Numbering points and levers

  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hi All

I have a dual-road track running East-West with two passing loops/sidings for each main road; there are two points at each end for each main road giving a total of 8 points.  Is there a standardised numbering system for the points and levers?
  • When running East, 1 is the East main, 2 is East passing, 3 is the West main, 4 is the West passing
  • When running West, 5 is the West main, 6 is the West passing, 7 is the East main, 8 is the East passing

Or some other numbering convention?

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  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

Suggest you look at track and signal diagrams on 1:1 scale railways. Both points and signals are usually included in lever numbering.

As a general rule (to which there are countless exceptions), on MAIN lines points and signals will be numbered in a logical sequence. Up and Down lines usually in reverse sequence to each other. For example on a 16 lever frame, the down Distant and Home signals might be levers 1 & 2, with the Up Distant and Home being levers 16 and 15. Points follow a similar pattern, numbered towards the middle of the frame.
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

The 1/1 section would be more likely to provide information.

This link provides modern details.

I can remember CTC signalling in the Adelaide Hills using a standard similar format. Odd numbers for down signals even for up.
Also in the Adelaide metro the signals were numbered on a distance from Adelaide basis
In 1 km from city the first signal was 11, the second 13 etc.

This made it easy to control from a central location using a computer and by keying in the distance you could locate signal 4E which I think was the number for the passenger loop exit signal, at Bridgewater, Aldgate, Balhannah etc.

Depending on your era, state, country, type of signalling, class of line you may find several methods.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

This is a UK-themed layout...and on a how would I decide which is up?  Or do I just use modellers' license and say West-East is up?
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
pretty much up to you.
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

If you are looking for UK information , have you considered a UK prototype site?

To be honest your initial question was a bit like how long is a piece of string?
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

the Signalling Record Society UK ( ) and the Signal Box UK ( ) are both good places to start.

The VR, using McKenzie&Holland Pattern, later Westinghouse Brake&Signal, were numbered from left to right.

( For the purposes of this discussion, let us assume the signal box is located adjacent to the Up line. )

The middle group were the points ( black levers ) , to the left, starting at No 1 were the Down Signals on the Up side of the signal box ( red levers ) followed by the Up signals on the Up side of the signal box ( red levers ).

To the right of the middle group of points ( black levers ) were the Down signals on the down side of the signal box ( red levers ), followed by the Up signals on the down side of the signal box ( red levers).

The middle group of points mimicked their location, from left to right, in relation to the signal box ( black levers ). If Facing Point Locks / FPLs were used, then the FPL ( VR , Locking Bar ) lever was usually ( not always ) to the left of the points to which it applied ( blue levers ) and the disc or dwarf signal to the applicable points were usually ( not always ) to the right of the points to which they applied ( red levers ).

At some locations , when the VR upgraded the layout or signals were converted to colour light , one signal lever may operate more than one signal. The particular signal that went to proceed was dependent on the lay of the points to which the signal applied. To maintain the interlocking, the resulting redundant signal lever was painted white over black ( magpie ) and effectively became a route proving lever.

( On power frames whether miniature lever, or slide operated , frequently used one lever or slide to operate multiple signals. This reduced the number of levers required for the particular frame . As interlocking was a combination of mechanical and relay in power frames, the use of magpie levers was not required. )

On the VR , the normal position of signal and point levers is "In" and the reverse position is "out", except for Locking Bars , wh