This caught my eye - perhaps it says more about me than it does about the railways. It's taken from the 'Southern Stakeholders Brief May 2009'. At least the brochure that it came in was sent electronically rather than as a paper document. However when you see a headline of 'Infrastructure improvements' we tend to think of new lines, platforms and stations...
We continually strive to improve punctuality and are pleased to report a number of recent improvements to the network by Network Rail, which will help our train running performance. These include the installation of a number of motorised ‘hook switches’ in the South London Metro area.
A hook switch allows the electricity running through a section of conductor rail to be isolated when a failed train needs to be examined, when there has been a fatality or to repair track and infrastructure. Motorised hook switches allow the isolation to be done quickly from a central location and help deal with incidents more efficiently.