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Section 8: Overrun Prevention and Mitigation

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Where a signal has been provided with a special surround to make it more conspicuous (see [8.25]), 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

Line reminder boards of a circular shape [8.42] have been provided at some locations (e.g. between Manchester Piccadilly and Ardwick Junction).

[8.42] Line Reminder Board (e.g. "DE" for 'Down East line').
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Obsolescent

In March 1998, 'station ahead' boards of a new design were installed on the Up direction approach to Falkirk High station (Scotland Zone). Two boards were provided, one after the other, each comprising a plain white triangular board with a red border, surmounting a supplementary plate. The first plate reads "station ahead" [8.43], while the second one also gives the distance to the station [8.44]. The name of the station is not stated on either sign.

[8.43] "Station Ahead" Board (Outer board).
Area: Scotland Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[8.44] "Station Ahead" Board (Inner board).
Area: Scotland Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

Position light shunting signal number W1123 is located beyond the carriage washing machine at Wimbledon Depot. Sighting of the signal is obscured by the washing machine. To draw drivers' attention to the signal, a large board worded "beware 1123" was erected on the approach [8.45]. In April 2001, the board was replaced in a slightly different position by a similar board with a much enlarged text size. A similar but smaller sign was subsequently provided for the opposing position light signal, number W1124.

[8.45] "Beware" Sign.
Area: Wimbledon   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

In March 1999, a signal reminder board with supplementary sign worded "signal ahead" (see [8.33]) was installed at Stourbridge Junction on the Midlands Zone. Following drivers' comments, the supplementary sign was altered to specify the relevant signal number [8.46], and the triangular part of the sign was increased in size.

In August 1999, signal reminder boards with a yellow background were installed at Largin and St. Austell on the Great Western Zone. The supplementary sign at each board states the distance to the signal ahead as well as its number [8.47].

Signal reminder boards installed on the Midlands Zone from later in 1999 have supplementary signs that state the distance to the signal ahead as well as its number [8.48].

[8.46] Signal Reminder Board (e.g. refers to signal number SJ89).
Area: Midlands Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[8.47] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Great Western Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[8.48] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Midlands Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

A signal that possessed one of the worst SPAD incidence records in the whole country was signal number WS307 at Harrow & Wealdstone (Midlands Zone). This is a position light shunting signal controlling the exit from the reversing siding to the north of the station, on the DC electrified line. London Underground Bakerloo Line trains regularly run into this siding to turn back before heading south again. 'Train Ready To Start' plungers are provided at the signal, but on several occasions, the LUL drivers had pressed the plunger then set off without checking the signal's aspect. The initial course of action, implemented around July 1999, was to elevate the signal to drivers' eye level and to fit a board worded "obey signal WS307" to the signal post [8.49].

[8.49] "Obey Signal WS307" Sign.
Area: Harrow & Wealdstone   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

DRA reminder signs were provided at Ashtead and Balham stations (Southern Zone) in 1999 for trial purposes. These comprised small signs placed near the car stop markers (see Section 21), worded "D.R.A. reminder" and bearing a picture of a red signal [8.50]. This acts as a reminder to the driver to set the 'driver's reminder appliance' (DRA) if the platform starting signal (where provided) is at 'danger' or if the previous signal was displaying 'caution' (where no platform starting signal is provided). From 2001, DRA reminder signs were provided at a number of stations operated by South West Trains. Similar signs have subsequently been provided in some other areas.

[8.50] DRA Reminder Sign. Click Here for Photo
Area: Various   Usage: High   Status: Current

Signal T22 on the Up London Bridge Slow line at Norwood Junction (Southern Zone) was one of the worst multi-SPAD signals. As a mitigation measure, countdown markers (see [8.21]) were installed on its approach in October 1999. Additionally, the outer countdown marker, which was about 300 metres from the signal, was accompanied by a line reminder sign stating the signal number [8.51]. A similar sign was also placed on the Up London Bridge Fast line approaching signal T20, which is mounted to the right of T22 on the same gantry. A further line reminder sign, with a yellow background [8.52], was placed immediately alongside signal T22.

[8.51] Line Reminder Sign.
Area: Norwood Junction   Usage: Low   Status: Historical
[8.52] Line Reminder Sign.
Area: Norwood Junction   Usage: Low   Status: Historical

From October 1999, the Scotland Zone began to install signal reminder boards with a yellow background [8.53], in some cases supplanting the earlier style boards. Where the board was associated with a platform starting signal and installed just a few feet in rear of the signal, the supplementary sign was replaced by a large arrow sign, which pointed towards the track [8.54].

[8.53] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Scotland Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[8.54] Signal Reminder Board. Click Here for Photo
Area: Scotland Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

In November 1999, signal distance information boards were provided on the approach to two signals on the Midlands Zone, one at Smethwick Galton Bridge and the other at Nuneaton. The distance to the signal, and its number, are stated on the board, which has a red border [8.55].

[8.55] Signal Distance Information Board.
Area: Midlands Zone   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

To help distinguish the line of approach to signal RY152 at Rugby, the support of the overbridge immediately behind the signal was coloured with alternate blue and white bands [8.56]. This was done in December 1999, following a number of SPADs at the adjacent signal, number RY151, which was positioned to the right of RY152 on the same gantry.

[8.56] Blue and white bands on bridge support.
Area: Rugby   Usage: Low   Status: Historical