Italian Railways

by John Hinson

Ian Martin sent two pictures which he took whilst in Italy in 2002. They give a flavour of present-day signalling on the Italian Railways.

Signals at Aulla station
Photograph 2002, by Ian Martin

This view shows the colour-light starting signals at Aulla, a station located around 100 kilometers from Pisa. Notice that the signals are of the searchlight type.

Italian colour-light signalItalian colour-light signal

The signal indications are similar to British practice, using red for stop, yellow for caution and green for clear. A preliminary caution indication is given by flashing yellow.

Signals on the left-hand side of the running line have a circular backing plate, whilst those on the right-hand side feature a square plate.

The white triangle below the right-hand signal indicates that a speed restriction applies. A default speed restriction of 30 km/h applies if no figure is shown on the triangle. If a 60 km/h speed restriction applies, the figure 60 will be shown on the triangular plate.

Colour-light signalling in Italy becomes more complicated at junctions, where two aspects are displayed in combination. This is a subject that may be covered in the future.

Control panel at Lucca station
Photograph 2002, by Ian Martin

This picture shows the control panel at Lucca station. The huge array of switches and buttons suggests that this is an OCS panel.

Additional notes by Jean Thouvenin

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson