Wellington Junction - Down Trains

In 2004 the signalling for Down trains at Wellington Junction (also known as Distant Junction) followed speed signalling conventions, although with only two possible routes the signals also provided route information. In contrast Up trains were directed with signals that clearly followed route conventions. This page describes the signalling of down trains at Wellington Junction in 2004.

In 2009/10 the junction was rearranged with the addition of a third track.

(Right) A reminder to drivers of the route set. A4R Down Home Approach. NS - Normal Speed; MS - Medium Speed.


Main Line
Down passenger trains approaching the junction (on both the Hutt and Tawa lines) receive Normal Speed indications for the main line to Wellington Station. A speedboard restricts Manawatu (Tawa) trains to 50km/h through the junction with the Hutt line. Hutt trains can travel at line speed.

Why do Manawatu trains not receive a Medium speed indication instead of Normal speed? Perhaps because Medium Speed is used for entry to the yard.

Freight Yard
Down trains to the freight yard receive either a medium speed or a low speed indication on the Down Outer Home signals 2R and 4R. The Down Home signal at the yard entrance 16R is fixed red and all trains enter the yard on a low speed indication. (Until yard alterations in 2000 16R could display Normal Speed to one arrival road).

In rear of the junction are speed boards restricting the speed of trains through the freight yard turnout to 20km/h. These signs are interesting because they reduce rather than increase Medium speed and also because the word "Goods" is used rather than "Freight".


Down Outer Home Approach Signals

A4R Down Outer Home Approach (from Tawa) on the left and A2R Down Outer Home Approach (from the Hutt) on the right. Approach signals are stop and stay automatic signals. If the signals in advance, 2R Down Outer Home (Hutt) or 4R Down Outer Home (Tawa) are at Stop the respective Approach signals will display Stop and clear only after the approach track circuit has been occupied for a pre-determined time (typically 30 seconds - I do not have the exact figure for these signals).

If the section between the Approach signal and the stop signal in advance is occupied the low-speed light will come on automatically, after the time delay.

The signs read  "NS (Normal Speed) Main    MS (Medium Speed) Goods". See my Aspects, Medium Speed and low-speed pages for more details of the signal indications.

Note the train stop with the raised arm to the right of A4R.

Route Information

Another view of A2R Down Outer Home Approach (from Hutt), displaying green/red - Normal Speed. Beyond the signal is a notice board which clarifies the route set.

The sign reads  "NS (Normal Speed) Main    MS (Medium Speed) Goods".

The signalling of down trains follows speed signalling conventions. Notice boards are used to confirm which route is set, presumably because of the delays that would occur if a freight train headed for the platforms or a passenger train entered the yard. In contrast route signalling is used for up trains at this junction.

Both approach signals are fitted with train stops. If the signal is at Stop a raised arm will trip a lever on any EMU which passes the signal. The trip lever applies the brakes. The stop to the right of partially obscured A4R, which is displaying red/red, is in the raised position.

Train Stops

Train stops are installed next to the Wellington Junction approach signals and also at several other critical places in the Wellington suburban network. When a signal is at Stop a raised lever operates a trip lever on any EMU that passes the signal. The trip lever applies the brakes. When the signal displays Proceed the arm is lowered.

The Ganz Mavag and English Electric EMUs are fitted with trip levers, as were the now withdrawn Ew and Ed electric locomotives. A tripped lever can be reset from the cab of a Ganz Mavag EMU but the driver of an English Electric set must leave the cab and manually reset the trip valve. The De diesel locomotives, which operated some Hutt Valley suburban services in the 1950s, were fitted with trip levers; the current generation of diesel locomotives are not fitted.

This train stop was photographed on the Melling Branch. It is in the Stop position.

Down Outer Home Signals

2R Down Outer Home for Hutt trains on the left and 4R Down Outer Home for Tawa trains on the right. These signals display Normal speed for trains on the main line to Wellington Station and Medium Speed to the Yard. A low speed light can also be displayed for either route. The low speed light is under the signalman's control - it does not operate automatically as do those on the approach signals.

If a signal is put to Stop in the face of a train a 90 second time delay applies. During this time it is not possible to move points which are locked by the signal concerned or to clear an opposing signal.

The Picton Rail Ferry terminal is out of sight on the left.

Speed Boards

The junction. The Hutt Line is on the left and the Tawa (NIMT) line is on the right. Note that 1 points (the first set of points) give Hutt trains access to the yard before the junction.

The speedboard closest to the camera reads Manawatu Trains SLOW 50 Through Junction. Down trains on either line travelling to Wellington Station receive either a Normal speed or a Low Speed indication on the signal in the rear. Normal Speed is the maximum laid down for the locality, which for Tawa trains is the 50km/h through 3 trailing points.

The more distant speedboards say Express Goods SLOW 20. All freight trains enter the yard (on a medium speed or low speed indication). This is an example of speedboards reducing Medium Speed (25km/h).

Down Home Approach Signal

Through the junction and approaching A39 Down Home Approach. The next section (to 39 Down Home) is clear.

A39 is an Approach signal so the low-speed light will illuminate automatically (after a time delay) if the section in advance is occupied.

From the left down main, up main and the Johnsonville line climbing out of the yard.

Down Home Signal

39 Down Home is displaying green/red - Normal Speed.

From the left the down main, up main and the single track Johnsonville line.

The signal on the right is the Johnsonville line Home signal. The CTC sign applies to Johnsonville trains.

Last Updated: Sun Feb 7 15:48:57 NZDT 2010

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