Glossary

The safeworking glossary defines special terms used in the Network Rules, Network Procedures and Network Forms. The glossary is also available as a PDF format.

Glossary document status page can be found here.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A

absolute signalA fixed signal that must not be passed at STOP without the authority of the Signaller.
Absolute Signal Blocking (ASB)A method used by Qualified Workers to carry out work on track using controlled absolute signals set and kept at STOP.
access A designated safe way into, along, across or out of a Rail Corridor. 
Access ProviderAn organisation that provides and manages a rail Network and safe method of entry to that Network for Access Users.
active control (level crossing equipment) A road or pedestrian level crossing where warning equipment warns road users and pedestrians about approaching rail traffic by devices such as flashing lights or barriers.
adjacent Next to, near to, close to.
adjoining In contact with, connected to.
 To give written or electronic notice, usually in advance, of planned activities.
affected signal A signal not available for normal use.
airbrakeA braking system activated by change in air pressure.
aspectThe displayed pattern or position of lights or arms used to give a signal indication.
attended locationA signalling location or block location that is controlled by a Qualified Worker either on-site or at a remote location.
audible warning deviceA device, such as a whistle, siren, horn or hooter, used to give warning.
automatic signalA signal that is normally controlled exclusively by the operation of track-circuits.
authorise To give formal written, spoken or signalled authority for an action.
authorityA generic term for permission.
Formal authority name.
axle counterEquipment used in Rail Vehicle Detection Territory to detect the presence of rail vehicles by counting the number of axles entering or leaving a location. They may be used to operate signalling or other infrastructure equipment.
Axle counter territoryThe portions of line where axle counters are used for the Rail Vehicle Detection system of Safeworking.

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B

balloon loopA portion of line that allows rail traffic to change direction of travel without change to the leading end.
bank locomotive A locomotive provided at the rear of a train to assist it up a steep grade (bank).
basic block working A form of manual block working which does not require the issue of a Condition Affecting the Network (CAN) form.
bidirectional Allowing for normal movement of rail traffic in either direction according to the infrastructure and system of Safeworking in use.
block A portion of line with defined limits between which only one rail traffic movement is permitted at any one time.
block location A defined location that separates blocks.
block point See block location. 
block postA temporary block location.
block train A train required to travel under manual block working in track-circuited territory.
block workSee manual block working.
blocking facilityA facility or device used by a Qualified Worker to prevent either the unintended issue of an Occupancy Authority, or the operation of points or signalling equipment.

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C

CAN block workingManual block working using a Condition Affecting the Network (CAN) form to warn Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators about the working.
cancel To withdraw permission for, or to end previously authorised activities, such as Occupancy Authorities, without completing them.
(Written authorities have the word CANCELLED written diagonally across them, between two parallel lines).
catch points Single or double bladed points used to derail rail traffic that might enter or foul an adjacent running line. 
CAUTION fixed signal An indication provided by a fixed signal. The next fixed signal may be at STOP. 
CAUTION handsignal A handsignal given by a Qualified Worker to indicate the need for rail traffic to proceed being prepared to stop.
When given by an inner Handsignaller protecting a worksite, and unless otherwise advised by that Handsignaller, a maximum speed of 25km/h applies until the rail traffic has passed the worksite limits.
certify To classify a worker as competent.
To classify infrastructure or rolling stock as fit for purpose. 
clearance Handsignaller  A Handsignaller at a clearance location, who reports the clearance of rail traffic past that location.
clearance locationA location that, once clear of rail traffic, allows a following movement. 
clearance pointSee clearance location.
clearance post  A post, marker, light or disc to indicate the clearance point of two converging lines.
closely approaching  Going towards a location at a speed such that Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators could not be expected to react in sufficient time to stop. 
co-acting signal  A signal, placed near another signal that might be temporarily obscured from a Driver or Track Vehicle Operator’s view, to provide information about the obscured signal’s indication.
commission  To formally place into active service or use.
Condition Affecting the Network (CAN) A situation or condition that affects or has the potential to affect the safety of the Network.
consist  A listed order of the vehicles arranged to make up a complete train. 
consolidated yard  An area where interlockings controlled by one signalling location have intervening permissive signals. The area is defined exclusively by a YARD LIMIT (YL) sign and an END OF YARD LIMIT (EYL) sign. 
controlled absolute signalA signal that is controlled or operated by a Signaller or a Qualified Worker. The signal must not be passed at STOP without authority.
controlled signal  A signal that is, or may be, controlled or operated by a Signaller or Qualified Worker. 
converging (Lines) meeting and joining to become one line.
convoy A group of track vehicles not coupled but travelling closely together under a single Occupancy Authority.
cross To go past other rail traffic travelling in the opposite direction.
crossing location May consist of single or double ended portion of line, to hold rail traffic, connected to a main line that is used to permit other rail traffic to cross or pass.
crossover A portion of line that is used to divert rail traffic from one running line to another. 

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D

Danger ZoneEverywhere within 3m horizontally from the nearest rail, and any distance above or below this 3m, unless a safe place exists or has been created.
dangerous goodsMaterials defined under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code.
dead end sidingA portion of line connected to a running line or other siding, with points at one end only.
delegateA Qualified Worker authorised and designated to act in place of another.
demarcation fencingEasily-seen, continuous worksite safety boundary markers.
derail deviceA device intended to guide the wheels of rail traffic off rails.
directTo give instructions.
disabledUnable to travel due to a defect.
discrete-channelA system in which only the intended participants in a radio or telephone conversation can take part in the conversation.
DriverA Qualified Worker controlling the movement of rail traffic.

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E

effective communicationThe ability to successfully send, receive and understand information. The communication does not need to be continuous.
Electric Vehicle Maintenance Centre (EVMC) A designated location where maintenance work is carried out on electric traction vehicles. 
electrical infrastructureEquipment and systems for supplying and distributing electricity for traction purposes.
Electrical RepresentativeA person with the appropriate delegated authority and electrical engineering competence to make judgments about electrical safety.
electrical safety instructions Instructions provided by Electrical Maintenance Representatives for work on or near electrical infrastructure. 
Electrical System OperatorThe person responsible for managing the Network electrical system and authorising the removal and restoration of overhead supply.
emergencyIncident requiring urgent action. The incident might involve death or serious injury, health or safety effects, significant damage to property or infrastructure, significant train service disruption, or environmental impact.
end-of-train markerA device, including tail lights, fitted to the trailing end of the last vehicle of a rail traffic consist to indicate the end of the consist.
exclusive occupancySole occupancy of track within defined limits.

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F

facing pointPoints with the switch blades facing approaching rail traffic.
failsafeDesigned such that failure results in a safe outcome.
fit for purposeAble to be used for the function required.
fixed signalA signal that is located permanently near the line.
fixed worksiteA worksite with boundaries that are fixed and defined for the duration of the work.
foulIn a position to obstruct rail traffic on adjacent lines.
four-footThe area between the rails of a railway track.
fulfilTo complete the instructions on, and associated activities for an Occupancy Authority.
(Written authorities have the word FULFILLED written diagonally across them, between two parallel lines.)

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G

groundframeA small trackside interlocking device used for manual points or signal operation.

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H

half-staffA metal staff located at the ends of a section, and interlocked with signals’ circuits. Also known as half-pilot-staff. Two half-staffs can be joined to provide a pilot staff for the section.
handbrake A mechanical device used to secure a rail vehicle against movement. Includes spring parking brakes.
handsignal A signal given by hand movements, with or without flags or lights.
To give a signal by hand.
HandsignallerA Qualified Worker who gives handsignals to Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators.
haulTo move rail traffic using a motive power source at the leading end.
hazard light Amber or orange flashing light fitted to a vehicle to provide warning.
headlights White lights fitted at the front of rail traffic to provide visibility for Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators and to improve the visibility of rail traffic.

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I

in effect Activate, become current, in force.
Incident Management FrameworkA manual issued by Sydney Trains that prescribes rules and procedures to be followed in the event of a major incident.
infrastructureSee civil infrastructure; electrical infrastructure; signalling and telecommunications infrastructure.
instruction signA sign, near or fixed to a signal, bearing directions for Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators.
interlockingInteraction of equipment controlling points and/or signals to prevent conflicting movements, and to make sure that routes are set correctly.
interlocking machineEquipment used to operate or control interlocked points and signals.
intermediate Between two others.
intermediate siding A siding located within a section, generally used for purposes other than crossing or passing of rail traffic.
isolated 1500V overhead wiring section A 1500V overhead wiring section disconnected from all possible sources of 1500V supply, and made incapable of accidentally being made live. 
issue To give or send copies of authorities, warnings, notices and Network publications to affected Qualified Workers by voice, hand delivery or electronic means.

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J

joint occupancySimultaneous occupancy of track within defined limits.

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L

level crossingA location where the railway line and a road or pedestrian walkway cross paths on the same level.
light, battery powered tool or deviceAn internally powered tool or device that can be easily carried by one person and be immediately removed from the track. The tool must not have potential to distract the
operator, or impede the ability of the operator to respond to the warning of approaching rail traffic.
light locomotive  One or more locomotives not attached to another vehicle.
light, non-powered hand toolA tool that can be carried and easily removed by one person and is not powered by compressed air, gas, electricity, hydraulics, explosive charge or an internal combustion engine.
light, powered hand toolAn internally powered tool that can be carried easily by one person, without mechanical assistance.
limit of authorityIt defines the location to which rail traffic may travel under a Proceed Authority or the limits of a work on track authority. The limit may be defined by a sign, a signal capable of displaying a STOP indication, or a specific kilometrage point on a line.
loading outlineThe maximum height and width to which rail vehicles can be loaded for a particular line, as prescribed in the Train Operating Conditions (TOC) manual.
local control panelAn interlocking facility that may be switched to and from local control.
Local Possession Authority (LPA) An authority that closes a defined portion of line for a specified period.
location A place in the Network with a designated name, identification number, signalling reference or kilometrage.
locomotive Self-propelled, railway vehicles used for hauling other rolling stock.
Lookout A Qualified Worker responsible for keeping watch for approaching rail traffic, and for warning other workers to stand clear of the line before the rail traffic arrives.
Lookout Working A safety measure used by Qualified Workers to carry out work on track without a formally issued work on track authority.
loop See balloon loop; crossing loop; refuge loop.
low visibility Any condition that does not allow Qualified Workers to view the distance required to work safely.
Visibility restricted by fog, mist, rain, dust, snow, low light or other similar cause.

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M

main lineThe running line normally used for running rail traffic through and between locations.
Maintenance Representative A Qualified Worker with the appropriate authority to maintain the infrastructure.
major incident An incident assessed as having a potentially major impact on the Network, human life, property or the environment.
manual block working A method of special working, which ensures sole occupancy by manually maintaining the block between rail traffic movements.
marker lightsLights which indicate the front or rear of a train.
marshalTo arrange the order of vehicles in a train’s consist.
may The word ‘may’ indicates permission.
motive power unit A rail vehicle used to provide the power to move itself or other vehicles.
must The word ‘must’ indicates that a statement is mandatory.

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N

net train weightThe weight of vehicles and their load in a train consist.
Network A combination of track and other infrastructure controlled by an Access Provider.
Network access level crossingGenerally permanent level crossings provided at authorised locations for Network maintenance. Excludes public level crossings and private level crossings.
Network ControlThe function responsible for managing rail traffic paths and issuing Occupancy Authorities.
Network Control Officer (NCO)A Qualified Worker who authorises, and may issue, Occupancy Authorities, and who manages rail traffic paths to ensure safe and efficient transit of rail traffic in the Network.
The Qualified Worker may be known as a Train Controller for an unattended location, a Signaller for an attended location, or a delegate carrying out some functions of a Train Controller or Signaller.
Network Incident Notice (NIN)A notice used to record and distribute information about incidents on the Network.
Network Local Appendices (NLAs)Publications issued to prescribe special Safeworking arrangements for a location or area.
Network FormsForms issued for use as specified in the Network Rules and Network Procedures.
Network Procedures Procedures issued for the safe conduct of work on the Network. To be read in conjunction with the Network Rules.
Network Rules Rules issued to mandate the requirements for safe operation in the Network.
normal speed Normal speed is a speed that does not exceed the speed limit currently in effect for the location and type of rail traffic.

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O

obstructTo make a line unsafe for the passage of rail traffic.
occupancy Presence of rail traffic or track workers on track.
open-channelA system that allows all radio users to take part in all conversations.
OperatorAn organisation that manages, operates or maintains rail traffic on the Network.
Operator's RepresentativeA person authorised by an Operator to act on their behalf.

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P

pantographAn apparatus fixed to the roof of electric traction vehicles to draw current from the overhead supply.
pass To overtake other rail traffic travelling in the same direction.
passive control level crossing Road and pedestrian level crossing warning that relies on road users and pedestrians looking out for and giving way to rail traffic.
permanent form A record made in writing or in a computer system, and kept for reference and audit.
permissive signal  A fixed signal that is normally controlled by the passage of rail traffic and its normal indication is a Proceed Authority.
A signal that can be passed at STOP without the authority of a Signaller or Special Proceed Authority (SPA) if it is considered safe to do.
pilot A Qualified Worker, who accompanies, directs and advises Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators.
To direct or guide Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators and tell them about local conditions and operating restrictions on running lines and at worksites.
pilot staff  A metal staff that authorises travel through a pilot staff section.
Pilot Staff Notice (PSN)  A form used to give details of pilot staff working.
Pilot Staff Ticket A written authority issued after a Driver or Track Vehicle Operator has seen the pilot staff or half-staff for a section.
pilot staff working A method of working rail traffic, using a pilot staff or half-staff, when the normal system of Safeworking is not available.
Pilot Staff Working Introduction A formal authority to introduce pilot staff working.
platform A raised or level area, next to the line, that allows people to enter and leave trains.
points  A track component consisting of paired pieces of tapered rail that can be moved and set to allow tracks to diverge or converge.  
points indicator An indicator showing the position of points.
possessionClosure of one or more lines to allow work to be carried out in the Danger Zone using a Local Possession Authority (LPA) or a Track Occupancy Authority (TOA).
Possession Protection Officer (PPO) The Qualified Worker responsible for coordinating protection of worksites under a Local Possession Authority (LPA). See also Protection Officer.
prescribed train A train laden in excess of a specified percentage of the maximum load that can be hauled by the motive power unit, for that portion of line.
Proceed Authority An Authority that allows rail traffic to enter and occupy a portion of line and proceed in the forward direction.
propel To push rail traffic away from the controlling locomotive or motive power unit.
To manage airbrake operation of moving rail traffic from a cab that is not in the lead vehicle of a train.
protection The means used to prevent rail traffic from entering a worksite or other portion of line, or to prevent road or pedestrian traffic from entering a level crossing.
Protection Officer The Qualified Worker responsible for managing the rail safety component of worksite protection.
pulling list The listed sequence in which point and signal controls must be operated to set routes.
pulsating A regular variation in light intensity, used to distinguish the indication from a steady light of the same colour.

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Q

Qualified WorkerA worker certified as competent to carry out the relevant task.

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R

rail bondA cable fixed across a break or joint in one rail, or between two rails, to provide a path for traction return current or track-circuits.
rail-connect To connect 1500V overhead wiring supply to the traction return rail to ensure the immediate discharge of electricity if the 1500V overhead wiring becomes live.
Rail Commander A person qualified as Rail Commander that has been appointed by the Shift Manager RMC to liaise with Emergency Services and manage the rail industry response at an incident site.
Rail Corridor The land on which a railway is built; comprising all property between property fences, or if no fences, everywhere within 15m from the outermost rails.
rail traffic Trains and track vehicle or vehicles travelling on the network.
Railway Track Signal   A device attached to a rail that explodes on impact, used to attract attention of Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators.
Rail Vehicle Detection (RVD) territory The portions of line where the system of Safeworking relies on track-circuiting or axle counters.
rakeVehicles, usually not formed as a train, moved as a unit during shunting and marshalling.
refuge loop A running line in double-line territory, with entry and exit ends connected to a main line, that is used to hold rail traffic to allow other rail traffic to cross or pass.
release A device that allows a Competent Worker to take trackside control of points or signals. 
remotely controlled location An attended location where signals and/or points are controlled by a Qualified Worker at another location.
repeater signal A signal provided at some locations to give Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators better information about the indication of the next signal.
restrain To prevent movement of rail traffic with signals, signalling equipment, blocking facilities, or issue of a Condition Affecting the Network (CAN) form as a warning.
restricted speed A speed that allows rail traffic to stop short of an obstruction within the distance of clear line that is visible ahead.
right running-direction The normal direction of travel on unidirectional lines.
roll-by inspection  A visual inspection of moving rail traffic to identify equipment, loading security or other defects or failures.
route The path from one limit of authority to the next in the direction of travel.
running line A line (other than a siding) that is used for through movement of rail traffic. See also main line and siding.
running signal A fixed signal placed near a running line to authorise and control running movements.
Running Supervisor The Qualified Worker acting as a shift manager within an Electric Vehicle Maintenance Centre (EVMC).

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S

safe braking distanceA distance indicated to rail traffic that would allow rail traffic to stop with the application of normal service braking.
safety assessmentAn assessment process used to identify hazards for all work planned for the Rail Corridor and its potential to intrude on the Danger Zone.
SAFE Notice  An authorised notice distributed to give advice in addition to that provided in the Network Rules, Network Procedures or Network Local Appendices. 
safe place  A place where workers and equipment cannot be struck by rail traffic.
section  The line between the departure-end yard limit of one location and the arrival-end yard limit of another location. A section consists of one or more blocks.
secure To place and keep something in a known or prepared place or position to safeguard it against accidental or unauthorised access or movement.
set back  To move in the reverse direction to that provided in the current Proceed Authority.
shunt To move rail traffic, rakes of vehicles, or vehicles on lines for purposes other than through-movement.
shunting signal A fixed signal provided to authorise and control shunting movements.
shunting yard  A system of tracks, within defined limits, used for shunting and marshalling.
siding A portion of line where vehicles can be placed clear of the running lines. See also intermediate siding.
sighting distance  The distance that someone can clearly see along the track.
SignallerA Qualified Worker who issues Occupancy Authorities, and works points, signals and other signalling equipment to manage routes for safe and efficient transit of rail traffic in the Network.
signalling and telecommunications infrastructureSignalling equipment and telecommunications equipment used as part of the Safeworking and operating systems of the Network.
Signals EngineerA person with the appropriate delegated authority and signals engineering competence to make judgments about signalling safety.
Signals Maintenance Representative A qualified and authorised signals maintenance worker.
Site Controller The lead agency officer or multi agency response police officer appointed by and subject to the direction of an Emergency Operations Controller. 
Special Proceed Authority (SPA) A method of special working which may be used when the normal system of Safeworking is not available.
Special Train Notice (STN) A published notice providing details of train operations or events that might affect train operations.
special working Working rail traffic using a Special Proceed Authority (SPA), pilot staff working or manual block working.
Speed Restriction NoticeAn information sheet listing temporary speed restrictions for specific locations.
stable To leave rail traffic unattended and secured, usually in a siding.
staff A metal rod which is, or can be used to issue, the token for a section.
substation A place (including substations, traction substations, transformer rooms, switch rooms, sectioning huts, pole-mounted or pad-mounted transformers) containing high-voltage electrical equipment. 
sufficient warning timeThe minimum time needed for workers to react to a Lookout’s warning and move themselves and equipment to a safe place; should include time for the Lookout’s reaction and a margin for safety. 
system of Safeworking An integrated system of operating procedures and engineered systems used in the Network, for safe operation of rail traffic, and protection of people and property.

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T

tail lightsRed lights used to designate the end of rail traffic. See also end-of-train markers.
terminal line  A dead-end line.
through-movement  Transit or travel in the Network.
token A pilot staff or pilot staff ticket used as the authority for rail traffic to occupy a section.
tonnage signal  A signal before a steeply rising grade, with a sign that directs Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators of prescribed trains, the sign may be before or fitted to the signal.
track The combination of rails, rail connectors, sleepers, ballast, points and crossings. 
trackside monitoring equipment  Devices that monitor and respond to track, trackside and rail vehicle conditions.
Track-circuit  An electric circuit where current is carried through the rails and used to detect the presence of trains. Track-circuits are used in the operation and control of points and signalling equipment.
Track-circuited territoryPortions of line where the system of Safeworking relies on track-circuits to detect the presence of rail traffic.
track-circuit shorting clip  A cable that can be clamped to a line’s rails to activate track-circuits.
track indicator diagram  A diagram that shows if tracks are occupied and other relevant information.
Track Occupancy Authority (TOA)  An authority for Qualified Workers and their equipment to occupy a defined portion of line for an agreed period.
track speed  The allowed maximum speed for a portion of line.
track vehicle  A vehicle, usually self-propelled, used for inspecting and/or maintaining infrastructure.
track vehicle number (identification )The unique number displayed on a track vehicle.
Track Vehicle Crew  The Qualified Workers responsible for the operation of a track vehicle. 
Track Vehicle Operator  A Qualified Worker controlling the movement of a track vehicle.
track work  Construction, maintenance or repair work on or around infrastructure in the Rail Corridor.
track workersQualified rail safety workers whose primary duties are associated with work on or around infrastructure in the Rail Corridor.
Track Work Authority (TWA)  An authority for non-exclusive occupancy of track by track workers within specified limits.
traction return current  The electric current returning from the 1500V overhead power supply through the rails to sub-stations. 
train A locomotive or self-propelled vehicle, alone or coupled to one or more vehicles.
Train Control diagram (graph)A diagram showing operational information for a train control area, also known as a Train Control graph.
Train Controller  A Qualified Worker who authorises, and may issue, Occupancy Authorities, and who manages rail traffic paths to ensure safe and efficient transit of rail traffic in the Trains Network.
Train Crew  The Qualified Workers responsible for the operation of a train.
train number (identification)A train or run number used to provide unique identification of a train.
Train Operating Conditions (TOC) manual A manual that prescribes the minimum operating requirements for trains and track vehicles in the Network.
Train Operating Conditions (TOC) Waiver A notice of changes or exceptions to the requirements specified in the Train Operating Conditions (TOC) manual.
Train Running Information Information about rail traffic movement and frequency provided for a particular location.
train stop A device located next to the line, at or between signals, to activate (trip) brake application on passing trains.
transfer Movement from location to location.
transit Through-movement along a portion of line.
travel Planned or purposeful movement from one location to another.

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U

unattended locationA signalling location or block location that is not a remote controlled location, and where a Signaller is not on duty.
unauthorisedNot given approval, or exceeding the limit of authority. See authorise.
unidirectionalAllowing for normal travel in one direction only according to the infrastructure and system of Safeworking in use.

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V

visibility lightsLights, fitted below the headlights, to improve rolling stock’s ability to be seen and to assist the crew in viewing of the immediate area in front of the vehicle.

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W

Weekly NoticeA publication that advertises changes to, and details of, Safeworking arrangements.
wheel scaleA build-up of metallic material on a wheel tread’s surface.
whistleA device such as a bell, whistle, siren, horn or hooter, fitted to rail traffic to give audible warning.
WOLOSpeed restrictions applied during hot weather.
work on trackThe work performed in the Rail Corridor.
To perform work in the Rail Corridor.
work on track authority An authority to work on track. See Local Possession Authority (LPA); Track Occupancy Authority (TOA); Track Work Authority (TWA).
work train A train used in maintenance or construction activities.
wrong running-direction The direction opposite to the normal direction of travel on unidirectional lines.

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Y

yardA system of tracks within yard limits.
yard limitA defined operational limit on a running line.
See also section.

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