Flag Exchange: As per Indian Railways working procedures, at most of the small stations, it is still customary to use hand-held flags to signal trains. At night hand-held lamps are used. Whenever a train passes through such stations the station master exchanges a "all-clear", green signal from platform side with the loco-pilot and guard of the train. The same is done by a station staff from the other side of the train by exchanging signal with assistant loco-pilot. It indicates a confirmation that the train is allowed to be passing through as per the main line signal ahead on the track. It also ensures that the line is secured from the both sides & apparently there doesn't seem any deformity with the passing train. The green flag is always held in the left hand, and the red flag is kept ready to be displayed in case of any problem in the strong right hand. In this image the station staff & loco-pilot and station master are seen exchanging all clear green signals as the train passes through Ukshi station with full speed. The loco-pilot here is also seen waving his hand to the station master as the crew normally know each other personally.
I've noticed that the crews also are signalling with flags when passing the railway crossings even on busy mainlines, also railway lights near the crossings are normally closed and open only when the crossing is clear and the barriers are closed. This is quite unusual for Russian railways, where the situation is vice-versa.
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