CHAPTER 1S2AINTRODUCTION TO INTERLOCKING
Signals, Points, Lock bars, Interlocked level crossing gates etc., existing in astation yard are generally referred to as 'functions'. A certain relationship shouldexist between these functions such that the operation of one function dependsupon the certain conditions being fulfilled by other functions. For example, takingoff of a signal depends upon the points being correctly set.
The definition of interlocking as given in G.R.1.02(30) is :-“An arrangement of signals, points and appliances, operated from a panel or lever frame, so interconnected by Mechanical locking or electrical locking or boththat their operation must take place in proper sequence to ensure safety”.
In mechanical signalling, since the functions are operated by levers, therelationship that should exist between the functions can be transferred to existbetween the levers. To ensure that the signal can be taken 'OFF' only after thepoint is correctly set, we can arrange the interlocking between the signal lever and point lever to be such that the signal lever can be reversed only after thepoint lever is in the correct position, Viz. 'Normal' or 'Reverse', as the case maybe.
If the levers operating the functions, are located in the same lever frame, then theinterlocking between the levers can be achieved mechanically. If the levers aresituated in different lever frames, then the easiest method would be to provideelectrical interlocking between the functions. Electrical reversers or electricallever locks are used for this purpose. For example, the interlocking between asignal operated from cabin 'A' and the points in the overlap operated from cabin'13' is achieved electrically through the 'Slot'. In electronic interlocking generallythe functions represented by inter-face relay contacts are checked for the proper status and then contact commands to the final controlling relays are given bymicroprocessor based system (Generally duplicated in hardware and/or software).
If the relationship between two levers, say I and 2, is such that levers I and 2should not be in reverse position at the same time, the interlocking should ensurethat I can be operated to reverse position only if 2 is in its normal position and onreverse of 1, lever 2 gets locked in the normal position. Similarly, if 2 is operatedto the reverse position I should remain locked in the normal position. Thisinterlocking relationship is expressed as I locks 2. (1 x 2) and the converse or reciprocal of this is 2 locks 1 (2 x 1). This is also called a 'Normal Locking’, as theeffect of the interlocking is to hold these levers in their respective Normalpositions. In 1 x 2, lever 1, called locking lever and 2 the locked lever. In case of 2 x 1, the roles are interchanged.
The relationship between levers I and 2 can also be such that lever No-l has tobe first operated to the reverse before lever No.2 can be operated to the reverseposition. This also requires that once 2 is reversed it should not be possible to