Top of page anchor

Train Working

NTR 400 Protecting rail traffic

This document describes the requirements for protecting rail traffic

Version 4.0, 29 September 2019


This document describes the requirements for protecting rail traffic

Not what you are looking for? See more NTR Rules


To prescribe the rules for protecting rail traffic in the Network.


Protection is required if:

  • rail traffic is disabled, or
  • rail traffic obstructs, or might obstruct, adjacent lines, or
  • the line is obstructed.

Drivers or Track Vehicle Operators must ask the Signaller to prevent rail traffic from approaching the affected portions of track.

If necessary, the Train Crew or Track Vehicle Crew must act in accordance with:

Disabled rail traffic

Where practicable, the Signaller must make sure that a Qualified Worker is placed towards the direction of assisting rail traffic:

  • at least 500m before the disabled rail traffic, or
  • at the first protecting signal at STOP.

The Qualified Worker must:

  • display a STOP handsignal to approaching rail traffic
  • pilot the assisting rail traffic to the disabled rail traffic.

The Signaller must give the assisting Driver or Track Vehicle Operator written advice about:

  • the length and location of the disabled rail traffic
  • the need for rail traffic to travel at restricted speed:
    • from the protecting controlled absolute signal, or
    • if there is no protecting controlled absolute signal, from the entry to the section.
  • whether or not a Qualified Worker has been placed to pilot the assisting rail traffic, and if so, the location of the Qualified Worker.

The written advice must be recorded on:

  • an NRF 004 Condition Affecting the Network (CAN) form, or
  • an NRF 005 Special Proceed Authority (SPA) form.

Adjacent or obstructed lines

Adjacent lines

The Train Crew or Track Vehicle Crew of rail traffic that is, or might be, foul of adjacent lines, must contact the Signaller to prevent other rail traffic from approaching the affected portions of track.

Obstruction of lines

If an obstruction is reported, the Signaller responsible for the affected portions of track must act in accordance with NGE 206 Reporting and responding to a Condition Affecting the Network (CAN), and instruct Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators of rail traffic in or approaching the affected block to stop their rail traffic immediately.

Placing track-circuit shorting clips

Unless the Signaller has given an assurance that rail traffic has been prevented from approaching the affected portion of track, Qualified Workers must fasten a trackā€‘circuit shorting clip to the heads of the rails of the adjacent or obstructed lines.