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Levers are specified to be normal when back in the frame and reverse when pulled to the front. (there are rare exceptions).

Signals are usually set at danger with the lever normal and will give a proceed indication when the lever is reverse. Pulling the lever from normal to revers is often described as pulling off. So a signal pulled off is at clear, not at danger.

Points are defined as normal or reverse corresponding to the position of the lever, usually the most important route will be normal and the less important reverse but there are exceptions eg trap points are usually normal in the trap position. It is the job of the signal engineer to define the normal positions when preparing the signal plan and these will be shown on the signal box diagram.

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With extremely few exceptions, signal levers are back in the frame for the Danger position (caution for Distants), pull to clear.

Point levers are back in the frame for "Normal" position, the way they lie when there are no trains about, or pull to "Reverse"


Normal is often the straight position, but by no means always, and of course curved and wye points don't have a straight route anyway.

The Normal position of points is a decision taken by the planners, and for safety reasons they choose it such that conflicting routes are avoided.

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