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Locomotive and Caboose Classification and Marker Lights

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Locomotive and Caboose Classification and Marker Lights
Posted by RicZ on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:49 PM

What is the appropriate set up for markers on a locomotive (front, side and rear facing) and a caboose of the 1950's?  Are the locomotive's markers clear in all directions (assuming it is moving forward) or are the side and/or rear markers a different color?  Same for Cabooses (red to the side and rear with a color to the front)?

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 7:06 PM

RicZ

What is the appropriate set up for markers on a locomotive (front, side and rear facing) and a caboose of the 1950's?  Are the locomotive's markers clear in all directions (assuming it is moving forward) or are the side and/or rear markers a different color?  Same for Cabooses (red to the side and rear with a color to the front)?

What railroad, what track arrangement, where is it and is it moving, in the clear or fouling the main?

The locomotive wouldn't have markers if it was coupled to a train (if it did they would be dark).

A locomotive would have classification lights on the front, dark if its a regular train or the last section of a regular train, green if it is a section other than the last section of a regular train or white if its an extra train.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by RicZ on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:30 PM

Let me clarify my original posting.  I am modeling and trying to determine the color of lenses that should be at the locomotive front and on the caboose markers.  I assume that locomotives would carry clear lenses for their classification lights and use colored inserts to create the appropriate colored lighting.

What about the markers on a caboose?  Should they be red lenses on all sides or red to the rear with other colors at the side and facing forward?  Is this a railroad determination or is there a standard.  My road is a freelance in the Colorado area.

 

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 1:26 PM

A train running as a scheduled train wouldn't have classification signals. Classification signal lights on a locomotive would be white if the train is an extra or green if it's a scheduled train with a following section or sections.... In the "classic" passenger train era,  passenger trains often had more passengers than could fit in one train, so would have one or more "sections" - separate trains - following five or ten minutes behind (or sometimes ahead of) the scheduled train. A train like the GN Empire Builder or NYC Twentieth Century might run in up to 10 or 12 sections during WW2.

Well into the diesel transition era railroads used flags to denote classification during the day, as they had going back to before electric lights. BTW engines generally didn't use headlights during the day until into the fifties, and small classifications lights wouldn't be seen well during the day anyway.

Trains magazine has a section giving some more information.

Marker lights or flags indicate the end of the train. All trains, even an engine moving by itself outside of a yard area, would have to show red lights or flags on the rear indicating the end of the "train". Caboose marker lamps would normally show red forward and back, and green to the side IIRC.

Note that on engines and cabooses "flags" were not always literally flags, they could be flag shaped items made of metal for durability, made to fit the flag holders on the engine or caboose.

For the model locomotives, I suppose white would be best for a freight engine, since freights often ran as extras. For a passenger engine, no lights or flags would probably be most appropriate.

Stix
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Posted by Sperandeo on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 1:57 PM

It's quite practical to use removable flags on HO locomotives, so you can have white, green, or no signals as appropriate. I described how I made classification flags in my The Operators column, "Classification signals," in the July 2007 Model Railroader. Not long ago I saw that someone was making etched brass flags for HO locomotives, but I don't remember the website. Has anyone else seen that one?

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by Sperandeo on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:03 PM

I'm answering my own question, because I found the maker of the etched brass classification flags, Railflyer Model Prototypes Inc., www.railflyermodel.com. There are both "cloth" (flat brass) and metal (perforated) versions.

The cloth flag could also be painted red and used with a scale figure to make an HO flagman if your railroad observes Rule 99, or as a rear-end marker in place of a marker light. Check your rule books on the latter, as some roads used red flags and others used green.

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 4:31 PM

RicZ

What is the appropriate set up for markers on a locomotive (front, side and rear facing) and a caboose of the 1950's?  Are the locomotive's markers clear in all directions (assuming it is moving forward) or are the side and/or rear markers a different color?  Same for Cabooses (red to the side and rear with a color to the front)?

Ric, this is a subject that comes up regularly - including as recently as a few weeks ago.

For the rules about displaying classification lights/flags and markers, THE authority for the transition era is Peter Josserand's Rights of Trains.  Or you can save yourself a few bucks and enter "classification lights" and "marker lights" (separately, quotation marks and all) in the Search our Community block over there on the right hand side of the page.

If you really want a challenge, arrange for your caboose (or last passenger car) to display the correct color in the correct direction when running on single track, multiple track, or stopped in a siding awaiting a meet or pass.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by wabash2800 on Friday, June 24, 2011 10:47 PM

Andy:

Those flags are nice but the cloth ones should flap in the breeze of droop when the train is not moving shouldn't they? <G>

Victor

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