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Section 14: Temporary Speed Restriction Signs

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Reflectorised boards for temporary speed restrictions were introduced from 1996, having been on trial since 1994. While this change did not alter the appearance of most of the boards, the new warning board was given two white spots [14.44 - 14.47] instead of flashing white lights. A revised design of repeating warning board [14.48] was introduced at the same time.

[14.44] Reflectorised Warning Board.
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[14.45] Reflectorised Warning Board for a Differential T.S.R. Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[14.46] Reflectorised Warning Board with Directional Indication (e.g. applicable to T.S.R. on right-hand divergence).
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[14.47] Reflectorised Warning Board with Spate Indication.
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current
[14.48] Repeating Warning Board. Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: High   Status: Current

A track condition that presents itself as a series of regular dips in the vertical alignment is referred to as 'cyclic top'. It has the potential to cause a derailment unless a T.S.R. is imposed. In 1998, a trial of signage indicating a cyclic top restriction [14.49] was carried out between Tonbridge and Redhill.

[14.49] Cyclic Top Restriction Sign.
Area: Tonbridge - Redhill   Usage: Unknown   Status: Historical

A reflectorised version of the emergency indicator without any lights was on trial from 1999. Following comments received from traincrews, a modified indicator was developed in 2000 incorporating two flashing white lights, as per the standard non-reflectorised design.

On 15 January 1999, a passenger train was derailed near Crosby Garrett Tunnel on the Settle & Carlisle Line and struck by a freight train heading south on the opposite line. Debris from a landslip had caused the derailment. A derailment and collision had occurred under similar circumstances on 31 January 1995 at Ais Gill on the same route, and in that incident the guard of the first train was killed by the collision.

Following an investigation into the Crosby Garrett accident, the H.S.E. issued an Improvement Notice on Railtrack requiring that it takes steps to reduce the likelihood of derailment of trains caused by landslip. The resulting arrangements put in place late in 1999 required trains to travel at a reduced speed (20 m.p.h.) during severe weather conditions at particular sites where cuttings or embankments were considered to be vulnerable to landslip. Rain gauges were installed at the sites concerned to enable a decision to be made as to whether a caution should be imposed.

Signs were permanently installed on the approach [14.50], beginning [14.51] and end [14.52] of each caution area. Normally, the boards could be disregarded. On occasions when a caution was to be imposed, the driver of each train would be stopped and verbally instructed to obey the caution boards at all sites between that signal box and the next box. Additionally, the signalman would not allow another train into the affected area until the first train had passed clear.

[14.50] Caution Area Ahead Warning Board.
Area: Settle & Carlisle Line   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical
[14.51] Commencement of Caution Area Board.
Area: Settle & Carlisle Line   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical
[14.52] End of Caution Area Board.
Area: Settle & Carlisle Line   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical

During 2000, lettered boards [14.53 - 14.55] were provided on every caution board to enable each site to be individually identified. The thirteen sites were identified by the letters A to H and J to N. When a caution was to be imposed, the signalman at either Hellifield or Low House Crossing would issue the driver with a form listing at which sites the caution boards were to be obeyed.

[14.53] Caution Area Ahead Warning Board (e.g. site 'A').
Area: Settle & Carlisle Line   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical
[14.54] Commencement of Caution Area Board (e.g. site 'C').
Area: Settle & Carlisle Line   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical
[14.55] End of Caution Area Board (e.g. site 'N').
Area: Settle & Carlisle Line   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical

Following the completion of earth stabilisation works, most of the caution boards were removed in 2005.

In connection with the joint running of heavy rail trains and Tyne & Wear Metro units between Pelaw and Sunderland from 2002 (see Section 13), temporary speed restriction signs require to show speeds in kilometres per hour as well as in miles per hour. The "kmh" speed is shown on a hexagonal board below the miles per hour speed in both the warning board [14.56] and speed indicator [14.57]. Owing to the different conditions applicable only to Metro units, the "kmh" speed is not usually a direct conversion of the speed shown in miles per hour.

[14.56] Warning Board with metric sign applicable to Metro units.
Area: Pelaw - Sunderland (subsequently also Ashford International)   Usage: High   Status: Current
[14.57] Speed Indicator with metric sign applicable to Metro units.
Area: Pelaw - Sunderland (subsequently also Ashford International)   Usage: High   Status: Current

Where an emergency speed restriction exceeded 2 km (1¼ mile) in length, the Rule Book had required the signalman to verbally advise each driver that approached it until such time as they had been informed of the restriction by special advice or notice. This was intended to avoid a situation where a driver assumes he or she has missed the termination indicator (see [14.35]) and accelerates while still inside the restriction. To obviate the requirement for the signalman to verbally advise drivers, special signage was used at Standedge Tunnel on occasions when a 20 m.p.h. emergency speed restriction had to be imposed throughout its entire length (more than 3 miles). In addition to the usual signage, a separate sign worded "tunnel" would be exhibited underneath the speed indicator [14.58]. Similar signs were available for use at Morley and Bramhope Tunnels from 2007. The use of these signs at all three tunnels was discontinued in 2008 when a change to the rules removed the requirement for drivers to be verbally advised of the restriction.

[14.58] Speed Indicator with "Tunnel" Sign.
Area: Various   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

The repeating warning board (see [14.48]) was intended for use only where a distraction (such as a station stop) is located between the warning board and the speed indicator. Although there is no requirement to provide a reminder if the distraction occurs within the temporary speed restriction, i.e. between the speed indicator and the termination indicator, repeater boards have sometimes been provided in that situation. From c.2002, non-standard repeater boards were being provided in some areas for that purpose, comprising a variant of the standard repeating warning board with the two white roundels omitted [14.59 & 14.60].

[14.59] Non-standard Repeater Board. Click Here for Photo
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[14.60] Non-standard Repeater Board. Click Here for Photo
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain