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I fairly certain that they were only provided on the 'uphill' direction where, if a coupling broke on a truck, they were then able to run away from the loco in the wrong direction and therefore needed to be stopped. On lengthy gradients there would be catchpoints at several places to prevent runaways from gaining too much speed before they were derailed.
For trains that ran away downhill due to defective brakes or other problems, ie with the loco leading, there were sometimes dead-end sidings with sand-drags provided to protect junctions or other running lines. These however would be under the control of a signal-box.
John Webb
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