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The "Handbook for Railway Steam Locomotive Enginemen" published by the British Transport Commission in 1957 and reprinted by Ian Allan in 1998 (ISBN 0 7110 0628 8) shows that the water gauges were set with their bottom connection at or just above the level of the highest part of the firebox crown, so to some degree this was indicated to British enginemen.
Some locos did have gauge glass lamps fitted. The above book refers to the need for enginemen to ensure they have on the engine "a complete set of lamps" - but it does not say if this included a hand lamp as well as the head and tail lamps required to be put on the engine.
By 1978 the BR Rule book also required every driver to carry a handlamp in working order - I assume that this would have been the battery-operated 'Bardic' torch. But with only diesel locos about with lit instruments by that time this must have been for inspecting things.

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John Webb
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 16 Aug 2007, 14:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>By 1978 the BR Rule book also required every driver to carry a handlamp in working order - I assume that this would have been the battery-operated 'Bardic' torch. But with only diesel locos about with lit instruments by that time this must have been for inspecting things.

As the proud owner of a four aspect "Bardic" there other uses apart from the obvious use as a torch, it can be used for shunting at night and if switched to the red aspect and placed on a running rail facing oncoming traffic can be used to give a very clear danger aspect at night as the light reflects off the polished surface of the rail. This can be visible from several hundred yards away.

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The above posts on headlights and headcodes are correct. The headlamps were intended in steam days as train id and a limited warning in the dark to lineside staff. In daylight the red buffer beam was considered sufficient warning.
With the introduction of diesels the yellow warning panel was introduced for to increase visibility and staff safety as, correctly mentioned above, diesels were much quieter on approach.
It is only relatively recently that high intensity headlights were used and again to make the train visible to lineside staff and other drivers, they are pretty useless for seeing where you are going except a low speed, such as when examining the line.
Drivers rely on route knowledge and signals to govern progress of their train. There are very few areas where a train running at high linespeeds can see far enough ahead to stop before an obstruction as was highlighted by the Ufton level crossing crash. The driver in that case responded in about 2-3 seconds, which is very fast and still couldn't prevent the accident even with perfect reactions.
So for most people modelling steam in Britain headlights are irrelevant unless running at night and then you have to install lights in all your coaches and buildings too. Have a look at how many people bother to use headcode discs or boards which work with the power off or on analogue and digital!
 
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