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Traffic Signboards used by Indian Railways

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Have you ever seen the traffic signboards on roadside. I am sure you must have seen and you may also know how they help in safe movements of vehicles on road. Today I will discuss the traffic signboards that are used by Indian Railways for safe movement of trains on its tracks. So after reading this OpenGenus article your train journey is going to be more enjoyable if you will sit on window side and will observe these signboards and understand their meaning that they convey to Locopilots. So lets start.

These signboards are of two types:

  • Traffic signboards
  • Engineering signboards

Traffic Signboards

The traffic signboards are used to impose some permanent restrictions to moving trains and are used to ensure safe movement of trains or to warn locopilots of potential danger to the train. So lets discuss them.

Fouling Mark


This board is mounted at the point where two tracks intersect or cross each other. This board is meant to avoid side collisions of 2 trains if one train is standing and another approaching the crossing point. This board can be identified by a concrete slab in which word 'F M' is written in black ink.

Fog Signal Post


This board is mounted in the fog prone areas 270 meters before the home signal of the station. This board is identified as iron sleeper painted with white and black stripes. During foggy situation station staff attach detonators on tracks near to the post which explodes when train passes on them to indicate presence of board and upcoming signal ahead.

Visibility Testing Object


This is a self illuminated signboard that are mounted at a distance of 180 meteres at both sides of station master's cabin. This board is a iron sleeper painted with yellow and black stripes and a light is mounted on its front to illuminate the board during night. During foggy situation or adverse weather if the board is not visible by station master he will understand that the visibility of station is very poor and will take appropriate actions to ensure safe movement of trains.

Shunting Limit Board


This is a board that is fixed at the stations where there is no advanced starter signal in single line section. The board is a vertical rectangle painted in yellow colour and a cross is drawn in black with horizontal line drawn below the cross and below the line word 'SLB' written. It has a provision of fixing light in the circular section on the top of the board. Any shunting operation beyond this board shall be done by taking permission from adjacent station's station master.

Block Section Limit Board


This board appears same and functions same as SLB board but BSLB is written in black in place of SLB and it is used on double line sections.

Passenger Warning Board


This board is of rectangular shape in which thick black and yellow strips are drawn. This board warns Locopilot of Passenger trains that he is approaching signals of station. It is mounted at the distance of 1000 meters from first stop signal of station.

Goods Warning Board/ Admiral Board


It is a black rectangular board in which 2 horizontal yellow lines are there and between them there is a yellow circle. This board is mounted at 1400 meters from the first stop signal of station. This board warns Locopilot of goods trains that he is approaching signals of station.

Advanced Approach Warning system board


This board is used in the sections where train speed is more than 120 kmph and it is mounted at the distance of 1800 meters from first stop signal of station. It is a circular yellow board with thin black strips. Near this board there is a track magnet mounted on tracks. Whenever the train crosses on the magnet. A magnetic flux detector mounted underneath the locomotive will give warning sounds to locopilot, if locopilot does not take any action for 5 seconds brakes will be applied till train speed drops to 100 kmph.

D Class Station Board


It is a white coloured rectangular board in which a black circle is drawn on center. It is mounted on D class stations which are situated on curves and turnings. It is mounted 500 meters before the station. After seeing the board Locopilot will honk continuously to alert the passengers on station about approaching of train.

Outlaying Siding Board


This board is mounted on sections from where there is a diversion for siding. This board is mounted 30 meters before siding. It is a yellow circular board with 'S' written in black.

Engine Stop Board

This board is mounted at D Class station where there is no signals. Locopilot will stop his Locomotive near this board. This board is a yellow vertical rectangular with 'Engine Stop' written in Hindi or English.

Engineering Sign Boards

This type of signboards are used by Engineering department of Railways to warn Locopilots about possible risks, and work going on tracks. So lets see them one by one.

Caution Board


This board is mounted before 1000 meters of Speed restriction board, Stop board or any other obstruction to warn Locopilots about approaching obstacles. This board is of fish tail shaped with 2 black triagles facing each other in center and 2 black circles at side.

Speed Limit Board


This board is mounted on the tracks where train should pass at restricted speed. This is yellow triangular shape with speed limit needs to be followed written in black. It is mandatory to use caution board before 1000 meters of this board.

Stop Indicator


This board is mounted 30 meters before the obstacle where train needs to stop. It is a red coloured rectangular board with 2 white strips at both end and a red circle painted inside the strips. A worker of engineering dept. will stand near the board holding a register. When the train will stop near board the worker will give the register to Locopilot in which he will give details of his train and will sign and return the register. After getting green hand signal Locopilot will proceed.

Termination Board


It is a yellow coloured signboard with 'T/P' or 'T/G' written in black colour.
This board indicates that the speed restriction imposed on train is now over and Locopilot can now increase the speed. 'T/P' board is for Passenger trains and 'T/G' is for Goods train.

Continuous Gradient


It is a yellow circular board with 'C' written in black colour and an arrow indicating down or upgradient. It is located in ghat sections where there is a chance of running out of control in downgradients or stalling in upgradients.

Whistle Board


This board is mounted on the tracks where there may be visibility constraints or there may be a blind spot. This board indicates to honk continuously to alert people or animals coming on tracks or to alert Engineering Department workers working on tracks. It is square shaped board with 'W' or 'Si' in hindi written in black.

Level Crossing Whistle Board


It is also a yellow square board in which 'W/L' or 'Si/Faa' written in English or Hindi respectively. This board indicates about upcoming level crossing and honk continuosly when approaching the same.

In this way you now know what these signboards mean. So next time when you travel by train sitting on window side you will understand their meanings and will enjoy the journey more. Hope you enjoyed reading the article at OpenGenus.

Traffic Signboards used by Indian Railways
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