Protection signal

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Movable Sh-2 target as a bridge coverage signal in the Stralsund harbor

Protection signals are a group of signal terms for railway signals . They are used to cordon off a track , to issue an order to stop or to indicate the lifting of a driving ban. Protection signals can also be shown on main signals , track barriers or in the form of a board. They apply to train and shunting trips .

Blocking signals are stationary devices that indicate whether a track section may be entered.


Signal Hp 0 at a low light blocking signal in the DS area (Bad Aibling)
Combination of form blocking signal (Sh 0/1), waiting signal (Ra 11) and light blocking signal (Sh 1) in the DS area (Oberhausen West), 2018

Until 1959, today's protection signals Sh 0, 1 and 2, together with the advance and replacement signals and the protective windshield, formed the special group of driving prohibition and driving permission signals ( Ve ). At the Deutsche Reichsbahn , the shape signals of today's terms Sh 0 and 1 as well as Wn 7 were then called Gleissperrsignal ( Gsp ). The abbreviation "Sh" stood until the mid-1990s for S chutz h altsignal .

German blocking signals show the signal images of the group of protection signals (area of ​​the former DB ) or shunting signals (area of ​​the former DR ) and Hp 0.

Shape signal description Light signal
Hp 0 - "Stop!"
With the announcement 18 of the common signal book , the term Sh 0 as a light protection signal was dropped on December 10, 2006; In the course of a conceptual standardization, the signal concept Hp 0 , which previously only applied to main signals, was expanded to include blocking signals.
The shape signal Sh 0 still exists. The signal pattern with two parallel red lamps is also retained in existing interlockings as Hp 0 , because the necessary circuit changes are viewed as too costly. In the area of ​​the DV 301 built by the manufacturer Siemens until the beginning of the 2000s, the second red lamp is therefore present in the blocking signals and in operation, but covered with a screen.
This signal aspect is no longer a protection signal, but is also used for the blocking signal, as it is an absolute stopping aspect (for train and shunting trips).
Sh0 light1.svg


Lock signal new Hp0 Sh1 Ra12.svg
Sh 0 - “Stop! Driving ban. "
There is only the form signal. The same rules apply as for Hp 0 . It can be implemented in the form of a mechanical locking signal or as a board on buffer blocks that close off sidings. In the area of ​​the former DR, it can also close main tracks in terminal stations. In the case of a track lock, it indicates that the track lock is in place. In the case of turntables and transfer platforms, the signal indicates the unlocked position.
The infrastructure operator determines whether this signal must also be visible from the opposite direction: In this case, the signal shows two horizontal, round white discs.
Sh 1 - "Driving ban lifted."
Ra 12 - maneuvering signal - "maneuvering allowed." (Only light signal)
The shape signal shows a black stripe rising to the right on a round white disk. The light signal shows two white lights rising to the right.In the area of ​​the former DR the light signal is called Ra 12 . It does not apply to train journeys here.
It can occur in connection with a main signal, the waiting sign Ra 11 or Ra 11a or stand alone and cancels the driving ban for both shunting and train journeys. If Sh 1 or Ra 12 is shown on a main signal together with Hp 0 , it cancels the maneuvering ban.
If the Sh signal is connected to a track lock , the Sh 1 signal only indicates that the track lock has been removed. This is not the consent of the switchman for the shunting run. To avoid misunderstandings, the DR replaced the form signal on track barriers from 1959 onwards with today's Wn 7 (formerly Gsp 2) with a vertical black bar.
The shape signal image is also used on turntables and transfer platforms to identify the locked state. In this case, too, the turntable or transferring platform attendant did not give permission for the journey. The DR replaced the signal aspect from 1959 with the Ra 11b waiting signal. The driving order is given by hand signal Ra 1 or Ra 2.
The infrastructure operator determines whether this signal must also be visible from the opposite direction. In this case, the signal also shows a round white disk.

at the locking signal:

Sh1 light1.svg

at the main signal (with Hp 0):

Ks screen Hp0 Sh1 Ra12.svg
Sh2 day.svg
Sh 2 - "protective stop."
A rectangular red disc with a white border serves as the day's symbol. The night sign is a red light that is attached to the disc. It is used as a termination signal for dead ends. In the case of main tracks, they can be the destination of a route if this should extend to the buffer stop.
It is also not used in a fixed position as a keeper disc. It is set up to cordon off areas that are inaccessible, to limit construction tracks and at the location of main signals that cannot be reset to the stop position.
The signal Sh 2 can also be movable and then structurally corresponds to a mechanical distant signal . This is a holdover from old signal books, which listed this signal as an independent cover signal Ve 1 . This variant should only be used on movable bridges. In most cases it has been replaced by main signals.
The protective stop signal can be announced by an advance signal (also a guard signal).
During regular operation with steam locomotives, the night signal as a water crane signal also marked the position of the jib of a water crane that was not profile-free, due to the principle, across the track. If there are still water cranes, it will continue to be used due to the lack of an alternative, although it is no longer mentioned separately in the signal book.
Sh 3 - circular signal - "Hold immediately."
For Sh 3 , a white-red-white signal flag or some other sign is waved in a circle, if necessary the arm alone, at night a lantern dimmed as red as possible.
Sh 5 - horn and whistle signal - "Hold immediately."
The Sh 5 denotes three short tones several times in a row. It is the train's emergency signal. It is identical to the signal Zp 5 - "Something extraordinary has occurred - brake and provide help!"

The Sh 4 bang signal still existed until March 1, 1992, on the former Deutsche Bundesbahn only until July 6, 1986 ("Stop immediately!", Three bangs sound one after the other). It was formed by bang capsules placed on the track , whereby a bang was considered a stopping order. Because of the dangerousness of the bang capsules for people in the vicinity and because there are now better communication options with the train radio, this signal has been abolished.


Protection signals Sch102 and Sch104 to supplement the group exit signal R102-104, Hadersdorf am Kamp, Austria

Protection signals are also used in Austria. Austrian protection signals are exclusively light signals . you will be

  • to subdivide the main tracks into track sections,
  • to supplement main group signals and
  • used to mark the end of an entry track.

The protection signals are always to the right of or above the track.

When a train is running, the signal means that the following section of the route may be entered at the speed that was previously displayed on the main signal or speed indicator. If there is a speed indicator next to the protection signal, its displayed speed applies.

In the case of shunting trips, the signal without the vertical white stripe in the middle means that approval for the shunting trip has been given. With the strip, the approval of the shunting trip is given with the shunting signal "Shunting ban lifted".

Like main signals , protection signals also have a white, red and white mast shield. If the red light fails, the mast sign orders, as with the main signal, “Stop!”.

The protection signal shows Signal aspect Light signal
Driving ban a red light
ÖBB driving ban.JPG
Driving ban lifted two white lights on top of each other
ÖBB driving ban lifted.JPG


The term “protection signal” is not used in Switzerland.

As an analogy, the so-called dwarf signals are used there on the one hand , which mainly apply to the approval of shunting trips, but must also be observed when trains are running. On the other hand, there is the railway signal known as the shunting signal , which is set up to protect a blocked track, but also serves to mark track ends (buffer stops). Instead of the expression “protect”, the expression “blankets” is used in the driver service regulations.

Web links


  • Eisenbahn-Bundesamt (Ed.): Compilation of the provisions of the Railway Signal Regulations 1959 (ESO 1959), including the signals approved according to ESO (4) with temporary validity and the instructions issued according to ESO (5) for the implementation of the ESO, valid for Federal Railways Network (EdB) . Bonn September 18, 2015, p. 58–62 (167 pp., Online [PDF; 1.8 MB ; accessed on June 9, 2016]).
  • Treatise on the two movable safety stop signals in Goldbeck train station. In: Der Modelleisenbahner , issue 2/1984

Individual evidence

  1. Deutsche Bahn AG: Ril 301, Module 301.0201 Section 1 Paragraph 19 (in the area of ​​DV 301 formerly Sh 3)
  2. ^ The signals of the Deutsche Bundesbahn . Signal book (SB) DS 301; valid from December 15, 1959 ( Memento of the original from December 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF), chapter "Protection signals (Sh)", subsection "Signal Sh 4 - bang signal" @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Swiss Driving Regulations (FDV) A2016 Federal Office of Transport (FOT), July 1, 2016 (PDF; 3 MB). R 300.1, Section  3.2  Explanation of the terms