Low Speed Light At Wellington Station

A low-speed light allows a train to be signalled onto an occupied track. This sequence of photographs demonstrates the use of a low-speed light at Wellington Station. The photographs were taken from the cab of 1603, the 6 30am Masterton - Wellington train, on 8/8/2001. The quotes are from the 1965 Rule Book. The 1988 Rule Book was in force when this journey was made. However, while there may have been changes in wording, the meaning of the low-speed indication has not changed.

Note that since the photos were taken a third approach track has been installed, the signals renumbered and the searchlight signals replaced with LEDs. The Wellington Station 1937 layout can be seen here.





39 Down Home
Train 1603, the 6 30am Masterton - Wellington passenger train approaches signal 39 Down Home on the Down Main. The signal is displaying red/yellow Caution, Medium Speed. In the 1988 Rule Book this has the meaning

Proceed at medium speed, prepared to stop at next signal -
Section is clear but suitable for medium speed only, and signal in advance is at "Stop" or is displaying a Low-speed indication.


Speed Boards restrict speed to 20km/h through the station throat so signal 39 effectively acts as a route signal.

47 Down Directing

Signal 47 Down Directing is displaying a yellow low-speed light - Caution, Low speed signal.

This has the meaning

Proceed at low speed, prepared to find track occupied, and ready to stop clear of any obstruction.

Points are in the proper position but track may be occupied, or suitable for low speed only.


"A" Box is out of sight on the left. The Bay Express to Napier is waiting at 99 Directing. 75 points in front of the "Bay" are reversed; these points will take it to the double slip (bottom left) and onto the up main once 1603 has passed.

Platform 5

Approaching platform 5 and the reason for the low speed light is apparant. The track is occupied by the locomotive from an earlier train.

The clock indicates that we have arrived on time.

The red EMU on the right was built by English Electric in the early 1950s and is of a design that dates back to the 1930s.



Last Updated: Wednesday May 7 2013

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