Cascais Line

The Cascais Line runs parallel to the river Tagus / Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon to Cascais and for several years (until 1976) it was concessioned to the Estoril Society, wich turned that line into a modern and efficient railway. For the the persons who know CP's regulations dating from the 60's will find there lots of resemblances with the Cascais line regulations, as it is simply a non-evolved version of those regulations were for normal direction working automatic block exists but for wrong line / temporary single track working, staff is use. The major visibile difference are the directional shunt signals! Also for a long time a simple train speed control is used, wich consists on the use of magnets wich are placed about 400 meters before each signal or Level Crossing (LC). If the signal is closed or the LC is broken or unmanned (at night) the magnet is activated forcing the driver to take an action. (this system will be explained ahead.) A curious fact regarding to the Cascais line is that it's regulations are provisional since 1975!!!


In The Cascais line, each colored bulb (or group of coloured bulbs of the same color) is treated in an individual form as it can be observed on the chart below.

A signal wich contains a main bulb, is considered to be a main signal and a signal wich only contains shunt bulbs, is considered to be a shunt signal.However a main signal might have shunt bulbs(only the lunar bulbs are used as the stop is indicated by the fixed red off the main signal) The Permissive bulbs / plates allow that the train driver passes the fixed red after a 5 seconds stop. This plates do not have any other utility.

The direction indicators are allways formed by groups of bulbs, forming either dashes or numbers. It's indication it is only informative.



Sinais principais

As said earlier, the main signals are the ones the present, at least, a main aspect, independentely of having shunt bulbs associated or not. This signals are in a general way, "High" signals (with about 4 meters high) but in the case of sidings wich are rarely used, the main signals are dwarf type, in order to avoid confusions.
The main signals can be of two types:

- Permissive - when they are block signals, in wich case they work automatically without human intervention. They can be identified by the blue reflectorized plate with wich they are identified.

- Absolute - wich are all the signals wich aren't permissive. They are called absolute as they can order the absolute stop (stop & stay). They can work automatically or semi-automatically

This signals, according to it's equipment, are identified as being of a certain type, as follows:
csc_sin1.gif PR type - Permissive Signal - Are the signals equiped with the plate b)

A type - Absolute signals without shunt bulbs - Are the signals wich do not have any of the equipments, except the g) wich all have.

AS type - Absolute Signal with a simple direction shunt indicator - Are the signals equipped with the bulb e). if it is a dwarf ("baixo") signal, it becomes an ASB type signal.

ASA type - Absolute Signals with a simple direction shunt indicator e) and equiped with the blue(azul) light a).

AM type - Absolute signals with a multiple direction shunt indicator f). If it is a dwarf ("baixo")signal it becomes an AMB type signal.

ANS type - Absolute Signals with numerical indicator of "n" itineraries and simple direction shunt indicator. - Only two of this signals exist, wich are the home signals of the terminus stations (Cais do Sodré and Cascais). For obvious reasons, neither this signals, neither the preceeding ones are equipped with the Green light.

type ADS - Absolute signals with an two ["dois/duas" (masc/fem)] direction indicator and simple direction shunt indicator. - This signals can only be found as home signals of the Semi-Terminus stations (Algés, Oeiras and Sao Pedro do Estoril). The Semi-Terminus stations of the Cascais line, are the stations were some trains end their journey returning then to Cais do Sodré. For that they are equipped with a central line in wich those trains are stabled. The direction indicator only lits ( | or / ) when the orange aspect is shown, as then green allways implies a straight path.

Automatic Train Stop

The Main signals The main signals placed on the main lines and the LC's are associated with a magnet, placed about 400 meters before them. That magnet, when activated , forces the driver to slow down the train to under 30 km/h acording to the following principles:
When a signal presents Fixed red or Flashing red, the magnet associated to the signal is activated, actuating over any train that passes over it (as long it has a receiver, wich all do, except the rolling stock wich is "outsider" to the line) in the following way:
- If the train passes over the magnet at over 60 kph, immediately an emergency braking is provoked

- If the train passes over the magnet at under 60 kph, the driver has 12 seconds to take the train to under 30 kph

- If after 12 seconds the train is over 30 kph, an emergency braking is provoked but if the train is under 30 kph, the system is reset to normal.

Besides a visual indication to the driver, also a buzzer or a ringuing bell warns the driver of the above timings.
As usually the magnet of a signal is placed right after the previous (in some cases even about 50/100 meters BEFORE!!) as soon the driver sights a yellow it makes a very strong braking as if it passes over the magnet at over 60 kph...... . In the case of an LC, all happens in the same way but without signals. In order that an LC magnet is deactivated, at least three conditions must be fulfilled:

- It must be working properly (automaticaly)
- The barriers must be lowered
- The LC has to be manned

If this three conditions are not fulfilled the magnet is activated. It should be noticed that this magnets are not complemented by visual signals, so the driver only knows that something is wrong at the LC when the train is braked by the system. The exception to this is between 10.30pm and 6am, when the LC's become unmanned and therefore they must be passed "marching on sight". Even so, sometimes some drivers forget that fact and you see a train stopping in the midle of nowhere in the middle of the night apparentely for no reason!!!

Shunt signals

As referred, this signals can either be of simple direction or multiple direction, having only authority over trains wich are shunting or under the shunting regime. This is one of the characteristics of the Cascais line, the existence of shunt signals where the shunting permited aspect not only allows the shunting movement itself as also it indicates the direction of it.

Simple direction shunt signal

csc_sinS.gif Are generally used associated with Station entrance main signals(home signals) and to protect shunting routes where only a single direction is available.

Multiple direction shunt signals

csc_sinM.gif When more than one route is available for shunting purposes, to protect them a multiple direction shunt signal is used. This signals can also exist isolated or associated with main signals, namely AM or AMB.
According to the litten lights a direction is given:




Shunt signals combined with main signals.

At the stations home signals, the oppening of the simple direction shunt signals wich are associated to them obeys to certain rules:

- Once open, the Shunt signal will only be kept open for 60 seconds, after wich it will close again , if it hasn't been passed by a train.

- If more than one train is aproaching to the signal, only the closest one to the signal can pass it after it's clearance. The following train will stop before the signal and wait that the shunt signal closes. When the signal is reopened, the driver is allowed to proceed , according to the presented aspect (In Portugal, the Shunt allowed aspect only closes AFTER all the train as passed the signal).

- After passing an home signal presenting shunt allowed, the driver will stop at the platform, unless an hand signal, allowing the driver to proceed is presented. (of course the starter must be open).

If the Starter (Exit main signal) indicates the march in shunting regime, the drivers will act in the following way:
- If the driver starts the train at that station or it has entered into the station under the shunting regime, it will only be allowed to proceed with the presenting of the right away signal by the station master. But if it has passed the home signal presenting an aspect wich referred only to trains, namely Orange, Flashing red or Red + Blue, the right away of the station master is dispensed..