Masterton Local Instructions

An extract from the Masterton Local Instructions for 1998 and 2004, with comments on procedures in 2004. Procedures in 2004 are different from those in 1998 because of reductions in staff and changes in train schedules.

Comments On Operating Masterton In October 2004

Off-Peak Up Passenger Service Arrives When an Up passenger service arrives 3 Up Home signal is placed at Stop. 2 Down Home is already at Stop so the B key can be removed from the frame. The locomotive is uncoupled and enters the loop at the north end, the B key being used to unlock 8 points. This requires the train to pass the Down Home signal - the train is protected by a stop board facing down trains. After the locomotive has been reversed on the turntable it uses the Gasworks crosover to re-enter the main. The Woods keys are then replaced in the frame. An alternative procedure is for the train, after arrival, to set back over the Gas Works cross-over. The latter procedure also rquires the "B" key.

Down Train Departs Before a Down train departs 3 Up Home signal is placed at clear, ready for the next Up service.

Down Train Arrives Currently there is only one Down train, 633 Napier - Wellington freight. Normal procedure is for 633 to stop at (the Stop Board ????) 2 Down Home, which is kept at Stop. 633 is then authorised by Train Control to pass the Down Home at Stop. On rare occasions, if 633 is running late and its arrival conflicts with a passenger service or 634 Up freight, it will be signalled into the station.

Train Crews Attend To Signalling The train crews themselves look after signalling unless a crossing is to be made with a freight train while a passenger service is being "turned around" for return to Wellington, in which case freight terminal staff usually carry out signalling duties and effect the train crossing. This would normally occur if 634 departs Wellington late and either runs behind 1602, or 1602 runs through it at Upper Hutt, in which case 634 will often cross 1607 at Masterton (after the turn-around from 1602) and the freight operator will carry out the crossing.

Train Not Stopping Masterton is an Interlocked Station between two separate Track Warrant areas - Featherston to Masterton and Masterton to Woodville. All through trains have to stop at Masterton to take an ongoing Track Warrant. A Track Warrant can be cancelled while a train is moving, but it must be stopped while the LE is taking a Warrant.

Calling Out Staff When 633 Late Usually staff are never called out as a Masterton Locomotive Engineer and Tranz Metro Guard start work at 4:30am and both are certified for shunting and signalling duties at Masterton. If 633 (down) and 644 (up) cross prior to 4:30am 633 is held outside Masterton at the north end while 644 berths into the yard clear of the main line. Then 644's crew signal 633 into Masterton.

All Masterton and Wellington Locomotive Engineers are certified for shunting and signalling duties at Masterton. The Rule Book states that at any station which is not staffed, the Locomotive Engineer of the first train to arrive becomes the Officer in Charge (and for practical purposes, the Signalman).

Note that in October 2004 633 (Napier - Wellington freight) and (Wellington - Napier freight) 634 are the only through trains.

Extract From Masterton 1998 Local Instructions

The following notes are from an issue of the Working Timetable from about 1998.

Since 1998 there have been reductions in staff and changes in train schedules. Current operating procedures are therefore different.

Staff In Attendance Staff are in attendance at Masterton station as follows:
Monday to Thursday 0730 to 1030 and 1230 to 1730
Friday 0730 to 1030 and 1230 to 2000

Clearing two position home signal
Train not stopping:
Signal placed at proceed when line ahead is clear. A clear hand signal to also be given from platform.
Train required to stop:
Signal placed at proceed once train has almost stopped at signal. The train must be clear in station limits.

Woods Keys The Woods lock keys (A and B) used for operating the signal levers and main line points are held in the signal lever to which they belong and are only to be removed when required to operate the respective main line points. The signal frame levers are enclosed in a special locked cabinet.

When station staff are on duty

The A and B Woods Lock keys may be removed from the respective signal levers and held in the old tablet room Monday to Friday, during normal working hours, by staff who carry out shunting work. Before completing work for the day, the shunting staff must ensure the Woods Lock keys have been replaced in the respective signal levers. While this arrangement is in place the provisions of Rule 103 will apply with the appointed place being the old tablet room.

103. Use and Custody of Woods Points Keys - (a) Woods points keys, when not in use, must be kept in the place appointed for their safe custody. (1988 Rule Book)

When station staff are not on duty

The Locomotive Engineer of a departing or arriving train must arrange for No.3 Up Home signal to be placed at "Proceed" after ascertaining from Train Control if the next movement is an Up train.

This instruction contravenes the 1988 Rule Book:

45. (a) Normal Position of Two-position Signals - The normal position of two-position signals is at "Stop"; exceptions are Distant signals, for which the normal position is at "Caution", and certain signals at switch-out stations, which are left at "Proceed when the stations are switched out.

Mastertion is not  a switch-out station - at all times Up and Down trains can simultaneously run towards Masterton.

(Not On Duty Continued...)  When Up trains arrive they are to stop at the station and the Locomotive Engineer is to arrange for No.3 Up Home signal to be placed at "Stop" before clearing the limits of the track warrant.

Late Running 633 When No.633 (Napier - Wellington Express Freight) runs late and will conflict with No.644 (Welllington - Masterton Express Freight) at Masterton, Train Control must NOT authorise No.633 to pass the "All Trains Stop" board and No.2 Down Home signal at "Stop" but must call out staff at Masterton who will arrange for the movement of No.633 through Masterton station limits.

Up Trains If after the arrival of an Up terminating train it is necessary to set No.3 Up Home signal to proceed for a following train, this must only be done once the main line in station limits is clear and no further movements will be carried out.

No.3 Up Home signal must not be set to proceed by a Down departing train crew until the Locomotive Engineer has received a track warrant to proceed.

After No.3 Up Home signal is set at "Proceed" Train Control must be advised. The arrangements for berthing incoming trains in the station yard after their arrival on the man line, placing of departing trains to the main line and the turning of locomotives/marshalling arrangements will be advised by local instruction issued by the Controlling Manager.

Before any movement at Masterton enters onto the main line from the station yard, permission must be obtained from Train Control. When terminating trains have berthed in the station yard, Train Control must be advised that the main line is clear.

Down Trains Down trains must not pass the "All Trains Stop" board and No.2 Down Home signal at "Stop" until permission has been obtained from Train Control. Before giving permission, Train Control must ensure that the main line is clear for the intended movement.

The speed of a Down train which is authorised to pass No.2 Down Home signal at Stop must not exceed 10 km/h from passing the signal until the train has reached Akura Road level crossing. The alarms for the crossing will start automatically at a point 30 metres beyond the signal. The train must approach the crossing caustiously and the Locomotive Engineer ensure the alarms are operating before the train proceeds over the crossing.

Extract From Masterton 2004 Local Instructions

Locking Of Turntable

When not in use the turntable MUST be locked.


Lever frames and woods lock keys are situated at the south end of Masterton Station enclosed in a small white shed. This shed is locked with an AS4 padlock.

Inside the shed are two lever frames. The "A" Woods lock key operates the UP home signal, the first set of points inside the up home signal (south end) and the cross over points in front of the station. The "B" key operates the DOWN home signal, the first set of points inside the down home signal (north end) and the gas works points at the south end of the yard opposite the Gangers' amenities.

To operate the cross over points in front of the Station, use the "A" key. You are required to unlock the "B" end of the points (north end) then unlock the "A" end in front of entrance and leave the "A" key in the lock.

When an UP train arrives on the Main Line you will be rquired to drop the UP home signal back to stop. Remove the "B" key from the DOWN home lever frame and push back to the gas works points. Use the "B" Woods lock key to operate the points to gain access to the yard.

When required to depart Masterton you must do so from the Main Line. To do this you must obtain the "B" key from the lever frame in the shed at the south end of Masterton station. Take your train out the south end of the yard and push back onto the loop. The "B" key will operate the gas works points onto the Main Line, lock the points and return the "B" key to its correct position in the lever frame.

Last Updated: Monday, October 25, 2004

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