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Rule Books - Irish Narrow Gauge

Irish Narrow Gauge - Rule Books


!? Rule Books

!? GSR Rule Book - 1933

!? Extract from T&DR Rule Book


Before starting at the beginning of each journey the Train must be examined to see that the brake fittings are in good working order and tested, also that the engine and all vehicles are properly coupled and in working order, and that the tender handbrake is in proper working condition, and carriage and waggon axles oiled and trimmed.

Ordinary stoppages must not be made too quickly, and to avoid this the brake must be applied slightly some distance from where the Train is to be stopped, and the application of it gradually and uniformly increased until the Train comes to a stand. It must at all times be released very cautiously to prevent the jerk consequent on the rebound of the carriage buffers and the engine shooting ahead, and to avoid subjecting the couplings to undue strain and the Passengers to discomfort.

The Up Trains on approaching the Junction will give one whistle ; the Down Trains two, and the Branch Trains three whistles.

Three short sharp whistles will signify to the Guard to pu on his hand-brake tightly, and release it on one sharp whistle being given.

Before starting the Guard must see that the proper vacuum is registered by the indicator in his van for the effectual use of the brake.

All Trains must come to a dead stop at the bridge at the top of Glounagalt incline, and, if more than three vehicles are on, to pin down the waggon brakes, and the speed to Scrallaghbeg cottage not to exceed 6 miles an hour. The engine hand-brake must also be used on this incline.

If necessary Driver must stop when passing restive horses, cattle, &c., if he sees any indication of danger.

Guards and all concerned must be particular to see that the carriage doors are not opened when Train is in motion, owing to the close running of train to gate posts, buildings, trees, &c.

Before starting the register of vacuum shown on Engine and Guard's Van must be at least 18 inches, and the same maintained when running, and on no account is a Train to be made up unless the breaks on all vehicles are in good working order and properly connected. The Driver and Guard must at all times keep the whole Train under control with the vacuum brake, and see that same works on each vehicle, and for no cause whatever must a Driver cut off the vacuum between his Engine and the Train.

Before descending the steep incline at Glounagalt (either way) the Engine driver must have a full working pressure of steam (viz., at blowing off point 130lbs to the square inch), and that his guage glass shows suggicient water in the boiler to ensure same agains burning (viz., at least 4 inches). All Trains must come to a dead stop at this point, and the wagon hand brakes pinned down in addition to the vacuum brake, using the Engine and van hand brake also, and the spped on no account to exceed six miles and hour, slowing off to five miles an hour on approach and crossing Curraduff bridge.

The Guard will also be held responsible to see that those duties are properly performed.

On Glounagalt incline and other steep inclines the Guard must not interfere with the vacuum handle in his ban but leave its application altogether under the control of the driver.

At Tounavane curve the speed to be five miles an hour, and at the approach to Ballydynlea Bridge, on the curve between Blennerville and Tralee, the speed must not exceed five miles an hour.

The speed down Kelly's Hieght into Castlegregory must never exceed six miles an hour.

On main line (between Castlegregory Junction and Dingle) the loads of Trains will be as follows :- One carriage, one van, and five loaded wagons (or five empty). If four carriages are on Train no waggons must be attached.

Between Tralee and Castelgregory a Train may consist of eight vehicles, but if over this number, a second van and Guard must be provided.

At night time Guards on getting the word to start from Stations must show the Driver a Green Light.

Drivers must use great care when passing Station Platforms, and not proceed faster than Four Miles an Hour.


The speed of Trains on approaching the Junction should not exceed five miles an hour, and hsould be reduced to two miles an hour when passing over the facing points. Drivers must be prepared to pull up at once if at any station or gate the signals are against them.

The speed between Tralee Terminus and Great Southern and Western Railway Company's Terminus not to exceed two miles an hour. The speed over the crossings on the line to Tralee to five miles an hour. The speed on the country roads where the line is Tramway not to exceed twelve miles an hour, and where the line is fenced off not to exceed twenty-five miles per hour, slowing off to ten miles an hour for the sharp curves or down the steep gradients of 1 in 30.

In crossing the road at Blennerville from the curve to the Station the speed must on no account exceed two miles an hour.

In crossing the road at 17¾ miles not to exceed two miles an hour.

At all the oblique crossings of all roads the speed must not exceed five miles an hour. On the sharp curves on each cide of the viaduct at 10 miles 58 chains not to exceed five miles an hour.

In crossing Lispole bridge five miles an hour.

A Tablet or Train Staff must be carried with each train or engine, and whithout this no train or engine must be allowed to travel on the line.

Three Tablets are used, one between Tralee and Castlegregory Junction, one between Junction and Annascaul, and one between Annascaul and Dingle.

Train Staff between Castlgregory Junction and Castelgregory.

At the Junctions and at Stations where Trains have to cross each other, all signals must be kept at "danger," except when required to be lowered to admit a Train, and when Trains having to pass each other are approaching the Station in opposite directions, and the signals have been lowered for one Train, they must not be lowered for the other Train until both Trains have come to a dead stop, and the Signalman has seen that the line on which the other Train will arrive has been left quite clear.

The person in charge of the station for the time being is the sole person authorized to receive and deliver the staff through the Guard. The Guard will also be held accountable for this duty being properly performed.


On the approach of a Train the Gateman at crossings supplied with signals must first see that the gates are properly closed across the road, and then lower the arm of signal to "all right," and raise them to "danger" when train passes.

The Gatemen, on seeing the gates closed across the road for the approach of a Train where there is no signal, must show a white flag when all is right and a red flag after Train passes. (Lamps to be used instead of flags at night time). At the gates at the Basin a green flag must be shown when the gates are open for a Train and a red flag when Train has passed.

The speed around the curves beween Tralee and Basin not to exceed 10 miles an hour, and reduced on approaching crossing gates to five miles an hour.

Milesmen must be particular to see that ballasting and stone do not get into the flange space at the crossings ; they must make it their special duty to examine the crossing repeatedly.

General Manager

!? Extract from GSR 1949 Sectional Appendix


Trains Starting from the Wrong Platform.

When necessary, in order to deal with the transfer from the West Clare Section a "Down" train may be started from the "Up" Platform. Signalmen must take care that all Levers in frame are in their proper position to avoid the points being trailed through. When Signalman haw given Driver the E.T. Staff fror Clare-castle Section, he must exhibit a Green Flag, or Light from the Cabin.

!? Extract from GSR 1935 General Appendix



Instruments which are in charge of the Station Master are provided at Quilty Station for measuring the velocity of the wind.

When the velocity of the wind as recorded at Quilty reaches 60 m.p.h., a warning message will be sent by the Station Master, and all carriages and wagons not ballasted are to be detached from the trains, and when the velocity of the wind reaches 80 m.p.h., a danger message will be sent, and all traffic on the line is to be stopped.

On any occasion that a velocity of 60 m.p.h. has been reached, unballasted vehicles must not again be permitted to travel until a clear half-hour has elapsed during which no velocity of 50 m.p.h. or over has been recorded.

Should a velocity of 80 m.p.h. have been attained, traffic must not be allowed to resume until half-an-hour has elapsed, during which no velocities over 60 m.p.h. are recorded.

The Station Master at Quilty must advise all stations by telephone immediately these velocities are reached, but as it is possible when a gales is blowing, the telephone wires might be blown down, it shall be the duty of the Station Master at each station, to call up Quilty shortly before a train is due at his station, and ask if the train may proceed. A train is not to be allowed to proceed on its journey unless Quilty advises that it may do wo. If no reply can be obtained from Quilty when a gale is blowing, it is to be assumed that a danger signal has been given.

The Station Master at Quilty shall keep a record of the hour at which he sends out a danger or warning message, and the Station Masters at other stations shall keep a similar record of messages sent Quilty asking or permission to send on trains ; the record in the latter cases to state the reply received.

All carriages properly ballasted, which can be allowed to proceed when the velocity of the wind exceeds 60 m.p.h., but does not exceed 80 miles per hour, will be marked by the Locomotive Department with a white diamond on each side. Train Examiners shall be responsible for seeing that all such carriages are kept properly ballasted in accordance with the instructions given them, and no one but a Train Examiner shall remove or alter the position of any weight on any pretext whatever.

If a Train Examiner finds that the ballast is not correct either in amount or in arrangement, he must at once remove the distinguishing amrk, and report the matter immediately to District Locomotive Assistant, Limerick.

!? Board of Trade Requirements re Signalling, 1892


The requisite apparatus for providing by means of the block telegraph system an adequate interval of space between following trains, and, in the case of junctions, between converging or crossing trains. In the case of single lines worked by one engine under steam (or two or more coupled together) carrying a staff, no such apparatus will be required.

Home-signals and distant-signals for each direction to be fixed at stations and junctions, with extra signals for such dock or bay lines as are used either for the arrival or for the departure of trains, and starting signals for each direction at all passenger stations which are also block posts. On passenger lines all cross-over roads and all connections for goods or mineral lines and sidings to be protected by home and distant-signals, and as a rule at all important running junctions, a separate distant-signal, to be provided in connection with each home-signal.

Signals may be dispensed with on single lines under the following conditions :-

  1. (a) At all stations and siding connections upon a line worked by one engine only (or two engines coupled together) carrying a staff, and when all points are locked by such staff.
  2. (b) At any intermediate siding connection upon a line worked under the trains staff and ticket system, or under the electric staff or tablet system, where the points are locked by the staff or tablet.
  3. (c) At intermediate stations, which are not staff or tablet stations, upon a line worked under the electric staff or tablet system. Sidings, if any, being locked as in (b).

The signals at junctions to be on separate posts or on brackets, and the signals at stations, when there is more than one arm on one side of a post, to be made to apply - the first or upper arm to the line on the left, the second arm to the line next in order from the left, and so on; but in cases where the main or more important line is not the one on the left, separate signal posts to be provided, or the arms to be on brackets.

Distant-dignals to be distinguished by notches cut out of the ends of the arms, and to be controlled by home or starting-signals for the same direction, when on the same post. A distant-signal arm must not be placed above a home or starting-signal arm on the same post for trains going in the same direction.

In the case of sidings, a low short arm and a small signal light, distinguishable from the arms or lights for the passenger lines, may be employed, but in such cases disc signals are, as a rule, preferable.

Every signal arm to be so weighted as to fly to and remain at danger on the breaking at any point of the connection between the arm, and the lever working it.

The front signal lights to be green for all right, and red for danger; the back lights (visible only when the signals are at danger) to be white.

Facing points to be avoided as far as possible, but when they cannot be dispensed with, they must be placed as near as practicable to the levers by which they are worked or bolted. The limit of distance from levers working points to be 200 yards in the case of facing points, and 300 yards in the case of trailing points on the main line, or safety points of sidings.

In order to ensure that the points are in their proper position before the signals are lowered, and to prevent the signalman from shifting them while a train is passing over them, all facing-points must be fitted with facing-point locks and locking bars, and with means for detecting any failure in the connections between the signal-cabin and points. The length of the locking bars to exceed the greatest wheel-base between any two pairs of wheels of the vehicles in use on the line, and the stock rails to be tied to gauge with iron or steel ties. All points, whether facing or trailing, to be worked or bolted by rods and not by wires, and to be fitted with double connecting rods.

The levers by which points and signals are worked to be interlocked, and, as a rule, brought close together, into the position most convenient for the person working them, in a signal-cabin, or on a properly constructed stage. The signal-cabin to be commodious, and to be supplied with a clock, and with a separate block instrument for signalling trains on each line of rails. The point-levers and signal-levers to be so placed in the cabin that the signalman when working them shall have the best possible view of the railway, and the cabin itself to be so situated as to enable the signalman to see the arms and the lights of the signals, and the working of the points. The back lights of the signal lamps to be made as small as possible, having regard to efficiency, and when the front lights are visible to the signalman in his cabin no back lights to be provided. The fixed lights in the signal-cabin to be screened off, so as not to be miskable for the signal exhibited to control the running of trains. If, from any unavoidable cause, the arm and the light of any signal cannot be seen by the signalman, they must, as a rule, be repeated in the cabin.

The interlocking to be so arranged that the signalman shall be unable to lower a signal for the approach of a train, until after he has set the points in the proper position for it to pass; that it shall not be possible for him to exhibit at the same moment any two signals that can lead to a collision between two trains; and that, after having lowered the signals to allow a train to pass, he shall not be able to move any points connected with, or leading to, the line on which the trains is moving. Points also, if possible, to be so interlocked as to avoid the risk of a collision.

Home or starting-signals, next in advance of trailing points, when lowered, to lock such points in either position, unless such locking will unduly interfere with the traffic.

A distant-signal must not be capable of being lowered unless the home and starting-signals in advance of it have been lowered.

Sidings to be so arranged that shunting operations upon them shall cause the least possible obstruction to the passenger lines. Safety points to be provided upon goods and mineral lines and sidings, at their junctions with passenger lines, with the points closed against the passenger lines and interlocked with the signals.

When a junction is situated near to a passenger station the platforms to be so arranged as to prevent, as far as possible, any necessity for standing trains on the junction.

The junctions of all single lines to be, as a rule, formed as double-line junctions.

No station to be constructed, and no siding to join a passenger line, on a steeper gradient than 1 in 260, except where it is unavoidable. When the line is double, and the gradient at a station or siding-junction is necessarily steeper than 1 in 260, and when danger is to apprehended from vehicles running back, a catch siding with points weighted for the siding, or a throw-off switch, to be provided to intercept runaway vehicles, at a distance, outside the home signal for the ascending line, greater than the length of the longest train running upon the line.

Under similar circumstances, when the line is single provision for averting danger from runaway vehicles to be made :-

  1. At a station in one of the following manners :-
    1. A second line to be laid down, a second platform to be constructed, and a catch siding or throw-off switch to be provided on the ascending line inside the loop-points.
    2. A loop line to be constructed lower down the incline than the station platform, with a similarly placed catch-siding or throw-off switch.
  2. At a siding junction, in one of the following manners - except where it is possible to work the traffic with the engine at the lower end of a goods or mineral train, in which case, an undertaking to do so, given by the Company, will be accepted as sufficient :-
    1. A similar loop to be constructed, as in the case of a station.
    2. Means to be provided for placing the whole train on sidings clear of the main line before any shunting operations are commenced.

No standing work (other than a passenger platform) to be nearer to the side of the widest carriage in use on the line than 2 ft. 4 in., at any point beteen the level of 2 ft. 6 in. above the rails, and the level of the upper parts of the highest carriage doors.

At all level crossings of public roads the gates to be so constructed that they may be closed either across the railway, or across the road at each side of the crossing, and a lodge, or, in the case of a station, a gate-keeper's box to be provided, unless the gates are worked from a signal-cabin. The gates must not be capable of being opened at the same time for the road and the railway, and must be so hung as not to admit of being opened outwards towards the road. Stops to be provided to keep the gates in position across the road or railway. Wooden gates are considered preferable to iron gates, and single gates on each side to double gates. Red discs or targets must be fixed on the gates, with lamps for night use; and semaphore signals in one or both directions interlocked with the gates, may ge required. At all level crossings of public roads or footpaths, a footbridge or a subway may be required.

At occupation and field crossings the gates must be hung so as to open outwards from the line.

Sidings connected with the main lines near a public road level crossing, to be so placed that shunting may be carried on with as little interference as possible with the level crossing; and, as a rule, the points of the sidings to be not less than 100 yards from the crossing.

At public road level crossings in or near populous places, the lower portions of the gates to be either close barred or covered with wire netting.


In addition to the block-telegraph instruments it is desirable that there should be speaking instruments or telephones for communication between the signalmen, and books for recording the running of the trains.

Refuge sidings should be provided at all main line stations where slow trains are liable to be shunted for fast trains to pass them. If at such stations it is impossible to provide refuge sidings, and slow trains have to be shunted from one main line to the other to allow of fast trains passing them, some simple arrangenments should be supplied in the signal-cabins to help to remind the signalman of the shunted train. 2002.08.18