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Know why railway sign boards are painted in yellow and black

New Delhi: The Indian Railways is one of the largest public transport system in the world. Hundreds of thousands passengers board Indian Railways’trains to commute on a daily basis.

We all know that the railway sign boards at stations are always painted yellow, with the name of the station written in black. But most of us did not know the reason behind this.

There is a scientific reason behind this colouring of the sign board. Yellow is placed third among the seven primary colours, in terms of wavelength in the visibility spectrum. The more the wavelength of colour, the farthest it can be seen from.

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Also, yellow colour has a higher lateral peripheral vision. The lateral peripheral vision of yellow colour is 1.24 times higher than that of red. The lateral peripheral vision determines the lateral vision capacity of the colour, which means how far you can notice a colour if it is not in a straight line of sight with your eyes. Yellow can be noticed from afar, even if it is not directly in the path of your eyesight. Yellow is visible even in darkness or in a foggy climate because it spreads more than red in the environment.

The black colour on the yellow sign board is practised with the sole intention to contrast the colour against yellow, making the writing visible and more distinct from afar.  Even the loco pilot of the train can see  the board and the words written on it from a distance and adjusts the locomotive’s speed accordingly.


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