Blue and white Flag

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scotsman

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It's a visual warning that a train is approaching AND that they should stop working and proceed to a position of safety
 

Hydro

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Emergency toilet paper.


Facetiousness aside, it's for intermediate and distant lookouts to signal back to the site lookout that a train is approaching. Waved in a high, above the head figure of 8 - train approaching, stand clear. Held out horizontally showing a static square flag - all clear, start work again. Waved below the waist in a figure of 8 - work complete, return to site. All signals are repeated between lookouts to signal acknowledgement.
 

The Snap

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If I ever move from the primary contractor side of things into Network Rail, I hope to god I don't get put on a Lookout course! I imagine it's sole-destroyingly boring...? :|
 

Hydro

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It can be, yes. Not so bad out somewhere interesting, on a nice day. In the middle of nowhere, raining and with maybe a train every hour...dull. The COSS should rotate the lookouts to avoid them getting too bored and having their attention wander.
 

Welshman

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Cue 1830s - man waves a red flag to warn of approaching train.
Skip to 2011 - man waves a blue and white flag to warn of approaching train.

It's good to know things don't change very much! ;) ;)
 

Hydro

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The lookout concept and role hasn't changed much for at least the last 80 years.
 

rail-britain

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I remember lookouts working just to the north of Cumbernauld a few weeks ago on a Sunday
Virtually no point as there no passenger trains
Also, I wouldn't have expected any other type of train for the period they were working either!

The lookout kept waving his flag when the Glasgow - Cumbernauld arrived, but then realised it was not travelling any further
 

ralphchadkirk

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I remember lookouts working just to the north of Cumbernauld a few weeks ago on a Sunday
Virtually no point as there no passenger trains
Also, I wouldn't have expected any other type of train for the period they were working either!
So? First rule of PTS is don't use timetables and signals to guess when trains are coming!
 

Tin Rocket

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Emergency toilet paper.


Facetiousness aside, it's for intermediate and distant lookouts to signal back to the site lookout that a train is approaching. Waved in a high, above the head figure of 8 - train approaching, stand clear. Held out horizontally showing a static square flag - all clear, start work again. Waved below the waist in a figure of 8 - work complete, return to site. All signals are repeated between lookouts to signal acknowledgement.
site lookout also uses the chequered flag to acknowledge the warning of approaching trains by intermediate/distant lookouts,and the method of warning to staff is a horn or whistle,where did the horizontal static flag and the waving below the waist and figure of 8 come from??not from the rule book,sounds more like semaphore.
 

ralphchadkirk

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The wave above the head is in the rule book. The rest aren't. But as long as you have come to a clear understanding with the COSS and the rest of the staff what each means, then I see no problem. In fact, it sounds rather sensible.
 

rail-britain

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So? First rule of PTS is don't use timetables and signals to guess when trains are coming!
Surely before commencing the work they should have contacted the signaller

On the previous three weekends the route was closed with no lookouts
Presumably it was due to the proximity to Cumbernauld station
However, the signaller must have been aware of the work as the units were routed to the kickback siding
Once the work had ended the units were then reversing on the main line
 

Tin Rocket

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I remember lookouts working just to the north of Cumbernauld a few weeks ago on a Sunday
Virtually no point as there no passenger trains
Also, I wouldn't have expected any other type of train for the period they were working either!

The lookout kept waving his flag when the Glasgow - Cumbernauld arrived, but then realised it was not travelling any further
just speaking as someone who is employed by network, rail maintenance work is planned as green zone working or red zone working,it may be the case that the work was planned red zone with lookout protection which sounds the case,if thats how it was planned then thats the method the COSS will use if he see's fit unless he tries to go up the SSOW hirearchy,just because you did'nt see any trains does not mean that the line concerned is not open to train movements at line speed,a competant coss should not assume,expect or second guess anything should maybe or maybe not happen or occur he/she should use all the information such as the sectional appendix supplies to set up a SSOW,also the signaller is not there to tell you that trains are approaching or not approaching your worksite either thats cloud cuckoo land,passenger trains are not the only trains to use the network,there may have been freight,engineers or on track plant.
 

pendolino

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When I drive past one, I like to think the Look-out's waving the chequered flag because I've won the Grand Prix, and there's a nice Jeroboam of champagne waiting for me back at the depot when I book off.

It's never happened yet, but who knows what might happen?
 

Hydro

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site lookout also uses the chequered flag to acknowledge the warning of approaching trains by intermediate/distant lookouts,and the method of warning to staff is a horn or whistle,where did the horizontal static flag and the waving below the waist and figure of 8 come from??not from the rule book,sounds more like semaphore.
As I said, all signals were repeated back between all lookouts to confirm. The additional signals are not in the rulebook, but I suspect stemmed from a local arrangement, clearly understood by all concerned, at the place I worked. It was a safe practice and allowed the site lookout to confirm the line was clear from the distant. The site lookout may also warn by touch if noisy work is taking place.
 
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