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Republic of Ireland

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Speed restriction signs on the Irish railways continue to show speeds in miles per hour. The old style of permanent speed restriction sign was a yellow rectangle with black figures [IE.17], while the newer standard design is octagonal in shape [IE.18].

[IE.17] Permanent Speed Restriction Sign. [IE.18] Permanent Speed Restriction Sign. Click Here for Photo

201 Class locomotives are prohibited from normal train working on certain lines, but they may operate in emergencies at reduced speed. A supplementary sign with the legend "201 Class" shows the lower speed that applies, fixed below a standard permanent speed restriction sign [IE.19]. Similar supplementary signs exist with the alternative legend "locomotive".

At some locations, a lower speed applies to locomotive-hauled trains and light engines. A standard permanent speed restriction sign fitted with a supplementary sign reading "loco only" is used for this purpose [IE.20].

[IE.19] Permanent Speed Restriction Sign applicable to 201 Class Locomotives. Click Here for Photo [IE.20] Permanent Speed Restriction Sign applicable to Locomotives.

Permanent speed restriction signs applicable to diverging routes were usually fitted with a directional arrow of some description, mounted either above or below the board. The form of directional arrow was standardised in 2012 as a white arrow on a blue background [IE.21], the same type originally introduced for use with temporary speed restriction warning boards (see [IE.26]).

[IE.21] Permanent Speed Restriction Sign with Directional Arrow (e.g. applicable to right-hand divergence).

Until recently, warning indicators for permanent speed restrictions were not a standard feature in Ireland, and severe reductions in permissible speed were signed as a series of cascaded speed reductions. Following a trial which began in 2017, however, warning indicators similar to the British five-sided design (see [13.54]) are now being provided. In addition, a 'supplementary warning indicator', which is distinguished by having diagonal stripes across its upper edge [IE.22], is placed between the warning indicator and the commencement of the permanent speed restriction, to give drivers an extra warning.

[IE.22] Permanent Speed Restriction Supplementary Warning Indicator.

Temporary speed restrictions (TSRs) are signed with distinctive warning boards, commencement boards and termination boards. All three were originally fitted with a flashing beacon coloured yellow, white and green, respectively. The warning board comprises a yellow triangular board, below which is a circular yellow sign showing the TSR speed in miles per hour [IE.23]. The commencement board is a circular yellow board bearing a letter "C", with the applicable speed shown on a blue plate mounted underneath [IE.24]. The termination board comprises a square yellow board with a letter "T" [IE.25].

[IE.23] TSR Warning Board. [IE.24] TSR Commencement Board. [IE.25] TSR Termination Board.

A warning board will be fitted with a directional arrow [IE.26] if it applies to a TSR on a diverging route. The repeating warning board was introduced in 2002 for use where a station platform or siding is located between the warning board and the commencement board. It has a similar appearance to a normal warning board (see [IE.23]) but with the speed figure replaced by a letter "R" [IE.27]. It is not fitted with a flashing beacon.

[IE.26] TSR Warning Board with Directional Indication (e.g. applicable to TSR on left-hand divergence). [IE.27] TSR Repeating Warning Board.

From 2014, the visibility of the warning boards, repeating warning boards and commencement boards was enhanced by the provision of an additional sign comprising a yellow rectangle with two white spots [IE.28 - IE.30], derived from the contemporary British style of reflectorised TSR warning board (see [14.57]).

[IE.28] TSR Warning Board. [IE.29] TSR Repeating Warning Board. [IE.30] TSR Commencement Board.

To further enhance sighting, the white spots on the warning boards and repeating warning boards were replaced by flashing white lights in 2016 [IE.31 & IE.32]. The commencement boards retained their white spots (see [IE.30]). The replacement of the white spots on warning boards by flashing lights was the reverse of the situation in Great Britain, where white spots had long since replaced the previous flashing white lights on TSR warning boards (see [14.39]).

[IE.31] TSR Warning Board. [IE.32] TSR Repeating Warning Board.

The 'speed prompt warning board' was introduced in 2022 to remind drivers of the TSR speed where a station platform is located between the commencement board and the termination board. It comprises a circular yellow sign showing the TSR speed in miles per hour [IE.33]. If the termination board is less than 300 metres ahead of the platform, then a speed prompt warning board will not be provided.

[IE.33] Speed Prompt Warning Board.