To prescribe the rules for pilot staff working in the Network.
Pilot staff working may be used to authorise rail traffic movements that are not permitted under a system of Safeworking.
The correct pilot staff or half pilot staff (half-staff) is the authority to occupy a pilot staff section.
Pilot staff working allows:
- wrong running-direction movements
- unsignalled movements
- following rail traffic entries into an occupied pilot staff section, but not into the same block.
Where possible, fixed signals are used to control rail traffic movements while pilot staff working is in operation.
A pilot staff section must have:
- a pilot staff, or
- for unidirectional movements only, the entry-end half‑staff if the exit-end half-staff for the pilot staff section is secured out of use.
Rail traffic must not enter or occupy the pilot staff section unless the pilot staff or half-staff is on hand at the points, crossover, signal or sign at the entry to the pilot staff section.
When not in use, pilot staffs and half-staffs must be secured.
Limits of a pilot staff section
A pilot staff section extends:
- from the signal or STOP sign at the entry to the portion of track used for pilot staff working
- to the signal or STOP sign at the exit from the pilot staff section.
Pilot staff working may include more than one section within its limits, if:
- a large pilot staff is used
- half-staffs, if present, are removed and secured.
Pilot staff working limits are expressed in terms of travel in the right running-direction.
Entry to a pilot staff section must be controlled by:
- a starting or home/starting signal, or
- if there is no suitable starting or home/starting signal:
- the signal or STOP sign immediately protecting the points or crossover being used, or
- the first available signal within 2500m before the points or crossover being used.
The pilot staff section must extend to a signal or STOP sign at the exit-end.
FIGURE 1: Example of a pilot staff section defined by signals
A pilot staff section must extend from a starting or home/starting signal at the entry-end to the opposing starting or home/starting signal at the exit-end.
Points or crossovers
A Qualified Worker must be placed at points and crossovers used for pilot staff working to:
- act as the Signaller
- operate the points or crossover.
If there are no signals immediately protecting points or a crossover, STOP or DISTANT WARNING signs must be placed in accordance with the requirements specified in this Rule.
FIGURE 2: Example of using STOP sign and DISTANT WARNING sign
Introducing pilot staff working
A Network Controller must authorise the introduction of pilot staff working.
Before authorising the introduction of pilot staff working, the Network Controller must arrange to tell:
- affected Network Controllers and Signallers
- workers known to be on the affected portion of track.
The Network Controller must:
- record, in permanent form, the introduction of pilot staff working
- compile and issue an NRF 010 Pilot Staff Working Introduction form.
Changing a pilot staff section
To change an established pilot staff section, the Network Controller must:
- cancel the existing Pilot Staff Working Introduction form
- compile and issue a new Pilot Staff Working Introduction form.
A pilot staff is:
- a large pilot staff, or
- joined half-staffs.
The pilot staff for the section must be marked with the limits of the pilot staff working and:
- the line for which pilot staff working is authorised, or
- a reference to item 2 of the NRF 008 Pilot Staff Notice (PSN) form.
Large pilot staffs are individually numbered, and inscribed:
- BLACK AND WHITE, if the aperture is diamond‑shaped, or
- BLACK AND YELLOW, if the aperture is circular.
Adjoining pilot staff sections using large pilot staffs must use staffs with different aperture shapes in the head.
The half-staff for a pilot staff section is marked with:
- the limits of pilot staff working
- the name of the line for which pilot staff working is authorised.
Half-staffs are secured in locks at the ends of some bidirectional sections. Removing a half-staff from its lock prevents signals allowing entry to the section from being cleared.
Pilot Staff Tickets
If at least one movement in the same running-direction will follow, an NRF 007 Pilot Staff Ticket must be issued to the Driver or Track Vehicle Operator.
Warning Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators
Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators must be warned that pilot staff working has been introduced and to expect the signal before the entry to the limits of pilot staff working to be at STOP.
Handsignallers must be placed at:
- STOP signs
- block posts
- protecting signals that must be passed at STOP to enter or exit the limits of pilot staff working
- automatic level crossings.
A Network Controller may authorise establishment and removal of block posts in a pilot staff section.
Before authorising establishment or removal of a block post, the Network Controller must be assured that the pilot staff section:
- is not occupied
- will not be occupied before the block post is established or removed.
Block posts must not be located so that rail traffic:
- stands on a level crossing, or
- stands on the controlling track-circuits of an automatic level crossing.
Handsignallers at block posts must not do any other work.
If the Signaller cannot be sure that the line as far as the first running signal beyond the pilot staff section is clear of rail traffic, a clearance Handsignaller must be placed at that signal.
The clearance Handsignaller must report to the Signaller when rail traffic has passed complete beyond the signal.
The clearance Handsignaller must not do any other work.
The establishment and removal of block posts, clearance locations and the placement of Handsignallers must be recorded, in permanent form, by:
- Network Controllers and Signallers
- Handsignallers at block posts and at clearance locations.
Signs used for pilot staff working must be placed on the right hand side of the line in the wrong running-direction.
The following signs must be used for pilot staff working if required.
with an attached steady red light
|At least 100m before points or crossovers if there is no suitable signal protecting points or crossover.|
DISTANT WARNING sign
with an attached flashing blue light
|At least 2500m before a STOP sign.|
|BLOCK POST sign||At block post locations.|
|BLOCK POST WARNING sign||At least 500m before block post locations|
If the route used for a pilot staff section changes from one running line to another, temporary track speed signs must be placed to indicate approach to the crossover.
Temporary speed signs must be placed in accordance with NSG 604 Indicators and signs.
Work on track
Work in the pilot staff section must be carried out in accordance with the relevant Network Rules and Network Procedures.
The Network Controller must make sure or be assured that:
- effective communication is established between affected Qualified Workers
- previously issued Proceed Authorities in affected portions of track have been cancelled or fulfilled
- obstructions are protected
- in affected sections current work on track authorities are cancelled or fulfilled or work on track methods are ended, or worksites are protected
- unless authorised by the Network Controller, intermediate signal boxes and local control panels in affected sections are not switched in or out during pilot staff working
- both ends of the pilot staff section are attended
- when not being used as the pilot staff working Proceed Authority, signals used to allow entry to the limits of pilot staff working are set and kept at STOP
- blocking facilities are applied
- if necessary, facing points are or will be clipped and locked before rail traffic travelling under pilot staff working passes over them
- level crossings are protected.
The Network Controller must get an assurance from affected Signallers that unauthorised rail traffic is, and will continue to be, prevented from entering the pilot staff section.
Signallers must make sure that signals protecting the pilot staff working limits are set at STOP with blocking facilities applied.
If there are intermediate sidings within the pilot staff working limits, Signallers must make sure that the releasing switches are in the NORMAL position, and:
- apply blocking facilities to the releasing switches, or
- if blocking facilities cannot be applied, restrain rail traffic in the sidings by giving affected Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators an NRF 004 Condition Affecting the Network (CAN) form.
To enter a pilot staff section from an intermediate location, the Driver or Track Vehicle Operator must hold the pilot staff or half-staff.
Unless block working has been established for the pilot staff section, a PSN must not authorise running signals that cannot be cleared to be passed at STOP.
Using pilot staffs
Change of running-direction
Before the running-direction of a pilot staff section is changed, the Signaller at the entry-end for the first movement in the new running-direction must:
- hold the pilot staff
- arrange for affected Handsignallers to be told about the change.
A half-staff authorises movements in only one direction.
The Network Controller must be assured that the exit-end Signaller for the section has withdrawn the exit-end half‑staff from its lock and secured it out of use.
The entry-end Signaller must make sure that the exit-end half-staff has been secured out of use and record the details on the PSN.
Transferring pilot staffs
The Network Controller may authorise the transfer of a pilot staff or half-staff by a means other than rail.
The Network Controller must:
- make sure that the pilot staff section is not occupied
- tell the affected Signallers.
If it is necessary to separate joined half-staffs and to return one half-staff to its correct location by rail, a Signaller must make sure that:
- the joined half-staffs are separated in the sight of the Driver or Track Vehicle Operator
- the correct half-staff is given to the Driver or Track Vehicle Operator
- the remaining half-staff is secured out of use
- the Driver or Track Vehicle Operator is given a PSN recording that the remaining half-staff has been secured out of use.
Suspending pilot staff working
Pilot staff working may be suspended if the section is not required for rail traffic movements. Only the Network Controller may suspend pilot staff working.
Rail traffic must not enter the pilot staff working section during the suspension of pilot staff working.
Suspension of pilot staff working does not reinstate the normal system of Safeworking.
Before suspending pilot staff working, the Network Controller must be assured that:
- the pilot staff section is not occupied
- Qualified Workers have been told about the suspension of pilot staff working
- Signallers have secured the pilot staff or half-staffs for the section out of use.
Ending pilot staff working
Before authorising the end of pilot staff working, the Network Controller must be assured that:
- the pilot staff section is not occupied
- Qualified Workers have been told about the end of pilot staff working
- block posts and clearance locations have been removed
- large pilot staffs have been secured out of use, and half-staffs have been returned to their correct locks.
Network Controllers and Signallers must:
- record, in permanent form, the end of pilot staff working
- fulfil the Pilot Staff Working Introduction form.