Protection Signals

Protection signals are used to block a track (which is why they are also called Gleissperrsignal - line-close signal), to order stop or to indicate that a proceed prohibition is cancelled (but this does not indicate an order to proceed). It may be combined with a W board. The signal may be placed to the left at rail scales, transfer platforms, or turntables.




Hp 0

colour light
Sh 0 

stop for train and shunting movements, see also colour light signal aspects 

Sh 0 

Sh 0  Sh 0-Rückseite 
front rear
Halt! Fahrverbot! / Stop! No passing! Derailer If used with a derailer, indicates that the derailer is on.
A sign looking like the mechanical Sh 0 is also displayed on (almost) every buffer, see also Sh 2.

See also special rules.

Sh 1 (DB)
Ra 12 (DR)

colour light
Sh 1 
Sh 1  Sh 1-Rückseite 
front rear
Fahrverbot aufgehoben / Shunting permitted.
If used in conjunction with an Hp 0, indicates that shunting movements may proceed (train movements must stop)
If used at a derailer, indicates that the derailer is off, but does not give permission to proceed.
This signal is valid only for the driver who actually sees the signal changing from Sh 0 to Sh 1. A shunting movement arriving when Sh 1 is already displayed must wait for the signal to change to Sh 0 and back.
If used in combination with a "W" board, permission from points operator is necessary to proceed
Ra 12
(at a Ra 11)

Ra 12
Ra 12 are the lit two white lamps mounted to a Ra 11

Rangierfahrtsignal / Shunting permitted. Order to proceed.

see also special rules and DR's Ra 11 camera.gif (1065 Byte) 

Sh 2  Sh 2  Schutzhalt / Protective stop:
stop (buffer at dead entry lines, drawbridges, turntables, closed gates, engineering works, etc.).
At night equipped with a single red lantern.
Usually used at dead-end tracks if this track is a direct entry line or entered by regular train movements (e.g. at  a terminal station)
It may be used as a temporary signal board which is then called W√§rterhaltscheibe (operator's stop board). Unlike other signals, the Sh 2 board may be (and usually is) placed between the rails.
Vr 0
[was Sh 3]
Sh 3  Wärtervorsignal (operator's distant signal) / Expect an Sh 2 board.
At night equipped with two amber lanterns. This is a mobile board placed by staff when there is a need to announce an Sh 2 board. Since the aspect and meaning are the same as (semaphore) distant signal announcing halt, the signal has been renamed to Vr 0.
Sh 3 Kreissignal  Kreissignal ("Circle Signal") / Stop immediately!
This is an emergency signal and it is given by swinging a white-red-white flag, any object or an arm in a circular manner. At night, a lantern, preferably red, or any luminous object can be used.
Sh 5 ooo  ooo  ooo  speaker.gif (924 Byte)  Horn- und Pfeifsignal ("Horn and Whistle Signal") / Stop immediately.
This is an emergency signal and is given when an Sh 3 circle signal cannot be given or is not deemed sufficient. It can also be used to make other staff to stop a train or shunting movement.
Three short tones repeated multiple times.

Some special rules for track blocking signals:

For shunting movements, usually an indication of a clear track permits proceeding but does not order to proceed (for an explanation of this subtle difference see the signalling basics page).

The reason for the signals not being a proceed order is that it is sometimes forgotten to reset a manually operated line-close signal to stop after is was passed by a shunting movement. To minimise the dangers involved with that a movement must not proceed a clear signal unless ordered to do so by additional signal or order.

DB Raute  [obsolete]
Raute ("Diamond"): Could be mounted to Sh 0/Sh 1 mechanical signals. An Sh 1 mechanical signal was a permission to proceed but not an order, i.e. unaccompanied shunting movements could proceed only if ordered to do so, e.g. by Ra 1 or verbal order. If the signal was equipped with the diamond, the Sh 1 is to be interpreted as a proceed order rather than a mere permission.
In the 1999 edition of the Signal Book the Diamond Board has disappeared, now a mechanical signal is never an order, just a permission.
DR Kreisscheibe  [obsolete]
Kreisscheibe ("Circle Board"): A Ra 12 or Gsp 1 (mechanical Sh 1) is a proceed order. Rule abandoned as of 2006 edition of the Signal Book.

On DR lines, instead of the Sh 0/1 colour light signal you will often see a box like the one below:

Ra 11/Ra 12-Zwergsignal  This is a device combining a Ra 11 Waiting board a Ra 12 light signal and often a Kreisscheibe (Circle Board). The white box at the lower right contains the signal's number. The "W" is transparently illuminated. If the two white lights are off it means 'stop for shunting movements', see also Ra 11. If they are on, they are an order to proceed (without the Kreisscheibe it would be just a permission). camera.gif (1065 Byte)