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Drivers v Signallers

75A

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31 Mar 2021
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Ireland (ex Brighton 75A)
Probably only half joking,
In the early 80's we looked on them as a necessary evil.
Not always their fault though, somewhere like Redhill was a nightmare if you wanted to get into the 'Loco' from either Reigate or Brighton, but we'd blame 'The Bobby' anyway.
 
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westcoaster

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DTOS A or B
You will get to a point where you stop set the DRA and just wait, why stress about it.
Most of the time we no longer get please explains now, they can watch the signalling replay and see us being held at red signals.
 

357

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12 Nov 2018
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I have only recently had a couple of times I was stopped at a red for no reason, and cleared after an SG. Unless the reason is in front of me I'll SG as soon as I stop for this very reason.

However in other cases, on my old route, if we were on a lengthy ECS it was possible to run early and get held at the transition signals between workstations. I was cheeky in those situations and sent an SG as soon as I was past the single yellow. When the box pulled off manually, letting me through early, it was always appreciated when I could get an earlier train home :)

I'll also say that some drivers seem to always have problems with signallers where apart from a couple who were having an off day I've never had an issue when I've called any!
 

Somewhere

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14 Oct 2023
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UK
But there might have been a possession for pway to do something which has just been given up, so the route wasn't clear? With the effective ban on red zone working I believe the number of short possessions has risen.

It's also worth remembering that some signal boxes/panels now cover huge areas. The signaller could be dealing with something urgent miles away, or be snowed under a high workload with lots going on. They don't delay trains just for the fun of it.
It's not only the ban on red zone working, its the paperwork that goes with giving blocks.
Would we want Signallers not paying attention because they're trying to do paperwork and signal trains at the same time? You wouldn't want a driver doing paperwork at the same time as driving their train
 

trundlewagon

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4 Oct 2019
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82
Location
Birmingham
Question for the signallers on this subject actually...

Quite often when I come to this situation (approaching a mystery red), the signal will clear as I'm rolling up to it, before I've brought the train to a stand and/or hit the SG. Do you get an automated message on the workstation that a train is approaching a red (triggered by track circuit or whatever)? Or is it just a case that you've happened to spot me just in the nick of time and/or ARS being an arse? (Or is the conspiracy real? <D)
 

BrokenSam

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18 May 2020
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242
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North Wales
It seems to be getting more frequent on the routes that I drive that controlled signals are being left on that shouldn't be. In other words, the train is being checked down to a red signal when you know that the route ahead is definitely clear. This is very frustrating for a driver when you have to stop unnecessarily and send an SG and then the signal pings off to green. It is not unheard of for it to happen 5 or 6 times a day. Are there any signallers who could give a perspective on this please?
I've noticed this too.
 

GardenRail

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26 Mar 2023
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Yorkshire
Question for the signallers on this subject actually...

Quite often when I come to this situation (approaching a mystery red), the signal will clear as I'm rolling up to it, before I've brought the train to a stand and/or hit the SG. Do you get an automated message on the workstation that a train is approaching a red (triggered by track circuit or whatever)? Or is it just a case that you've happened to spot me just in the nick of time and/or ARS being an arse? (Or is the conspiracy real? <D)
Just happened to notice you, to be honest. You see, most of the trains in the Sheffield and Rotherham area run under SARS, a form of ARS. But sometimes a train, not programmed into the system may turn up that needs signalling manually, maybe one in every 200 trains for example. So if we're busy with Meadowhall or some other issue, then one of these trains turns up at Chesterfield, 20 miles away for example, they sometimes get missed, because of dealing with other workload. Thats where the SG button has become useful, because it gives an often busy signaller, a prompt.
 
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304033

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11 Dec 2017
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14
Question for the signallers on this subject actually...

Quite often when I come to this situation (approaching a mystery red), the signal will clear as I'm rolling up to it, before I've brought the train to a stand and/or hit the SG. Do you get an automated message on the workstation that a train is approaching a red (triggered by track circuit or whatever)? Or is it just a case that you've happened to spot me just in the nick of time and/or ARS being an arse? (Or is the conspiracy real? <D)
Approach control
 

66701GBRF

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3 Jun 2017
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Not just approach control in the traditional sense. Could have a technical restriction on the signal that prevents it stepping up (or purposely held) until certain conditions are met due to a technical fault.
 

Signal_Box

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25 Dec 2021
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UK
It seems to be getting more frequent on the routes that I drive that controlled signals are being left on that shouldn't be. In other words, the train is being checked down to a red signal when you know that the route ahead is definitely clear. This is very frustrating for a driver when you have to stop unnecessarily and send an SG and then the signal pings off to green. It is not unheard of for it to happen 5 or 6 times a day. Are there any signallers who could give a perspective on this please?

ARS is a sod for doing this, I always clear through if I can.
 
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The hot seat
Unless you’re under Piccadilly station panel, then it means “I’m happy to wait 10 minutes whilst you run everything around me”
Mayfield Loops or Engine Sdgs? To be fair to the station panel signaller they have plenty to do. I did a shunt from P3 to P8 via the EG the other day and the signaller was really good, he got me back in, in half a jiffy!
 

Efini92

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14 Dec 2016
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Mayfield Loops or Engine Sdgs? To be fair to the station panel signaller they have plenty to do. I did a shunt from P3 to P8 via the EG the other day and the signaller was really good, he got me back in, in half a jiffy!
Down slow normally.
Was a rarity for us to use the engine sidings. I used to do 5 in it as the rails had so much rust on them.
 

Nobby

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8 Mar 2018
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46
ARS is a sod for doing this, I always clear through if I can.
yes so the offending reds either occur regularly on a particular day or not at all so does that mean that some signallers use ARS and some don't? Is it the case that ARS is the easy, or, forgive me, lazy option??
 

Signal_Box

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yes so the offending reds either occur regularly on a particular day or not at all so does that mean that some signallers use ARS and some don't? Is it the case that ARS is the easy, or, forgive me, lazy option??

ARS is the lazy signallers option yes, on the days a usual red is cleared chances are you’ve a signaller on who gives a poop.
 

Kraken

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22 Mar 2020
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Lincolnshire
It’s threads like this that really make me rue the loss of cab rides for signallers. I’ve been a signaller for 4 years now and never set foot in the cab of a train, or had a decent chat with a driver outside of usual comms. It would be bloody invaluable to speak to some of the drivers down our line and find out what are the things that we can do to help make their lives easier and vice versa. What are the things down the line that really irritate you? Can I explain why this annoying thing happens regularly etc etc.
 

Signal_Box

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It’s threads like this that really make me rue the loss of cab rides for signallers. I’ve been a signaller for 4 years now and never set foot in the cab of a train, or had a decent chat with a driver outside of usual comms. It would be bloody invaluable to speak to some of the drivers down our line and find out what are the things that we can do to help make their lives easier and vice versa. What are the things down the line that really irritate you? Can I explain why this annoying thing happens regularly etc etc.

No value what so ever is placed on us as signallers knowing anything more than our role requires unfortunately. You’d be shocked how many our the people I work with don’t know a 153 from 150 for example, let alone the difference aspects of freight working.
 

Samzino

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Somewhat off topic, I seem to remember the RSSB in their Red series doing signaller and driver debate meetings where they discussed different issues and tried to come to some understanding of each others roles and why certain things may be done.

Does this still happen?
 

SuperS16v

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14 Jul 2022
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England
Signaller here, still fairly new to it but I love setting the routes as far as I can and keeping those trains on greens as much as possible. I enjoy working with drivers and keeping them moving to time or early if possible. If I know a train will come to a stand for a while past their booked time I will give the driver a quick call and give them the reason abs how long they will be detained for.

However, I have to say some drivers do seem to think they are the only train on the line which can be frustrating from time to time. The amount of time I get an SG when it is blatantly clear to the driver there is another train pulling out the platform or crossing a set of points in front of them that they need to use whilst they are super early can be annoying.
 
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Craig1122

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14 May 2021
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UK
That's fine then, hence why I asked for a signaller's perspective. I have visited major signal boxes when I was a trainee and there didnt seem to be a lot going on except tea drinking and biscuit eating lol :lol:
That's every signalling or control centre until suddenly something happens & it isn't. Then you're trying to do 20 things at once and the noise level goes through the roof.
 

dctraindriver

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9 Jan 2017
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It seems to be getting more frequent on the routes that I drive that controlled signals are being left on that shouldn't be. In other words, the train is being checked down to a red signal when you know that the route ahead is definitely clear. This is very frustrating for a driver when you have to stop unnecessarily and send an SG and then the signal pings off to green. It is not unheard of for it to happen 5 or 6 times a day. Are there any signallers who could give a perspective on this please?
Happened to me today, I’ve one train to contend with while they’ve got a few to deal with. I wouldn’t get frustrated tbh as that’s a shoe in for an incident at some point in the future…..
 

ComUtoR

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13 Dec 2013
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The amount of time I get an SG when it is blatantly clear to the driver there is another train pulling out the platform or crossing a set of points in front of them that they need to use....

Had something a long while back.

SIG: Drive, after you drop down can you SG when you see the other service please.

...

SIG: Drive, you haven't SG'd yet. What's the problem.

ME: Just to let you know. There is a giant hedge in the way. Which way did you send him ?

Or

SIG: Driver, why the SG ? Didn't you see the train cross the junction ?

ME: Nope, it's on a curve.

It's not always 'blatantly clear' ;)
 

foggy69

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28 Dec 2020
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UK
Many signallers in a particular box appeared to like snooker. There has to be a red before any other colour
 

lineclear

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29 Mar 2016
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133
Location
Yorkshire
It’s threads like this that really make me rue the loss of cab rides for signallers. I’ve been a signaller for 4 years now and never set foot in the cab of a train, or had a decent chat with a driver outside of usual comms. It would be bloody invaluable to speak to some of the drivers down our line and find out what are the things that we can do to help make their lives easier and vice versa. What are the things down the line that really irritate you? Can I explain why this annoying thing happens regularly etc etc.
Ask your LOM for a cab pass.
 

Lurcheroo

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21 Sep 2021
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Wales
The whole thread does show the way the railway has changed. Even if there was a certain amount of (usually) good-natured signalman v. driver joshing, we were all part of the same organisation.
Of course we are now different organisations but as a driver I still view it that we’re all there to do the same thing, that includes guards, station staff or any other railway employee. And that is to run trains and we should try and help each other out where we can. It’s clear not everyone has that mentality though.
 

skyhigh

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14 Sep 2014
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5,483
It’s threads like this that really make me rue the loss of cab rides for signallers. I’ve been a signaller for 4 years now and never set foot in the cab of a train, or had a decent chat with a driver outside of usual comms. It would be bloody invaluable to speak to some of the drivers down our line and find out what are the things that we can do to help make their lives easier and vice versa. What are the things down the line that really irritate you? Can I explain why this annoying thing happens regularly etc etc.
Interesting you say that. For years I'd never seen a signaller, then about a year ago, I had 4 different signallers turn up on the platform asking for cab rides in the space of a month.

It's not always 'blatantly clear' ;)
100% this - signallers don't really know what we see and at the same time we don't know how much info they have.

For example - I reported a PSR board had gone missing to a signaller last week. They didn't know what the speed change was or where it should be.
 

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