The various types of signals with reference to their location on a station are discussed in detail below.
This is the first stop signal at a station, which indicates the entry of a train from a block section into the station limits. This signal is provided at an adequate distance beyond the station limits so that the line is not obstructed once the permission to approach has been given. It is provided at a distance of about 580 m from the home signal. The signal has one arm but has a warner signal nearly 2 m below on the same post.
When the outer signal is in the 'on' (or stop) position, it indicates that the driver must bring the train to a stop at a distance of about 9 m from the signal and then proceed with caution towards the home signal. If the outer signal is in the 'off' (or proceed) position, it indicates that the driver does not need to reduce the speed of the train if the home signal is also in the 'off' (or proceed) position, which is indicated by the 'off' position of the warner.
As the outer signal controls the reception of trains, it comes under the category of reception signals.
After the outer signal, the next stop signal towards the station side is a home signal. It is provided right at the entrance of the station for the protection of the station limits. The signal is provided about 190 m short of the points and crossings. The arms provided on a home signal are generally as many as the number of reception lines in the station yard.
When a home signal is in the 'on' (or stop) position it indicates that the train must come to a halt short of the signal. In the 'off' (or proceed) position, it indicates that the particular line is free and the train is permitted to enter cautiously.
The home signal also comes in the category of reception signals.
The various signals fixed on the same vertical post for both main and branch lines are known as routing signals. These signals indicate the route that has been earmarked for the reception of the train. Generally the signal for the main line is kept at a higher level than that for the loop line. It is necessary for the driver of a train approaching a reception signal to know the line on which his or her train is
likely to be received so that he or she can regulate the speed of the train accordingly. In case the train is being received on the loop line, the speed has to be restricted to about 15 km/h, whereas if the reception is on the main line a higher speed is permissible. The various positions of the routing signal for a station with an outer signal, a home signal, and a warner signal that is provided below the outer signal are shown in Fig. 31.12.
Fig. 31.12 Routing signals with outer, home, and warner signals
Route indicators can also be provided by including separate home signals for each line, with the main line home signal being placed the highest while all the other signals are placed at the same level.
In the case of coloured light signals, the home signal is provided with either a graphic lighted route indicator displaying the line number on which the train is to be received or different arms lighted by five lamps. These lamps form the arm, which is used for indicating a line, while there is no arm in the case of a main line as depicted in Fig. 31.13.
Fig. 31.13 Route indicators in semaphore and colour light signalling areas
The starter signal is a stop signal and marks the limit up to which a particular line can be occupied without infringing on other lines. A separate starter signal is provided for each line. The starter signal controls the movement of the train when it departs from the station. The train leaves the station only when the starter signal is in the 'off' (or proceed) position. As this signal controls the departure of a train, it comes under the category of departure signals.
Advanced starter signal
This is the last stop signal provided for the departure of trains from a station. The signal is provided about 180 m beyond the outermost points or switches and marks the end of the station limits. A block section lies between the advanced starter signal of one station and the outer signal of the next station. No train can leave the station limits until and unless the advance starter is lowered.