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Section 25: Miscellaneous Signs and Indicators

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The Class 465 'Networker' electric multiple units were introduced on the Southern Region from 1992, but were prohibited from running over certain routes. A sign was erected at the point beyond which these trains must not proceed, bearing a red diagonal cross within a blue border, at the top of which was the legend "Networker" in white [25.34]. Similar signs applicable to Class 373 (Eurostar) trains were identified by the legend "TMST" (for "Transmanche Super Train") in yellow, and the red cross was on a yellow background [25.35]. Since being adopted as a standard sign (with a white background and lettering) for use across the whole network, other varieties have appeared with alternative legends such as "electric trains", to denote prohibitions to specific types of trains.

[25.34] Train Class Specific 'No Entry' Sign (e.g. applicable to Class 465 trains).
Area: Southern Region (subsequently All Areas)   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[25.35] Train Class Specific 'No Entry' Sign applicable to Class 373 trains.
Area: Southern Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

The opening of the line to the Channel Tunnel (from 1993) brought with it the need to identify the boundary between the different infrastructure controllers. At each boundary point, two signs are provided on one post. The top sign shows the identity of the infrastructure controller whose territory begins at the boundary point, and the lower sign, on which a red diagonal cross is superimposed, shows the name of the infrastructure controller whose territory is being exited [25.36]. The change of applicable Rule Book occurs as soon as the front of the train has passed the sign.

The codes used were:

  • "BR" = British Rail
  • "ET" = Eurotunnel
[25.36] Rule Book Change Sign (e.g. from BR to Eurotunnel territory).
Area: Cheriton   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

In 1994, special restriction signs were installed at four sites on Birmingham's Cross-City Line (Midlands Zone) where rapid wheel and rail wear had been experienced. A triangular sign with an exclamation mark [25.37] denoted the start of each restriction, and a circular sign with a black diagonal band [25.38] marked the end. Both signs were based on ordinary road signs. Drivers of particular classes of multiple units were required to use a low power setting between the commencement and termination signs. These signs were removed in 1999.

[25.37] Special Restriction Commencement Sign.
Area: Cross-City Line   Usage: Low   Status: Historical
[25.38] Special Restriction Termination Sign.
Area: Cross-City Line   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

In 1974, a marker board in the form of a white diamond with a black border [25.39] was installed on the Up Main line at Draycott (London Midland Region), positioned 300 yards beyond a trailing crossover. When the front of a train reached this marker board after having passed through the crossover, the driver was informed that its rear end was clear of the points.

Since the mid 1990s, a new style of 'rear clear' (or 'end of restriction') marker has been installed at various locations to advise drivers when the rear of their train is clear of a specific position, such as a neutral section, conductor rail gap, or the end of a speed restriction. When this sign is passed, the driver may close the circuit breaker or accelerate, as appropriate. These 'rear clear' markers have a solid black triangle on a white circular background [25.40]. They may also bear a legend at the top, denoting the type of train or length of train to which they apply, or a reference to the related infrastructure feature [25.41].

[25.39] 'Rear Clear' Marker.
Area: Draycott   Usage: Low   Status: Historical
[25.40] 'Rear Clear' Marker.
Area: All Areas   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[25.41] 'Rear Clear' Marker (e.g. "TMST" = Transmanche Super Train). Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current

By 2003, new Rule Book Change signs were being installed with a white background [25.42] instead of the original black background (see [25.36]).

The following codes are used:

  • "CCRRB" = CTRL Construction Railway Rule Book
  • "CTRL" = Channel Tunnel Rail Link
  • "ET" = Eurotunnel
  • "NR" = Network Rail
  • "RT" or "RTK" = Railtrack
  • "TMD" = Temple Mills Depot
[25.42] Rule Book Change Sign (e.g. from Railtrack to CTRL territory). Click Here for Photo
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) was equipped with TVM cab signalling from the opening of its first stage in 2003. A feature of the TVM system is the provision of emergency replacement switches in groups at the lineside. These switches may be used for emergency purposes or for the protection of maintenance teams. When an emergency replacement switch is operated, a red cab indication will be received by any train inside the relevant area. Each group of emergency replacement switches is marked by a sign bearing a hollow red triangle on a white background [25.43], which in most cases will be found affixed to the post of a block marker (front and rear) (see [12.21]). This sign was first used on the high speed lines in France.

[25.43] Sign marking the position of a group of emergency replacement switches. Click Here for Photo
Area: CTRL   Usage: High   Status: Current

Hot Axle Box Detectors (HABDs) are installed on running lines at certain locations. These sites are not normally marked by lineside signs; however, triangular signs with the letters "HABD" [25.44] have been provided on the East Anglia Zone in some places.

[25.44] "HABD" Sign.
Area: East Anglia Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

In July 2006, Rule Book Change signs in a diagonal format [25.45] (matching those in use in France) were provided at London St. Pancras.

The following codes were used:

  • "CTRL" = Channel Tunnel Rail Link
  • "NR" = Network Rail

These signs were replaced by the usual square pattern (see [25.42]) in March 2008.

[25.45] Rule Book Change Sign (e.g. from CTRL to Network Rail territory). Click Here for Photo
Area: London St. Pancras   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

In 2007, a variant form of 'rear clear' marker (see [25.40]) was provided between the Down Through Siding and the Up Through Siding at Tyseley. This sign, which has no relevance to train drivers, has an inverted black triangle on a white circular background [25.46]. Its purpose is to assist the signalmen at Tyseley No.1 signal box in observing that a train is not standing foul of the crossover points, as there are no track circuits.

[25.46] 'Rear Clear' Sign.
Area: Tyseley   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

Network Rail was encouraged by the government to develop procedures to enable passenger trains to be moved forward to stations past two or more failed signals during periods of significant disruption. Trials of "emergency special working", a modified form of temporary block working, commenced on the Wessex Route c.2012. Emergency special working can only be implemented on lines worked by the Track Circuit Block system, excluding single lines, and is applied between a signal on the approach to the affected area, which is maintained at 'danger', and a working signal at a suitable location at or beyond the affected area. This location must be clearly identifiable to drivers, for example a station or level crossing, and if necessary it will be marked by a temporary yellow sign bearing the letters "EW" and a red diagonal stripe [25.47]. Each driver is required to fill in a form in accordance with the signalman's instructions before proceeding through the affected area at reduced speed. The rules for emergency special working came into effect nationally in 2018.

[25.47] Emergency Special Working Termination Indicator.
Area: Wessex Route (subsequently All Areas)   Usage: Medium   Status: Current