British railway signals

British Railway Signals

British railway signals

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Modern British signalling is based on a two, three, and four aspect colour light system using non-permissive block rules. It is a basic progression of the original semaphore signalling that can still be found on many secondary lines. The use of lineside signals in Britain is restricted to railways with a maximum permissible speed of up to .

Main signals

Semaphore signal indications

<gallery heights="108px">Image:Signal Home Semaphore R & G.svg|Semaphore stop signal (lower quadrant type)Image:Signal Distant Semaphore Y & G.svg|Semaphore distant signal (lower quadrant type)Image:Signal Home & Distant Semaphore RYG.svg|Combined semaphore stop and distant signals (lower quadrant type)</gallery>Semaphore signals exist in both lower quadrant and upper quadrant forms. Both types have the same meanings. From the 1920s onwards, upper quadrant semaphores almost totally supplanted lower quadrant signals in Great Britain, except on former GWR lines.Vanns, M.A., (1995), Signalling in the Age of Steam, Ian Allan, ISBN 0-7110-2350-6, p.80 Current British practice mandates that semaphore signals, both upper and lower quadrant types, are inclined at an angle of 45° from horizontal to display an off indication.

A stop signal comprises a red arm with a square end and a white band. In the horizontal position, the meaning is stop (red light at night). When the arm is inclined, the meaning is proceed (green...
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