Meaning of Signs and Symbols used by Indian Railway

While travelling by the train we often see different signs & symbols besides the railway track. But many of us are not aware about these signs & symbols. These signs & symbols can only be understood by the person who is working in the Indian railways. But in this article we are publishing the details of such signs & symbols to make you aware.

Some important signs & symbols and their meaning is as follows;

1. Caution Indicator Board

Arrow-shaped boards points to the left or right. This sign indicates special restrictions on the track due to temporary or permanent engineering work. The direction of the arrow indicates that on which track the restriction applies to. These boards are usually painted in black and yellow colour.

In the olden time two lamps used to brighten the yellow strip but today such colours are used in painting these which provide sufficient visibility at night also.
The caution indicator is usually placed 700m before a Speed Indicator board or and 800m before the actual point of workplace. After seeing the “Caution indicator board” the drivers have to slow down the speed of the train.

2. Speed Termination Indicator Board

Often while traveling on the train, we see the circular board written T / G and T / P on the side of the tracks. Generally Speed Termination Indicator Boards are located on the left side of the tracks. T / G’s full name is termination of speed restriction for Goods trains, whereas the full name of T / P is termination of speed restriction for passenger trains.

This board shows the instruction to the driver of the train so that the driver can come know that the restriction for speed limit has expired and now the he (driver) can run the train at full speed. On such tracks the maximum speed limit of the train has been set at 30 km/h.

Generally, Caution Indicator Board is placed before the 800 meters of the Speed Termination Indicator Board. This is the signal for the driver that speed of the train need to slow down and the driver reduces the speed as per the instruction given on the board.
speed indicator sign board.

Other speed termination Board are;

Other termination indicators seen include T/PG (for both passenger and goods trains, T/P24 (for 24-coach or longer passenger trains), and T/L (for local, i.e., suburban trains, usually EMU or DMU trains).

3. Signal Sighting Board

This signal sighting board is a rectangular reflective board with a circle and two horizontal lines, yellow on black.

The meaning of this signal for the driver is that, this sign warns the driver of a signal ahead and the driver needs to pay the attention of this signal. The next signal will instruct him that whether he need to slow or stop the train.

In lower quadrant territory, there are often two sighting boards used for signals. One, as described, is the goods signal sighting board and is placed 1400m before the signal. The other is the passenger signal sighting board intended for use by drivers of passenger trains and is usually placed about 1000m before the signal.
sighting sign board

4. Whistle Indicator Board

Often, while traveling in the train, we see Yellow Square colored on the side of the tracks. The boards have W, W / L, W / B or C / F words. These boards are just signal to the drivers for blowing the whistle.

The ‘W’ is a general whistle indicator while the ‘W/L’ stands for Whistle for Level Crossing because there is unmanned crossing ahead. The letter is also seen in Hindi with the characters ‘see/pha’ i.e. Siti Bajao – Phatak’).

Normally W / L or C / F board is placed before the 250 meters of unmanned gate. Similarly, the W / B board informs the driver of the train that the bridge is ahead so he need to blown the horn while crossing the bridge.
Whistle Indicator Board

5. X Mark on the last Coach of the Train

The last coach of the train is marked with a yellow X paint mark. This mark is the signal for the train supervisor to know that entire train has departed and no coach is left behind.

Apart from this, the last coach of the train also has electric lamp. In the older days this lamp was burnt with oil but now it is burnt with electricity.

6. The Sign of “LV” on the last Coach of the train

On the final coach of the train, there is a small board written in black and white in English or red and white color. This board has “LV” written over it. This “LV” stands for – Last Vehicle i.e. Final coach of the train.

If a train passes through a station or a signal cabin, which does not have a board of “LV” then it is believed that the entire train has not reached and some coaches are left behind. In such situation emergency action is initiated by the concerned authorities.

7. Caution Order for Tunnel

‘C/T’ written by ink black on a round yellow board. This sign indicates the drivers that the tunnel is ahead of the train. The sign is placed just outside the entrance to the tunnel.
tunnel board

So if you read this article carefully and your train passes nearby any such symbols, i am sure that you will come to know about the meaning of those symbols immediately.