Passenger trains had one single red lamp on the rear vehicle, as did fully fitted parcels trains.
With goods trains it was more complex, as well as the tail lamp, side lights were also used on the brake van, and these were moved according to the track (fast or slow) the train was running on. I don't have the full details to hand at present but will look them up in due course and post.
Side lamps were required on the brakevans of trains containing unfitted (i.e. not vacuum-braked) vehicles. They exhibted a red light to the rear and a white light to the front, the driver could therefore look back occasionally to make sure that he still had the whole train. Broken couplings and runaways were reasonably common with unfitted vehicles as the couplings could be 'snatched' by the movement of the train.
Once the train was shunted clear of a running line or turned onto a loop, reception or goods line one or more of the lamps would be extinguished or turned round to indicate to the driver of an overtaking train that he was about to pass the train on a different line, and not plough into the back of it. They were usually fitted to the rear end of the van but I have seen them on the front end. Being fitted so as to project out from the sides, it didn't really matter which end they were at.
As a very general rule, during the 1960s period you are enquiring about unfitted vehicles were grey and fitted ones were bauxite. So in modelling terms, grey vehicles = side lamps required.
Rule H 7.4 states that beside the normal train tail lamp, goods trains not completely fitted with automatic brakes must also exhibit the two side-lamps red to the rear and white to the front when travelling on the main line, fast lines or single lines.
But on slow lines, relief lines, goods lines and loops next to main lines or fast lines where trains move in the same direction, the side lamp nearest to those lines must be turned round to exhibit a white light on that side; this applies even if there is a line used in the opposite direction between the two lines (well, that's what the Rule Book says!)
Where the goods line or loop line is next to a slow or relief line with trains moving in the same direction, the two side lights are left showing red to the rear.
On entering a reception siding the sidelights must be removed or obscured after the whole train is in the siding.
This Rule appears to be almost identical to a similar rule in an earlier rule book I have dating from 1933.
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