Saturday 3 March 2012

Mystery Semaphore Signal

Going through some old railway bits the other day I came across a couple of these semaphores. They are mostly metal but set into a bakelite base which houses what appears to be an electro-magnet for operation. At the top of the signal is a small bulb which sits behind the coloured optics.

I have a hunch these are of Americal origin because the signal arm is the other way around to what we'd expect in the UK. If any readers know add your thoughts below.

In its current form it's rather toy like with the heavy base, but could find some use on an industrial location like with Brewhouse Quay if the post was set into the ground so the black base is below baseboard height. Even set into the base board the signal arm is high enough to clear any rolling stock, and because industrial locations often used non-standard gear the signal arm being the reverse of the norm could be feasable.

This signal could work on Brewhouse Quay just where the line exits the layout, why a signal? Well of course there is a passing loop or busy road just off-set of course! Or simply for the fiddle yard operator to indicate that the fiddle yard is ready.


  1. Looks remarkably like the signals on the TV version of Thomas the Tank Engine!

  2. They look like Lionel signals, the big bakelite base is very similar.

  3. That looks almost spot on to a signal released by Life Like many moons ago.

  4. Message from 'John' by email:

    'Hi Chris,

    The semaphore signals you have look like they were made by NJ International many years ago.
    I've got a few of them stashed away somewhere. For HO they are too large, but they are still very cool to have and use.

    I think they should have a solenoid in the base that controls them and the bulb is a 12v grain of wheat

    All the breast



All posts will be approved before they go live, posts from spammers will be deleted and marked as spam.