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Section 8: Overrun Prevention and Mitigation

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Since 2003, it has been permissible to install up to a maximum of six countdown markers on the approach to a single feature. The red diagonal bars are grouped in sets of no more than three. It also became a standard requirement for each countdown marker to include the identity of the signal or other feature it applies to [8.88].

[8.88] Countdown Markers.
Area: All Areas   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

The standard form of line reminder board, introduced in 2003, comprises a white rectangle with a black border and black characters [8.89].

[8.89] Line Reminder Board (e.g. "DA" for 'Down Ayr line'). Click Here for Photo
Area: All Areas   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

At Ipswich, a signal reminder board with the words "check CO799" [8.90] was provided at the exit from the Carriage Sidings, on the approach to shunting signal number CO799. On the approach to London Liverpool Street, one reminder board on the Up Main line applies to the signals on either leg of the divergence ahead (L58 to the left and L56 to the right) [8.91].

[8.90] Signal Reminder Board (e.g. refers to signal number CO799).
Area: Anglia Region   Usage: Low   Status: Current
[8.91] Signal Reminder Board applicable to two signals ahead.
Area: London Liverpool Street   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

Following the opening of Edinburgh Park station in December 2003, temporary "station ahead" signs [8.92] were installed on each rail approach in June 2004. Later in 2004, a temporary signal reminder board [8.93] was installed on the approach to a new signal (number SJ40) at Stanley Junction (Scotland Region).

[8.92] "Station Ahead" Board.
Area: Scotland Region   Usage: Low   Status: Current
[8.93] Signal Reminder Board for a new signal.
Area: Scotland Region   Usage: Low   Status: Current

In November 2005, two countdown markers were provided on the Up direction approach to Chandler's Ford station (Wessex Route), stating the distance to the station [8.94]. Similar markers, which may include one at the ¾ mile (1.2 km) position, have subsequently been installed on the approaches to various other stations on the Wessex and Scotland Routes.

[8.94] Countdown Markers ( (a) - Outer board; (b) - Inner board ).
Area: Wessex and Scotland Routes   Usage: Medium   Status: Uncertain

In March 2006, experimental signs were placed at a distance of one mile (1.6 km) on the approaches to Christchurch and Ashford (Middlesex) stations, in the Down direction only, to help prevent station overruns [8.95].

[8.95] 'Station Ahead' Board (e.g. 1 mile to Christchurch).
Area: South West Trains   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

In March 2007, three signal reminder boards were installed in the vicinity of Garriongill Junction and Law Junction in the Scotland Territory. The triangular warning signs each had a yellow background, despite most of the previous yellow reminder boards in Scotland having been replaced by equivalent signs with a white background and red border (see [8.85 & 8.86]). One reminder board was placed on the approach to signal M534 on the Up Main line at Garriongill Junction, with a white supplementary sign stating the signal number [8.96]. Two identical reminder boards were provided on the approach to signal M541 on the Down Main line at Law Junction, each with a supplementary sign that stated the signal number and the name of the junction [8.97].

[8.96] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Garriongill Junction   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent
[8.97] Signal Reminder Board.
Area: Law Junction   Usage: Low   Status: Obsolescent

Countdown markers on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link are based on the French railways equivalent, known as 'mirlitons', comprising black diagonal bars on a white background [8.98].

[8.98] Countdown Markers ( (a) - Outer board; (b) - Intermediate board; (c) - Inner board ).
Area: CTRL   Usage: Low   Status: Current

Drivers run an increased risk of forgetting to stop at a particular station if not every service is booked to call there. Three stations where this applies are Treforest Estate, Romford (Main line platforms only) and Capenhurst. To prompt drivers to think about whether or not their train is booked to call these stations, reminder signs have been provided at the preceding stations in each direction of travel. Signs bearing the name "Treforest Estate" [8.99] are installed at Treforest in the Down direction and at Taffs Well in the Up direction. In addition to the "station ahead" boards that had previously been installed on each Main line approach to Romford, reminder signs have been provided on some of the platforms at Stratford in the Down direction and at Shenfield in the Up direction. These signs bear the name "Romford" underneath a question mark [8.100]. Reminder signs for Capenhurst station are installed at Bache in the Down direction and Hooton in the Up direction [8.101].

[8.99] Station Reminder Sign.
Area: Treforest / Taffs Well   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[8.100] Station Reminder Sign.
Area: Stratford / Shenfield   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain
[8.101] Station Reminder Sign.
Area: Bache / Hooton   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain

Arriva Trains Wales has introduced a form of signal reminder board with all the lettering contained within an inverted triangle, including the applicable signal number [8.102].

[8.102] Signal Reminder Board (e.g. refers to signal number CN945). Click Here for Photo
Area: Arriva Trains Wales   Usage: Low   Status: Current

In 2013, reminder signs were provided at some Northern Rail stations between Bolton and Salford Crescent in an effort to reduce instances of trains failing to make their booked station stops. The signs contain the text "your next stop is?" in red letters [8.103], without specifying the name of the next station ahead. Similar signs have subsequently been provided in some other areas.

[8.103] Station Reminder Sign.
Area: Various   Usage: Medium   Status: Current

A gantry carrying colour light signals may span other tracks for which no signal is provided. This can create the risk of a driver taking the wrong signal as applying to his or her train, particularly if the track furthest to the left has no signal. A solution is to provide a 'fake signal' in place of the absent signal. This consists of a black plate with a white diagonal cross [8.104], thus presenting a similar appearance to the cover applied to a colour light signal not in use.

[8.104] Blank Signal Plate.
Area: Various   Usage: Low   Status: Uncertain