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A Cable can be defined as a number of insulated electrical conductors bunched in to a

compact form by providing mechanical protection and electrical insulation.

Cable can be classified as Underground Cable (laid under ground), Submarine cable ( laid
under water), Aerial cable (laid over head) and Indoor cable ( laid along the walls of
building. However, in Railways only Underground and Indoor Signalling Cables are used.

This handbook covers Construction. Laying, Jointing, Testing, and Maintenance of

Signalling Cables as per Indian Railway Standard Specifications No. S:63-89, S-35/93,
S:76-89 and IS:1554. These Specifications cover the requirements and tests for armoured
and unarmoured single core and multicore copper conductor, PVC insulated sheathed and
unsheathed cables for Indoor and Outdoor Railway Signalling.

The Cable is circular throughout its length and is free from any physical defects. The
measured length of cable on any drum should not vary by more than + 0.2% of drum length
(CL.4.2 of S/63-89) Single core cables may be supplied in coils of 100 + 0.5 metres (CL.6.1
of S/63-89) .

Unless otherwise specified, the multicore cable is supplied in length of 500 metres each.
With the prior approval of cosignee, cable upto 9 cores may be supplied in length of 1000
metres each. Non-standard lengths each not less than 100 metres shall be acceptable upto
4% of the total quantity ordered (CL.6.4 of S/63-89).

The cable ends are sealed to prevent moisture entry. The length of the cable is marked in a
sequential manner over the outer sheath at intervals of one metre with an accuracy of +
0.2%. The Cable drum number shall be legibly embossed at every one metre or less on the
PVC outer sheath throughout the length of cable (CL.4.4 of S/63-89).

The following information shall be stencilled on the drum in black paint over yellow
painted background (CL.4.3 of S/63-89):

a) Manufacturer’s name, brand name or trade mark.

b) IRS Specification number.
c) Type of cable and voltage grade.
d) Number of cores.
e) Nominal cross-sectional area of conductor.
f) Colour of cores (In case of single core cable).
g) Number of lengths on drums/in coils ( if more than 1)
h) Length of the cable on the drum/coil.
i) Initial and final sequential marking for the length.
j) Direction of rotation of drum (by means of arrow).
k) Approximate gross weight.
l) Country of manufacture.
m) Month and year of manufacture.

2.1 Advantages of Underground Cable

1. Overhead lines may come in contact with trees, bushes, etc. and cause low

2. Due to natural causes and ravages of humans beings, overhead lines are prone to a
higher fault incidence.

3. Due to headway considerations the maximum number of pairs on a pole route is

limited to 16.

By using underground cable all these disadvantages can be minimised.


3.1 Outdoor Signalling Cable

Signalling cables for outdoor circuits should be laid underground. Following types of
underground cables are normally used in Railway Signalling.

A) Main Cable

These cables are used for extending signalling circuits from cabins to location boxes and
between location boxes. Normally 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 37 cores, armoured cables
are recommended for use as main cable.

B) Tail Cable

Tail Cables are used for extending signalling circuits from location boxes to signalling
gears. Cables of 5 core to 12 core are normally used as tail cables.

C) Power Cable

These cables are used for extending 230/110 Volt AC supply. Normally aluminium cables
2/16 Sq.mm, 2/25 Sq.mm, 2/35 Sq.mm, 3/16 Sq.mm, 3/25 Sq.mm, 3/35 Sq.mm sizes are
used. In addition, 2/10 Sq.mm. copper cable is also used.

3.2 Indoor Signalling Cable

Indoor Signalling Cable is used for indoor wiring of signalling circuits. Following cables
are normally being used for indoor signalling applications :


Type of Use
Sr. Cable
1 16/0.2 mm Wiring of Q series and Shelf type Relays
2 3/0.75 mm Wiring of shelf type Relays
3 1/1.4 mm Wiring of lever lock, Circuit Controller



4 7/1.4 mm Power Supply i.e Battery Room to

Charger and Busbar
5 1/ 2.5 mm Wiring of Boot leg (Track Circuit)
6 40/0.6 mm Rack to Rack wiring in metal to metal
60/0.6 mm type relay installations.
7 24/1.0 mm For wiring from control or Relay rack
40/1.0 mm upto Cable termination rack for outdoor
60/1.0 mm circuits i.e signal and point.
8 1/0.6 mm From tagblock to tagblock
(except Signal and Point)
9 1/1.0 mm From tagblock to tagblock
For Signal and Point)
10 36/0.3 mm For wiring of track relays from MDF

Note : Busbar conductors shall be so chosen that voltage drop is not more than 0.5% of
busbar voltage between battery terminals & busbar in equipment room.

Construction of a typical 30 core, un-screened, armoured cable is shown below:


PVC Armour PVC Core

Outer Inner
Sheath Sheath




Circular conductors are used for Railway Signalling applications.

The dimensions, nominal weights and resistance of conductors is shown in Annexure ‘A’ (
Page 55 ).




PVC compound covering is provided on conductors for electrical isolation between them.
Insulation should be free from any joints or repairs. It shall fit closely on the conductor but
not adhere to it so that it is possible to remove it easily without damage to the coductor.

The insulation resistance of each core shall not be less than 5.0 Megaohm /kilometre at 50
deg.C. For details see Annexure ‘D’ at page No.58.

The average thickness of the insulation is shown in Annexure ‘B’ ( Page no. 56 ).


A core can be defined as an insulated conductor. Cores of cables shall be identified by

different colours of PVC insulation. Colour scheme shall be as follows (CL3.2.5 of S. 63-
89 ) :

1 Core - Red, Black, Yellow, Blue or Red

2 Cores - Red and Black
3 Cores - Red, Yellow and Blue
4 Cores - Red, Yellow, Blue and Black
5 Cores - Red, Yellow, Blue , Black and Grey 6 Cores and -Two adjacent
cores in each layer
above shall be blue and yellow. Remaining cores shall be grey.

For a single core in the centre of a multicore cable, red or black colour is used. For 2, 3, 4
or 5 centre cores the colours correspond to those specified for 2, 3, 4 or 5 core cables,
respectively, as described above.

Alternatively, the cores of cables with 6 cores and above may be identified by numbers 1,
2, 3, 4, 5......... printed indelibly at intervals of not more than 50mm.

In that case the insulation of cores is of grey colour and printing of number is black. The
core is numbered sequentially in clockwise direction, starting with number 1 for the inner

The numbers are printed in Hindu-Arabic numerics on the outer surface of the cores. The
numbers are legible and consecutive number is inverted in relation to each other.



When the number is a single numeral, a dash is placed underneath it. If the number
consists of two numerals, these are disposed one below the other and a dash is placed
below the lower numeral.


The core of twin, three and multicore cables is laid up together with suitable lay. The
outermost layer has right-hand lay and the successive layers are laid with opposite lay.

The cores of a layer is cross each other. The sequence of the cores is maintained
throughout the length of the cable. The recommended plan for lay up of cores upto 37 is
shown at Annexure ‘C’ ( Page No. 57).


A typical laying of core of 30 - core cable is shown below. As shown in Annexure ‘C’,
there shall be 3 layers in 30 pairs cable. Lay up shall be 4 - 10 - 16 i.e. first layer, second
layer and third layer shall have 4, 10 and 16 cores, respectively.

First Layer

Second Layer

Third Layer

Colour Scheme

Colour scheme of a typical 30 - core cable is shown below:

G G YR G G R - Red
G G BL B G G Y - Yellow
G Y BL G G BL - Blue
Y B - Black


A PVC covering called inner sheath is applied over cores for protection of cores from


One layer of armouring of aluminium or galvanised mild steel wires is applied for
protection. Armouring shall be applied over the insulation in the case of single core cables



and over the inner sheath in case of multicore cables. Wire armouring is provided upto 9
cores. Above 9 cores armouring can be of wires or strips.


A PVC cover is applied for protection from water penetration. It is also called outer
sheath. Galvanised steel strips armouring is not used in up to 9 core cables.

5.1 Storing and Transportation of Cable

• Cable drums shall not be stacked on flat side. Suitable stoppers shall be placed for
stability of the drums.
• Cable drums shall have easy access for lifting and moving.
• When rolling the cable drum either for unloading or transportation, the drum shall
always be rotated in the direction of the “arrow” which is marked on the drum.
• The drum shall not be rolled over objects that could cause damage to the protective
battens of the cable.
• When unloading is carried out from the vehicle the drum shall not be dropped on the
ground directly to avoid damage due to impact. Fork lifter or ramp shall be used.
• During all stages of storage, it is essential that the ends of the cable are effectively
sealed by end cap or in any other approved manner to avoid water entry into the cable.
• It is desirable that cable drums are stored in covered shed to protect against direct
exposure to sun.

5.2 Planning

• While planning for cabling on a route, the number of conductors required, depending
upon the circuits required should be first determined. Recommended core sizes as per
specifications shall be used.

• Adequate spare conductors to a minimum of 20% of the total conductors used shall be
provided for in each main cable up to the farthest point zone, beyond this there should
be a minimum of 10% spare conductors of the total conductors used. No spare
conductors are required if the total number of conductors used is 3 or less.

• Where a number of cables have been laid along a route, the circuits shall be so
distributed that cables can be disconnected for maintenance purpose with the least
possible dislocation to traffic. Line wise and, if necessary, function wise cable shall be
provided. Auxiliary signals shall be taken in different cables.

• After deciding the size and the number of conductors in the different types of cables
to be used on a route, a foot survey along the track should be done to determine the
best route for the cable.

• The route shall be shown clearly on a cable route plan showing the actual alignment of
track, giving offsets from permanent way or permanent structures. The diagram should
indicate the various road and track crossings, crossing with power cables, water and
sewage mains and other points of importance. It is



preferable to chart the route on a route plan on which the existing routes of power cables, etc.
are shown. Changes, if any, should be incorporated in the chart/plan.

• Cable route plan shall also be approved by Engineering and Electrical departments.

• As far as possible, low lying areas, platform copings, drainages, hutments, rocky
terrains, points and crossings, etc. should be avoided.

• Separate cables of suitable size shall be laid for point operation.

5.3 Paying out of the Cable

• For paying out cables, the cable drums shall be mounted on the cable wheels. It should be
ensured that no kink is formed while paying out the cable.
• The drum on the wheel shall be brought to one end of the trench and the end of the cable
freed. Cable should be laid along the trench.
• A party of labourers shall move along the trench carrying cable at suitable intervals so that
the cable is not damaged due to dragging along the ground or bent unduly.
• Before the cable is laid in the trench, a visual inspection of cable shall be made to see that
there is no damage to the cable. It shall be tested for insulation and continuity of the cores.
Thereafter the cable shall be laid into the trench. Record of insulation and loop resistance
must be maintained.

• In cases where the wheels are not available, the drum shall be mounted on an axle at one
end of the trench and cable paid out and carried by labourers.
• In no case shall the drum be rolled off on to the road for laying the cable and the cable
dragged on the ground for laying purposes.
• Whenever mechanised equipment is used, the work shall be carried out by a trained
operator under the supervision of SE/JE (Signal) incharge of the work.
• Where the cable drum is in damaged condition the cable may be placed on a horizontal
revolving platform.
• In no case shall the cable be unwound by taking off from the side of the drum as this will
cause formation of twist in the cable.
• Paying out of cable should be done by rotating the cable drum and not by pulling the cable
with excessive force.

5.4 Laying cable above ground

• In AC electrified areas cables shall be laid underground only. Signalling cables for out
door circuits should not normally be laid above ground. In exceptionable cases where it
becomes unavoidable, the following precautions should be taken:

(i) The cable should be suspended in wooden cleats, from cable hangers or in any other
approved manner so that no mechanical damage occurs to the cable even under exposed

(ii) The cable supports shall be so spaced as to avoid sag.

(iii) In station yards, cable shall be laid in suitably protected ducts.



(iv) Indoor signalling cable should normally be laid on ladders, channels or in any other approved
manner. The cable should be neatly tied/laced.

5.5 Underground cable

Cables may be laid underground, either in trenchs, in ducts, in cement troughs, in pipes or in any
other approved manner.

5.51 Laying the Cables in ducts

• RCC or any other approved type of ducts may be used for laying the cable.

• The ducts shall have suitable covers.

• The ducts shall be of such design as to prevent water collecting in the duct.

• When cables are laid in rocky area, it is desirable to protect them with split RCC ducts of
suitable design.

• Where it is necessary to take the cable between the tracks, it shall be carried in trunking
kept sufficiently below the ballast level.

• Where several cables of different categories have to be laid in the same trench, they shall
be placed as far as possible in the following order starting from the main track side, so that
in the event of failures the maintenance staff may easily recognise the damaged cables:

i) Telecommunication Cable
ii) Signalling Cable or Cables
iii) Power Cable






• Cables belonging to the Department of Telecomm. or the Electrical Department must not
be laid in the same trench along with Signal & Telecom. cables. A distance of
approximately 10 cm. must be maintained between telecommunication and signalling



cables. The signalling cables must be separated from power cables, carrying more than
110 volts, by a row of bricks between them.

5.52 Laying

Cable shall be laid generally as per instructions given. However, special precautions to be taken in
the station yards etc. where a number of other utilities may be existing, may be detailed in
a joint circular issued by the Civil Engineering, Signalling and Electrical departments of
the Railway.

• The cable laid parallel to the track shall normally be buried at a depth of 0.80 metres from
ground level while those laid across the track must be 1.0 metre below the rail flanges.
However, in case of rocky soil, the depth may be reduced suitably. When it concerns the
laying of tail cables which serve the track apparatus, etc, the depth should not be less than
0.50 metres. In theft-prone areas the cables may be laid at a depth of 1.2 metre with
anchoring at every 10 metre.

• The width of manually made cable trenches should be commensurate with number of
cables. The minimum width shall be kept as 0.3 metre. The bottom of the cable trench
should be levelled and cleared of any sharp materials. In the soft ground, the cable should
be laid at the bottom of the trench previously levelled. In the rocky ground, the cable
should be laid on a layer of sand or sifted earth of 0.05 metre thickness previously
deposited at the bottom of the trench. In both the cases the cable should be covered with
a layer of sand or sifted earth of 0.10 metre thickness and thereafter a protective cover of
trough or a layer of bricks should be placed.

5.53 Cable Crossing

• When a cable has to cross the track, it should be ensured that:-

I) The cable crosses the track at right angles,

ii) The cable does not cross the track under points
and crossings, and
iii) The cable is laid in concrete/GI/CI/PVC pipes, suitable ducts or in any other
approved manner while crossing the track.

• Wherever practical, the cable may be taken underground across the drain bed at a suitable
depth for crossing small culverts with low flood level.

When cables have to cross a metallic bridge, they should be placed inside a metallic trough which
may be filled, as an anti-theft measure, with sealing compound. The cable should be
supported across the bridge in a manner which would involve minimum vibrations to
the cable and which will
facilitate maintenance work. Adequate cable length to the extent of 2 to 3 metres shall be made
available at the approaches of the bridge.
• Cable markers wherever provided should be placed at suitable intervals and at diversion
• While laying the cables in accordance with the above instructions, the following
instructions should be adhered to for the safety of the track:

i) Outside the station limits, the cables should generally be laid at not less than 5.5 metres
from the centre of the nearest track.



ii) Within the station limits, the trenches shall preferably be dug at a distance of not less than 3
metres from the centre of the track, width of the trench being outside the 3 metres

iii) At each end of the main cable an extra loop length of 6 to 8 metres should be kept.

• It is desirable that the excavation of the trenches is not done in long lengths and does not
remain uncovered for a long period. It is preferable that cables are laid and refilling done
on the same day.

• Back filling of the trenches should be done properly. The earth excavated shall be put
back in the trench, rammed and consolidated.
• During excavation, the earth of the trenches should not be thrown on the ballast. The earth
should be thrown by the side of the trenches away from the track.
• In places where cables are to be laid within 1 metre from sleeper end, digging beyond 0.50
metre shall be done in the presence of an official from Engg.Dept., and the laying of the
cable and refilling of trench should be done with least delay.
• Cable joints of approved type shall only be used.
• The work shall be supervised at site personally by an official of the Signal and
Telecommunication department not below the rank of a Sectional Engineer/Junior


The following instructions are to be followed for carrying out wiring of Signalling Circuits.

• Wiring or alteration of signalling circuits shall be in accordance with approved circuit


• Alternations to existing circuits may be resorted to at site only in emergency cases under the
direct supervision of an officer. In such cases the alteration should be immediately advised to
approving authority for approved wiring diagrams.

• “As made” circuit diagram must be submitted by divisions to HQs. on completion of

alterations to wiring and the final diagram should be as per actual wiring at site. This should
be signed by the Section Engineer (Signal) carrying out the works and the officer opening the

6.1 Principles of Wiring

• Wiring between any two points shall be done in one length and no joints shall be made in any
wire run.
• Wire runs shall be as short as possible. Care should be taken to avoid damage to the conductor
while peeling off insulation. Stripper-cum-cutter of approved design shall only be used.
• All wires in a wiring bunch shall be properly terminated and no loose wire shall be left in the
bunch without being terminated. Conductors and terminals shall be cleaned before making
connections. Bunching tape & button should be used.
• Wires shall not be pulled out after lacing of wires. This can damage insulation of other wires.
• Adequate spare conductors to a minium of 20% of the total conductors used shall be provided
for each main cable upto the farthest point zone. Beyond this there should be a minium of



10% spare conductors of the total conductors used. No spare conductors are required if the
total number of conductors used is three or less.( CL 9.2 of S36-87).
• Suitable conductor sizes shall be used to ensure that the voltage drop on line is not more than
10% (CL 9.3 of S 36-87).
• When cables are to be terminated or jointed underground in outside location boxes, these shall
be brought up over the ground and terminated or jointed in water-tight junction boxes (CL 9.4
of S 36-87).
• At least two cores cable shall be provided between two ends of the yard to cater for telephone
communication for maintenance purposes in non-RE area (CL 9.5 of S 36-87).

6.2 Wiring Practices

The following practices shall be adopted for wiring:

• The return negative of various circuit elements must be separately terminated at the negative
busbars. In no case a common return (negative) wire shall be used.
• All terminals shall be screwed tight and washers shall be used under the screw head of
terminal nuts.
• Ends of wires shall be bent round the terminal in clockwise direction unless an eyelet/lug is
• Precautions shall be taken to prevent kinks and twists in the wires used. If there is any kink it
must be removed.
• Insulations must not be damaged and must be kept free from oil, grease, acid and alkali.
• When cables/wires are taken through a duct in the wall, proper PVC pipes must be provided
or any other approved method should be adopted.
• The duct for wiring should not be closed on either side. Rodents may settle in the closed duct
and damage the wiring.
• As a safeguard against rodent attack, the wiring from Circuit Controller/Lever Lock to the
relay room should be taken through a cable without removing the PVC sheath and armour, in
lieu of 16/0.2 mm. PVC wires.
• Terminal Blocks to RDSO design SA 23756 (Adv/Alt.2) shall only be used.

• ARA terminals are to be properly fixed in vertical/ horizontal rows. Terminals of any special
design to be used with specific approval of CSTE.

• The terminals should be fixed on standard Relay Rack.

6.3 Wiring Materials

The following wiring materials shall be used for different types of relay.

6.3.1 Wiring inside one rack (Intra-rack wiring) for shelf type and plug-in-type metal-to-carbon
contact relays (Q series):

• 3/0.75 mm wire shall be used for wiring of Shelf type relays and 16/0.2 mm wire shall be used
for wiring of Q Series relays. Wiring between Shelf Type relay and Q Series relays shall be
done with 16/0.2 mm wire.

• The eyelets shall be connected to the wire on terminal by hand operated crimping tool.



• Appropriate eyelets and crimping tools shall be used.

• For terminating the 16/0.2 mm wires to the connectors of plug-in-type relays (Non-proved
type) with metal to carbon contacts, the wire head shall be first tinned, inserted into the
connector and crimped. The wire shall again be soldered at the connector.

6.3.2 Wiring from one relay rack to another relay rack (Inter rack wiring) using metal to carbon
contact plug-in-type and shelf type relays:

• Multicore (or alternatively single core) unarmoured cable of 1.0 mm (S-76 or S-63) shall be
used for wiring. Intermediaries like terminal blocks, tag blocks etc. shall not be used.

• If the use of intermediate terminal block/tag block is unavoidable, the same shall be of
standard design of any type conforming to IRS specification No. S71/87. Spare contacts need
not be wired.

6.3.3 Wiring of proved type (Metal to Metal contact)


For rack to rack/IDF wiring 60/0.6 or 40/0.6 mm cable shall be used. For wiring from rack to
cable termination rack 60/1.0, 40/1.0, 24/1.0 mm size wire shall be used. Size of conductor
shall be chosen based on circuit current to be carried by it. 1/0.6 and .1/0.1 mm cable shall be
used for tag block to tag block wiring.

6.4 Essentials of wiring in relay rooms and location boxes.

• All wiring used in the Cabin and Locations shall be done in a neat manner so that the wiring
does not in any way prevent the proper functioning over working parts and is easily accessible
for maintenance (CL 10.2 of S 36-87).

• At all locations and cabins wire entrance of adequate size, conveniently located for ease of
approach to terminals and other equipment so arranged as to protect the wires from mechanical
injury, shall be provided. Such wire entrance shall be plugged and sealed with suitable
compound after the wiring is completed (CL 10.4 of S 36-87).

• Relay to Relay wiring on the same rack should as far as possible be direct without
intermediaries like tag blocks/terminals(CL 10.5.2 of S 36-87).

• Identification Marker for Identifying the terminals and tags shall be provided at each terminal
to identify the circuits for which it is used (CL 10.6 of S 36-87).

• Relay racks shall have sufficient capacity to take additional equipment to the extent of 15% of
equipment provided to permit additions and alterations (CL 10.7 of S 36-87).

• Charts showing the positions of relays on relay racks and contact arrangement of relays
indicating the spare and used contacts shall be prepared and kept in the cabin (CL 10.8 of S 36-

Marking and Labelling


• Conductor marking and labelling shall be done by means of plastic ferrules with embossed
letters. Alternatively, a chain of pre-embossed plastic ferrules can also be used.

• Terminal numbers should be properly marked.

Bunching & Lacing

• All the inter-relay wirings and inter rack wiring shall be neatly bunched in a circular shape.

• Black twine or plastic strip of suitable design shall only be used for lacing of the wires.

NOTE : In case power is to be fed to any outdoor equipment through common feeders from
outside locations, a ring main shall be provided preferably in different cable and on different
route, so that the failure of a part of the feeder or a fuse blowing off shall not affect the feed to the
outdoor equipment in the whole yard (CL 12.5 of S 36-87).

6.5 Earth connections

• Separate earth shall be provided for each block instrument at a station.

• The resistance of earth for signalling circuits shall not exceed 10 ohms. If it is not possible to
reduce the earth resistance below 10 ohms additional earth may be provided in parrallel.

• Where more than one earth is used, the distance between earthing pipes shall not be less than
3 metre.
The conductor leading to these earthings shall be electrically insulated from each other throughout
and also from metallic structures connected to different earths.

Method of obtaining Earth

• Earthing arrangement shall normally consist of one or more galvanized iron pipes of not less
than 38 mm internal diameter and not less than 2.5 metre in length with a spike at one end
and a lug at the other for connecting the earth lead or galvanized iron/steel rods of not less
than 16 mm dia or copper rods of not less than 12.5 mm dia and of not less than 2.5 metre
length. While the pipe is embedded vertically the rod electrodes are driven vertically in the
ground .When a rocky soil is encounterd at a depth of less than 2.0 metres of the length of
this electrode the electrode may be buried inclined to the vertical the inclination being limited
to 30 degrees from the vertical. Earth electrodes shall not be buried in a position likely to
cause an obstruction or where it is likely to be damaged.

• The resistance of these electrodes in a soil of uniform resistivity decreases with depth but
there is little to be gained by driving the rod to more than 3 to 3.5 metres. Also the decrease in
the resistance with increase in rod diameter is not significant. It is therefore recommended to
use the rod electrodes of such diameters as can easily withstand the strain of driving.



Earthing Leads

• Earth wires shall be protected against mechanical damage and possibility of corrosion
particularly at the point of connection of earth electrode.

• The earthing lead shall be a mild steel flat of size 35mm x 6 mm. or copper wire of 29 sq.mm
cross-sectional area (19 strands of 1.4 mm dia). In case the conductor is buried underground,
it shall be protected from corrosion by an application of suitable anticorrosive paint or
bitumen or varnish. The length of the cable so treated shall extend half a metre beyond the
buried length.

• The earthing lead shall be soldered or crimped on a lug which shall be bolted to the earth

6.6 Soldering Connections

6.6.1 Staff working in the installation and maintenance of S&T equipment shall be conversant in
use of soldering iron/gun for making good soldering joints.
6.6.2 Care shall be exercised to avoid dropping of solder particles and wire clipping on adjacent
terminals and apparatus.

6.6.3 In addition to soldering irons of adequate wattage for the type of work done, the following
shall be on hand :

a. A small file for dressing the soldering tip.

b. A fire-proof pad for wiping the tip.

c. A mica sheet of adequate size or a suitable stand for soldering iron.

6.6.4 Electrical soldering irons shall be switched off when not in use over extended period.

6.6.5 While making a soldering joint, the surface shall be thoroughly cleaned, fluxed and tinned.

6.6.6 Use of too much solder shall be avoided to prevent lumpy connections.

6.6.7 Soldering iron shall not be held on the wire connection for too long to avoid damage to

6.6.8 Imperfect joints are the result of any one of the following causes, which should be avoided:

a. Soldering iron not sufficiently hot.

b. Soldering iron held on the connection for insufficient time.

c. Unclean terminal or wire

d. A solder of improper composition or inferior fluxing agent.

6.6.9 A newly soldered connection shall not be disturbed till the solder has thoroughly cooled.



6.7 Wire Termination

• While terminating wires, care shall be taken to bend the wire in clock wise direction.
• Wire strippers shall be used for the purpose of stripping off the wire insulation. Cutting pliers
shall not be used for this purpose.
• Washers and check nuts shall be used whilst fastening.
• Not more than two wires shall be terminated on one terminal, if avoidable.
• Multi-strand wires shall be terminated on terminal lugs and covered with insulation sleeves.
• Wires of cable shall be neatly terminated and properly bunched.

6.8 Connections from and between Secondary cells

• For inter connections between secondary cells, standard lead strips, supplied by the
manufacturer shall be used.
• Flexible multi-strand copper cable PVC insulated single core of nominal cross sectional area
10 Sq.mm. (7/1.4 mm.) shall be used for wiring between secondary cells to battery chargers/
terminal board. The ends shall be crimped with a copper ring conductor (eyelet) and then
terminated. However, the voltage drop between battery terminal and bus bar shall not exceed
0.5 V under full load condition.

The following colour code of wires shall be used:

a) Between Battery charger and Red for positive Batteries/ Terminal Board
and Black for

b) Earth connections Grey

c) AC side wiring Blue for neutral

and Yellow for

6.9 Tools for Wiring

1. Stripper and cutter suitable for wires 0.6 sq.mm to 1.5 sq.mm. and 2.5 sq.mm.
2. Crimping tool.
3. Soldering iron or Soldering Gun of suitable wattage.
4. Socket set consisting of 19 sockets and other accessories for maintenance of point
5. Socket driver tester set.
6. Screw driver set
7. Seven piece nut driver set of sizes 3/16”, 1/4”, 1/325/16”, 1”, 3/8”, 7/15” and 1/2”.CR 5,
6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 mm. for maintenance of Block Instruments.



Since the length of the cable in a cable drum is 500 metres, so when more than above
length is required, two drum lengths of cable are to be jointed. This type of joint is called
straight through joint.


1. Crowbar ]
2. Spade ] for digging of pit
3. Shovel ]
4. Tent (complete set): for protection of joint
5. Megger (500V) : for cable testing
6. Tool Box : for keeping tools
7. Hack Saw : for cutting steel armour
8. Cutting Plier : for removing armour etc
9. Wire Nipper : for removing wire
insulation and cutting the
10. Hack-Knife : for marking,cutting and opening of
sheath etc.
11. Clasp-Knife: for cleaning the sheath,
cutting thread etc.
12. File Rasp : for removing the rough
13. File ( Triangular) : for smooth finish
14. Screw Driver : for terminating cable
15. Hammer Large ]
16. Hammer Small ] for cutting
17. Chisel ]
18. Adjustable Spanner : for tightening of nuts
19. Brass rule : for measurements
20. Dividers : for marking etc
21. Shave hock : for removing plumbing metal from
old joint.
22. Blow Lamp : for plumbing, heating etc.
23. Soldring Iron : for soldring the twisted
24. Measuring tape : for measuring the cable


1. Jointing Box 5. Kerosene Oil

2. Jointing Kit 6. Copper Wire 3. PVC Sleeves 7.
Emery Paper
4. Resin Core 8. Fire Wood




At the site of the cable jointing, a pit is to be dug up, the dimensions can be 51X 31 X 31
and a tent is to erected over the pit. Other necessary precautions should be taken to prevent
entry of water in to the pit in the event of rain etc.

M-seal Jointing is a technique for straight through joints. In this type of joint an epoxy
Resin is mixed with another liquid called Hardener. The resultant compound is poured
into the mould fixed at the jointing portion.


1. Cut and maintain the length of PVC outer and inner cover, armour and sheath as per
requirement according to the size of the kit.

2. Keep both ends face to face leaving some space between them. This space is called jointing
space. Jointing shall be started from first conductor of inner layer.

Insert the PVC sleeves on one end of the cable conductor and nip the insulation of both end cable
conductor about 1”. Twist both conductors. Now solder the tip of twisted conductors. Bend
the twisted and soldered portion to the opposite side of the PVC sleeve end, and draw over
the PVC sleeve such that the bare portion of the twisted and soldered conductor is covered
completely. Similarly, all conductors shall be jointed.

3. The PVC sleeves of adjacent conductors shall be inserted on alternate sides to reduce the
bulging at the centre. Now joint all conductors in sequence. Bind the conductors together
with PVC tape to obtain sufficient clearance between sleeves and mould.

4. Abrade the sheath and armour with emery paper and clean them thoroughly with a cloth
soaked with mould adhesive-cum-solvent. Make earth continuity connection by tightly
binding earthing wire to sheath and armour with binding wire. Seal bedding of cable with

5. Cut cable entry portions of the mould to match the diameter over outer sheath. Place bottom
half of mould in position and support it by bricks etc. Ensure sufficient clearance between
conductors and mould.

6. Stir the cable jointing compound to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Add hardener and mix
both to a uniform mixture for about 2-3 minutes. Allow air bubbles, entrapped while mixing, to
come up and remove them by pricking before pouring. If there is more than one container, mix
and pour one by one and not all at a time. Ensure that only similarly marked and colour
labelled containers of cable jointing compound and hardener are mixed together.



7. Liberally apply mould adhesive-cum-solvent on the flanges of both halves of the mould.
Immediately place top half in position and press the halves with clips.

8. Mix M-Seal putty and seal cable entry portions. If necessary, apply on the flanges also and
leave undisturbed for about 15-20 minutes till putty hardens.

9. Finished M seal cable joint should be protected from mechanical damage by covering it with
sand and bricks. In case it is to lie in the open or in cable trenches or cable tunnel liable to
heavy trampling, some form of metal protection over the joint is recommended.


• Main cable and Tail cable shall be serially numbered.

• All cables shall be taken vertically in the location boxes with armour. The armour shall be
cut once, after taking the cable inside a location box. The de-armoured cable portion shall
be taken vertically and laced to a ladder. Cables coming from each side shall be grouped

• Cables shall be terminated in horizontal/vertical rows. Cables commencing from relay room
side shall be terminated on top side of the terminals and cables from the far end shall be
terminated on bottom side of the terminals. All tail cables shall invariably be terminated on
the bottom sides of the respective row.

• Approved type of terminal shall only be used for termination. The terminals shall be fixed
vertically in horizontal rows on hylam strips.

• On cable termination rack (CT-Rack), cables shall be terminated on 8-way terminal strips
procured from RDSO - approved sources.

• All conductors of main and tail cables shall be terminated serially on terminals even if they
are spare. Allocation of cable cores should be done in such a fashion that spares are
available from CT-Rack to last location as far as possible.

• The cables shall be suitably terminated in all location boxes such that far end functions are
on the top row and near end functions on the bottom row.

• Before termination, cables shall be tested and record shall be maintained at all installations.



Signalling cable must be tested for continuity and insulation. The tests should be carried
out before and after cable laying. For maintenance purposes these tests shall be performed
after every one year for main cable and after every six month for tail cable.


Before commencement of cable testing necessary disconnection from traffic shall be


All working circuits and power supply shall be disconnected from the cable at both ends.

Communication between the ends of cable under test shall be established by magneto
telephones with other cable which is not under test if possible, otherwise by VHF sets.

Competent staff, required instruments and material shall be available at both the ends.

Testing shall be carried out when conductors and insulated parts like terminal blocks are
clean and dry.

Cable conductors shall be shorted/earthed momentarily to discharge the accumulated

charge, if any, before the commencement and after the end of testing.



1. Multimeter
2. Wire nipper
3. Screw driver set

Multimeter Earth

1 1
2 2
3 3
E 4 4
5 5
6 6


This test is carried out to confirm that the core under test is either showing break between
both ends or continuous. Testing can be commenced as per the following procedure:



A. Set the knob of multimeter to check resistance at 200 ohm range. (at Location A)

B. Connect one probe of multimeter to earth and other probe to the end of cable limb as
shown in above figure.

C. Instruct staff at the other end ( at Location B) to connect earth to same limb of the cable.
Deflection of multimeter needle shows that limb is OK, otherwise there is a break in limb
under test..

D. Repeat the procedures (b) and (c) for testing of other cores.



1. Insulation Tester (Megger) 500V DC

2. Wire nipper
3. Screw Driver set.

This test is carried out to measure the insulation resistance of the cable under test.
insulation resistance measured between (1) conductor to conductor, called cross
insulation, and (2) conductor to earth. Procedure is as follows:

(1) Coductor to conductor (Cross Insulation)

Conductor A
Line •
500 V DC Earth •
Conductor B

I) A 500 V Insulation Tester ( Megger ) shall be used for this test and kept at one end of the cable
under test.

II) Conductors for which cross insulation is being measured shall be connected to at Line
and Earth terminals of megger as shown in figure.

III) Now rotate the handle of megger or press push button of megger. The reading of
meter will show the cross insulation between the conductors. Insulation reading shall be
recorded after applying the test voltage for about a minute till a steady reading is obtained.

IV) Replace the conductor connected to the earth terminal of megger by other conductor of
cable and take measurement.

V) Repeat the process IV for remaining conductos.

VI) Now connect next conductor to Line terminal of the megger & connect the remaining
conductors one by one to earth terminal of the megger and take measurements as per
procedure III , IV & V.



VII) Record the measurements in the prescribed format as shown below.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1 X
2 X X
3 X X X
4 X X X X
5 X X X X X
6 X X X X X X
7 X X X X X X X
8 X X X X X X X X
9 X X X X X X X X X
10 X X X X X X X X X X
11 X X X X X X X X X X X
12 X X X X X X X X X X X X


II) Conductor to Earth Insulation

500Volt EARTH

I) By this we can measure individual insulation of conductors w.r.t. earth.

II) Connect conductor under test to the Line terminal of the megger.

III) Connect earth terminal of the megger to the earth.

IV) Rotate the handle of megger or press push button of megger. The reading of meter
will show the insulation resistance of the conductors. Insulation reading shall be recorded
after applying the test voltage for about a minute till a steady reading is obtained.



V) Replace the conductor at Line terminal of the megger by another conductor under test
and repeat as process IV.

VI) Record the mesurements in following format:



NOTE : These measurements shall be recorded in two copies. One copy each shall
be kept in SE(Sig.) and Sr.DSTE’s office.

Insulation Resistance should not be less than 5 Mega ohm per kilometre at 500C,
irrespective of the size of conductor. For converting measured value of insulation
resistance at any temperature to insulation resistance at 500C, multiplier constant is given
in the table at page No. 49 Annexure ‘D’.


Insulation resistance of 5 mega ohm/km at 50 degree centigrade is equivalent to 500 mega

ohm/km at 20 degree centigrade with multiplier constant 0.01.


1. All conductors of signalling cable must be tested for the insulation resistance every
year for Main Cable and after every 6 months for Tail Cable.

2. Low insulation of cable will lead to inadvertent energisation or de-energisation of

circuits. Check for insulation values periodically enables to ensure integrity of circuits.

3. A comparison of test results of successive tests carried on a cable under similar

conditions will give an indication of the trend towards deterioration or otherwise of
insulating material over a period of time.

4. If a sudden fall in the value of insulation is observed during the test, the cause should
be investigated and immediate action shall be taken to repair or replace the defective

After completion of cable testing:

• Ensure that all conductors have been reconnected properly.

• Test the functions of Points, Tracks & Signals connected through the cable for their
correct response.

• In case of signals, aspect should be verified personally.



• In case of points, verify positions at site.

• Check whether any polarity of any feed taken through the cable has got earthed

Insulation of signalling cable can be measured by means of Earth Leakage Detector.

Description of a typical multi-channel Earth Leakage Detector as per RDSO- specification
No.RDSO/SPN/256/1971 is given on next page.



It is an equipment which measures insulation of the bus bar cable w.r.t. earth and announces
through audio-visual alarms if the value of the insulation drops below the set value. It is of 2, 4, 6,
8, 12 or 24 channels.

All the channels of the equipment continuously monitor the insulation of the cable and an alarm is
actuated along with a visual indication when the leakage value reaches the preset value. The audio
alarm is common for all channels while the visual indication is separate for each channel.

Each channel is in the form of a module thus making each module an independent unit which
works alongwith the main unit. The main unit has a rotary switch for switching on a particular
channel for reading leakage on an analogue meter and for switching certain controls which are
common to all channels.

Technical Specifications

AC Mains : 110V/230V/50 HZ AC
Signalling supply : 110V/24V AC and
24V/60V/110V DC or as required by user
Leakage setting range: 50K, 100K, 150K, 200K,
500K & 1M ohms.

Controls & Indications

Normal : Green LED glows when the insulation of the connected channel is within the
set limit

Fault : Red bulb glows, indicating the insulation has reached the set
limit. The Normal light extinguishes.

Reset : Micro push switch, when pressed after the leakage fault is removed, brings
the unit
back to Normal Mode.
Counter : Counts number of reset operations.



Simulated : An inbuilt testing facility in the instrument Leakage to check its working
by simulating leakage used with Simulated Leakage Select on
individual module.

Power : Red neon on main unit indicates that power is connected to the

Meter : Selectable through a rotary switch for a particular channel

reads insulation value.

Mute : Mutes the buzzer announcing fault,

Buzzer indicating that fault is acknowledged.

Channel : Used in conjunction with panel meter and Select Simulated Leakage Test.

In order to safeguard against any unsafe situation arising due to wrong connection of cable
conductors during insulation check or changing of defective cable cores, the following
instructions are issued with immediate effect in respect of all installations already in service
and those to be commissioned in future:

10.1 No alteration in any cable core, either working or spare, in any installation should be done
by a maintainer independently. Changes where necessary to rectify a fault or for any re-
distribution of cores shall be done only in the presence of and in conjunction with a
Section Engineer (Signal).
10.2 The concerned SE (Signal) shall ensure that a disconnection memo is issued for the
equipments controlled by the cable before any such work is undertaken. Proper
communication and co-ordination between the staff at either end of the cable must be
maintained either by telephone or by portable VHF to ensure that the connections are
made correctly.
10.3 Terminal markings shall be legible and core markers shall be available at the cable
terminations identifying each core.
10.4 The length of the cable core leading to the individual CLS transformers mounted inside
the colour light unit must be to the exact length such that the conductor leading to the Red
aspect transformer can not be shifted to the CLS transformer of less restrictive aspect. The
tail cable from the location box should be taken direct to the transformer and there shall be
no other termination or joint between the transformer connection and the cable termination
in the location unit.
10.5 Correspondance between a lever/knob and the actual aspect at the CLS unit must be
verified by the Maintainer and Section Engineer (Signal) during their
maintenance/inspections and invariably after every occasion when cable cores have to be




Nominal No.of Dia Toleran- Weight Maximum resistan-

cross wires Of ce on per Km. Resistan ce of each conduct-
sectional in Wire dia. of -ce per or per km at 20 deg.
area condu- wires kilomet- C.
ctor er at 20
deg. C
mm. sq. - Mm. mm. kg. ohms. Ohms. ohms.

1.00 1 1.13 +0.020 8.89 17.241 17.689 18.04

1.5 1 1.40 +0.025 13.68 11.20 11.540 11.77

2.5 1 1.80 +0.035 22.62 6.775 6.978 7.118
2.5 3 1.06 +-0.016 23.55 6.664 6.843 6.980
4 1 2.24 +0.045 35.03 4.375 4.506 4.596
4 7 0.85 +0.012 35.28 4.414 4.591 4.683
6 1 2.80 +0.055 54.74 2.800 2.884 2.942
10 7 1.40 +0.025 97.47 1.627 1.660 1.693
16 7 1.70 +0.030 143.70 1.104 1.124 1.149
25 7 2.24 +-0.045 249.8 0.6357 0.6484 0.6614
35 7 2.50 +0.050 310.70 0.5103 0.5205 0.5309
50 19 1.80 +0.035 437.80 0.3633 0.3706 0.3780



Nominal Area of Nominal thickness of

Conductor Insulation
in mm. Square Single Core Multi Core
in mm. in mm.
1.0 1.5 0.8
1.5 1.5 0.8
2.5 1.5 0.9
4.0 1.5 1.0
6.0 1.5 1.0
10.0 1.5 1.0
16.0 1.5 1.0
25.0 1.5 1.2
35..0 1.5 1.2
50.0 1.5 1.4





No.of LAY-UP No.of LAY- UP

Cores Cores
2 2 20 1-7-12
3 3 21 1-7-13
4 4 22 2-7-13
5 5 23 2-8-13
6 6 24 2-8-14
7 1-6 25 2-8-15
8 1-7 26 3-9-14
9 1-8 27 3-9-15
10 2-8 28 3-9-16
11 3-8 29 4-10-15
12 3-9 30 4-10-16
13 3-10 31 4-10-17
14 4-10 32 5-11-16
15 5-10 33 5-11-17
16 5-11 34 5-11-18
17 5-12 35 5-12-18
18 0-6-12 36 0-6-12-18
19 1-6-12 37 1-6-12-18





Test Temp. Multiplier Test Temp. Multiplier

( in 0C ) Constant ( in 0C ) Constant
10 0.001 31 0.080
11 00012 32 0.100
12 0.0016 33 0.120
13 0.002 34 0.140
14 0.0026 35 0.170
15 0.0033 36 0.195
16 0.0042 37 0.225
17 0.0047 38 0.260
18 0.0063 39 0.300
19 0.006 40 0.340
20 0.01 41 0.380
21 0.0122 42 0.430
22 0.015 43 0.480
23 0.018 44 0.540
24 0.022 45 0.600
25 0.026 46 0.670
26 0.031 47 0.750
27 0.037 48 0.820
28 0.046 49 0.910
29 0.055 50 1.00
30 0.064