Pradeep Pattanayak

All of us must have enjoyed the train journey. Many of us are regular train commuters. While travelling, we must have noticed several letters and signs printed on coaches or put up by the side of the tracks. Most of us are not aware of their meanings. 

Here we will discuss about a signboard which has a significant role. 

This is a square-sized signboard of yellow colour with black letters ‘W/L’ or ‘C/Fa’ (in Hindi) written on it. These boards are meant for the loco pilots and they are associated with blowing whistles. 

'W' of the ‘W/L’ generally stands for whistle and 'L' of the ‘W/L’ stands for level crossing. So whenever a loco pilot comes across a ‘W/L’ signboard, he has to understand that an unmanned level crossing or manned level crossing with unclear view is ahead and he is being asked to blow the whistle. 

Sometimes, the ‘W/L’ signboards are in Hindi and ‘C/Fa’ is written on them. ‘C/Fa’ generally means ‘Siti Bajao/Fatak’. 

Such signboards are placed before the 250 metres of the unmanned gates. When the horn is blown, people on tracks at the level crossing become alert and move away from the tracks.   

Another common signboard is ‘W/B’. Here too, the 'W' of the ‘W/B’ generally stands for whistle and 'B' of the ‘W/B’ stands for bridge. When a loco pilot sees such a signboard, he understands that a bridge is ahead. So, he blows the horn while crossing the bridge.