OpenRailwayMap/Tagging in Germany/Ra and Sh Signals

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This page is part of the signal tagging scheme for railway signals in Germany (signals defined by ESO and additional signals used on that railway lines).

Ra Signals

Ra 6-9 Hump Signal

German name: Abdrücksignal

Ra 6–9 can be found on hump and gravity yards. They tell the train driver how fast he has to push the cars over the hill.

Ra 10 Limit of Shunt Indicator

German name: Rangierhalttafel

This signal (it is a sign) is mounted near the end of a station towards the entry signal. Shunting beyond this signal is not permitted without a written command. Otherwise shunting trains would enter the overlap between Ra 10 and the entry signal. photographs by Simon Walter

Ra 11 Wait Board

German name: Wartezeichen

Shunting trains have to stop at this signal. They will receive the permission to continue

  • via light signal Sh 1 (shunting permitted)
  • if the signal cannot display Sh 1, the dispatcher will raise a arm (day) or a white light (night)
  • if the signal cannot display Sh 1, by a spoken/shouted command

photographs by Simon Walter

Sign without Sh 1 in West Germany:

Signs without Sh 1 in East German are called Ra 11b (see below).

Sign with Sh 1:

Ra 11a ex-DR Wait Board

See Ra 11 Wait Board.

Ra 11b ex-DR Wait Board

This signal is almost the same as Ra 11 but it only exists in East Germany, lacks the Sh 1 lights and is white instead of yellow. photographs by Simon Walter

Ra 12 ex-DB Boundary Marker

German name: Grenzzeichen

Cars may be parked until this signal. Cars which are parked beyond this signal may reach into the loading gauge of a neighbouring track. This signal is usually mounted next to a point or railway crossing. photographs by Simon Walter

Ra 12 ex-DR Shunting Permitted

Siehe Sh 1 Fahrverbot aufgehoben.

Ra 13 Insulation Sign

German name: Isolierzeichen

We do not map them.

Sh Signals

Hp 0/Sh 1 Shunting Stop Signal/Shunting Permission Signal

German name: Rangierhaltsignal (Sh 0/Hp 0), Rangierfahrtsignal (Sh 1) Hp 0 (ligh signal): Stop (shunting and normal operations), formerly known as Sh 0
Hp 0 (semaphore signal): Stop (normal operations only, shunting may pass this signal with a spoken permission or Sh 1)
Sh 0 (semaphore signal): Stop (shunting operations)
Sh 0 (semaphore signal at derailers): derailer will derail passing vehicles
Sh 1: shunting permitted
Sh 1 at derailers: derailer will not derail passing vehicles (this does not include a shunting permission)

photographs by Simon Walter


Sh 1 lights Main/Combined light signals (Hp, Ks, Sv, Hl) often have two additional small white lights to display Sh 1. Add following two tags to the main/combined signal:

Semaphore Signals

Sh 0 boards see buffer stops.

Sh 0/Sh 1 signals at derailers see derailers.

If the signal is used inside passenger stations to separate a track into two sections for different trains, use railway:signal:minor:states=DE-ESO:hp0;DE-ESO:kennlicht. These signals are called "Zugdeckungssignale" and can only show Hp 0 and marker light. (photograph)

Sh 2 End of Track Indicator

German name: Schutzhalttafel

This signal is mounted at

  • buffer stops
  • opened moveable bridges
  • where all trains should stop (because further parts of the line are under construction or closed for other reasons)

photographs by Simon Walter

Tracks whose buffer stops have a Sh 0, should be tagged with service=yard because Sh 0 only exists tracks which are only used for shunting operations.

Sh 3 End of Track Distant Signal

German name: Wärtervorscheibe, old name: Haltvorscheibe

This signal has been removed from DB's signalling rules in 2006. But there can exist some signals at OSM (e.g. on abandoned lines and on lines operated by third-party companies).

This signal is mounted 400 to 1300 m (default breaking distance) before a Sh 2 board. It looks like Vr 0 without Ne 2 but has no lights.