You are here: Wiki > start > usertrack > glossary > slw

Table of Contents



Single Line Working: On a double track railway, single-line working refers to the practice of using one track out of two, usually when one of the tracks is out of use for maintenance or because of damage or some obstruction.

Tracks that are signalled for bi-directional operation can be operated as a single line without any special measures, since the signalling equipment is already in place to permit trains to run in either direction over the single track.

However, when a section of track which is not normally bi-directional has to be used in both directions, a member of staff known as a Pilotman is needed to ensure safety. In essence, no train may enter the single line section without either the Pilotman travelling with the train, or the Pilotman telling the driver face-to-face to proceed over the single line, so he may travel with a later train. The system is simple, yet effective: no train may enter the single line without speaking to the Pilotman, and since the Pilotman can only be at one end of the single line at once, it is impossible for a head-on collision to occur if the rules are followed.

Several simulations feature lines with bi-directional signalling, and Single Line Working of the latter type is featured in the 'Sawston Blockage' Scenario on the Cambridge simulation.

Last edited by GeoffM on 15/09/2016 at 03:00