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1. Introduction

In electrified section, Signalling circuits are affected by

induced voltage. This induced voltage may cause
hazardous effect on working of Signalling equipments as
well as Railway staff dealing with it. It is, therefore,
necessary that suitable protective measures are adopted
to minimise the effect of induced voltage.

This handbook covers signalling in 25 KV-50 cycle AC

electrified section.

2. Effect of A.C. Traction

Any circuit in the vicinity of 25 KV AC electrified section

is likely to be influenced by electrostatic and
electromagnetic induction.

a) Electrostatic induction is practically eliminated by

transferring a circuit into underground cables
protected by a metal sheath.
b) Electro-magnetic induction causes various current
and voltage to develop in conductors parallel to the
track. The value of this induced voltage depends on
various factors such as:
i) Length of parallelism between the cable
conductors and the electrified track.
ii) Soil conductivity
iii) Screening efficiency of the cable sheath.

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iv) Return current through the rails and the return

conductor, where provided.
v) Mutual inductance between catenary and the cable
conductors which depends on separation between the
vi) The current carried by the catenary etc.

3. Precautionary measures

As a high voltage conductor, is provided, induced

voltages may cause effects on the functioning of signal
equipment and may be dangerous to the maintenance and
operating staff, so precautionary measures are adopted
for each signalling gears to minimise the effect of induced
voltage as described below.

3.1 Signal Unit

Electrical clearance required to be provided to safe

guard, is specified as 2000 mm from the live conductor.
Under no circumstances, a signal post or any of its
fittings must be allowed to infringe in this portion. When
the signal have to be so located that they fall with in 2m
from the electrified track, the iron screen of wire mesh
should be provided between the signal post and the OHE
and properly earthed to protect the staff who may have to
work within the infringing portion.

 All signal units and cables connected with it are earthed

near the signal.
 The screen shall be provided on the side adjacent to the
catenary and for signal post between two wired track, a
screen on either side of the post will be required.

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 The screen shall be so fixed that its top edge is 2 meters

above from the catenary and the bottom edge is 2 meters
below from the contact wire.
met Protective Screen

Catenary Signal Post


Contact Wire

Less than
2 meters

Screen adjacent to catenary

 Screen shall be connected to an earth, not exceeding 10

Ohm in resistance.

 Provision of such screen is mandatory in all cases where the

distance from OHE wire is less then 2 m.

 Signal unit and screen should be connected to earth.

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Protective Screen

2 meters
Catenary Post

Contact Wire

2 meters

Less than Less than

2 meters 2 meters

Screen between two wired track

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3.2. Insulation of Rod and Wire Transmission

Traction return current pass through rails and rods/wires

are in contact with the rail at some point. The rod and
wires in AC electrified areas are subject to a certain
amount of induced voltage. To protect the operating staff
from the effects of the voltages, the rod and wires are
provided with insulation both at cabin and the function

3.2.1 Insulation of Rod

 In case there is a large number of rodding in the same

alignment, the insulated joints shall be provided on each
rod run between the same sets of rod roller guides as
shown in figure below.

Roller Guide Rod Insulation

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If this is not done any voltage appearing in one rod will

be transmitted to another rod through the rod roller guide
as in the figure given below:



Insulation joints wrongly provided

Voltage appears on all rods

 For rod running under the track, the top of the rod shall
not be less than 25 mm below the bottom of the rail in
order to ensure that the rails do not come in contact with
the rod during the passage of the trains.
 Ensure that the rod transmission is more than 300 m.
Additional insulators shall be provided on each rod at
every 300 meters.

3.2.2 Insulation of Wires

The insulation of wires is obtained by provision of hard
rubber wire insulators on the wire transmission at both
cabin and function end.

Rubber Wire Insulator

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 The wire insulators shall be provided on each wire as

close to the cabin as possible or inside the cabin to ensure
that the insulator is not exposed to sun and rain directly.
 In case the distance between the two insulators at either
end is greater than 300 meters, additional insulators shall
be provided on each wire so that the distance between
two consecutive insulators on the same wires is not
greater than 300 meters.
 Any contact between the wire transmission and the rails
must be avoided.
 A minimum distance of 40 mm shall be maintained
between the wire and nearest edge of the rail or mast.
 The insulators shall be provided with split links or
disconnecting links on either side for easy replacement.

3.3 Track circuit

Following type of track circuits are used in RE area.

 DC Single rail track circuit.

 Electronic track circuit.
 Audio frequency track circuit
 AC track circuit.

3.3.1 DC single rail track circuit

 In single rail DC track circuit, one rail is used for

traction return current and other rail is insulated, non-
insulated rail is connected with OHE mast. AC induced
voltage is 10V per meter. A 9 Ohm AC immunized relay
with chock at both feed and relay end works up to 350

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 Maximum length permissible is 450 meters with

QABT1. AC immunized relay with wooden sleepers are
provided with train shunt value of 0.5 Ohm.
 Maximum length of track circuit is 350 meters with
concrete sleepers, with train shunt value of 0.25 Ohms.
 At feed end one chock and resistance is provided in
series on – ve side of battery, which is connected to
traction return rail and other chock is provided at relay
 In single rail track circuit, in the event of a break in the
non-insulated rail, very heavy current will flow through
the track relay as well as the equipment at the feed end as
in fig below.

To avoid, the following precaution should be


 The non-insulated rails of adjacent tracks shall be cross

bonded at interval of 100 m.
 If track circuit is less then 100 m, in length, cross
bonding at both end shall be provided.
 If track circuit is more then 100 m. in length than cross
bonding to be provided at every 100 m.

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 Staggered polarity is provided for adjacent track

circuits and if return rails are staggered, insulated joints
on both the rails are provided with transverse rail bond,
so that continuous path is available for the return current
as shown in figure below.

 As
par as possible crossing of point should be
connected to the – ve polarity.
 Closed and open track circuit adjoining each other shall
not be provided.
3.3.2 Electronic track circuit.

Jeumont high voltage Impulse track circuit are used in

railways, which may be either single rail or double rail

 Maximum length of single rail track circuit is 200 m.

 Maximum length of double rail track circuit is 800 m.

3.3.3 AC Track circuit

In this type of track circuit, 831/3 cycle is used for track

feed and the relays used are either the van type or motor

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type. The 831/3 track circuit may be either the single rail
type or the double rail type.

 Impedance bonds are used on the double rail types.

 The length of single rail track circuits shall not exceed
200 m.
 The length of double rail track circuit shall not exceed
1000 m.

3.4 Block Instrument

Since the block circuit is very much longer then ordinary

signal circuits, comparatively high voltage will be
developed in the circuit. Protective devices shall be
provided at either end of block circuit for protection. The
principal protective device used is called “Block filter.”

 A relay unit is required for single line block instruments.

 In single line Neal’s block token Instruments, the rest

contact is substituted by the contacts of a slow release
relay. The relay is energised during the operation of the
plunger but gets de-energised only after the condenser
has discharged in a 5000 Ohm.

3.4.1 Filter Unit

A filter of approved design shall be installed between

the block instrument and line wire.
 The filter acts as a low pass filter which allows DC
current to pass through but offers very high impedance
for the induced voltages.

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Wiring diagram of filter unit
CAMTECH/2001/SRE/1.0 11

Filter unit

 When a block section originates at a station in RE area

and other terminates on non RE area; filter should be
provided with block instruments at both ends of such a
block section.
 Block telephone line should be separate from block
 Separate battery set shall be used for each block

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3.4.2 Block bell unit

 In SGE double line block instrument the bell circuit is

taken separately in another pair of wire, the bell beats are
transmitted by AC through the separate pair of the block
quad. The AC supply is generated by the block bell
equipment, which works on 12 volt DC.

Bell unit
 The equipment consist of a transistor oscillator
generator AC at 150 cycle and rectifier for converting AC
impulse received from other station. The rectified impulse
are applied to the block bell through a relay.

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Wiring of block bell equipment

3.5 Equipment not immunised

Equipments not immunised for AC shall not be used

directly on line circuits. The following is the list of such
 Electrical Key transmitter
 Arm and light repeater
 Telephone type relays
 Lever locks
 Slots indicators
 Color light signal repeating Indicator.
 250 ohms relay.

To make use of these equipments, relays are interposed

so that they are made to work locally through the
contacts of these relays.
The immunisation value of certain relays are as under

S.No. Type of Relay Immunisation Max. length of

value parallelism.
1 Shelf type 300 V 3.5 Km.
2 Plug-in type 300 V 3.5 Km.
3 PI-150 A 210-260 V 2.0 Km.
(Sundram Screen cable
clayton) 800 m.

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4 Siemens type
i) 5F/3BK-
50 B1 175 V 2 Km.
ii) 4F/4B 130 V 1.4 Km.
iii) 6F/2B 120 V 1.3 Km.

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3.6 Signal feeding system.

In RE AC electrified area maximum length of direct

feeding of signals shall not exceed 600 m. when screened
cables are used and 240 m. in case of unscreened cables.
If the length exceeds this limit the following two methods
are used:
♦ Local Feed
♦ Remote Feed

In RE area current transformers L-type and H-type are

used to enable a 1000 Ohm line relay to be used as ECR.
L-type is used in series with the supply leads where the
signal lamps are directly fed from the cabin.


For signals located beyond 600 meters, the controlling

relays HR, DR, HHR etc. in relay room are repeated
through AC immunised relays at the location and the
signals are fed locally from these relay contacts.

All circuits which pass through a main cable must have

individual returns and the controlling relay contacts must
be included in both the conductors i.e. double cutting of
contacts is necessary.
More then one route UGPR for all the routes shall be
provided in the location.

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24 VDC

24 VDC





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In the local feed method, the following equipments are

provided at the location box.
♦ 2 Nos. `OFF’ aspect controlling relays (HPR, DPR).
♦ 3 Nos. ECR Relays (DECR, HECR,RECR)
♦ 3 Nos. current transformer rectifiers to feed ECR
♦ A transformer rectifier set to feed DC voltage to repeat
♦ Besides the above, a power cable will be required to
take power to the location to feed the signals and
repeat the ECR(s).
Hence local feed system has become cumbersome.


In this remote feed system, signals are fed directly from
the cabin but in the signal lamp circuit, the “OFF” aspect
controlling repeat relays are proved as under.
24 V DC



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3.7 Point machine.

For various types of point machines the parameters are as

under :
Type AC Maximum Permissible Separates
Immunity Between Point Contactor And Point
Value Machine
(Volts) Single track Double track
SIEMENS 60 V 345 mts. 420 mts.
GRS 5 E 90 V 515 mts. 630 mts.
M-5 70 V 400 mts. 490 mts.
M-3 200 V 1150 mts. 1400 mts.

3.8 Lifting Barrier.

As far as possible lifting barrier shall be located at a

minimum distance of the length of boom from the nearest

4.0 Earthing arrangement.

Any dangerous potential appearing on the exposed part due

to electromagnetic induction is likely to cause injury to the
person and may prove dangerous to the equipments; so
proper earthing of S&T installation is essential.

4.1 Purpose of earthing.

 Safety of the working staff against electric shocks.

 To ensure safe & reliable operation of equipments by
minimising the effect of induced voltage.
 To protect the equipment from unduly high EMF,
which may cause DI- ELECTRIC break down mostly
due to (insulation) the physical contact with live OHE

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equipment such as in case of catenary wire falling on the

track or due to lightening discharge.

4.2 Equipments to be earthed.

Separate earth shall be provided for the following :

 Lever frame and other metallic frames.

 For each Block Instrument.
 In case of signals provided on bracketed posts or
gantries located above contact wire level falling within 2
meters from the electrified tracks. The protection screen
shall be connected to earth.
 Where the under ground cables enters the location box
or cabins, the cable termination boxes, (connecting the
ends of the cable) the metallic structures supporting the
terminal boxes shall be connected together to the same
earth as the lightening arrestors.

4.3 Earth lead wire

The following type of earth lead wire should be used

 ACSR wires of size 64 Sq. mm.(19 strands of 2.11 mm

 GI wire of negligible resistance.

Care should be taken as under

 The lead wires shall be protected against mechanical

 In case buried underground, should be painted with anti-
corrosive paint or bitumen or varnish.

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 The earthing leads for separate earthing arrangements

should be electrically insulated from each other.
 Earth lead wire should be soldered with earth pipe.

4.4 Earth electrode

 Under ordinary conditions of soil, use of GI or MS

electrode is recommended.

 Where more than one earth pipes are used, the distance
between each other pipes should not be less than 3 m.

 The resistance of each earth should not exceed 10 ohm.

5.0 Power supply for signal circuit

5.1 Stabiliser

To ensure that correct voltage is available at all times for

signalling lamps, relays sensitive to voltage variations
(ECR’S relays), voltage stabilizers of adequate capacity
should be used.

5.2 Transformers (220/110 V AC )

The location of transformers 220/110 V AC of adequate

capacity, at the controlling point depend, upon the
distance of signal from point of control. Separate
transformers should be used as under.

 Transformer for all signals located with in a distance of

600 m.

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 Transformer for all signals beyond 600 m. It must be

ensured that the combined length of parallelism shall not
exceed 2 Km.
 Transformer for signals where length of parallelism is
more then 2 Km.
 Each distance shall be provided with separate

6.0 Battery arrangement

Separate battery set should be used for signalling circuit

as under.

 Separate battery set for external circuits.

 Separate battery set for internal circuits.
 Separate line battery for block instrument.
 Separate battery set for local circuit of block
equipment (i.e. block bell & commutator lock circuit)
for both block instruments.
 Separate battery set for each track circuit.

7 Protection of Railway Staff

These instructions lay down the precautionary measures to

be observed by railway personnel working on Signalling.
Installation on lines equipped with 25 KV, 50 Cycles AC

Precautions are required to be taken on account of the


 Proximity of a live conductor

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 Pressure of return current in rails.

 Induction in all metallic bodies situated close to overhead
7.1 Proximity of a live conductor

 Any contact, direct or indirect, with the 25 KV live

conductors is dangerous and shall be strictly avoided.
 If any portion of a signal post or its fittings where a
lampman has to work falls within 2 m. of a 25 KV live
conductor or metal part electrically connected to this
conductor, such portion shall be protected with an iron
screen of approved design solidly connected to the
structural work.

 In case of signals provided on bracketed posts or gantries

located above contact wire level and falling within 2 m. for
the electrical connection to this conductor, then such portion
shall be protected with an iron screen of approved design
solidly connected to the structural work.

 Ifany portion of a signal post or its fittings where lampman

have to work, falls within 2 meters of a live conductor, such
portion shall, as far as practicable, be protected with an iron
screening of approved design solidly connected to the
structural work.
 If for any reason, the protective iron screening is not
provided as above, the railway staff shall not undertake any
work on those portions of the signal or its fittings falling
within the 2 meter zone from a 25 KV live part unless the
power has been switched off of this 25 KV live part and a
permission to work has been obtained.

7.2 Pressure of return current

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The flow of return current in the rails may cause a

potential difference :

 Between two rails at an insulated joint of the track

circuit or at an ordinary joint, in case, the fish plates are
 Between two ends of a fractured rail.
 Between an insulated rail and the rail used for the
traction return current.
 Between the rail and the surrounding mass of earth.

7.3 Induction in all metallic bodies situated close to

overhead electrical equipment

Precautionary measures listed below shall necessarily be

taken, as induced voltages may appear at any time on
account of a sudden short circuit in the traction overhead

 They shall as a general rule, wear rubber gloves and use

tools with insulated handles.
 When the work to be done is of such a nature that rubber
gloves cannot be used conveniently, staff must insulate
themselves from the ground by using rubber mats, etc.
 Before cutting the armour or the lead sheath of the cable
or the wires in the cables, an electrical connection of low
resistance shall be established between the two parts of the
armour, the sheathing or wires that are to be separated by

8. Insulation of Tools

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The handles of the tools shall be provided with an

insulating sleeve of rubber/plastic material of an approved
type sufficient to with stand 3000 Volt.

8.1 Tools to be insulated

 Screw Drivers
 Pliers
 Electricians Knives
 Spanners
 Any other tools whose handles are metallic and which
are required for the above purpose.

8.2 Tools to be provided with insulating paints

Some of the tools which are used in Signalling are required

to be insulated as a precautionary measure to avoid
bridging of rails and earth through the tools and body of the
workman as a difference of potential may exist due to
traction return current and electromagnetic or electrostatic

It is considered that painting of the below mentioned

S&T tools with suitable rubber based insulating paints
should adequately meet the requirements of insulation.

 Crow Bar
 Tommy bar
 Spanner
 Ratchet
 Wrenches
 Black-Smith’s tongs
 Any other tools which are wholly metallic or whose
handles are metallic.

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9. Maintenance

ν Check that wire mesh screen provided between the signal

post and OHE to protect the staff is held properly with nut
and bolt.
ν Check caution board provided on the signal post to warn
the staff. The caution board should be cleaned and
varnished so that precautions are clearly readable from the
foot of the signal ladder.
ν Check that wire mesh screen is not broken due to dust and
ν Check that rod and wire insulation once in six months or as
per the instructions issued by the Railway authorities.
ν Check that structure bonding, cross bonding and
longitudinal bonding are intact and make arrangements for
joint inspection with OHE staff once in six months or as per
the instructions issued.

ν Checkno load current of signal transformer once in a six

months. Voltage stabliser should be of adequate capacity.

ν Ensure that correct voltage is available at all times.

ν Check that separate power cables for feeding all signals are
installed, provided the conductors are of adequate cross
sectional area.

ν Ensure that the combined parallelism of circuits does not

exceed 600 meters. In case it is more than two transformers
shall be provided to isolate the feed.

ν Ensure that no rectifier for polarisation or any other

purpose (such as making the relay slow to operate), shall be

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included in any external circuit as the rectifier will act as

half wave rectifiers on application of AC and will effect the
relay operations.

ν Check that earth lead wires are protected against

mechanical damage.

ν Check that the earthing lead is provided for separate

earthing arrangements ensure that these are electrically
insulated from each other through out and also from the
metallic structure in contact with different earthing
ν Refer maintenance handbook on earthing No.
CAMTECH/2000/S/ETH/1.0 prepared by CAMTECH/
Gwalior for maintenance of earth.

ν Ensure that the staff working on tracks equipped with 25

KV-50cycles AC traction are familiar with the instructions
for treatment of persons suffering from electric shock.

ν Ensure that the instruction board in English and in the

regional language describing the methods to be adopted for
treatment of electric shock must be clearly displayed in all
inspector’s office.

10. Do’s & Don’ts

10.1 Do’s

ν Ensure the proper earthing of battery charger after

replacing the defective charger.

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ν Ensure that transfer and longitudinal bonding are provided

after replacement of defective glued joint on track circuited

ν Always use tools, which are provided with insulated


ν Always arrange for power block before taking the work on

hand for replacement of signal unit or any other work on
the signal, which is infringing within two meter from the
live parts of the OHE.

ν Always use surge arrester on cable, terminated between

junction box and EV of axle counter.

ν Ensure that no portion of signal fitting lies within 2m. from

OHE live conductor.

ν Ensure that for the power cable for feeding the signals. The
voltage drop is with in 5 %

ν Ensure that individual earth must be in good condition for

each signal.

ν Ensure that a caution board is provided on signal post at the

height of 3.0 meter above the rail level, if protective screen
is not provided on the signal post.

ν Ensure that the protective screen of signal post is earthed


ν Ensure that separate earth is provided for each block


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ν Ensure that each block instrument have separate line battery

set, to feed block instruments individually.

ν InsistP-way staff to inform S&T officials before replacing

the crossing and rail to ensure continuity of RE bonds.

ν Ensure continuity of earth bonds before opening any

insulation joint.
ν Do inform to the OHE staff immediately if any OHE bond
like longitudinal bond, structural bond, and cross bond is
found open or loose.

ν Ensure continuity of armour while joints provided in the


ν Ensure that rod insulation joint is in the same span while

changing the broken rod.

ν Ensure the rods and wires passing under the track and are
not touching the rail flange.


ν Don’t remove/disconnect screen of wire mesh provided

between the signal post and OHE live conductor.

ν Don’t remove warning board fitted on signal post.

ν Don’t open the earthing of signalling and other metallic

fittings concerned with the signalling gears.

ν Don’t energize any circuit on overhead line.

ν Don’t make through wire insulator with wire or wire rope.

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ν Don’t bypass any lightning arrester.

ν Don’t remove any earthing wire from cable armour or

metallic sheath of underground main cable.

ν Don’t combine earth with each other.

ν Don’t remove any OHE bonds provided for traction bond.

ν Don’t by pass choke terminals.

ν Do not keep the track circuit in working condition only on

the battery charger.

ν Don’t combined internal and external battery cell with each


ν Don’t replace any immunised relay with non immunised


ν Do not open the earthing and connections of any part of

the block filter unit.


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1. RE Manual issued by CORE/Allahabad

2. Various instructions issued by IRISET / Secundrabad

3. Various instructions issued by RDSO/ Lucknow

4. CAMTECH publications

a) Block instrument
b) Earthing arrangement


Signalling in RE area October’ 2001