NIMBY Rails – How to Use Block Signals

I felt that a guide to help people understand how to use the block signals in Nimby Rails would be helpful, along with some help on what can’t be done with only block signals.


Many people appear to be having some difficulties with using the block signalling system in Nimby Rails, often because they are trying to do something more complicated than is possible at the moment. In this guide I hope to show some basic setups and then some guidance on how to mitigate problems.

Basic Principles

There are four “signals” in Nimby Rails:

  • One Way – trains will only travel over that bit of track in the direction of the arrow. Serves no other function.
  • Platform Train Stop Point – Does what is says on the tin. It allows you to define where on a platform a train will stop. Does nothing else.
  • Simple Block (signal) – The actual signal light. The cone of light should point towards approaching trains. The area behind the light (ie where the black bit of the icon is) is the area that that signal controls.
  • Block Balise – Defines the end of a “block”… Place further along the track to end the section that you want to be controlled by signals.

What is a Block?

The word “Block” is likely causing confusion, it has many meanings in English. In our case, it means a section of track.

In Nimby Rails a block is the area of track defined between the “back” of the signals and block balises.

When setting up a signal system, keep it simple and remember these principles (and forget what other games with more complex systems have taught you):

  • You only need to have signals where tracks cross, or to protect single track sections.
  • You don’t need signals on sections of tracks that don’t branch or have junctions.
  • Trains in Nimby Rails do not currently collide with a train in front of them that is travelling in the same direction, they just automatically stop in time.
  • Signals will only let one train at a time into a block. This fact alone makes functioning terminus stations very hard at the moment.
  • Functioning terminus stations are currently very difficult to achieve. Later in this guide there is an explanation and advice.

How to Signal a Simple Junction

The layout below shows how to setup a simple junction with two-way running. I’m British so am using left-hand running, but just swap each signal and balise to the opposite track for right-hand running. Simplicity is the key here.

You could also add one-way arrows if you like.

Signalling a Single-Track Section, or a Double-Track Passing Loop

At times you may want to have a single-track section between two double-track sections, or the other way around. For that you need this setup:

Note that the other end of this “block” is where the track goes back to being double-track.

That is all you need. Place that every time you go from single to double or double to single. DO NOT place any signals on your single track section unless you want it to only run one-way for whatever reason. A single track section must be a single block with only one train in at a time to avoid collisions.

Terminus Stations

Terminus stations are difficult to make work with the current signal system.

Here is an extreme example, my London Waterloo setup that I haven’t yet touched in 1.2 and am not currently using:

Note the Following:

  • Each pair of platforms is one block, which means one train at a time using them.
  • The area in front of the station is going to be a major bottleneck as there will be large junctions that can only let one train through at a time. There will likely be queues blocking junctions and gridlock.
  • Any single section of track that needs trains to run in both directions risks causing a collision.


  • Have only one line using any one platform. This is actually fairly realistic.
  • Don’t use your terminus station as the place that your trains do their “Interval Wait”. This will just cause congestion. Use a simple through station that only that line uses.
  • If your train spacing is very small, you risk congestion and collisions. Create another line, or lengthen your trains.
  • Accept that the crossovers outside your Termini will be inefficient and a source of congestion.
  • If two lines have to share the same piece of single track, try to set up your line timings so the trains alternate (ie Line A – Line B – Line A – Line B)
  • Having a platform that is used both as the end of a line and a through platform is asking for trouble. Send your terminating train through the platform and onto a branch for it to turn around upon. See example below, where that train has “terminated” at Queen’s Park:

General Tips

  • Keep it simple. If it looks complicated, it risks not working.
  • Don’t be afraid to use one-way arrows fairly liberally. I find that trains going to depots will just turn around at any station and then collide.
  • Try to avoid having trains need to use the same piece of track in both directions. Avoid single track if you can, it has very limited capacity.
  • Termini Stations are currently rather difficult (as I may have mentioned).
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2994 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.