A speed limit stop is a section of track on a railway line that may not be used at the maximum speed permitted for this section of the line. Slow speed areas are usually announced and limited by slow speed signals (Lf). A distinction is made between temporary and permanent slow speed areas , which are treated differently and signaled differently in different companies. Temporary speed restrictions are announced in the weekly compilation of temporary speed restrictions and other special features ( La ) according to a special mailing list. The permanent speed limits are already incorporated into the timetables with the corresponding speed information. They are set up by the railway infrastructure company .
Temporary speed limits
Temporary speed limits are set up if the condition of the route or a building makes it necessary to reduce the speed, for protection or in the wake of building sites or for other operational reasons. The locomotive staff are usually made aware of these points by means of an announcement in the La , the weekly updated compilation of the temporary speed limits and other special features , as well as on-site signaling. The signals Lf 1 slow travel disk , Lf 2 start disk and Lf 3 end disk are used for the latter . The slow speed disc is in the braking distance in front of the start disc and bears a code number that indicates the tenth part of the speed in km / h that must not be exceeded from the start disc to the end disc. If the signal is missing, the driver receives a written order instead . If a temporary speed limit stop is canceled prematurely, the Lf signals are often not initially removed, but instead marked with invalid crosses in order to explicitly signal the cancellation (possibly contrary to the information in the La). The example image shows such a crossed out Lf 1.
According to information from Deutsche Bahn, from January 2013 to July 2014 there were a total of 588 defective speed restrictions. As of July 31, 2014, 80 of them would have existed. 14 speed restrictions were taken over from the 2013 annual timetable in the 2014 annual timetable. According to Deutsche Bahn, defective speed limits would only be included in the annual timetable if it was not possible to remedy them during the year, for example in the case of defects in a building.
According to the company's own information, there were 72 slow speed zones on the Deutsche Bahn rail network on February 1, 2015. This includes all speed restrictions caused by defects and officially ordered, but not temporarily speed restrictions due to construction. In the 2014 financial year, the delays due to temporary slow-speed sections (excluding construction-related slow-speed sections) totaled 3712 hours. This corresponded to a value of 13.2 seconds per 1000 train kilometers driven.
From January 1 to November 30, 2018, there were a total of 485 defective or ordered speed restrictions in the Deutsche Bahn network. An average of 92 days passed between setting up and removing a speed limit stop.
Critics complain about the number of speed limits in the network of Deutsche Bahn. A study carried out by Netzwerk Privatbahnen in 2005 showed an increase in the number of slow speed zones in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg from 255 to 352 year-on-year (total length: 261 to 387 km). This is in contradiction to statements made by Deutsche Bahn, according to which the number of speed restrictions is kept constant overall. Critics also suspect a considerable number of unreported cases of temporary speed limits that have been incorporated into the regular timetables over the years. A similar study, which examined the number of speed restrictions in mid-2005 to mid-2004 in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, found a decrease of 11 percent, while the length had increased by 14 percent.
Constant speed limits
Permanent speed limits are mainly set up at danger points, for example at level crossings with poor visibility, or in front of structures such as track scales and moving bridges, which require a reduction in speed over a longer period of time. These speed limits are included in the speed booklet (see book timetable ).
In the meantime, routes are usually completely signaled, so that almost every speed change contained in the directory of permissible speeds (VzG) is signaled locally. The designation of the speed indicator (signal Lf 7) as a slow speed signal is therefore misleading, since it is also in places where a higher speed than before is permitted from the signal onwards.
Slow speed signals Germany
|Lf 1 - slow travel disc||A triangular yellow disc with a white border on its tip shows a black number. If space is limited, the tip of the triangle can point upwards. In the dark, two yellow lights rising to the left light up.||This is followed by a temporary slow speed zone, on which the displayed speed must not be exceeded. The numbers 1 to 15 are used as indicators, as well as 0.5 for walking pace, the 10-fold value of which indicates the permitted speed in km / h.|
|Lf 1/2 - slow start disc (DV 301)||A rectangular yellow disc with a white border shows a black number.||On the track section that begins at the signal and is usually limited by the end disk, the speed displayed must not be exceeded. The 10-fold value of the code number results in the permitted speed in km / h. Signal Lf 1/2 is only used in the area of the former Reichsbahn and is located within stations on main tracks that are not continuous main tracks, or on side tracks.|
|Lf 2 - start disc||A rectangular or square yellow disc with a white border and a black A.||The signal is at the beginning of the slow track section announced by signal Lf 1.|
|Lf 3 - end plate||A rectangular or square white disc with black E.||The signal is at the end of the section of track that begins at signal Lf 2 and is slowly driven on.|
|Lf 4 - speed board (DS 301)||A triangular white board with a black border on the tip shows a black number. If space is limited, the tip of the triangle can point upwards.||This is followed by a constant speed limit, where the displayed speed must not be exceeded. This signal is on branch lines in the area of the former Deutsche Bundesbahn and mostly refers to a level crossing, which must be reduced in speed when it is reached.|
|Lf 5 - start board (DS 301)||A rectangular white board with a black A.||The speed limit indicated on the speed board (Lf 4) must have been implemented. This signal is on branch lines in the area of the former Deutsche Bundesbahn. It is only used if the point from which to slow down must be expressly marked. If the signal Lf 4 refers to a level crossing, there is usually no start board.|
|Lf 6 - speed announcement signal||A triangular yellow plaque with a black and white number and a black and white border on the tip. If space is limited, the tip of the triangle can point upwards.||A speed signal (Lf 7) is to be expected. The code number means that 10 times the value in km / h is permitted as the driving speed of the signal Lf 7 ab.|
|Lf 7 - speed signal||A rectangular or square white board with a black border and a black number on the narrow side.||The code number means that 10 times the value in km / h is permitted as driving speed. The displayed speed must not be exceeded from the signal.|
|Lf 4 - speed board (DV 301)||A triangular, white board with a black border on the tip shows a black speed number. If space is limited, the tip of the triangle can point upwards.||The displayed speed in km / h must not be exceeded. This signal is out of date and is replaced by signal Lf 7.|
|Lf 5 - corner panel (DV 301)||A rectangular white board with black corners.||The speed limit indicated by the signal Lf 4 must have been implemented. This signal is no longer set up again.|
In train station exits, where exits are signaled both with and without speed restrictions, speed indicators (Zs 3) and speed signals (Lf 7) can also be set up together on the same mast in individual cases. The speed indicator is used to increase the speed after the previous speed limit and the speed signal to increase the speed if no speed limit was signaled on the previous main signal.
Slow speed signals Austria
The signals for the marking of temporary speed restrictions in Austria correspond in appearance, with the exception of small differences in appearance, to the slow speed signals set up in Germany.
|Announcement signal||A triangular yellow disc with a white border and black numbers. If space is limited, the tip of the triangle can point upwards.||Announcement of a temporary speed limit stop at which the speed indicated by the number must not be exceeded. The code number indicates the maximum speed with 1/10 of its value in km / h.|
|Start signal||A rectangular yellow disc with a white border and a black number.||Marks the beginning of the temporary speed limit. The code number indicates the maximum speed with 1/10 of its value in km / h.|
|End signal||A rectangular white disc with a black E.||Marks the end of the temporary speed limit stop.|
Slow speed signals in Switzerland
The permanent slow-speed areas are usually set up in curves that can only be driven at reduced speed. They are marked with speed thresholds in the route table, which is loaded in the LEA . These are indicated along the route with the corresponding speed boards. These signs are not placed within the first and last points of a station .
Temporary speed limits, mostly due to a construction site, are posted and can be viewed electronically. However, if this cannot be announced at least 72 hours in advance , a report must also be given to the driver .
|Distant signal reduced speed||A rectangular white board with a black border and one or two black numbers.||Announcement of a section of the route to be traveled on continuously at reduced speed.
If the distant signal bears two speed specifications, the upper (lower) speed applies to trains in train rows A and D as well as for shunting movements and the lower speed applies to trains in the higher train row R.
The maximum speed indicated applies from the following start signal.
|Distant signal reduced speed on the Rhaetian Railway||Above is a round white board with a red border and a black number.
Below is a rectangular white board with a black border and two black numbers.
|The information on the round table is aimed at trains in series D. It is used to protect certain steel bridges of older designs. If the round table is missing, the speed of train row A applies to the corresponding trains.
The upper speed information on the rectangular board applies to train row A, the lower one to train row R.
|Start signal reduced speed||A rectangular white board with a black border and three upward sloping black stripes.||From this signal onwards, the reduced speed indicated by the distant signal applies. The start signal is usually followed by an end signal.|
|End signal reduced speed||A rectangular white board with a black border and two vertical black stripes.||With this signal, the speed limit ends as soon as the last vehicle has passed the signal.|
|Distant signal reduced speed for tilting trains with row N||A round white board with a red border and a black number.||Announcement of a section of the route for tilting trains that will be traveled at a reduced speed. The maximum speed indicated applies from the following start signal.|
|Start signal reduced speed for tilting trains with train row N||A round white board with a red border and three black stripes sloping upwards.||From this signal, the reduced speed applies. The start signal is usually followed by an end signal.|
|End signal reduced speed for tilting trains with row N||A round white board with a gray border and two vertical black stripes.||The reduced speed applies until the last vehicle has passed this signal.|
|Advance signal speed limit||A rectangular orange board with a black number in a white field.||Announcement of a temporary speed limit. The code number indicates the maximum speed with 1/10 of its value in km / h. A start signal follows or a cancellation signal can follow. In the dark, two orange lamps attached to the mast flash.|
|Start signal for speed limit||A rectangular orange board with an upward sloping white stripe.||From this signal on, the speed indicated by the distant signal applies. The start signal is followed by an end signal or another distant signal. An orange lamp on the mast flashes in the dark.|
|End signal speed limit||A rectangular green board with an upward-facing white corner.||With this signal, the speed limit ends as soon as the last vehicle has passed the signal. A green lamp attached to the mast flashes in the dark.|
|Clearance signal speed limit stop||An arrow-shaped white board with a black border, the point of which points upwards, on which there is a black angle pointing upwards.||From this signal onwards, the pre-signaled slow speed point is no longer used because there are switches to be driven between the pre-signal and the start signal towards the tip and the reduction only applies to some of the possible routes. Once the first vehicle has reached the signal, the maximum permissible speed applies again.|
|Additional board via a slow speed signal||A rectangular white board with a black border and the track designation written in black.||For a better understanding, additional signs can be attached above slow speed signals. The reduced speed only applies to the tracks indicated on the additional board.|
|A rectangular white board with a black border and one or two black arrows.||The additional board with a single or double arrow above a slow travel signal that is placed between two tracks shows which track the signal applies to.|
|Speed over rail bridge scales, rail brakes, depot systems, sidings, etc.||A rectangular white board with a black border, a number and the unit of measurement km / h .||The speed stipulated on the signal applies to the bridge scales and rail brakes.
In depot facilities and sidings, this speed applies from the signal.
If several different slow speed points are signaled one after the other on a track, the following must be observed in the case of an advance signal that indicates higher speed:
- The distant signal is the end signal for the preceding slow speed point, which has a lower speed.
- The distant signal only has an orange flashing lamp and applies from the start signal to the second slow-speed area to be driven through at higher speed.
- This distant signal is not equipped with train protection .
If the normal stopping point of the trains in stations and stops is after the pre- or start signal and the start or end signal is not visible from the normal stop position, a repeat signal is set up. The repeat signal is:
- a second distant signal (without train protection) is used when this is in front of the speed limit stop; or
- a second start signal is set up when this is in the area of the slow speed zone.
Signals for rack entrances
When entering a rack, the maximum speed indicated on the distant signal applies until the last car of the train has passed the entrance. The speed does not have to be reduced when exiting the rack section into an adhesion section.
See the section rack entry in the article rack railway
Former slope and speed boards of the Seetalbahn
Until the introduction of the new operating concept in December 2002, in which tram regulations are partly followed, special combined gradient and speed signs were used on the Seetalbahn .
See section Earlier slope tables of the Seetalbahn in the article Inclination pointer
- Answers of the Federal Government to the Minor Inquiry "Temporary Slow Speed Areas in the German Rail Network" (Drs. 18/2410) (PDF) Letter from Enak Ferlemann to Britta Haßelmann of October 8, 2014, file number LA 15 / 5161.1 / 1-18 / 2301056 , P. 1 and 2 of the annex.
- German Bundestag (ed.): Answer of the federal government to the small question of the MPs Matthias Gastel, Oliver Krischer, Stephan Kühn (Dresden), other MPs and the parliamentary group BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN - printed matter 18/3877 - current and planned temporary speed limits in the German rail network . tape 18 , no. 4041 , February 19, 2015, ISSN 0722-8333 , p. 2 ( bundestag.de [PDF]).
- German Bundestag (Ed.): Answer of the Federal Government to the small question of the MPs Dr. Christian Jung, Pascal Kober, Benjamin Strasser, other MPs and the parliamentary group of the FDP - printed matter 19/6258 - speed limits in the network of Deutsche Bahn . tape 19 , no. 6787 , January 2, 2019, ISSN 0722-8333 , p. 3 ( BT-Drs. 19/6787 ).
- Netzwerk Privatbahnen criticizes the state of the rail network. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International . Issue 12/2005, p. 556.
- More speed limits. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International . Issue 4/2006, , p. 160.
- Frank Mittag, Christian Wilhelmi: Equipped with signal Lf 7 and Zs 3 at the same location . In: Train B practice . No. 4 , April 2017, p. 6 .
- Swiss Driving Regulations (FDV) A2016 Federal Office of Transport (FOT), July 1, 2016 (PDF; 3 MB). R 300.2, Section 2.3.1 Speed boards for track sections with reduced speed
- Rhaetian Railway: Implementing provisions for the Swiss Driving Service Regulations FDV . Chur, 2004.
- Swiss Driving Regulations (FDV) A2016 Federal Office of Transport (FOT), July 1, 2016 (PDF; 3 MB). R 300.2, Section 2.3.4 Slow speed signals
- Swiss Driving Regulations (FDV) A2016 Federal Office of Transport (FOT), July 1, 2016 (PDF; 3 MB). R 300.2, Section 2.3.5 Speed over rail bridge scales, rail brakes, depot systems, sidings , etc.