flashing yellow signal

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by farmer ron, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    This one is for the signal experts. Last night I was down by the tracks, the track is a main line with a passing siding. The lights are a vertical three light mast, constant yellow then two reds below, have seen this alot and know what this one means. But as the train came closer, within half a mile, the yellow light began to flash. It continued flashing until the lead engine passed then it went red. I could see down to the next set of signals at the end of the siding and the same thing occurred. I waited around for a short while then noted the top light then went yellow again. Along came another train and this time the light stayed sonstant yellow until the lead engine passed, then red, so did the next light.
    My question is what does the yellow flashing light signify, why did the light stay yellow then begin flashing as the train gets very close. Any reason that it did not do this for the second one?
    Both trains were coal trains, both same company, CP Rail.
    Thanks. Ron..
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Accoring to Canadian Trackside Guide, the two signals are 410 - Clear to Stop and 409 Advance Clear to Stop.
    410 (sold yellow over two reds or yellow over red or yellow - depends on how many lights you have) means "Proceed, preparing to stop at the next signal."
    411 (flashing yellow over etc.) means "Proceed, next signal is displaying Clear to Stop, be prepared to stop at second signal."

    If the second train hadn't come along, the signal probably would have next changed to 405 (Green/Red/Red) "Proceed."

    This is just a way of spreading the warnings back over an extra block to give the trains more time to prepare to stop. Is this in a high-speed area or are a lot of the trains heavy?

    Latest railroad model craftsman has an article on signalling.
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Red Red Red

    Ok, this brings up another question. Wouldn't 2 lights be enough for this signal??? Why do you need 3.

    The CSX just built a siding onto it's Main line in Pennsylvania. The new siding is about 8 miles long. (ok it's more of a passing track) they "cut it" into 4 or 5 blocks. the signals are all the same, 3 red on the "outside" of the tracks. Meaning if you are on the laft track, the sig is on your left. On the right - the Sig is on your Right.

    Any ideas on this one??? -- Thanks!!!!
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There's about 5 or 6 pages of signal indications in the rule book.
    More lights give you more combinations of instructions for the engineers. 2 or 3 lights give a variety of speed indications ( limited speed, slow, medium etc.) and combine with instructions about speed through interlocking plants (crossovers, crossings, junctions) followed by a speed to the next signal.

    Does anyone know an online site that covers signals? All my books are at home.
  5. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    60103 (Dave) thanks very much for the information, I have an old trackside guide but never thought of looking in that, I guess it is because I have not seen it for a while and do not know where it is. I should go and get another one. Many thanks again.
  6. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Neat!! Thanks!! I never thought of that. I guess i'm spoiled by the "Red Yellow Green" Traffic signals. :)
  7. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    RON, you're bending my brain!
    I had visited Krugs website (BNSF) who had a wonderful explanation of the signals arranged red over yellow over another red. I was as happy as a piggy in dirt coz I finally understood the system..... then guess what? .... you come up with such a permutation of flashing/fixed/flashing lights I don't know which way is ahead, slow down or go in the hole!:confused:

    The good news?? ... heh heh heh BN is my road so I don't have to learn about other roads :D :D ..... Am I lucky or what? :D

    Anyway, I enjoy reading interesting posts like yours. Keep em coming. (Maybe the RI went bust coz their signalling system was as confusing as the one you saw that resulted in cornfield meets:) )

    Oh well, back to rounding up them stray haggii ... :)

  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Of interest to the historically minded:
    I just had a look at the 1962 CCOR (canadian Consolidated Operating Rules) and the flashing yellow on top wasn't in it.
    There were fewer signals in the book altogether.

    I was just given a stack of old magazines and found a book review (!) of the 1962 CCOR. Seems that before then, each railway in Canada had its own version of the rules with subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences.

    I believe that the 1962 version lasted until about 10 years ago and was replaced with one reflecting the current situation (more radio, no train-order stations.)

    Slightly off: I read that on the most efficient railway, engineers would come up to each signal just as it changed from red to yellow.

    Story about the honeymooning couple crossing the prairies on the Canadian. They're up late one night in the dome car, and the bride says to her husband, "We've got a really sharp engineer on this train." "Oh?" "Yes. He gets past each light just before it turns red."
  9. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    hey n gauger that was at one time a two track main dont understand the new signels myself go by there all the time and those trains move thru there:D
  10. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Rich, That's neat! Welcome aboard The-Gauge!... Yeah, back when they ran passenger on the B&O, there were 2 tracks. Then when they switched to freight, they took out one. Now they are moving so much freight, they added in another track, Is that progress??? :) :)

    When you go by that area, if you notice the Wal-Mart off to your Right Northbound - Or the Baldwin Building. - I tell people that's the landmark to my house. I live right across the street! :D
  11. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    cool i go by there all the time look for the slow wonder bread truck checking out the trains:D ;) :D ;)
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Rich --- :) of course, "slow" on I95 is 60 MPH... if you pass by some evening after 5 & want to be bored out of your mind, with G, HO, N, or Z train talk, e-mail me & I'll give you my #... Any Monday, Wednesday & Thursday, I'm available to meet.. :) :) :) --- ngauger
  13. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    no we are talking 42 to 45 miles a hour here they call us the night crawlers thats great am off tues,weds,and thrusday i dont have to be in to 1100pm sill cant think were i saw that gg1 we taking 8 years ago we'll have to get togeter great too find some one from the area
  14. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Rich -- :D :D Sounds Good to me :D :D

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