Permissive Working

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The smaller signal arm is a 'Calling On' signal, which when showing 'Proceed' allows a train to enter a section already occupied by another train

Permissive Working[1] on a railway in the United Kingdom allows more than one train at a time to be on the same line in a block section, a signal section or a dead-end platform line.


The areas where Permissive Working is allowed are given in Table A of the Network Rail Sectional Appendix.


Even where it is not authorised, a shunting movement can be allowed to enter a portion of line that is already occupied providing that it is for the purpose of:

  • attaching vehicles
  • detaching vehicles
  • removing vehicles.

Driving towards another train[edit]

When it is permitted to drive a train towards the rear of another train, such as where trains queue to enter or exit a depot, the driver must:

  • proceed with caution
  • not pass a signal which has been cleared for the train in front until it has been replaced to danger and then cleared for his movement.


  1. ^ UK Rulebook - Permissive Working. GE/RT8000 Rule Book Module TW1 (Train Working) Section 20 (PDF).