands, a yellow board bearing a letter "S" [21.18] is used for this purpose.

[21.17] "Trains Stop Here" Board.
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[21.18] "S" Board.
Area: Midlands   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

Marker boards may be installed in connection with shunting movements, e.g. to indicate a position that the train must pass beyond before setting back. In most cases, the marker's position will coincide with a track circuit boundary. There are various forms [21.19 - 21.22].

[21.19] Marker Board.
Area: Scottish Region   Usage: Low   Status: Historical
[21.20] Marker Board.
Area: Scottish Region   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[21.21] Marker Post.
Area: Scottish Region   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[21.22] Marker Post.
Area: Scottish and Eastern Regions   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent

On the Southern Region, special stopping markers in the form of a white St. Andrew's cross [21.23 - 21.25] are installed at various places. Generally, these indicate the place where a train should be brought to a stand before setting back into a siding.

[21.23] Stopping Marker.
Area: Southern Region   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[21.24] Stopping Marker.
Area: Southern Region   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[21.25] Stopping Marker.
Area: Southern Region   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain