Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Woodie, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Some help or pointers please. Instead of just "making it up as I go", and just wack a signal here and another there, to look pretty, I want them to mean something, and eventually operate. I have no idea where to start. No even the knowledge whether a signal "up" means go or stop! or turn left here, or go through this and crash there! [​IMG] [​IMG] Is there a easily accesible article, web etc that can give me info? Is signal structure positions, colour etc universal? or railroad specific?

    This post will keep me busy for a while!

    Thanks in advance for help.
  2. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    Signalling is universal through out the world. Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means caution or prepare to stop.

    I know you live in Austrilia. Here in the USA they're setup different on the lights for different railroads. However, red, yellow, and green are all the same meaning.

    I hope this helps. You may want to check with your countries railroad laws and rules on how they are set up.

  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Woodie my friend, you are not alone in this, my knowledge of signals for the real thing boils down to this. For every turnout, there has got to be a signal, and thats as much as I know. With my logging layout, I don't have any.

  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Thanks guys. Of course it's fine with the red/green/yellow, however I was looking at using the old semaphore signals with distant/local and at turnouts, which signale means wich track? Do I need two signals at each turnout? etc? One for each track? What about multi direction track? etc. I did find and article on Victorian Railways signals so That provided some good info.

  5. LC

    LC Member

    Woodie, sounds like you are talking about the semifore type signals, of which few exist today. With signal straight up [​IMG]roceed and track speed,
    With signal half down: proceed at reduced speed and be prepaired to stop.
    Signal in full horizontale position: Stop.
    There is also the light system used today, it's somewhat confusing, because often times several colors show up at the same time. But several different lights on the same signal indicate different things.
    Where is a way that you don't need signals at all, just mile markers and use a track warrant system, it's still in use here in the U.S., although being phased out.
    Track warrants consist of travel between certian mile markers. A train just starting out would contact dispatch and request a track warrant. Dispatch in turn checks for traffic and will then give instructions such as: Extra 448, proceed at track speed to mile post 875. Once 448 reaches mile post 875 he must stop and get another warrant to proceed further. The dispatcher can and will advise of maintance in a certian area and may even give reduced speed between certian mile markers.
    Under the new systems we have we don't use track warrants as such, these areas with signal only for control and are called "C.T.C" and signals are usually 10-15 miles apart. These areas are also using automatic switching, so they can stop you, a switch will turn and the signal will then direct you forward into a siding.
    One more way of control is the time tables each railroad uses. These will tell you where the sounding of the horn is forbidden, what types of locomotives can use certian tracks, and also list all track speed for normal conditions.
    If you are confused by this don't worry, in the model train world I don't think a life has been lost yet.
    That's doing a lot better that the proto type believe me.

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