Command (railroad)

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A command (abbreviation: Bef ) is usually a written order to the driver of a train if a situation-specific signaling is not possible or if the normal operation has to be deviated from in some other way . In the driving service regulations it is precisely specified in which cases and with which command an order or information must be transferred. This is usually the case when there are safety-relevant features on the route or on the locomotive that require special attention or a reduction in speed. But shunting trips must also receive a command if they are e.g. B. want to maneuver beyond the decisive danger point (shunting stop panel (Ra 10) or - if such a signal is not available - the entry point).

Execution and transmission

The command can be transmitted in two different ways. One possibility is for the dispatcher to fill out the form for the order and then hand it over in writing to the driver, who confirms receipt with his signature. However, it is also permissible that the Dispatcher the driver command via the telephone train radio or via a telephone to the line dictates . The driver fills out an order form according to the instructions of the dispatcher and repeats the information he has entered for security.

Order types

A schedule authorized by command is a schedule with a special order .

Order form in Germany

People on the track are a reason for command 12
Precautionary order from the Deutsche Reichsbahn
Command form DB, valid 2003–2009

The command form is contained under number 408.2411V01 in Directive 408 of the Deutsche Bahn AG and as Annex 10 in the FV-NE. It is to be carried on traction vehicles. It contains 14 or 19 possible types of commands that can be issued individually or together. The commands to be issued are ticked and filled in; all unchecked order types are ignored. Information may also have to be deleted. If several orders are placed, it is permissible to note them on a single form, provided that they can be processed in the sequence. In this case the order of the orders must be followed by the dispatcher when filling out or dictating the order and noted on the form. The driver must follow the order in which the orders are processed. The order can be given to the driver by the dispatcher. The use of messengers is also possible for this purpose. In most cases, however, the command is dictated via train radio or a local intercom. In this case, the driver must fill out the command form as dictated by the dispatcher. The dispatcher fills out his own form, which remains in the signal box as evidence.

After the driver has carried out the command in full, it must be crossed out and put away so that later, especially in the event of an accident, it can be understood which actions were or should be carried out. When ticking the box, the information must therefore remain legible.

Since 2003, the system has replaced the old system of commands A, B, C and N, initially with ten different orders. With the timetable change in December 2009, the command form was revised for the first time. This was mainly done to make the commands applicable to ETCS and to adapt them to the TSI . Furthermore, more texts than before have been preprinted, especially for the common case that you have to drive at 40 km / h until the position of the next main signal is recognized. In 2015, the command form was revised again, whereby the words "without main signal - at - LZB-Halt / ETCS-Halt" have been omitted for commands 1, 3 and 6, as they did not fit the definition of a train journey with a special order , and now includes 14 orders. These are:

  • Command 1 : Drive on / drive into a junction or transfer point / into or (since Dec. 2015) in a train station.
  • Command 2 : Driving past a (disturbed or stopping) signal or block identifier / LZB emergency stop / ETCS stop or continuing to drive after an impermissible drive past such.
  • Command 3 : Exit from a train station
  • Command 4 : Run on the opposite track
  • Command 5 : Driving or pushing a train to a point on the open road with subsequent return to the point from which it started.
  • Command 6 : Continue (without stopping) from the opposite track
  • Command 7 : Stop on the opposite track at a certain signal.
  • Command 8 : Stop in front of one or more disturbed level crossings , continue after securing the level crossing.
  • Command 9 (since Dec. 2015): Switch off LZB
  • Command 10 (since Dec. 2015): Continue driving with a signal
  • Command 11 (since Dec. 2015): Announcement of a speed limit stop
  • Command 12 (until Dec. 2015: Command 9): Drive on sight or at a reduced maximum speed. In addition, it can be communicated that
    1. it must be determined whether the track is passable and the result must be reported,
    2. when approaching a level crossing, the warning signal Zp 1 must be given with a moderately long whistle and this must be cleared as soon as the first vehicle of the train has reached the middle of the level crossing,
    3. search for damage to overhead lines and report the result,
    4. the PZB device is continuously active or inactive on a signal,
    5. People on and in the track should be warned by the warning signal Zp 1 with a moderately long whistle and that a stop must be made if people do not leave the track and / or
    6. when approaching a platform the warning signal Zp 1 must be given by a moderately long whistle.
  • Command 13 (since Dec. 2009; until Dec. 2015: Command 10): Release from driving on sight (ETCS command drives are to be carried out by default on sight)
  • Command 14 (up to Dec. 2015: command 11; up to Dec. 2009: command 10): Free text field for other orders. On the back there are also commands 14.1 to 14.9 with frequently occurring arrangements as well as command 14.35 for withdrawing a command.

The command form according to the driving service regulation FV-NE for the non-federal railways is identical in commands 1 to 14.35 to the command form of the DB and can therefore be used interchangeably for journeys within the scope of the Ril 408. The reverse is not possible. The FV-NE form contains as commands 20 to 24 (until December 2015 11.1 to 11.4) some common instructions for train control operations according to FV-NE, these are:

  • Command 20 : Unscheduled stop
  • Command 21 : Stop in front of the trapezoidal board
  • Command 22 : Train crossing / overhaul
  • Command 22.1 : Entry as first or second train
  • Command 23.1 : Carry out arrival notification / travel request / departure notification
  • Command 23.2 : Carry out arrival notification / travel request / departure notification
  • Command 23.3 : do not submit an arrival notification / travel request / departure notification
  • Command 24 : additional free text field

On the back of all command forms - for the FV-NE command on cover pages 2 and 4 of the block - there is also a table with various numbered reasons that could be the cause of a speed limit. Next to it are the respective permissible maximum speeds. The number in front of a reason must be entered on the front of the command in the command Drive on sight or at reduced speed .

Previous command types

German Reichsbahn

The Deutsche Reichsbahn , like the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR , provided for four types of orders. Three within the scope of the driving regulations (commands A – C) and one within the scope of the operating regulations for the simplified branch line service (command N).

  • The instruction A had four sections (a-d). Command A regulated:
    • Command Aa: Exit from a train station without an exit signal
    • Command down: the passing of stop showing, missing or disturbed signals
    • Command Ac: Entering or continuing into or through a train station or other operating points without a main signal
    • Command Ad provided for four standardized reasons (1–4):
      • Order Ad No. 1: unscheduled stop in front of a level crossing
      • Order Ad No. 2: unscheduled stop at a certain point for the purpose of passing a train or shunting department with excess loading gauge
      • Command Ad No. 3: Maneuvering beyond a shunting stop board
      • Command Ad No. 4: open paragraph for other orders that are not specified in the form
  • On double-track lines, regular operations were carried out on the right-hand track; in the opposite direction, the trains came on the left-hand track. If the right track could not be used, the train could run on the wrong track (left). This required the B command . It had five sections (a – e) in the DR.
    • On the one hand, they regulated journeys by trains, blocked journeys and pushing locomotives on the wrong track (the term wrong track was later replaced by the left track or opposite track ).
    • They also regulated the stop and onward journey on the wrong track and the entry into the next train station that deviated from normal operations.
    • Command Be was an open paragraph for other orders that are not specified in the form.
  • Command C initially replaced the previous precautionary order, which was also reintroduced as a precautionary order on the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR . He called for the precisely defined reduction in speed or travel on sight at precisely defined points.
In a further six sections (a-f), additional orders and instructions could be given with the command C or the caution command, if necessary:
  • Give a warning signal at level crossings
  • missing construction signals
  • keep an eye out for damage to overhead lines
  • Explore tracks for passability
  • Train control systems are always effective or not effective
  • Command Cf was an open paragraph for other orders or instructions that are not specified in the form.
  • Command N was only valid in the Simplified Branch Line (VND). It had six sections (a – f).
    • He regulated crossings and overtaking on train running points as well as stopping and careful entry in train running points.
    • Additional train movement reports could be ordered.
    • Command Nf was an open paragraph for other orders or instructions that are not specified in the form.

Orders from other railways

Polish State Railways (PKP)

The Polish instruction of the PKP on the conduct of train operations, "Instrukcja o prowadzeniu ruchu pociągów" Ir-1 (R-1), the Polish driving regulations , uses four written commands in its July 17, 2007 edition:

  • Command "O" (travel at reduced speed or on sight)
  • Command "S" (movement over stop showing or invalid signals)
  • Command "N" (drive on the left track)
  • Command "Nrob" (single-track makeshift operation)


The same collective form is used throughout Switzerland. There are a total of 7 possible commands. Several commands can be used per page. The following commands are available:

  • Command 1: Drive past signals indicating stop
    • If this command is issued, the procedure is analogous to the behavior with the auxiliary signal . This command is also used if the "Emergency stop at work stations" signal cannot be switched off
  • Command 2: Drive on sight canceled
    • This command can only be issued together with command 1 and with extension and block signals. It cancels the journey on sight and it is allowed to drive at line speed, with the exception of points on the line, which can only be driven at 40 km / h.
  • Command 3: Enter the occupied track
    • Driving on sight in the relevant section applies. With certain railways, the speed must also be reduced.
  • Command 4a: stop in
  • Command 4b: Drive through in
  • Command 5: Level crossing system out of order
    • If a level crossing is covered by a signal, the corresponding signal cannot be set to travel if the level crossing is disturbed. The dispatcher can under certain circumstances make up speed, the signal anyway. However, he must then issue command 5. The train driver then has to drive on the level crossing as disturbed. This command is also used for faulty intrinsically safe level crossings.
  • Command 6: Decrease the speed
    • In principle, speed restrictions must be announced at least 48 hours in advance. If this does not happen, this order must be given.
  • Command 7: Drive with lowered pantograph

The two commands 4a and 4b no longer require a log.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. DBAG-Ril 408.0100Z00 Explanations of the new edition Ril 408.01-06 , valid from December 13, 2015, from October 7, 2014, page 16
  2. Swiss driving regulations. Retrieved April 23, 2020 .