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Section 21: Stopping Markers

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At a few stations, signs or indicators are provided to mark the point at which platforms are subdivided for platform sharing purposes. At Bristol Temple Meads, boards showing a diagonal yellow cross on a black background [21.23] were provided in 1970 to subdivide the through platforms into two parts, each of which had separate platform numbers. Drivers had to deduce from the route indication (i.e. the platform number) displayed at the previous main signal whether or not the train must be stopped at the indicator board. If signalled to stop at the board, the train was not then permitted to pass it unless a handsignal was given by the person in charge of the platform.

[21.23] Platform Demarcation Board.
Area: Bristol Temple Meads   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical

On the Southern Region, special stopping markers in the form of a white St. Andrew's cross [21.24 - 21.26] 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.

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

'Standard length units' (SLUs) were introduced c.1969 as a measure of train length, where one SLU is equal to 21 feet. Train length marker boards for freight trains may specify the length in SLUs [21.27 - 21.30].

[21.27] Train Length Marker Board.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[21.28] Train Length Marker Board.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[21.29] Train Length Marker Board.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[21.30] Train Length Marker Board.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain

Train length marker boards may refer to wagons of a specific type, such as "HAA" (a type of coal hopper) [21.31 & 21.32]. Other legends include "MGR" for Merry-Go-Round and "FLV" for Freightliner vehicles.

[21.31] Train Length Marker Board (e.g. 32 wagons of HAA type).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[21.32] Train Length Marker Board (e.g. 36 wagons of HAA type).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain

In July 1975, three car stop markers were placed at different positions in the 'four-foot' (between the running rails) of the Down platform line at James Street station (Liverpool). Drivers were required to stop at the marker bearing a letter relating to the destination of their train, i.e. "R" for Rock Ferry services, "B" for New Brighton services and "K" for West Kirby services [21.33]. These markers were installed two weeks before the line beyond James Street station to Liverpool Central Low Level station was closed in preparation for the construction of the Liverpool Loop line.

[21.33] Car Stop Marker.
Area: James Street   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

Dedicated stop markers were provided in connection with the introduction of the Class 253 and 254 'High Speed Trains', which comprised a number of coaches with a diesel locomotive at each end. In some cases, these stop markers consisted of a sign bearing just a letter "H" [21.34], although in many places the standard form of car stop marker was used, with the usual figure being replaced by a letter "H" [21.35].

Stop markers for High Speed Trains were provided at certain terminal stations on the Western Region. These consisted of a yellow sphere or segmented yellow disc suspended above the driver's eye level [21.36].

[21.34] "H" Stop Marker.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[21.35] "H Car Stop" Marker.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[21.36] HST Stop Marker.
Area: Western Region   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

Stop markers applicable to the Advanced Passenger Train (Prototype) (APT-P) were provided at Glasgow Central High Level and Motherwell stations (Scottish Region) in 1980. Each marker comprised a black square bearing a letter "S" in white and smaller letters "APT" arranged vertically on the right [21.37]. Drivers of the APT were required to stop the train immediately they lost sight of the marker, which was positioned in the 'four-foot' ahead of the actual stopping point.

[21.37] APT Stop Marker.
Area: Glasgow Central / Motherwell   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

In June 1981, stop markers with red and white diagonal stripes [21.38] were positioned on the buffer stops of Platforms 6 and 7 at Glasgow Queen Street High Level station. Drivers of High Speed Trains running into either of these platforms were required to stop the train immediately they lost sight of the marker board. Both marker boards were removed in 2016.

[21.38] HST Stop Marker Board. Click Here for Photo
Area: Glasgow Queen Street   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

The standard form of car stop marker may bear letters in place of the usual figure, to denote a specific type of train to which it applies [21.39].

'Gatwick Express' services began in 1984, running between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria stations. Car stop markers applicable to these trains were prefixed with the letters "GX" [21.40].

[21.39] Car Stop Marker (e.g. applicable to HSTs).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[21.40] Car Stop Marker for Gatwick Express trains (e.g. 6 cars).
Area: London Victoria - Gatwick Airport   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

A stop marker that bears one or more codes representing the type(s) of trains to which it applies may have the word "stop" at the bottom [21.41 & 21.42].

The types of trains to which these markers may apply are identified by the following letters:

The type of train may alternatively be spelled out in full [21.43].

[21.41] Stop Marker (e.g. applicable to loco-hauled trains).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[21.42] Stop Marker (e.g. applicable to DVTs and HSTs).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current
[21.43] Stop Marker (e.g. applicable to Cross Country trains).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

Some later types of stop markers for High Speed Trains only apply to trains composed of the specified number of vehicles [21.44 - 21.46].

[21.44] HST Stop Marker (e.g. 2 power cars plus 9 coaches).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[21.45] HST Stop Marker (e.g. 10 cars).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain
[21.46] HST Stop Marker (e.g. 2 power cars plus 7 or 8 coaches).
Area: Various   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

In June 1986, British Rail's London & South East sector was re-branded as "Network SouthEast". Network SouthEast branding was applied to its trains and its stations, including even the car stop markers on station platforms [21.47].

[21.47] Car Stop Marker.
Area: Network SouthEast   Usage: High   Status: Obsolescent

In May 1987, a series of stop markers was installed at 21 yard intervals beyond each platform at Leighton Buzzard station and beyond the Down Slow line platform at Bletchley station. Each marker showed a number between 10 and 13 on a yellow background [21.48], and they only applied to certain train services when conveying more than nine vehicles. The driver was required to stop the front of the locomotive opposite the marker corresponding to the number of vehicles in the train, providing that the signal at the end of the platform was displaying a 'proceed' aspect.

[21.48] Stop Marker.
Area: Leighton Buzzard / Bletchley   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical

In February 1988, the original platform demarcation boards at Bristol Temple Meads (see [21.23]) were replaced by double-sided indicators showing a black St. Andrew's cross on a permanently illuminated white background or, in the case of Platforms 5 and 6, reflectorised boards [21.49]. The reflectorised boards on Platforms 5 and 6 were replaced by illuminated indicators in May 1990. Changes made to the working of the through platforms in November 1996 required that drivers obtain authority from the signalman before passing one of these indicators, telephones being provided for that purpose. All the St. Andrew's cross indicators were replaced by colour light signals in April 2018.

[21.49] St. Andrew's Cross Indicator. Click Here for Photo
Area: Bristol Temple Meads   Usage: Medium   Status: Historical