By Deepu Dharmarajan
Posted 19 days Ago

Signalling Downstream Power Supply


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1. Introduction

As Signalling system and its elements  seeks 100% availability in almost all units and subsystems. Seamless power supplies are required for all electrical products to drive and achieve highest level of availability .It is possible to achieve various levels of redundancy based on end operators requirement and capacity to invest to make it 100% available at all time !

We can categorize Signalling power supply into centralized and distributed .Centralized are the one which Signalling Equipment Room  has its own feeders with alternate sources of upstream supply with UPS back up (Number of Hours for  back up needed are decided by the operator) and feeding into wayside location cases along the line  ,where as distributed option has individual Main and alternate feeders available at each location cases /huts along the line with relevant UPS back up.

Both has its own pros and cons .For a centralized power supply ,it requires higher capacity feeders and bigger dia conductors to reticulate into trackside location cases. Alternatively can step up the source at SER and step down at location cases to reduce cable cost.Where as distributed system requires main source feeder and alternate  feeder at each location .Selection shall be based on budget and trade off between pros & cons for both system.

2. Steps to design the power supply

There are many practices which could be implemented .Below steps are the one I apply for designing a power supply system if something specific is not asked for .It depends on individual designers /employers/operators practice

  1. Familiarize end operators requirements from contract or detailed specification.
  2. Understand country based standards required to be applied for the system.
  3. Gather power supply requirements of each drives.
  4. Assess the supply requirement for grouping based on voltages.
  5. Identify Static and Dynamic Load.
  6. Prepare the load requirement excel with possible grouping.
  7. Calculate Reactive Power for Transformers
  8. Calculate feed Circuit Breaker rating ,wire sizing
  9. Detail Design of  the sub system .
  10. Procurement and Manufacturing of one Power Distribution Cabinet (PDC)
  11. Type approval to comply EMC requirements ,IP requirements and other needs to be approved for the railways.
  12. Mass production of power distribution cabinets  
  13. Factory Acceptance Test.
  14. Installation of the System
  15. Power On and Integrated Test .

2.1 Familiarize end operators requirements from contract or detailed specification

Contract or Technical Specification or System Requirement Specification define the requirements to be followed for  the power supply design .It could include the local rules ,standards and practices to be applied ,redundancy requirements (Eg:-N+1 ,N+ N ) ,Spare Capacity Requirement ,Rated load for transformer (Eg: Transformer shall not be loaded not more than 75 % of rated load ),local and remote monitoring features ,UPS back up  requirements ,Battery Types ,Hours of back up needed ,pre-emptive warning of components needed (advance warning for the product before its going to be faulty ) ,Insulation Monitoring Requirements ,Earth Leakage Protection Requirements ,Lightning Protection ,Type Test (For EMC /IP) ,How system shall behave when earth leakage happens (Eg:IT Earth Systems per IEC 60364-Clause,require to warn for maintainer to rectify the fault at secondary side of a transformer ) ,detailed calculation and other requirements (Eg:- detailed calculation for each feeder ,each fuse/wire size ,calculation for identification of maximum short circuit current ,Voltage drop ,maximum load to validate the wire are considered for protector and wire/cable selection.)

2.2 Understand country based standards required to be applied for the system

Each country have either its own standard or follow reputed standards ,which shall be applied while designing a signaling power system .Again this is based on technical spec ,some time some requirement may be over ruled in technical specification.As an Example ,Australia seeks MEN (Multiple Earth Neutral) ,where as Signalling system require IT earthing system per IEC 60364.Direction shall be sought from customer unless otherwise specified.Country standard/practice includes earthing systems requirements ,wire colour coding ,EHS requirements (RCD fitted MCB) and code of practices.

2.3 Gather power supply requirements of each drives.

Designer shall gather the approved system architecture with power needs ,product data sheets (Detailing reactive Power /Active Power ,Frequency /Voltage Tolerances,start up current ),any tools for validation of the calculation comes under this step.

2.4 Assess the supply requirement for grouping.

In this step ,we identify the possibility of power grouping .Systems which require two separate sources of supply (Two UPS supply or Two Main Supply or One UPS and One Main Supply) ,subsystem which require one source ,but from a fail proof Auto Transfer Switch (ATSw),Types of Voltages (AC/DC with rating) ,Reticulated Supply to other destinations are the factors to be considered.

Note :While preparing a load calculation excel ,these grouping will prove useful  

2.5 Identify Static and Dynamic Load.

As you know some of the loads to the power system are permanent (static) ,where as some loads are required while the drive operates(dynamic) .As an example ,Point Machine draws current when system calls the machine to operate ,similarly only one signal operate out of a two or three aspect signal at any time, and all relay don't operate at same time to mention some examples (Some relays are normally up but some are picked as per control logic .Designer shall identify these factors to save cost and to avoid over designing .  There could be numerous point machines in the layout which don't operate at same time .Designer shall either identify himself /Herself or get identified from Interlocking expert how many points can be operated at same time to decide the total load for the system .Its waste of money to provide feeder capacity for 60 point machines when maximum 20 can be operated at any time ) .Designer shall also identify any point sequencing are considered  in the route table  .This means if there are 10 point machines to be called for a particular route setting and if all are lying in unfavorable position from previous train move or have self normalizing feature in the interlocking and route requires opposite move  ,interlocking can call five of them first and next five with a time delay .This will be defined in signaling interlocking control table

Another factor is electro mechanical components .High current is only required in few seconds at start up to gain  initial torque for a point motor and reduce gradually which will be defined in the product manual.This factor shall also be considered .I like to consider starting current as worst case instead of operating current when other factors are optimized to the maximum.

2.6 Prepare the load requirement excel with grouping.

Now its time to record all these in an excel sheet as per the grouping ,some employers /operators might have predefined tools ,if so please use the validated tool.

Creating new tool /programmed excel require authentic review ,verification to make it error free.This table can group as per the reactive power(Apparent Power) or Active Power to identify the rating of feeder and transformers.

If the data sheet provide active power ,designer can consider to convert to reactive power based on power factor of the product .Electronic products have close to unity power factor theoretically ,where as heating elements might have power factor of 0.8 or less .This tool contains all the different voltage requirements with its group to arrive at total load to the Power System .

2.7 Calculate MCCB Circuit Breaker rating ,Wire and Cable sizing(Downstream -Power Distribution Cabinet)

Excel spread sheet is prepared with load requirement for each group ,including AC voltages and DC voltages (with converters) .

Adding all the load will give the total power for the power supply system .

As an Example :- If Point Machine and Signals requires 110V AC ,which can be clubbed into one group or as separate group to feed from separate isolation transformers with Automatic Transfer Switch.Interlocking cabinet ,AutoMatic Train Super Vision /Control Cabinet ,Communication Cabinet ,Secondary Train Detection Cabinet (Track Circuit /Axle Counter ) might need 230V with two independent supply (One from UPS supply Source and One from Rail Supply Source ) to feed the Redundant hardware of the respective cabinets .Similar feeder requirement can be clubbed together as per operator practice .In order to read the dry contact (for Point Machine Detection,other field status ) into I/O card file or to Pick a relay we might need 24V DC or 48V DC .All DC requirement of same voltage can be grouped together .These DC voltages are generated with the help of AC/DC converters (N+1 OR N+N *arrangement as per end operator requirement) which requires a fail proof 230V AC source which we might use a static Auto Transfer Switch (ATSw)

Note* : Assume Total DC load requirement is 500 Watts ,If one of the AC/DC converter capacity is 500 Watts .One number of AC/DC converter is required (ie . we need 1 No of AC/DC converter rated for 500Watts to feed the load  which is considered as ‘N’ unit  ) .To make an N+N arrangement we use 2 nos of AC/DC converter and the output is paralleled to same bus bar .There by if one converter(N) is failed other will be continuously feeding the bus bar .There by making 100% redundancy .By using independent ATSw ,to feed both N will make the availability even better.

Sample Calculation : we get total reactive power requirement from the excel table =60KVA (while adding all the total static and dynamic load for one single feed at any instance of the operation) and end operator specification requires an additional 20% capacity with feeders to be fully wired for future expansion and downstream isolation transformers shall not be loaded not more than 75% rated load .

So the total load requirement = Actual Load X 20% Spare Capacity /75% rated load

=60KVA x 1.2 /0.75

=96 KVA

In order to achieve 100% redundancy we need two independent MCCB and Transformer with 96KVA load for the Power Distribution System .Both sources can be UPS or One UPS and One Normal Supply .There by achieving redundancy from single point failure(Refer the figure) .Both these sources are fed into two independent MCCB which is feeding 100KVA transformer (Next higher size of total load 96KVA) .Let the downstream cabinet transformer be 3 phase 4 Wire transformer and we can segregate and balance the load on each phases at secondary of the transformer for each group (230VAC , 230V/110VAC ,48/24V DC (AC/DC converter with input supply 230V AC ) making use of different phases by balancing the load on 1 :1 Isolation Transformer (400V ,3 Phase ,4 Wire Transformer)

2.8 Downstream Power Distribution Cabinet MCCB Rating Calculation

Total Load is =96KVA (100KVA Transformer)

Total Current on each MCCB =Reactive Power /1.73 (Root 3 ) x Voltage

=96 /1.73 x 400V

=138.72 Amps

We shall consider the inrush current of the transformer ,which is 1.5 times of total current (worst case)

So total current will be =138.72 x 1.5 =208 Amps

We can select the next higher available rating for MCCB =250 Amps

This means we need two sources to feed these two MCCB in the Power Distribution Cabinet(Downstream Incomer)

Cable and wire size shall be selected based on this load or voltage drop from feeder or Short Circuit Current which ever is the highest .

Upstream UPS and Battery to feed these sources shall be designed for Online operation .Battery banks are designed based on the back up hours needed as per end operator requirement (say 8 hours or 24 hours or 48 Hours ).As UPS design itself is a long topic will include UPS design in another article .

2.9 Detail Design the sub system .

We have selected the downstream transformer ,MCCB rating which are fed from Two UPS or 1 UPS and 1 Non UPS Main source Supply .

Upstream sources (UPS or Normal ) shall be connected to MCCB which is fed to Primary of Transformer .Out put of the Transformer is fed into a 3 phase bus bar (4 wire ) .Power shall be distributed from this bus bar into each drives /cabinet protected with MCB's

From the excel spread sheet, for each group MCB has to be designed as per Reactive Power value .

Say for Example if Cabinet 1 require two sources of supply and each load is 1000VA .MCB rating is calculated as below

MCB 1 =1000/230=4.34 Amps and the next available size is 6Amps selected for MCB 1 .Redundant supply also have same 6Amps protection(MCB 2)

As per the grouping in the excel ,other distribution to be made to feed all the drives and cabinets.

A sample single line diagram(Figure 1)  is shown below for better understanding

Detailed drawings to be produced further from block diagram /Single Line diagram for each feed with correct MCB rating and wire sizes. This  shall be selected based on the current carrying capacity.

Figure 1.  Sample Single Line Diagram

2.10 Procurement and Manufacturing.

Equipemnts and components shall be procured as per the designed parameters and built into cabinets (earth metallic enclosures) with correct IP requirement defined by the end operator .An IP 42 cabinet shall have a roof with fan .Filters to be designed and installed ,if EMC test is failed as per relevant standards requirements (EMC standards and requirements will be covered in another topic) and further tested to clear EMC test

2.11 Factory Acceptance Test.

A detailed procedure to be prepared to perform factory acceptance test ,to test Insulation monitoring , Earth Leakage ,No load test ,Full load test to cover all the functionality and the readings shall be recorded in the corresponding recording templates and duly signed by relevant parties.

2.12 Installation of the System

Factory tested cabinet shall be transported to project site for installation and completion of UPS and other sub system integration wiring.

2.13 Power On and Integrated Test

A professional Engineer shall witness the power on after his inspection and Testing and commisioning team will further perform the integration test to all end drives

3. Earthing Systems

Functional Earthing and Protective earthing(PE) are  carried out at the electrical installations .A functional earth connection serve the purpose other than electrical safety and might carry electrical current as part of normal operation .For the functional earthing cases a special terminal is provided for the installer to connect external earth usually for the purpose of noise reduction .Screen earthing of a cable is a  functional earth .

A protective earth is used to protect the operator by means of reliable ground connection to make sure the touch current wont exceed certain values .In nutshell Protective earth is intended to protect personals from electric shock during an earth fault .This earthing is performed for  any metallic exposed part to the Main earth terminal in the Signalling Room.

Fault current will flow through this conductor to earth which in turn on to the protective devices such as RCD (Eg residual Current Device Fitted MCB) to safely open the circuit within 0.4 seconds,where as functional earth is used to reduce radio frequency noise .Functional Earthing and Protective Earthing must be connected to separate earthing system and can be tied together through Potential Equalisation Clamp.(PEC) .

Example :- Cabinet case earthing is a type of Protection Earthing ,Shield /screen earthing of a cable is a type of functional earthing in a signalling installations.

4. Type of Protective Earthing System.

There are few types of earthing system (Protective Earthing ) implemented as per country practices. These can be broadly classified as TNS Earthing System ,TNC Earthing System ,TNC-S Earthing System ,TT Earthing System and IT Earthing System. This can be applied on to the primary side of the isolation transformer  of a downstream Power Distribution cabinet. The supply directly feeding the signalling equipment shall be isolated from earth(floating) as per IEC 60364 IT system (e.g. 600 V a.c and 110 V a.c supply). Refer to Clause the supply fed to the signalling element will have floating neutral (IT earthing system ) with neutral cut through Insulation Monitoring Devise or Earth Leakage Device .

The ELD/IMD  device shall be used for first fault condition monitoring only – the ELD device shall not be used to trip circuit protection during either a first or second fault condition.  The first fault in the IT systems should be identified and fixed immediately to avoid a second fault from occurring.Refer Figure 1  to identify IMD connected to the secondary side of the Isolation Transformers  and Earth Leakage Relay connected at the Primary side of the transformer in which the relay contact is used to trip the MCB  and there by  isolating the group .This is to avoid nuisance tripping of upstream supply when earth fault occurs in a power group in the downstream.

T(Terre or earth) Denotes that the Power Distribution System at SER is solidly earthed independently of the source earthing method.

N(Neutral) Denotes that a low impedence conductor is taken from earth connection at the source and directly routed to the Power Distribution System at SER (Signalling Equipment Room Signalling Power Supply) for the specific purpose of earthing of the PDC system

S (Separate) Denotes that the neutral conductor routed from the source is separate from the protective earthing conductor ,which is also routed from the source (Upstream council/Rail supply )

C(Common ) Denotes that the neutral conductor and the protective earthing conductor are one and the same conductor used

4.1 TNS (Terre ,Neutral, Separate ) Earthing System.

Here Terre stands for Earth .In this type of earthing system neutral conductor routed from the source is separate from protective earthing conductor ,which is also routed from the source .Upstream supply normally tapped from Council (Government Electricity Authority ) or Railway exclusive supply which is the source for power distribution system .This is used as supply source in the Power Distribution Cabinet or UPS depends on the power supply distribution requirement at the downstream on a signalling power distribution cabinet .For a three phase source ,will have five wires (Phase 1 ,Phase 2 ,Phase 3 , Neutral and Exclusive earth ) and a single phase source have three wires (Phase ,Neutral and Earth ) leading into your Signalling Power Distribution Cabinet or UPS .Here Neutral and Earth are separate conductors and earthed at source.No separate dedicated earth used at Power Distribution Cabinet End in the Signalling Equipment Room. Refer Figure 2  for TNS earthing system details

Figure 2 TNS Earthing System

4.2 TNC (Terre Neutral Common ) Earthing System .

Here C denotes that the neutral conductor and the protective earthing conductor are ONE and same conductor is used .For a three phase source will have four wires (Phase 1 ,Phase 2 ,Phase 3 ,Combined Neutral and Earth ) and two wires for a single phase system (Phase and combined Neutral and Earth) In this type of system joined Neutral and Earth are earthed at source(upstream) end and destination end (downstream ) on separate earth electrodes.There could be additional electrodes at source end as shown in the Figure 3

Figure 3 TNC  Earthing System

4.3 TNC-S System

This earthing system is an enhanced version of TNC system .In this type of system a three phase source(Upstream) will have four wires (Phase 1 ,Phase 2 ,Phase 3 ,Combined Neutral and Earth ) and two wires for a single phase system (Phase and combined Neutral and Earth) .That is,Joined Neutral and Earth at source(Upstream) end but separate Neutral and Earth conductor at downstream(PDC) end .In nutshell the difference for TNC-S from TNC system is that there are five wires used at downstream end(PDC ) joined into four wires towards source(Joined Neutal and Earth toward Source) for a three phase system and three wires (Phase ,Neutral and Earth ) joined earth and Neutral towards source and joined Neutral and Earth in a single phase system .Refer the Figure 4 below for TNCS-S earthing system details .

Figure 4 TNC-S Earthing System

4.4 TT System

In this type of earthing system ,there are four wires (Phase 1 ,Phase 2,Phase 3 and Neutral ) for a three phase system and two wires for a single phase system .Both source (Upstream ) and load (Downstream ) have exclusive earth and neutral is tied to earth at source end not at load end (downstream /PDC). Refer  Figure 5 below for TT Earthing System details

Figure 5  TT Earthing System

4.5 IT Earthing System

This is similar to TT earthing system .However neutral is floating compared to other types of earthing system .Neutral is not earthed at source (upstream ) or Load (Downstream ) .That is your Power Supply Cabinet . Both upstream and Downstream has exclusive earth ,however source earth is routed via Insulation Monitoring Device which can use for monitoring the insulation fault.Accepted earthing practice for  Railway control systems are as defined in IEC 60364 -4-41 .This means  the earthing system of the Low Voltage supply directly feeding the signalling equipment shall be IT earthed (Isolated from Earth)  through an Insulation Monitoring device or an earth leakage detector .An earth leakage in the secondary side of the transformer feeding the signalling gears shall not trip ,but it shall be warned to the operator when first leakage detected and maintainer to be send to identify the cause .This will not cut the feed to the system at same time at the primary side of the isolation transformer ,eearth leakge realys are implemented to prevent nuisance tripping to the upstream UPS or the alternate normal supply.Refer Fig 6 for TT earthing system

Figure 6  IT Earthing System

5. Power Earth ,Signalling Earth ,and Communication Earth

It is always advisable to have separate dedicated earthing system for Power supply subsystem ,Signalling System and Communication System . Communication and Signalling system exclusively requires functional earthing for EMC purposes where as Power Distribution System requires Protective earthing .Signalling Earthing System can be used to earth all the exposed metal part for the protective earthing of the signalling system and communication earthing system can be used for functional earthing and protective earthing of the communication cabinets respectively .

All these earthing systems can be tied together with a potential equalization clamp which is an open circuit between earthing systems and which conducts when there is an earth fault .

This practice is adopted in Sydney Practice

6. Earth Leakage Detection

An earth Leakage System and Insulation Monitoring system shall be implemented in the signalling system at primary of the isolation transformer for the Power Distribution System and Secondary side of the isolation transformer .Earth Leakage Relay contact can be wired on to the trip coil arm of the transformer to isolate the downstream from source when leakage exceed a certain set value .This set value shall be based on the maximum leakage current possible from the end equipment and the current that can electrocute the person comes in contact .For an example .If leakage current from a signalling cabinet is 40mA and above this current can electrocute a person ,ELR shall be set for 40mA and if it exceed this value the incoming MCB will isolate the source by tripping the system .

7. Insulation Monitoring Device (IMD)

This is another protective mechanism ,especially in IT earthing system which is used to monitor the leakage on the insulation of the conductor and can be locally and remotely monitored

8. Lightning Protection

Its advisable to implement lightning protection for the conductors from the source for a distributed power system when conductors are exposed to lightning and thunder .There are protective devises available to connect across the conductors which are available in the market .It shall be implemented based on your operator practice

9. Local and Remote Monitoring

Its also vital to read the status of various group of supply, incoming power availability ,UPS availability ,UPS on battery , Earth Leakage /Insulation Monitoring Status ,Current ,Voltage ,Frequency ,Synchronization ,ATSw status to be locally monitored (through local indication on the cabinet ) and remotely monitored (for maintainer to rush ) through Automatic Train Supervision system .Telemetry could be used to transmit these status remotely.

10. Summary

This article cover the downstream power supply cabinet requirements and  its out of scope for Upstream Feeder and UPS design which is considered as Electrical scope .However will cover in another article for those who are keen on it



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SIGNALLING BOOK | CHAPTER 1 CONTENTS 1.Introduction 2.The Problems to be Solved 3.Basic Requirements 4.Lineside Signals 5.The Absolute Block System 6.Interlocking of Points and Signals 7.Single Lines 8.Further Developments 1. INTRODUCTION In general, the railway traveller assumes  that  his  journey  will  be safe. This  high  standard of safety which is taken for granted is the result  of  a  long  history  of  development.  As human errors and deficiencies in safety systems become evident, often as a result  of  an accident, improvements are made which are then incorporated into new generations of equipment. This is certainly true of railway signalling. It also appears to  be  a continuing  process.  We have not yet reached the situation where absolute safety can be assured. It is useful to start by looking back at some of the early history of signalling development. In the early days of railways, trains were few and speeds were low. 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However, in the absence  of  any proper communication between stations, it was the best that could be achieved at that time. 2.2 Conflicting Movements at Junctions Where railway lines cross or converge, there is the risk of two trains arriving simultaneously and both attempting to enter the same portion of track. Some  method  of  regulating  the passage of trains over junctions was therefore needed. This should ensure that one train is stopped, if necessary, to give precedence to the other. 2.3 Ensuring that the Correct Route is Set Where facing points are provided to allow a train to take alternative routes, the points must be held in the required position before the train is allowed to proceed and must not be moved until the train has completely passed over the points. 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From this evolved a standard layout of signals at most small stations; a "home" signal  on the approach side controlling entry to the station and a "starting" signal  protecting  the section of line to the next station. Between these signals, each train would be under the direct control of the policeman. These signals could give only two indications,  STOP  or  PROCEED. They therefore became collectively known as "stop" signals. As line speeds increased, "distant" signals were introduced which gave advance warning of the state of stop signals ahead. A distant signal could be associated with one or more stop signals and would be positioned to give an adequate braking distance to the first stop signal. It could give a CAUTION indication to indicate the need to stop further ahead or a CLEAR indication, assuring the driver that the stop signal(s) ahead were showing a proceed indication. 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The signalman at the entrance to the section must maintain his starting signal at danger. Train on Line There is a Train in the block section. 5.4 Method of Working When signalbox A has an UP train approaching to send to box B,  the signalman at A will offer it forward to box B, using the appropriate bell code (so that signalman B knows what type of train it is). If the signalman B is unable to accept the train for any reason, he will ignore A's bell, and leave the UP line block indicator at "Normal". If he is able to accept the train, signalman B will repeat the bell code back to box A, and change the indication to "Line Clear". When signalman A sees  his  block  repeater go to "Line Clear", then he can clear his starting signals to admit the train to the section. When the train actually enters the section, signalman A sends the "Train Entering Section" bell code to box B. Signalman B will acknowledge this by repeating the bell code back to A, and turning the block indicator to "Train on Line". When the train leaves the block section at B, the signalman  there checks  that it is complete by watching for its tail lamp. He then turns his block indicator to "Normal" again.  He also sends the "Train out of Section" bell code to A, which A acknowledges by repeating it back. The system is now back to normal, ready for the next train. On multiple track railways, a pair of block instruments as above is required for each line. 5.5 Extra Safeguards The basic three-position block system, as described, relies on the correct sequence of operations for safety. A signalman could forget that he has a train in section and turn the indicator to "line clear", allowing a second train in. A detailed record (the train register) is kept of the actual times of train arrival and departure, and the times at which the bell signals are exchanged. In most places, additional safeguards have been added to the basic system. An  electric lock on the starting signal will prevent it being operated unless the block indicator is at line clear. Track circuit occupation may be used to set the block  instruments to ''Train on Line" if the signalman forgets to do so. Electric locking may also be used to ensure that signals are operated for one train movement only and replaced to danger before another movement is permitted to approach. Although it is unusual for absolute block working to be installed on any new signalling installation today, there are many railways on which it is in widespread use. The  block system, by ensuring that only one train may occupy a section of line at any time, maintains a safe distance between following trains. 6. INTERLOCKING OF POINTS AND SIGNALS On all early railways, points were moved by hand levers alongside the points. They could therefore be moved independently of the signals controlling the movement of trains. A great improvement in safety (as well as efficiency) was possible by connecting the point switches via rodding to a single central control point (the signal box). Similarly the signals could also be operated by wire from levers in the signal box. With the control of points and signals all in one place the levers  could be directly interlocked with each other. This had the following benefits:- Signals controlling conflicting routes could not be operated at the same time. A signal could only be operated if all  the points were in the correct position. The points could not be moved while a signal reading over them was cleared. In early signalling installations, all point and signal operation, together with any interlocking, was mechanical. Although it was a great technological advancement to be able to control a station from one place, the effort required to operate the levers restricted control of points to within about 300 metres from the signal box and signals up to about 1500 metres. At large stations, more than one signal box would often be necessary. The possibility still existed for a signalman to set the points, clear the signal, the train to proceed and then for the signalman to replace the signal to normal. This could free the locking on the points before the train had completely passed over them. Signalmen's instructions usually required the complete train to pass over the points before the signal was replaced to danger. 7. SINGLE LINES On most single line railways trains are infrequent. It is not normally necessary for two trains to follow each other closely in the same direction. Single lines were therefore treated in the same way as a normal block section with the important extra condition that trains could not be signalled in both directions at the same time. To enforce this condition and also to reassure the driver that he could safely enter the single line, some form of physical token was used as authority to travel over the single line. On the simplest of systems only one token existed. This caused problems whenever the pattern of service differed from alternate trains in each direction. If the timetable required two trains to travel over the single line in the same direction, the driver of the first train would be shown the token (or train staff  as  it is commonly  known) to assure the driver that no other train was on the single line. His authority to enter the single line would however be a written ticket . The following train would convey the train staff. Although workable, this system would cause problems if trains did not work strictly to the timetable. A further improvement was to provide several tokens, but to hold them locked in instruments at either end of the single line. The instruments would be electrically interlocked with each other to prevent more than one token being withdrawn at a time. The one token could however be withdrawn from either instrument. If the single line block equipment fails, many railways employ a member of the operating personnel as a human token. The "pilotman", as he is usually known, will either travel with the train or instruct the driver to pass through the section. No other person may allow a train on to the single line. Operationally, this is the equivalent of the train staff and ticket system described earlier. 8. FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS The main functions of the signalling system had now been defined, although they were to be continuously improved as the available technology developed. All  signalling  systems would be required to maintain a safe distance between trains, interlock points and signals and thus prevent conflicting movements, and provide the necessary information so that the speed of all trains can be safely controlled. In recent years, the signal engineer has been asked to provide further facilities within the general scope of the signalling system. These include, train information to the operating staff, train information for passengers, detection of defective vehicles, identification of vehicles and the increasing automation of tasks previously carried out by humans. The technology exists to completely operate a railway without human intervention although the level of automation desirable for a particular railway is for that railway administration to decide. Factors such as cost, maintainability, reliability, staffing policy, passenger security and sometimes political considerations must be taken into account. In many cases the final decision on the type of signalling to be provided is outside the direct control of the signal engineer. However, he should always endeavour to provide the best possible information and propose cost-effective solutions to particular problems so that the best decisions can be made.

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Deepu Dharmarajan - Posted 304 days Ago


SIGNALLING BOOK | CHAPTER 2 | PART 1 CONTENTS 1. Introduction - In Part 1 2. Signal Aspects - In Part 1 3. Signalling Principles - In Part 2 4. Drawing Standards - In Part 2 5. Interlocking Principles - In Part 2 6. Train Detection & Track Circuit Block - In Part 2 7. Colour Light Signals - In Part 2 8. Control Panels & Other Methods of Operation - In Part 2 9. Colour Light Signalling Controls - In Part 2   1. INTRODUCTION Whatever type of signalling system is provided on a railway, its basic functions will remain the same. Safety must be ensured by preventing trains colliding with each other and locking points over which the train is to pass. The means of achieving these functions may vary from one railway administration to another but a set of rules must be laid down to define:- The positioning of signals The types of signals The aspects to be displayed by the signals and the instructions to be conveyed  by those aspects The controls to be applied to the signals The method of controlling points The method of interlocking points with signals The standardisation of human interfaces Many countries have sytems of signalling based on British railway signalling practice. The basic British system is very simple having only a small number of different signal aspects displayed to the driver. The driver is responsible for knowing the route over which he is to pass. The signal engineer must, in turn, provide sufficient information for the driver to safely control the speed of his train and, where necessary, to inform him which route he is to take. Other signalling systems have developed along a different path. The driver is given specific instructions to travel up to or reduce to an indicated speed. Route indications are optional. This will generally require a more complex set of signal aspects. This section will deal mainly with the principles and practices of the State Rail Authority of New South Wales, with reference to other systems where appropriate. 2. SIGNAL ASPECTS There are three principal types of signal, each serving a different purpose:- Main or Running signals control the normal movement of passenger and freight trains on running lines. The great majority of movements will be controlled by main signals. Subsidiary signals, mounted on the same post or structure as running signals, control movements other than for normal running, such as the shunting or coupling of trains. Independent shunting signals, generally similar to the subsidiary signals above, are provided for shunting movements at positions where there is no need for a running signal. We will examine the aspects displayed by each type of signal and the instructions and/or information conveyed by them. 2.1 Main or Running Signals As all early signals were semaphore signals, displaying a light for night time use, the aspects of colour light signals are usually based on the indications of the semaphore signals which they replaced. As most new signalling installations are likely to employ colour light signals, this section will concentrate on colour light signalling only. SRA (Currentlly TfNSW) employs two methods of signalling on main lines; single light and double light. As the name suggests, double light signals will always display at least two lights to the driver. Double light signalling is generally used in the Sydney metropolitan area. Single light signals normally use only one light to convey instructions to the driver, although a second marker light may be illuminated to aid the driver in locating the signal. Single light signalling is mostly used on lines outside the Sydney metropolitan area. Although there are similarities between the two systems, we will deal with each separately. We will then make a comparison with the corresponding aspects displayed by the British system to enable readers to read signalling plans drawn in British style. 2.1.1 Double Light Signalling This is intended for use in areas where signals are closely spaced. Each stop signal is therefore required to carry a distant signal for the signal ahead. To give the driver a consistent indications, each signal carries two separate signal heads. The upper signal head can be considered as the stop signal. It will always be capable of displaying, at least, stop and proceed aspects. The lower signal head can be considered as the distant for the next signal ahead. An additional green light may be provided below the distant. This is used for a "low speed" indication . FIGURE 1 shows the normal running aspects for double light signalling. Four aspects are used for normal running :- STOP is denoted by two red lights, one above the other. Note that the lower signal head will always display a red if  the upper signal is at red, even if the signal ahead is showing a proceed aspect. This is important to avoid misleading or confusing the driver. CAUTION is denoted by green over red. In other words, this signal is at "proceed" (top signal head) but the next signal is at "stop" (bottom signal head acts as distant). The caution indication tells the driver to be prepared to stop at the next signal. MEDIUM is a preliminary warning of the need to stop. It is denoted by green over yellow. Signals in urban areas may be closely spaced.  The one  signal  section between the caution and the stop may provide insufficient braking distance for a train travelling at full line speed. The medium indication tells the driver that the next  signal is at caution. This implies that he may have to  stop  at  the  second  signal ahead. CLEAR allows the train to proceed at maximum speed. A clear indication is two green lights. This will tell the driver that there is no need to reduce speed (other than for fixed speed restrictions) before the next signal. All the above indications require the driver to know where the next signal is, to safely control the speed of his train and be able to stop where required. An additional indication is provided on some signal, A  LOW  SPEED  indication, consisting of a small green light below a normal stop aspect tells the driver to proceed at no more than 27km/h towards the next signal. This is generally more  restrictive than the  caution. The low speed aspect is used when the track is only clear for a very short distance beyond the next signal. Fig 1: DOUBLE LIGHT SIGNALLING - ASPECTS FOR NORMAL RUNNING *Where a low speed indication is provided. Fig 2: DOUBLE LIGHT SIGNALLING - TURNOUT ASPECTS NOTE: A full clear indication is not given for turnouts. Note the difference in the indications given by Multi-light signals at a turnout. The yellow over red indicates "Proceed" at Medium speed through Turnout, next signal at "Stop". The Yellow over Yellow indicates "Proceed at Medium speed through Turnout" the lower Yellow is cautioning the driver to continue at Medium Speed towards the next signal which is indicating either "CAUTION" or "CLEAR" *Where a low speed indication is provided. **In the Sydney and Strathfield resignaled areas this indication represents a 'low speed' with  the train stop at stop. In this case the signal in the rear will show a caution indication. Figure 2 shows the indications for double light turnout movements. If there is more than one route from a main signal, the driver  must be told whether he is to take the main line or through route or whether he is to take a lower speed diverging turnout. This information is necessary to prevent the driver running through a turnout at too high a speed. The upper signal head is used to display a distinct proceed aspect for a turnout. Instead of the green normally displayed, a yellow light will tell the driver that he is to take the turnout. The proceed aspects for turnouts are:- CAUTION TURNOUT (yellow over red, also described in some operating documents as medium caution) tells the driver to expect the next signal to be at red. MEDIUM TURNOUT (yellow over yellow) tells the driver that the  next  signal ahead is displaying a proceed aspect. This is the least restrictive aspect for a turnout. There is no equivalent of a clear aspect for trains signalled over a turnout. To give a clearer indication to the driver where several routes are possible from one signal, the main signal aspect may be used instead, in  conjunction with a theatre route indicator. The route indicator contains a matrix of small  lunar  white lights which  can  be illuminated to display a Jetter or number. Each character will be associated with a distinct route. The route indicator is not illuminated when the signal is at stop.  When  the  signal  is required. to clear, the route indicator will illuminate for the appropriate route. LOW SPEED aspects may be used. If  a  low  speed  aspect is provided for a turnout route, this is no different in appearance to a  low speed for the main line route. This is not a problem as this aspect conveys a specific speed instruction. As the speed is  likely to be lower than that of most turnouts, route information is not essential 2.1.2 Single Light Signalling On lines where single light signalling is installed, the spacing of signals may vary widely. Therefore some signals may be combined stop and distant signals (as for double  light) but there may also be signals which are stop signals only or distant signals only. The instruction to the driver is therefore generally conveyed by a single light. A second marker light is provided below the main light to aid the driver in locating the signal. The meaning of the signal aspects is equivalent to the double light aspects but the appearance to the driver is different. FIGURE 3 shows the normal running aspects  for single  light signalling. The appearance of each aspect is as follows:- STOP consists of a red light. The marker light also displays a red, except on some older signals where it is lunar white. CAUTION consists of a single steady yellow light. The marker light is extinguished, except on some older signals where it is lunar white. If the main light should fail the marker light  will  display a red on stop signals or yellow on distant signals. MEDIUM, where this aspect is necessary, will be a flashing or pulsating yellow light. The marker light will operate as for the caution aspect. CLEAR is a green light. The marker light will operate as for the caution aspect. LOW SPEED aspects may be used in single light signalling where required. An additional small green light is provided below the marker light. The complete low speed aspect will be a main red light over a red marker light with the additional green light illuminated . Fig 3: SINGLE LIGHT SIGNALLING - ASPECTS FOR NORMAL RUNNING   Fig 4: SINGLE LIGHT SIGNALLING - TURNOUT ASPECTS The indication displayed by a Home signal for a turnout movement through facing points into a Loop Refuge siding or important siding consists of a band of three yellow lights in a subsidiary light unit (inclined towards the direction  of the movement). The Red light is  displayed in the Main line signal , as shown. The marker light for the main line signal, contained in the subsiduary light unit will be extinguished when the main line or turnout signal indication is displayed. 4.1 ROUTE INDICATIONS MAIN LINE At locations where more than one turnout is provided one signal indication is some times given and in such cases a route indicator working in conjunction with th e signal is provided, this enables drivers to ascertain the route for which th e signal has been cleared. The route indicator will not show any indication when the signal is at stop, but when the points have been set for the turnout movement a yellow light will appear in the signal in conjunction with the route indication showing a letter to denote the line to which the train will travel, e.g. Figure 4 shows the indications for single light turnout movements. For junction signals, two distinct methods are used according to the situation. For a simple turnout into a loop or siding, a separate turnout signal is provided below the main aspect, incorporating the marker light. For a CAUTION TURNOUT aspect, the main aspect remains at red, the marker light is extinguished and the three yellow lights of the turnout signal are illuminated . The row of lights is inclined in the direction of the turnout. For a MEDIUM TURNOUT aspect, the turnout signal will flash. Otherwise the appearance is the same as above. As for double light signalling, a theatre route indicator may be used in conjunction with the main signal aspect, where several routes are possible from one signal. Again the route indicator is not illuminated when the signal is at stop. When  the signal  is required to clear, the route indicator will illuminate for the appropriate route. The normal construction of signals is to provide a separate lamp unit for each light to be displayed . Some signals, however, are of the "searchlight" type. In this type of signal, the lamp is continuously illuminated and coloured lenses are moved in front of the  lamp according to the aspect to be displayed. The lenses are moved by a relay mechanism inside the signal head. The lights visible to the driver are the same for either type of signal. 2.2 Subsidiary Signals Associated with Main Signals As well as normal running movements, signals may be required for some of  the following movements:- Entering an occupied section Shunting into a siding Running on to a line used for traffic in the opposite direction. Attaching or detaching vehicles or locomotives. The main types are described below. As for the running signals, only current practice is covered in detail. Although the SRA (TfNSW) practice will allow subsidiary signals to clear immediately the route is set, many railway administrations employ approach control to delay clearance of the subsidiary signal until the train has come at or almost to  a  stand  at  the  signal. This  is usually achieved by timed track circuit occupation. The driver will receive a caution at the previous signal and will be preparing to stop. Subsidiary signals are short range signals which are only visible within a short distance of the signal. 2.2.1 Subsidiary Shunt and Calling-on Signals These authorise a driver to pass a main signal at stop for shunting purposes or to enter an occupied section. The driver must be prepared  to  stop short of  any  train or other obstruction on the line ahead. He must therefore control the speed of his train so that he can stop within the distance he can see. The appearance of these signals is a small yellow light below the main aspect. On  some older double light signals the letters "CO" in a round lens illuminated in white may be used. 2.2.2 Shunt Ahead Signal This signal is generally found on single and double lines worked under absolute block conditions. It permits the movement of a train past the starting signal for shunting purposes. It does not require a block release from the signal box ahead and the movement  will  eventually come back behind the starting signal when shunting is complete. As this method of working is generally only found outside the suburban area, a shunt ahead signal will normally be provided on single light signals only. It consists of a small flashing yellow signal below the main running signal and marker light. 2.2.3 Close-up Signal This is similar in appearance and application to the low speed signal. 2.2.4 Dead-end Signal This is for entering short dead end sidings directly from a running line. The only difference between this and a subsidiary shunting or calling-on signal is that the dead end signal is offset from the post on the same side as the siding leads off the main line. Subsidiary signals display no aspect when not in  use.  The  associated  main  signal  will  remain at stop when the subsidiary signal is in use. Route indicators may be used in conjunction with subsidiary aspects to give an  indication to the driver where multiple routes are available. In the case of a movement on to another running line in the wrong direction (i.e. opposite to normal direction of traffic) a route indication is always provided. 2.4 Shunting Signals Signals may also be required for shunting movements in positions where no main signal is necessary. The most common locations are:- Entrance to and exit from sidings. At crossovers to allow a wrong road movement to regain the right line. In yards and depots where main signals are not required. As they have no associated main signal, they must display a stop as well as a proceed aspect. 2.5 Dwarf and Position-light Signals Two main types are in use, the dwarf signal, with all lights arranged vertically and the position light signal. The diagrams show the various signal profiles.  Both types display two red lights for stop. The proceed aspect is normally only a yellow indicating caution. Shunting signals do not always prove track circuits clear and the driver must be ready to stop if there is another train occupying the section ahead. The proceed aspect may be accompanied by a route indication. Shunting signals are normally mounted at ground level, although they may be elevated if required for sighting. 2.3.2 Stop Boards If a wrong road movement is authorised from a shunting or subsidiary signal there must be another signal ahead to limit the wrong road movement. If no such signal was provided, the movement could continue past the protecting signal for the normal direction of traffic and cause a collision. The usual signal is an illuminated notice board carrying the words "SHUNTING  LIMIT". It can be considered as a shunting signal permanently at danger. 2.3.3 Facing Shunt Signals A shunting signal is sometimes needed in a position where it is passed in the normal direction by running movements. To avoid confusing  the driver by displaying a yellow light for a movement which may well be running under the authority of clear signals, these facing shunt signals are provided with an additional green light (clear aspect) for use only in this situation. 2.3.4 Point Indicators Although not signals in the same way as those just described, point indicators are important in sidings to avoid derailments and damage to equipment. They provide a visible indication of the position of hand operated points. Operation may be either mechanical or electrical. Located alongside the point switches, they display an illuminated arrow in the direction of the line for which the points are set. 2.5 British Signalling Aspects For the benefit of those who may at some time have to read signalling plans drawn to British standards (e.g. for the IRSE examination), this is a brief summary of the aspects in use, their meanings and how they are drawn. 2.5.1 Main Signals As with SRA (Currently TfNSW) practice, three colours are used, red,  yellow  and  green.  On  the  plan,  a  red light is denoted by a circle with a horizontal line across it. A yellow  light  has the line at 45° and a green light has a vertical line. The  "normaJ"  aspect  of  the signaJ  (i.e. with  no  routes set and all track circuits clear) is shown by a double line in the appropriate light(s). There are four available aspects; STOP is a red light, CAUTION is a single yellow light, PRELIMINARY CAUTION is two yellow lights and  CLEAR  is  green.The stop, caution and clear signals have the same meanings as the corresponding SRA  aspects. The preliminary caution is similar to the MEDIUM indication  of  SRA  signaJs. The  double yellow aspect is only used in situations where signals  must  be  positioned  closer  together than braking distance. Many lines use red, single yellow and green only. Marker lights are not used. There is no equivalent of the LOW  SPEED  signal. An equivalent control (to allow trains to close up provided they are running  at very low speed)  is provided  by delayed clearance of the yellow aspect. The train must be almost stationary at the signal before the aspect will change from red to yellow. This is achieved by applying approach control with timed track circuit occupation. 2.5.2 Junction Signalling Where a signal has more than one route, a distinct route indication must be given for each  route, except that the highest speed or straight route  need  not have a route  indication.  This may take one of two forms, a junction indicator (a row of  five white lights)  normally  above the main signal and pointing in the direction of the divergence or a multi lamp or fibre optic route indicator displaying one or two characters. There are six available junction indicator positions. Positions 1, 2 and  3 (at 45°, 90" and 135° respectively) indicate diverging routes to the left. Positions 4, 5 and 6 provide equivalent indications to the right. Multi-lamp or fibre optic route indicators are restricted to routes with a speed of 40 mph (64 km/h) or less. Where necessary, clearance of the junction signal is delayed by occupation of the approach track circuit (timed if necessary) to enforce a speed  reduction.  This  is  because  the  driver may receive no warning at previous signals of the route set from the junction signal 2.5.3 Subsidiary Signals The standard subsidiary signal is a position light with two white lights at 45°. The proceed aspect is both lights illuminated. There is no stop aspect -  the  associated  main  signal remains at red. Route indicators are provided  where  necessary but are not obligatory -  if they are provided, route  indications  must  be displayed  for  all routes. The subsidiary signal is used for all shunting and calling on moves. This is a short range signal. An approaching train must be  brought  to a stand  before clearance of the subsidiary aspect. 2.5.4 Shunting Signals The position light shunting signal has two white lights and one red  light. The proceed  aspect is identical to the subsidiary signal. The stop aspect is one red and one white  light, horizontally placed. The white light at the lower right {the "pivot" light) therefore remains continuously lit. A shunting signal with two red lights only is used as a "limit of shunt" indicator. 2.6    Summary Whatever the system of signalling, the signal engineer  must  have  a  detailed  knowledge  of the aspects displayed to the driver and the instructions conveyed. He must then design  the layout of the signalling and the associated controls so that the driver can safely obey all signal aspects. This  must apply for all types of  train likely to use a line. When  required  to reduce  speed or stop, trains must have adequate braking distance under all conditions. The driver of a train must never be given an instruction by a signal that he is unable to comply with.   TO BE CONTINUED - SIGNALLING BOOK | CHAPTER 2 | PART 2...........

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Deepu Dharmarajan - Posted 303 days Ago


SIGNALLING BOOK | CHAPTER 3 | PART 1 CONTENTS 1. Introduction - In Part 1 2. Headway - In Part 1 3. Positioning of Running Signals - In Part 2 4. Types of Signal - In Part 2 5. Points and Crossings - In Part 3 6. Track Circuits - In Part 3 7. Identification of Signals, Points & Track Circuits - In Part 3 8. Examples - In Part 3 1. INTRODUCTION One of the first steps in any signalling project is to determine the method of train working. Having decided this, it is then necessary to decide the position and spacing of signals. This section will assume throughout that colour light signalling to track circuit block principles will be provided on all main lines. Although other methods of working may well be more appropriate, particularly for lightly used single lines, these will be covered later in the course. It is useful at an early stage to determine whether 2, 3 or 4 aspect signalling will be required. This will be governed by the required line capacity, which in turn will be determined by the timetable to be operated. Having this information and an approximate signal spacing, we can then proceed to position the signals on a scale plan of the track layout. Their position relative to stations, junctions etc. will be decided largely by operating requirements. The most economical arrangement that meets all operating requirements is the one that should be adopted. In order to produce a safe and economical signalling scheme, the designer must use his knowledge of signalling principles and be provided with all necessary details of the train service pattern required, the track layout, gradient profiles, line speeds and train characteristics. If this information is not immediately available, it must be requested from the appropriate authority. Sometimes operating requirements conflict with each other and with safety standards — the engineer must then use his experience to reach a satisfactory compromise whilst maintaining the safety standard. 2. HEADWAY The headway of a line is the closest spacing between two following trains, so that the second train can safely maintain the same speeds as the first. This usually means that the second train is sufficiently far behind the first that its driver does not see an unduly restrictive signal aspect. Headways can be expressed in terms of distance but more usefully as a time (e.g. 2 1/2 minutes between following non-stop trains). It can also be converted to a line capacity (trains per hour). Care must be taken when using a "trains per hour" figure if the trains are not evenly spaced in the timetable. The signalling must be able to handle the minimum headway, not the average. Headway will depend on a number of factors:- D = Service Braking Distance d = Distance between STOP signals S = Sighting Distance (usually 200 yds/metres or distance travelled in 10 seconds) O = Overlap Length L = Train Length (less than 100 yds/metres for a short suburban train but possibly over 1km for a heavy freight train) V = Line Speed (or actual train speed if lower) a = Braking rate Where any of these factors are not given to you, you should always state your assumptions. In practical situations, it is vital to obtain accurate information regarding the braking performance of trains. It is also vital to standardise your units of distance and time. If you work in imperial, yards and seconds are most useful; in metric, metres and seconds would be most appropriate. Whichever you decide, you must use the same set of units consistently throughout to avoid confusion and error. 2.1. Service Braking Distance This is the distance in which a train can stop without causing undue passenger discomfort. It will depend on the line speed, gradient, and type of train. It is usually significantly greater than the emergency braking distance. Theoretically, the Service Braking Distance can be calculated using the line speed and braking rate         This is derived from the 3rd Law of Motion. This calculation will depend upon the braking characteristics of the type(s) of train using the line and must take into account the worst case combination of train speed and braking rate. If this calculation is to be performed frequently, it is useful to show the service braking distances for different combinations of speed and gradient in tabular or graphical form. Gradient should always be taken into account. A falling gradient will increase braking distance, a rising gradient will reduce it. As gradients are rarely uniform between signals, we need to calculate an average gradient using the formula: where G is the average gradient   D is the total distance    g and d are the individual gradients & distances. For a gradient of 1 in 100, G = 100. If the gradient is expressed as a percentage, G is the reciprocal of the percentage gradient. Falling gradients taken as negative, rising gradients as positive. 2.2.  2 Aspect Signalling 2 aspect signalling will generally be adequate on lines where traffic density is low. The required length of block section is much greater than braking distance. Only two types of signal are used, a stop signal showing stop and clear only and a distant signal showing caution or clear. Each stop signal will have its associated distant signal. As 2 aspect signalling will mainly be found outside the suburban area, the example shows single light signals. The distance (d) between stop signals is variable according to the geography of the line, positions of stations, loops etc. The headway distance can be calculated as: H = D + d + S + O + L giving a headway time:         Note that the headway time for the line is that of the longest section and cannot be averaged. To obtain the greatest signal spacing to achieve a specified headway, we transpose the equation to give: d = (V x T) - ( D + S + O + L)   2.3.  3 Aspect Signalling With 2 aspect signalling, as the required headway reduces, each stop signal will become closer to the distant signal ahead. it is therefore more economic to put both signals on the same post. This then becomes 3 aspect signalling. Each signal can display either stop, caution or clear. The distance (d) between signals must never be less than braking distance (D), but to ensure that the driver does not forget that he has passed a distant at caution, (d) should not be excessively greater than the service braking distance. The current SRA recommendation is for signal spacing to be no greater than three times braking distance. BR has adopted a maximum of 50% (i.e. 1.5D) although this is often exceeded at low speeds. The headway distance is given by:- H = 2d + S + O + L So the best possible headway, when the signals are as close as possible (exactly braking distance), is: H = 2D + S + O + L The headway with signals spaced 50% over service braking distance is: H = 3D + S + O + L The headway with signals spaced at three times braking distance is: H = 6D + S + O + L   2.4.  4 Aspect Signalling Where signals are closer together than braking distance, a preliminary caution or medium aspect is needed to give trains sufficient warning of a signal at danger. This medium aspect must not be less than braking distance (D) from the stop aspect, so the distance (d) between successive signals must on average be no less than 0.5D. The headway distance is given by:- H = 3d + S + O + L       where d > 0.5 D  So the best possible headway with 4 aspect signalling is given by:- H = 1.5 D + S + O + L In practice, the geographical constraints of the track layout will probably prevent regular spacing of signals at 0.5D. If the total length of two consecutive signal sections is less than braking distance, an additional medium aspect will be required at the previous signal. In other words, the first warning of a signal at stop must be greater than braking distance away. If more than two warnings are required, the medium aspect is repeated, not the caution. Signals should however be positioned so that this situation is as far as possible avoided. 2.5. Application of Low Speed Signals and Conditional Caution Aspects In normal use, the addition of a low speed signal provides the driver with a fifth aspect. It is important to realise that this does not have any effect on the headway of through or non-stopping trains running at their normal speed. In this situation, the engineer will arrange the signals so that each driver should, under normal conditions, see only clear aspects. The preceding headway calculations apply regardless of whether low speed signals are provided or not. A low speed signal tells the driver that he has little or no margin for error beyond the next signal and should control the speed of his train accordingly. The benefit of low speed signals is in allowing a second train to close up behind a stationary or slow moving train by reducing the length of the overlap, provided the speed of the second train has been sufficiently reduced. The same effect can be achieved by delaying the clearance of the caution aspect. This is now preferred, provided an overlap of the order of 100 metres can be achieved. The clearance of the signal should be delayed to give a passing speed of approximately 35km/h. Low speed signals should only be used where the reduced overlap is very short (less than 50 metres) and/or there are fouling moves within 100 metres of the stop signal. 2.5.1. Station Stops With an overlap of 500 metres, a train stopped at a station will have at least 500 metres of clear track behind it. A following train will stop at the first signal outside this distance. By the addition of a low speed signal or a conditionally cleared caution, the overlap distance can be reduced and the second train can approach closer to the station. When the first train leaves the station, the second train can enter the platform earlier, thus giving a better headway for stopping trains. A conditionally cleared caution aspect will normally be used unless the overlap is less than 50 metres. 2.5.2. Approaching Junctions Trains awaiting the clearance of another movement across a junction can approach closer to the junction while keeping the overlap clear of other routes across the junction. A low speed aspect will normally be used in this situation. 2.5.3. Recovery from Delays A line which is operating at or near its maximum capacity will be susceptible to disruption from even minor train delays (e.g. extended station stops at busy times). Low speed signals and or conditionally cleared caution aspects can allow trains to keep moving, even if only slowly, to improve recovery from the delay. The total length of a queue of trains will be less and the area over which the delay has an impact will be reduced. 2.6. Summary For 2 aspect signalling, the headway distance is:- H = D + d + [S + O + L]   For 3 aspect signalling, the headway distance is:- H = 2D + [S + O +  L]   (minimum) where signals are spaced at braking distance H = 2d + [S + O+ L] (general case) for an actual signal spacing of d   For 4 aspect signalling, the headway distance is:- H = 1.5 D + [S + O + L] (minimum) where signals are spaced at braking distance H = 3d + [S + O +  L]  (general case) for an actual signal spacing of d   Note the factor [S + O + L] is common to all equations.   Headway time is then calculated as:         2.7. Determining Signal Type and Spacing Because cost is generally proportional to the number of signals, the arrangement of signalling which needs the smallest number of signals is usually the most economic. It must, however, meet the headway requirements of the operators. For non-stop headways it is likely that the same type of signalling should be provided throughout. Otherwise there will be large variations in the headway. Remember that the headway of the line is limited by the signal section which individually has the greatest headway. This section will briefly describe a technique for determining the optimum signalling for a line. There may need to be localised variations (e.g. a 2 aspect signalled line may need 3 aspect signals in the vicinity of a station or a 3-aspect line may need to change to 4 aspect through a complex junction area). These variations will depend on the requirements for positioning individual signals and can be dealt with after the general rules have been determined. Firstly, determine braking distance, train length and overlap length required. Each must be the worst case. Knowing the required minimum headway, use the H = 2D + S + O + L equation to determine the best possible headway for 3 aspect. Compare the results with the required headway to check whether "best case" 3 aspect signalling is adequate. There should be a margin of 25–30% between the theoretical headway and that required by the timetable to allow for some flexibility to cope with delays. 2.7.1. If the Headway is Worse than Required 3 aspect will not be adequate and 4 aspect must be used. Recalculate for 4 aspect to confirm that this does meet the headway requirement. T = (1.5D + S + O + L) / V If the non-stop headway requires 4 aspect signalling, it is likely that station stops will cause further problems. Signal spacing near stations should be kept to a minimum and low speed signals or conditionally cleared cautions with reduced overlaps may also be required. 2.7.2. If the Headway is Much Better Much better generally means a headway time of 30% or less than that required by the timetable. If this is the case 2 aspect will generally be adequate. Calculate the greatest signal spacing that will achieve the headway with 2 aspect signalling. d=(V x T) - (D + S + O + L) Remember that in this distance d there will be two signals, a stop signal and a distant signal. Then compare this with the maximum permissible signal spacing for 3 aspect. In the absence of any firm rules, a judgement must be made on the amount of excess braking which is acceptable. SRA recommends that signal spacing is no more than three times braking distance while BR signalling principles specify no more than 1.5 times braking distance. If the two calculations produce a similar total number of signals (i.e. d for 2 aspect is approximately twice the value of d for 3 aspect) a 3 aspect system will be the better choice. The cost of the signals will be similar and the operator may as well benefit from the improved headway provided by 3 aspect. 2.7.3. If the Headway is Slightly Better It is probable that 3 aspect is the correct choice. Check that there is sufficient margin between the required and theoretical headway. 2.7.4. Signal Spacing Having evaluated that the chosen arrangement of signalling will provide the required headway, the relevant equation should be transposed to calculate the greatest possible signal spacing that can be allowed with the specified headway: eg. for 3 aspect signalling: V x T = H           = 2d + S + O + L therefore  2d     = (V x T) - (S + O + L) from which the post to post spacing (d) can be calculated Remember, there may be a constraint on the maximum signal spacing. The value of d should not exceed this. Geographical constraints may also require signals to be closer together than braking distance, in which case the 4th (medium) aspect is used where required. It does not need to be used throughout unless for headway [puposes]. 2.8. Example Information given:- Max. Line Speed...... 90 km/h Gradients ..........  Level Train Length.............. 250 metres Headway Required..... 2 1/2 mins. (non-stop) Before we start, we need the Service Braking Distance, either by calculation or from tables/curves (where available). We will assume that D = 625 metres. Note : S assumed to be 200 metres. O assumed to be 500 metres (although overlaps may need to be more accurately calculated if trainstops used) V = 90 km/h = 25m/s First, check 3 aspect signalling:- H = (2D + S + O + L) = (1250 + 200 + 500 + 250)  = 2200 metres so T = H/V = 88 seconds. This is much less than the 150 seconds (21/2 mins) specified. We will therefore consider the alternative of 2 aspect signalling. We cannot calculate a theoretical headway for 2 aspect signalling as the signal spacing is not fixed. Instead, we calculate the greatest 2 aspect signal spacing to give us the 150 second headway specified : d = (V x T) - (D + S + O + L) = (25 x 150) - (625 + 200 + 500 + 250) = 3750 - 1575 metres = 2175 metres Hence 2 aspect signalling, with the stop signals no more than 2175 metres apart, would give the 2 1/2 min. headway required. However, each stop signal also requires a distant signal. Two signals are therefore required every 2175 metres. 3 aspect signalling with signals every 1088 metres would require no more signals but would give a better headway of: H = 2d + (S + O = L) = 2175 + (200 + 500 + 250) = 3125 metres So T = H/V = 3125/25 = 125 seconds In fact, the signal spacing could be extended further within the headway requirement of 150 seconds. This would give a better headway with fewer signals than 2 aspect. This demonstrates that 2 aspect is generally worth considering only for very long headways. We could now calculate the maximum possible 3 aspect signal spacing allowed by the headway : V x T = H = 2d + S + O + L therefore 2d      = (V  x  T) - (S + O + L) = (25 x 150) - (200 + 500 + 250) = 3750 - 950 = 2800 metres d        = 1400m As this is over twice braking distance, it should be confirmed that this signal spacing is operationally acceptable TO BE CONTINUED - SIGNALLING BOOK | CHAPTER 3 | PART 2...........

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