DUTIES OF HANDSIGNALMEN AND THE HAND OPERATION OF MOTOR POINTS
Chief Traffic Manager
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Although this booklet explains what you must do as a handsignalman and when hand operating motor points you should also carefully read the Rules and Regulations book from which it has been prepared.
The Rules you will most commonly use are:-
1. The first and most important duty of every employee is to provide for the safety of the public and other employees.
6. Special Precautions for Safe Operation.
8. Colours and Indications of Signals.
9, 10 and 11. Hand Signals.
14. Detonator Signals.
66. Signalling During Adverse Weather Conditions.
98. Defective Signals and Points.
The first and most important duty of every employee is to provide for the safety of the public and other railwaymen.
This booklet is to assist you when you are asked to carry out the duties of a handsignal man or a pointsman. It covers all the main points of these duties but does not in any way replace the "Rules and Regulations".
Duties of a Handsignalman Pages 4 to 14.
Hand Operation of Motor Points Pages 14 to 24.
DUTIES OF HANDSIGNALMAN
Handsignalmen are used to help signal trains when:-
(a) fixed signals or motor points are not working properly or are out of order;
(b) enginedrivers cannot see fixed signals clearly because of heavy fog, snow or smoke;
(c) a signalman needs trains to be signalled at a place where there is no fixed signal. This may be when double line traffic is being worked over a single line under Pilot Working and there is no signal to control trains coming off the "Wrong" line.
When you work as a Handsignalman you must:-
(a) know exactly what you are to do;
(b) understand the Rules and Regulations about handsignalling trains;
(c) know the special instructions and orders for hand signalling trains in the area in which you will work;
(d) obey all those special instructions as well as the Rules and egulations.
(e) have been tested and passed by a Staff Instructor/Examiner.
When you are working as a Handsignalman you are working for the Signalman. You must do only what the Signalman tells you to do. When you have finished a job that the Signalman has told you to do you must let him know.
You must have one red and one green handsignal flag. The size of the flags should be 450 mm by 500 mm (19 inches by 20 inches).
A special reflectorised vest is to be worn. At night the vest will shine white in the beam of light. There are the letters "H.S." in black, front and back of the Handsignalmans vest. This safety vest must be worn at all times while you are on duty as a Handsignalman.
When working at night, or when signals are hard to see, you must have a good handsignallamp as well.
When working in an area where there are motor points you must have a key to unlock them. The Signalman will tell you what type of lock is on the motor points.
You must also have at least 2 tins of detonators if you are:-
(a) working when signals cannot be clearly seen (such as in heavy fog);
(b) working at a signal which cannot be placed at stop because it is not working properly;
(c) working at a position where there is not usually a signal (such as during Pilot Working).
Reporting for Duty
When you are to work as a Handsignalman you must go and see the Signalman in charge of the area. The Officer Controlling Train Running may let you report to the Signalman by telephone if it is difficult to get to see him.
The Signalman will make sure you have a red flag and green flag, a working signal lamp detonators if needed and are wearing your Handsignalman's vest. He will also explain what you have to do.
What the Signalman Must Explain
Examples of what the Signalman will need to explain to you are:-
(a) How you and the Signalman will get in touch with each other. This will usually be by telephone, radio or messenger. If telephone is used the Signalman will tell you where it is. If it is a party line he will say what the code ring is. When radio is used he must say how to call him and how he will call you. If a messenger is used the Signalman must say who the messenger will be and how he will go between you and the Signalman (he will walk or ride a bike or have a car).
(b) When you must call the Signalman.
The usual times you will need to call are:
(I) When you see a train coming;
(2) When you have the route set ready for the train;
(3) After the train has passed; and
(4) Any time you are not sure what you should do.
(c) What you should do if more than one train arrives at the same time. This should only happen if you are in charge of a junction or a number of tracks. When two trains arrive together the Signalman will tell you which train is to go first.
(d) What you should do when the train has passed. Usually he will tell you to move the points to "Normal" and tell him when you have done this.
(e) The Signalman must make sure that you fully understand what you have been told to do.
You must get in touch with the Signalman by telephone, radio or messenger when the Signalman tells you to.
If radios are used you must make sure that messages you hear are for you.
You must make sure that you understand what the Signalman wants you to do before you move the points or hand signal a train to go.
If in doubt about anything at all you must ask the Signalman.
When a Pointsman is Assisting
You Sometimes another person is used to help you to work the points. This person is called a "Pointsman". You must:-
(a) tell the Pointsman when the Signalman wants the points moved and,
(b) tell the Signalman when the Pointsman has set the points correctly, and
(c) you must never think the points are correctly set unless you have looked for yourself and have also asked the Pointsman. Always start from the furthest set of "failed" points and work towards the locomotive. (Always ask the Signalman as to whether points are "double enders" or a single set).
DUTIES WHEN HANDSIGNALLING WHERE THERE IS NO FIXED SIGNAL OR WHERE THE FIXED SIGNAL IS AT STOP.
What you must do when a Train approaches
You must ask the Signalman whether to let the train go or to hold it. Before you allow the train to go past you must:
(a) find out on which line the Signalman needs the train to go, and
(b) make sure that the points are set right for that line. (The points must not be able to move before or while the train is on top of them. Motor points must be hand operated unless the Signalman says that he will operate them. The right way to hand-operate motor points is shown in the section "The Hand Operation of Motor Points" ), on pages 14 to 24.
(c) tell the Signalman which way the points are set.
You will hand signal the train forward only when the Signalman tells you to. You must tell the Signal-man when the train has gone past.
You must not allow trains to pass without the Signalman saying so.
How Trains are to be Handsignalled
You must stand at the signal when hand signalling trains.
During the day flags must be used for hand-signalling trains. Hand-signal lamps must be used for hand signalling trains at night or any time that a lamp is easier to see than a flag.
The right way to give hand signals is shown in pictures on pages 8 and 9.
You must face the Enginedriver when signalling the train.
If there is more than one train, make sure that only the right train goes when you signal.
If the train is to enter a line which is blocked in any way the train must be stopped. The enginedriver must then be told which line his train will go on and what is blocking the line.
If there are no flags or hand signal lamps the trains are to be stopped at the signal ( or at the point at which you have been told to go to). This is to be done by placing three detonators on each rail at the signal and giving a stop hand signal (both hands held above the head). The detonators should be 10 metres apart. You must then go to the enginedriver and tell him what is happening. If the detonators have not gone off they may be picked up. When the Signalman tells you to, you must tell the enginedriver that the train can start. In this case you do not have to use a hand signal.
DUTIES WHEN HANDSIGNALLING AT A DEFECTIVE STOP AND STAY SIGNAL WHICH IS AT PROCEED AND WILL NOT GO TO STOP.
Detonators Must Be Used
You must place 3 pairs of detonators, 10 metres apart, on the rails opposite the signal. You must then go along the line and place 2 pairs of detonators, 10 metres apart on the rails are a place where the Signalman tells you. These detonators will be far enough away from the signal to enable the engine- driver to stop his train before it reaches the signal.
Action the Handsignalman Will Take when a Train Approaches
You must stand at the 2 pairs of detonators and give a "Stop" handsignal to the approaching train.
Trains must not be permitted to pass without first obtaining permission from the Signalman.
When the train is to proceed past the signal you must:
(a) find out which way the Signalman needs the train to go, and
(b) make sure that the points are set right for that way. (The points must not be able to move before or while the train is on top of them. Motor points must be hand operated unless the Signalman says that he will operate them. The right way to hand operate motor points is shown on pages 14 to 24, and
(c) tell the Signalman which way the points are set.
You must not remove the detonators or signal the train forward until the Signalman tells you to.
The right way to give a handsignal is shown in the pictures on pages 8 and 9.
When the train has gone past you must tell the Signalman and replace the detonators immediately.
DUTIES WHEN HANDSIGNALLING AT A DEFECTIVE STOP AND PROCEED OR DISTANT SIGNAL WHICH WILL NOT GO TO "CAUTION", OR A STOP AND PROCEED SIGNAL WHICH WILL NOT GO TO "STOP".
Detonators Must Be Used
You must place 3 pairs of detonators, 10 metres apart, on the rails opposite the signal. You must then go along the line and place 2 pairs of detonators, 10 metres apart on the rails at a place where the Signalman tells you. These detonators will be far enough away from the signal to enable the engine- driver to stop his train before it reaches the signal.
Action the Handsignalman Will Take when a Train Approaches
Unless the Signalman tells you different you must stand at the 2 pairs of detonators and give a "Stop" hand signal to the approaching train. You must advise the enginedriver that the signal is defective, remove the detonators, and then allow the train to proceed.
HOW TO USE DETONATORS
The detonators must be placed centrally on the top of the rail with the label upwards. The clips or clasps which hold the detonator on the rail must be bent around the upper flange of the rail.
Detonators are always used in pairs, one detonator on one rail and the other directly opposite on the other rail. Each pair of detonators must be placed 10 metres away from the next pair.
HAND OPERATION OF MOTOR POINTS
Isolating or Motor Points
Before hand operating motor points the points motor must be isolated from its power supply.
There are several different types of electric motor points in use on New Zealand Railways and consequently several different methods of isolation from the power supply are used.
In Section headed Classification of Motor Points the types of motor points have been grouped accord ing to the isolation arrangement provided.
The type of electric motor points in use at any particular station is contained in the Local Instructions to the Signalman or C.T.C. operator concerned.
On no occasion should a crank handle be removed from its appointed place without the permis sion of the Signalman or C T.C. operator concerned being obtained.
Classification of Motor Points
(a) Westinghouse Type M2 side winding. (See page17).
Power is isolated from this class of machine by the withdrawal of the crank handle from its detector box.
(b) Westinghouse Types M3 and M3a, top winding. (See page 18).
Power is isolated from this class of machine by releasing the padlock hasp after removing the padlock to gain access to the crank handle opening. Releasing the hasp allows a spring loaded plunger to come out and the isolating switch to open.
(c) Type GRS, SGE and Nippon, top winding. (See page 19).
Power is isolated from this class of machine by moving aside a guard ring before it is possible to insert the crank handle.
(d) Westinghouse Type M5 Dual Control non- winding. Power is isolated from this class of machine by reversing the selector lever. See page 20 and section headed Additional Details for Hand Operation of Type M5 Dual Control Motor Points.
Operation of Isolating Devices
When hand operation has been decided upon and a crank handle removed from its appointed place, NO isolating device may be restored to the power operat ing position until the movement for which the points were hand operated has been completed. Particular care should be taken to follow this instruction where it is necessary to remove a crank handle from one motor to hand operate another, as in the case where two or more points motors are controlled from the same points lever. Therefore, if the points were hand operated for a train to shunt, the isolating device must not be restored to the power operating position until the shunting is completed and the train despatched, or, if the points were hand operated to the reverse for a train to enter a loop the points should be restored to normal, the position in which they failed, and the isolating switch restored to the power operating position when the train has entered the loop.
N isolating device must be restored to the motor operating position until the points have been restored to the position in which the points control lever is placed.
Location of Crank Handles.
The location of crank handles at a station is shown on the Circular S. & I. for that station, there may be one or more depending on the complexity of the layout. A crank handle must not be used on any other motor points than the one for which it is intended. The crank handle may be housed in a contactor box, when the crank handle is removed from the detector box the power may be disconnected from all the points in a given area in addition to the motor points to be hand operated. Local Instructions to the Signalman or C.T.C. operator concerned will detail this point.
When motor points of classes A, B and C fail for any reason and it is necessary to hand operate them,the crank handle must be removed from its appointed place, inserted in the motor and turned to move the points to the required position. The first few turns of the handle unlock the points, no movement occuring at the switch blades. As the winding continues, the switch blades move to the opposite position and when this movement is complete, the last few turns of the crank handle locks them in the position to which they have been moved. It is important therefore that the crank handle is wound as far as it will go in either position of the points to ensure that locking has been effected. A visual check should now be made that the required switch blade is fitted against the stock rail.
SHOULD IT BE NECESSARY TO ISOLATE AND HAND OPERATE MOTOR POINTS WHEN THE SWITCH BLADES ARE LYING IN THE POSITION IN WHICH IT IS REQUIRED TO RUN OVER THEM, THE POINTS SHOULD FIRST BE WOUND TO THE OPPOSITE POSI TION TO WHICH IT IS YING AND THEN BACK AGAIN TO THE REQUIRED POSITION. THIS IS REQUIRED TO ENSURE THE SWITCH BLADES AND THE LOCKING DEVICE IS FULLY IN THE DESIRED POSITION.
See also section headed Additional Details for Hand Operation of Type MS Dual Control Motor Points.
Obstruction in Switches
When motor points fail through an obstruction such as a piece of ballast in the switches, hand crank the points over and clear the obstruction, restore the points to the position in which they failed, restore the isolating device to the power operation position and test the points from the lever in the signalbox before a train is allowed to pass over them.
When an obstruction in the switches occurs preventing them from moving to the full normal or reverse positions, it will be found that the motor continues to run as long as the switch blades are in an intermediate position. It is therefore important that the isolating device is opened as soon as possible to stop the motor. Continued running of the motor may seriously damage it and in the case of battery points, an undue drain is placed on the battery.
Cause of Failure not Apparent
When the cause of the failure is not apparent as in the case of a breakdown of apparatus, call the Signal Maintainer immediately and proceed to hand operation.
Position of Points Control Lever During Failure of Motor Points
The points control lever must be placed in the position it occupied before the failure occurred. If the operator, having a normal points indication attempts to reverse the points and they do not respond, then the points control lever must be restored to the normal position. Similarly if the points fail to operate from reverse to normal the points control lever is to be left in the reverse position. The lever must not be left in an intermediate position.
Points Failure when Local Control in Operation
Should motor points fail when being controlled from a Local Control Panel or Station Control Panel under Emergency Conditions, section headed Position of Points Control Lever During Failure of Motor Points will apply. It will not be possible to restore to Central Control if in compliance with the above section the points lever is in the reverse position.
Fixed Signals in Relation to Failure of Points
When motor points fail and are being hand operated, all fixed signals applicable to them must be considered to have failed also and all movements over the points must be hand signalled. Care must be taken to see the route has been correctly set up for the movement about to be carried out.
Restoration of Hand Worked Points to Power Operation
Before a train is allowed to pass over motor points with the isolating devices in the motor operation position following Hand Operation of these same motor points, the points must be tested from the points lever and the indication observed to be correct in both the "Normal" and "Reverse" positions.
Sealing of Crank Handles
Any member who breaks a seal to obtain possession of the crank handle must record the seal number, time, date and the purpose of which the handle was used in the train register. The Signal Maintainer must also be advised as it is necessary that he examine the apparatus after hand operation
Hand Operation of Type M5 Dual Control Motor Points (Additional Details)
Under normal power operation the selector lever is locked in the normal position by means of an A.S. padlock, and is engraved SELECTOR LEVER MOTOR OPERATING POSITION.
The other lever is the HAND THROW LEVER which is lettered N on one side and R on the other (see page 20).
This lever is used for the actual hand operation of the points. Before hand operating the points, the hand throw lever must be moved to the position corres ponding to the lay of the points. So if the points fail in the normal position the N on the hand throw lever must face upwards before the selector lever is reversed; and the same if the points are in the reverse position the R must face upwards. Having place the hand throw lever to the correct position, the selector lever is unlocked and turned over to rest on the cradle, the lettering will then read HAND OPERATING POSITION. The points may now be moved by means of the hand throw lever.
These points must not be operated by staff unless they have had special tution and certified as competent by the Staff Instructor/ Examiner.
Fig 1. Westinghouse Type M2 side winding.
Fig. 2 Westinghouse Types M3 and M3a, top winding.
Fig. 3 Type GRS, SGE and Nippon, top winding.
Fig. 4 Westinghouse Type M5 Dual Control non-winding.