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Section 8: Over-run Prevention and Mitigation

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In 1990, notice boards were placed on each rail approach to Irvine station (Scottish Region) for the purpose of preventing station over-runs. These were square white boards bearing the words "Irvine station 1000yds" surrounded by a yellow border [8.21].

[8.21] 'Station Ahead' Board. Click Here for Photo
Area: Irvine   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

Five experimental boards were installed between Chichester and Warblington (Southern Region) when the line was resignalled in 1992. These comprised a white triangular board with a red border and a large exclamation mark [8.22]. Each board was installed at generally 650 yards on the approach to a stop signal, and all but one were accompanied by an AWS warning indication. These boards were intended to assist drivers in locating the signals concerned. They were removed in 1999.

[8.22] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Chichester - Warblington   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

There may be reasons why a particular colour light main signal or position light shunting signal should be made more conspicuous than normal. This could be because of problems with misreading where signals are positioned alongside one another, or because the signal concerned has a history of being passed at 'danger'. The solution most commonly adopted, from 1994, was to fit a blue and white diagonally striped surround around the signal head [8.23]. This primarily assists with close-range viewing. In some instances where a striped surround was fitted, the signal's identification plate was replaced by one that had a blue background (see [9.54]).

[8.23] Signal with blue and white striped surround ( (a) - colour light signal; (b) - position light signal ). Click Here for Photo
Area: Predominately Southern and North West Zones   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

Some of the stop signals identified as having a potentially higher risk of being passed at 'danger' are those located some distance ahead of a station platform (or other distraction) and not visible from the platform. There is a danger that a driver could forget the previous caution aspect while stopped at the station and accelerate away, unable to stop at the next signal when it suddenly comes into view. To help prevent such an occurrence, signs of a new design were installed ahead of Glengarnock station on the Scotland Zone in 1994 [8.24]. Also in 1994, further installations of notice boards to prevent station overshoots were made on the Scotland Zone [8.25].

[8.24] Signal Reminder Board (e.g. refers to signal number PG182).
Area: Glengarnock   Usage: Low   Status: Historical
[8.25] 'Station Ahead' Board (e.g. 1000 yards to Kilpatrick station).
Area: Scotland Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

Line reminder signs were installed at the north end of Vauxhall station, adjacent to each line. The signs have black letters on a white background and an arrow pointing towards the relevant track [8.26]. Between Vauxhall and London Waterloo, in both directions, small line reminder boards were attached to the rear sides of the signal gantries, above each line [8.27].

[8.26] Line Reminder Sign (e.g. "DN WF" = Down Windsor Fast).
Area: Vauxhall   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[8.27] Line Reminder Board (fitted to rear of gantry) (e.g. "UP MF" = Up Main Fast).
Area: Vauxhall - London Waterloo   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain

Line reminder boards have been installed at a number of signals within complex layouts, mostly those that are mounted on gantries. The boards generally had black characters on a white background [8.28], except that those on the Great Western and Southern Zones usually had a yellow background [8.29].

[8.28] Line Reminder Board with white background (e.g. "UG" = Up Goods).
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[8.29] Line Reminder Board with yellow background (e.g. "UBS" = Up Brighton Slow).
Area: Great Western and Southern Zones   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent

Following a series of high-profile accidents resulting from SPADs, the 'SPAD indicator' was introduced as a secondary warning device, to be placed ahead of selected 'high risk' signals. The signals involved have often tended to be platform starting signals that protect junctions. In normal circumstances, a SPAD indicator is unlit, but will be activated in the event of an associated signal being passed at 'danger'. When activated, the original form of indicator displayed the word "stop" vertically in red illuminated letters, with flashing red lights above and below [8.30]. Only two examples of this type were ever installed, the first beyond signal S198 at Meadowhall in October 1994 and the second beyond signal L293 at Maryland in April 1996. Later SPAD indicators installed in 1996 were based around a conventional three-aspect colour light signal head, with a distinctive blue backboard to avoid them being mistaken as defective colour light signals when unlit. All three lenses were red, and the middle one had the word "stop" written across it. When activated, the top and bottom lights flash, and the middle light shows a steady red [8.31]. Further installations made from 1996 onwards omitted the word "stop" on the middle lens [8.32]. Since the introduction of the Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS), which can intervene to stop a train, very few new SPAD indicators were provided and some existing examples have been removed.

[8.30] SPAD Indicator.
Area: Meadowhall / Maryland   Usage: Low   Status: Historical
[8.31] SPAD Indicator.
Area: All Areas   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[8.32] SPAD Indicator.
Area: All Areas   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent

From c.1996, many more 'high risk' signals were provided with signal reminder boards, placed some distance on the approach. The design of sign that was being installed at this time did not state the number of the signal ahead [8.33]. This type of sign was used in the Scotland Zone. There were similar signs in the Midlands Zone, and in some cases an additional plate stated the distance to the signal [8.34].

[8.33] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Scotland and Midlands Zones   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[8.34] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Scotland and Midlands Zones   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent

From 1996, signal reminder boards with a yellow background were being provided on the East Anglia Zone. Two such boards were installed at Bethnal Green in 1998, one at 200 metres, followed by another at 100 metres before the signal concerned [8.35]. A similar board installed later in 1998 at Shenfield had a yellow supplementary sign [8.36]. Signal reminder boards with a yellow background were also being installed on the Great Western Zone from 1999.

[8.35] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: East Anglia and Great Western Zones   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent
[8.36] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: East Anglia Zone   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent

The remodelling of London Paddington in 1993 provided six bi-directionally signalled lines on the approach to the station, numbered 'Line 1' to 'Line 6'. To help drivers identify which signal applied to their train, line reminder boards were installed in December 1996 showing the line name within a symbol, the shape of which was unique to that line [8.37]. The boards were mounted beside the gantry-mounted signal heads and in the four-foots, in rear of the relevant AWS magnets. These boards were removed in 2003.

[8.37] Line Reminder Boards.
Area: London Paddington   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

Where a signal has been provided with a special surround to make it more conspicuous (see [8.23]), this is usually done in conjunction with other measures, such as the provision of additional signs in the signal's vicinity. In December 1996, two consecutive signals on the Up Slow line between Millbrook and Southampton (numbers E750 and E744) were each provided with a blue plate worded "Up Slow" [8.38] directly below their main signal heads, which had blue and white striped surrounds. Where a platform starting signal has been given a special surround, there will typically be one or more signs nearby worded "check signal" [8.39 - 8.41], positioned so as to be visible to a driver in the cab while stopped at the station.

[8.38] Line Reminder Sign.
Area: Millbrook - Southampton   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[8.39] "Check Signal" Sign.
Area: Southern Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[8.40] "Check Signal" Sign.
Area: North West Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[8.41] "Check Signal" Sign. Click Here for Photo
Area: Midlands Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain