T3 Possessions, Signallers

Our ref: HSR/2/29

Head Office Circular: NP/238/22

26th October 2022

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague,




Your National Industrial Organising Conference of Signalling and Operations Grades 2022 carried the following resolution:


T3 Possessions, Signallers Network Rail 

“A few years ago, the process of granting signal protection, to PICOPs, for T3 possessions was changed. These changes resulted in a long chain of necessary conversations, between signallers, before signal protection could be granted - especially when a signaller is at the hub of a large possession.


At the time of the change, Network Rail said that they were going to rewrite the rule book sections associated with T3 possessions, to bring the complexity in granting back down to levels similar to those before the changes. Current procedures were supposed to be a short-term compliance for the revised interpretation of existing rule book wording.


Responsibility has been taken away from the person best placed to have it - the Person in Charge Of the Possession, and loaded onto signallers, who are often unfamiliar with limits far beyond their area of control, and who have been forced to play a complex game of Chinese Whispers along chains of signaller to signaller communications, at a time of night when safety critical calls are numerous and of the highest importance.


We look forward to this process being resolved so that signallers can streamline their workload and give their area of control the full attention that it requires.”


At its meeting on 29th September 2022, your National Executive Committee resolved as follows: 

We note the resolution and further note that a T3 possession working group is currently meeting. 

In line with the resolution, we instruct the General Secretary to seek an update from the working group and place back before the NEC.

Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.

I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members. 


Yours sincerely



Michael Lynch