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Figuring Out Erie RR Signals for Layout

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Figuring Out Erie RR Signals for Layout
Posted by Erie1951 on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 6:56 PM

Season's Greetings and Good Evening, Crew! I think that I have the signals needed for my layout. First, take a look at my trackplan. At either end of the yard throat are locations for signal bridges.

While trying to find the appropriate signals, I came accross this photo from Trains Mag that shows a relatively short distance between the signal and the crossover. This would fit well with the distance between the end of the tracks on the layout and each crossover.

Now, while looking at the Erie's 1952 (my modeling era) color signal aspects, I found two seperate signals that I want to use. The first is the three-color "Proceed Through Crossover" signal:

But, to me, this signal would also need to include an absolute stop when there are switching operations taking place. The Erie absolute stop signals can be seen here:

My question is how can I incorporate the "Proceed Through Crossover" signal with the "Absolute Stop" signal on a signal bridge? Thanks, Guys!

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by mvlandsw on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 7:55 PM

The green light in rule 287 would change to red to become rule 292. The prototype signals in the picture could be built to show up to three colors.

Mark

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Posted by Erie1951 on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 8:17 PM

mvlandsw

The green light in rule 287 would change to red to become rule 292. The prototype signals in the picture could be built to show up to three colors.

Mark

Thanks, Mark. Would that mean the lower signal would function as a multi-color searchlight showing either red or green? That would allow both rule's signal aspects to be used on a three-light vertcal signal head.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 8:53 PM

I would expect there would be two two-head signals on each bridge, facing outwards from the interlocking.

Why would it be any different?

 

Ed

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 10:04 PM

Where on your layout were you planning to place this signal?  I've seen different photos of ERE signals and it showed that some had two round signals mounted high on a interlocking and other interlockings had a pole with two round signals facing the direction of the camera or looking the oposite way.

I'm not sure how ERE set up it's signals as I don't model that road, but on any railroad here in the US, a signal or set of signals would be seen every few miles or so.

Does anyone know what those round shaped single bulb signals are called?   N&W used some as well.

When time period is your layout?

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 10:27 PM

Erie1951
Would that mean the lower signal would function as a multi-color searchlight showing either red or green? That would allow both rule's signal aspects to be used on a three-light vertcal signal head.

Just remember that all red isn't an "absolute stop" its a "stop" signal.  The word "absolute" isn't anywhere in the rule.

Also several of the heads will have to display multiple colors.  The top would display r-y-g (plus the middle head depending on the other indications).

If also depends on the speed of the crossovers.  If the top and bottom are red and the middle signal is green, then that is proceed through the interlocking at medium speed.  The switches look sharp so slow speed is probably appropriate.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by Erie1951 on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 6:27 AM

Thanks, Guys! I think the "proceed through crossover at slow speed" and the "stop" signal would have to be combined.

The green on the lower signal for the "proceed through crossover", here:

And the red on the lower "stop", here:

would mean the lower signal would be multi-colored so that a three-light signal could be used. That would make the aspects red-red-green or red-red-red. Does that sound right? The placement of the signal would be facing trains entering the crossover area. It may not be what the Erie actually used, but I'll have to do some re-engineering here.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 9:26 AM

Erie1951
would mean the lower signal would be multi-colored so that a three-light signal could be used. That would make the aspects red-red-green or red-red-red. Does that sound right? The placement of the signal would be facing trains entering the crossover area.

You need to make a list of all the signals that could be displayed at the interlocking, that will tell you what colors you need on each signal head.  For example if none of the switches are lined, all main track signals normal and a straight away route is lined, then the signal would display clear g-r-r.  If the block after the next signal is occupied then you might get an approach y-r-r.  If you wanted a medium speed anyplace, for a 30 mph route, you would need a r-g-y.  If it was a higher speed main, it might have an advance approach of some combination of red with two yellows (can't find my Erie rule book).

Since its an interlocking you should also have a signal governing the entrance into the main track in the interlocking.

Here's an interesting rule for you to consider.  Any time a train enters an interlocking and partially occupies it, they cannot reverse directions without permission from the operator.  If they completely clear the interlocking, they can re-enter on signal indication, if they completely occupy the route through the interlocking, they can reverse direction.  If they nose into the limits or the rear end of the cut is hanging into the limits, every time they change directions, they have to call the operator and get permission to move in the new direction.  

When the switcher pulls into the textile company the switcher needs permission from the opertor to enter the main track from the engine facility.

Will need permission from the operator to reverse directions.

Goes into the textile plant.

Will need permission to re-enter the main track when it pulls a track.

Then needs permission to reverse direction to set the cars to the main or another track.

Then will need permission to reverse direction to go back past the textile switch.

If it goes back into the industry it needs permission to reverse directions.

Basically any time you touch the reverser and the switcher or cars coupled to it touch a main track, you will have to talk to the operator before moving.

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 9:33 AM

ATSFGuy

 

Does anyone know what those round shaped single bulb signals are called?

 

 

Searchlight.

 

But perhaps you're thinking of this:

That's a "Tri-Light".  It's round, but it's three bulb.

 

The N&W DID use these:

 

I just call those "Pennsy signals".  I wonder what the official name is.  But note that, although they're round, they're multi-bulb, not single.

And that LOWER "head".  Wow.  Never saw that before.  Neat!

 

 

Ed

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Posted by Erie1951 on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 10:11 AM

dehusman
Erie1951
would mean the lower signal would be multi-colored so that a three-light signal could be used. That would make the aspects red-red-green or red-red-red. Does that sound right? The placement of the signal would be facing trains entering the crossover area.

You need to make a list of all the signals that could be displayed at the interlocking, that will tell you what colors you need on each signal head.  For example if none of the switches are lined, all main track signals normal and a straight away route is lined, then the signal would display clear g-r-r.  If the block after the next signal is occupied then you might get an approach y-r-r.  If you wanted a medium speed anyplace, for a 30 mph route, you would need a r-g-y.  If it was a higher speed main, it might have an advance approach of some combination of red with two yellows (can't find my Erie rule book). Since its an interlocking you should also have a signal governing the entrance into the main track in the interlocking.

Here's an interesting rule for you to consider.  Any time a train enters an interlocking and partially occupies it, they cannot reverse directions without permission from the operator.  If they completely clear the interlocking, they can re-enter on signal indication, if they completely occupy the route through the interlocking, they can reverse direction.  If they nose into the limits or the rear end of the cut is hanging into the limits, every time they change directions, they have to call the operator and get permission to move in the new direction.  

When the switcher pulls into the textile company the switcher needs permission from the opertor to enter the main track from the engine facility. Will need permission from the operator to reverse directions. Goes into the textile plant. Will need permission to re-enter the main track when it pulls a track. Then needs permission to reverse direction to set the cars to the main or another track. Then will need permission to reverse direction to go back past the textile switch. If it goes back into the industry it needs permission to reverse directions. Basically any time you touch the reverser and the switcher or cars coupled to it touch a main track, you will have to talk to the operator before moving.

Excellent info, Dave. Thanks!

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 11:12 AM

One question I have is why you want an interlocking at all and why you need signals at all.  

The signals are for trains ENTERING the interlocking.  You appear to have less than one engine length of room on the left end and maybe an engine length of room on the right end of the layout.  Basically the majority of engines operating on the layout will never get a signal indication at the signal bridges, because 99% of all the moves will be within the limits of the interlocking or exiting the interlocking limits.  

The only time you would get a "slow" indication is when a move is lined through a crossover, there are no cars or engines on any main track and ALL the other main track switches are lined for the main track.  There were any cars  on the main track the signals would display stop, if there were any other main track  switches opened the best the signal would display was low or restricting (assuming none of the crossovers are lined and the there are no cars or engines on the main tracks inside the limts of the interlocking, the speed depending on your rule book).  The difference is that slow is proceed at 15-20 mph (depending on  your rule book) and low/restricting is proceed proceed prepared to stop, not exceeding 15-20 (depending on your rule book.).  Restricted speed tells you there could be stuff in the track you are lined toward, slow says the track is clear but go slow.  Since all the other main track switches lead into yard, mechanical or industry tracks, they wouldn't be bonded and the signal system wouldn't know if they were occupied or not.

If your layout as drawn is a portion of a larger layout or a module that will become part of a larger layout then the signals would have more utility.

If that is your entire layout then the only place you really need signals that change color is on the right end of the layout, because that's the only place that you could put an engine outside the limits of the interlocking and line a route.  There doesn't appear to be room on the left end so there is no way for an engine on the left end to get a signal in any case.

If you just want some lights that change color when you line switches, go for the gusto.

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Posted by Erie1951 on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 11:30 AM

dehusman
The only time you would get a "slow" indication is when a move is lined through a crossover, there are no cars or engines on any main track and ALL the other main track switches are lined for the main track. There were any cars on the main track the signals would display stop, if there were any other main track switches opened the best the signal would display was low or restricting (assuming none of the crossovers are lined and the there are no cars or engines on the main tracks inside the limts of the interlocking, the speed depending on your rule book). The difference is that slow is proceed at 15-20 mph (depending on your rule book) and low/restricting is proceed proceed prepared to stop, not exceeding 15-20 (depending on your rule book.). Restricted speed tells you there could be stuff in the track you are lined toward, slow says the track is clear but go slow. Since all the other main track switches lead into yard, mechanical or industry tracks, they wouldn't be bonded and the signal system wouldn't know if they were occupied or not.

Dave, you're right about the length between the end of my layout tracks and the signals. What you see in my track plan is the entire layout, but I wanted to have signals in place where they should/might be for the interlocking control of the crossovers only. Of course, this wouldn't be a completely prototypical signal set up and I can't model it that way, but I just like the idea and the way it would compliment the layout.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 3:29 PM

7j43k

 

 
ATSFGuy

 

Does anyone know what those round shaped single bulb signals are called?

 

 

 

 

Searchlight.

 

But perhaps you're thinking of this:

That's a "Tri-Light".  It's round, but it's three bulb.

 

The N&W DID use these:

 

I just call those "Pennsy signals".  I wonder what the official name is.  But note that, although they're round, they're multi-bulb, not single.

And that LOWER "head".  Wow.  Never saw that before.  Neat!

 

 

Ed

 

 

 The more generic name for those is "position light" signals, they use the pattern of bulbs to mimic a semaphore arm. PRR was the main users, but N&W used them as well (PRR influence). B&O used a similar type but with colored lights.

 Those lower heads with just part of the aspect as needed, still exist all along the Northeast Corridor. Same reason for using 2 lights instead of 3 when the upper head(s) are 3 light types. No point in having a capability that will never be used - which is just more that needs to be maintained evev if it isn;t used.

                                            --Randy


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Posted by Erie1951 on Thursday, December 27, 2018 5:06 PM

This is what I've come up with as signaling on the shelf layout that I'm building. The location of the signals obviously won't govern moving trains, but will add a certain prototypical look to the operation. The purpose of the interlocking tower is to control the crossovers and the signals while switching operations are taking place, the main activity on the layout. Here's another view of my track plan showing the location of the signals and their purpose.

Only the signals that can be seen from the operator's seat will have lights while those that can't be seen will have dummy heads. I understand that distances between signals are compressed on model railroads and this is another example, I think. Are the signal positions and purposes plausible? Thanks, Guys!

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, December 27, 2018 6:22 PM

Erie1951
I understand that distances between signals are compressed on model railroads and this is another example, I think. Are the signal positions and purposes plausible?
 

 
The signal positions look perfect to me.  Seems to me that signals for interlockings tend to be placed pretty close to the switches they're protecting.
 
If you want to add just a little more pizzazz, you might also put dwarf signals for the tracks "to west yard" and "to east yard".  Maybe even for the diesel house tracks.  
 
I love dwarfs, and am disappointed that none of the track plans I may build would call for any.
 
 
GENERALLY, the signals surrounding interlockings face outwards only.  Your sample photo at beginning shows such an exception, but I don't believe it's common at all.  By that reasoning, you have to have a good reason to have a signal facing inwards.  And note that that signal probably would not be controlled by the interlocking tower.  
 
 
Of interest to me is that there are "city interlockings" and "country interlockings".  The sample photo shows a country.  The layout is a city.  
 
A country interlocking tends to be high speed.  The UP has a lot of double track on its mainline.  And there are high speed crossover interlockings scattered along it, out in the middle of nowhere.  Crossover speeds are usually 45 MPH.  Through tracks are track speed, I think.
 
A city one is more slow speed.  And often more complex.  While the one in the drawing is basically a pair of crossovers, just like the UP ones above, there are quite a number of other tracks involved.  NOT like the UP.
 
 
Ed
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Posted by Erie1951 on Friday, December 28, 2018 7:07 AM

Thanks, Ed! The reason why I show dummy signal heads on the opposite side of each signal bridge is to control trains coming through the yard area in both directions, not that any will really be doing so on this layout. LOL. I like the idea of using dwarf signals to control yard switching movement, the layout's main activity, but it appears the Erie only used them in terminal applications. The crossovers will  act as a run-around for switchers working in-bound freights to be broken up with empty cars moved to storage, and out-bound short freights put together for further transfer to the DL&W. The tracks between the signals will give me 3' to 4' to work with between the crossovers for the operations. That photo that I posted of the crossover and signals was just meant as an example of the proximity of a crossover to the signal, something that I needed to use as a guide for my own layout's signal placement. As always, I appreciate your comments.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, December 28, 2018 10:46 AM

Erie1951

Thanks, Ed! The reason why I show dummy signal heads on the opposite side of each signal bridge is to control trains coming through the yard area in both directions, not that any will really be doing so on this layout. LOL. I like the idea of using dwarf signals to control yard switching movement, the layout's main activity, but it appears the Erie only used them in terminal applications. The crossovers will  act as a run-around for switchers working in-bound freights to be broken up with empty cars moved to storage, and out-bound short freights put together for further transfer to the DL&W. The tracks between the signals will give me 3' to 4' to work with between the crossovers for the operations. That photo that I posted of the crossover and signals was just meant as an example of the proximity of a crossover to the signal, something that I needed to use as a guide for my own layout's signal placement. As always, I appreciate your comments.

 

 

The "layout's main activity" may be switching to you, but to the real (HO) railroaders who are running it, it is an interlocking, with peripheral stuff.  I say that because you want the layout to have a real-ish look to it, even as you run it as a primarily switching layout.

I am only a model railroader.  I haven't worked with signals professionally, as I believe Dave has.  He may well correct me on the following:

An interlocking is a little piece of geography--a strictly bounded piece of land.  Inside this piece of land are an assortment of track switches and maybe crossings.  Entering this piece of land are various tracks from "outside".  There is a signal at each entry, facing outwards, to tell an engineer what to do.  Once allowed into an interlocking, the job of the engineer is to get out of the interlocking (no stopping for a chat).  The interlocking is controlled by a person, either locally or far away.

From that, you can see that industry tracks in an interlocking are a kind of problem. But if ya gotta, ya gotta.

In your plan, there's three types of track in the interlocking:

main line

industry

half-way in between

The main line tracks will have appropriate high signals, all facing outwards.  Since it's double tracked, there will be at least two-head signals for each of the four tracks.  Signals facing inwards will be a very special case.

The industry tracks will have no signals.  Because of the interlocking, they will be switched in a very controlled way.  Dave talked about this, I think.

The half-way tracks will be signalled (facing outward of the interlocking) because they are viewed as "entry points" to the interlocking (as opposed to the internal industry tracks).  Because of the low speeds involved, at least, a single head signal can be used.  A dwarf is a natural choice.

 

I may be beating a dead horse (my apologies) with all this explaining, but I think it's important to understand the basis of an interlocking.  

By the way, a single switch can be an interlocking.  A classic fully signalled mainline passing siding has three signals controlling the entry points for each switch--a total of six signals.  They are placed quite close to the switch.  Among other reasons: to provide the maximum length of siding--one DOES NOT creep past the signal just to fit the siding (unless with permission of the dispatcher).

 

Ed

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, December 28, 2018 11:52 AM

Erie1951
The reason why I show dummy signal heads on the opposite side of each signal bridge is to control trains coming through the yard area in both directions, not that any will really be doing so on this layout.

To that point there are only TWO moves that can be made where the signals will not be all red and the only signals that can display those indications you have indicated are dummies.  You could realistically set ALL the signals facing the interlocking to all red and all the signals facing out to high green and be 95% prototypical (if an engine or car passes either signal bridge teh outbound signal would drop to red.  There is no move that I can see your switchers making that would get a r-r-y signal. 

The only time a train would get a r-r-y signal is if it was outside the interlocking limits, the crossovers were lined for that train's movement, ther were no other switches lined and no other piece of main track occupied by a car or engine.

The leaving signals in most cases would be part of the block signal system, so would be automatic.  The interlocking operator woud not control them.  They would dispaly the best signal the track conditions will permit.  One signal they would probably not dispaly is r-r-y because that tells a train to go slow through crossovers in an interlocking.  On a leaving signal, its LEAVING the interlocking so that signal doesn't make any sense operationally.  The crossovers are behind the signal.

There are only TWO types of track on the layout, main track and other than main track.

You have to decide if the main track switches are hand operated by the crews, or controled by the tower operator.  If they are tower operated, that adds a whole additonal level of complexity.  Every time a switch has to be lined the crew has to communicate with the tower operator, the train has to clear the interlocking (no train, engine or car can be on the main track between the signal bridges, the operator can line the switches, then line the route (signals), wait fo the signals to clear, thent eh train makes its move.  It would require a signal (probably a dwarf)at each entrance to the interlocking that would display a restricting or low signal.  There would be no signal leaving the main track.

About the only place I've seen controlled switches are on main leads into yards.  I have never seen them on industry on engine facility tracks.  The best those signals would display are restricting.

All this is how the prototype would do this.  You can just display lights/signals, it just won't match up with what you would see a real railroad do.

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, December 28, 2018 3:49 PM

Dave,

I'm not familiar with interlocking signals that include an inward facing component.  Could you please show some examples?

I do see that the b&w photo already posted has two.  But not four.  Why would that be?

You mention "The leaving signals in most cases would be part of the block signal system, so would be automatic."  Thus ABS, or something similar.  In that case, wouldn't there be inward facing signals on most or all tracks that had outward (interlocking) signals?

 

It's my impression that more restrictive ABS signal input would be overlaid over that of the interlocking.  Thus the interlocking might be willing to display a green signal outwards for a train to procede into the interlocking, but that that signal would go red if there was an opposing train occupying the outbound block.

 

Ed

 

 

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Posted by Erie1951 on Friday, December 28, 2018 5:04 PM

Hmmmm...good thoughts, Dave and Ed. I'll have to re-read your posts a few more times, but I think I'm getting this. Slowly. Smile, Wink & Grin If the crossovers are being used for switching operations, the outward (inbound) signals would show STOP for an approaching train in either direction. The signals facing into the crossover section would show STOP to prevent any train operating within the crossover section from going any further than the crossover section. Is that right? Also, I think the idea of having signals at the industry/yard tracks, where they connect onto the"main", is a good one, too. The turnouts leading directly onto the "main" would then have controlled access to the "main" and the interlocking tower would have control over those turnouts as well as controlling the crossovers. Am I understanding all of this correctly?

Russ

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, December 28, 2018 6:35 PM

Erie1951

Hmmmm...good thoughts, Dave and Ed. I'll have to re-read your posts a few more times, but I think I'm getting this. Slowly. Smile, Wink & Grin If the crossovers are being used for switching operations, the outward (inbound) signals would show STOP for an approaching train in either direction. The signals facing into the crossover section would show STOP to prevent any train operating within the crossover section from going any further than the crossover section. Is that right?

If you had signals in those locations (facing both directions), I think that would be true.  An exception which would have to be considered would be having the switcher work on and off one of the mains, while having the other open for through traffic.

A thing to consider is whether the signals facing inwards are ABS (Automatic Block Signaling--block occupancy detection and indication).  If they are, they will reflect occupancy of blocks OUTSIDE the interlocking.  This means that, if there are no trains outside the interlocking for a goodly ways, the signals will display green.  Even if the switcher is plopped in the middle of the interlocking.

Another thing to consider:  we know the tower operator is very concerned with and the boss of trains getting INTO the interlocking.  Normally, I think, the operator doesn't much care about them leaving.  They are, after all, not supposed to linger.  He just wants them gone so he can prepare for the next train through.

And that, to me, brings up the question of why there would be signals facing inwards unless they were ABS.

Also, I think the idea of having signals at the industry/yard tracks, where they connect onto the"main", is a good one, too.

Except that both Dave and Ed don't think so.  They both agree that a straight industrial siding would have no signal.  Ed thinks that the engine terminal could; Dave does not.  Ed thinks the two tracks from "yards far away" should; Dave seems a little wary of that, though I think I see a "maybe" there.

The turnouts leading directly onto the "main" would then have controlled access to the "main" and the interlocking tower would have control over those turnouts as well as controlling the crossovers. Am I understanding all of this correctly?

 

 
Yeah, pretty much, though the phrasing looks a little suspicious.
 
It's my opinion that, if any of the various "other" tracks have signals, the switches would have to be a full part of the interlocking.  Which means the tower would control those.  If there is not a signal at one of the "other" switches, I think there would be a lock controlled by the tower.  And, quite possibly, a position indicator for the tower operator.  And maybe even a timer in there somewhere.
 
One reason to argue FOR signals would be that it would give the tower operator more control over the interlocking and also allow trains from and to the yard to travel through the interlocking without stopping--likely a good thing for busy trackage.
 
Industrial sidings (as opposed to "a track over to a yard") inside an interlocking are certainly an interesting subject.  It would be neat to see some real life examples.
 
 
Ed
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Posted by dehusman on Friday, December 28, 2018 8:33 PM

7j43k
I'm not familiar with interlocking signals that include an inward facing component. Could you please show some examples?

Don't really have any pictures.  

What we are really talking about here is where the NEXT block signal beyond the interlocking home signal is located.  A lot of that depends on the speed and distance of the signals.  If its a big interlocking or they want to pick up the speed quickly then the next block signal will be at the opposing home signal.  If that isn't a concern then there won't be a leaving signal.  Most crossing interlocings are small so its not necessary to have a leaving signal.

7j43k
In that case, wouldn't there be inward facing signals on most or all tracks that had outward (interlocking) signals?

Only if the size and speed warrant it, otherwise the interlocking signal is the block signal.  If also depends on where you want a train to stop if the signal is stop.

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, December 28, 2018 8:46 PM

Erie1951
If the crossovers are being used for switching operations, the outward (inbound) signals would show STOP for an approaching train in either direction.

Point of terminology, those are called "home signals".  The outwards signals would be leaving signals.

The signals facing into the crossover section would show STOP to prevent any train operating within the crossover section from going any further than the crossover section. Is that right?

No.  The leaving signals are automatic,  they would indicate the condition of the block beyond them.  I really see no reason why with such a short interlocking you would need leaving signals.

Once again the ONLY time the home signals will display anthying other than stop is for moves that you physically can't make on your layout.  There is no move on your layout that a train or engine could make on signal indication.

 

Also, I think the idea of having signals at the industry/yard tracks, where they connect onto the"main", is a good one, too. The turnouts leading directly onto the "main" would then have controlled access to the "main" and the interlocking tower would have control over those turnouts as well as controlling the crossovers. Am I understanding all of this correctly?

Model railroaders love this arrangement, real railroads absolutely hate this arrangement.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, December 29, 2018 9:55 AM

My suggestion on handling signals on this layout:

It's been proposed to use dummy heads on signals that point in a direction that is not visible to an operator.  This makes sense ONLY if it stays true in the future.  If this small layout is ever moved somewhere else or turns into part of a Free-mo module (a swell idea, I must say), those dummy heads might become visible.  Please consider putting working heads there instead, just in case.

That said:

I would put the outward (Home, as Dave says) signals in.  Of course.  I would also put the leaving signals on the far bridge only.  After all, they're going to be the most visible.  These signals would most likely be occupancy signals for the next block.  In HO reality, there IS no next block.  And, of more interest, the signal indications would have zero effect on the switcher(s) operating on the layout.  What I'd do (cause it's fun) is have the lights on those signals change from one indication to another now and then.  My suggestion is to use a homemade contactor with a motor and a segmented disk.  So, from time to time, the signals will change.  You could also use some off the shelf timing relays.

When a leaving signal is green or yellow, the switcher may procede into that block (the little bitty tail of which is showing).  When it's red, we can call it a "restrictive red", and then proceed at very reduced speed.  Which is pretty much what is happening with the green and yellow indication.

Another way to explain these leaving signals would be to posit a lift bridge a short distance to the right.  If you used RYG colors for the leaving signals, they would then be tied together in their colors.  I wonder, if one is modeling Erie, what that railroad would have used for this special indication.  Well, well.  Look what 15 seconds of on-line research turned up:

http://jon-n-bevliles.net/RAILROAD/Erie_ROTOD/ebor30.html

Looking at "Signal Aspects", I didn't find anything about lift bridges, in particular.  If there was something, perhaps it would have been in an employee timetable, instead.

I'd still put in the two dwarfs for the far-yard tracks.  I AM a model railroader, after all (see Dave's previous comment).

As far as the signal indications go:

We've covered the leaving signals.

The Home signals would always be red.  I suggest wiring all colors of lights down to under the layout, and saving the greens and yellows for possible later use.  The signals on the left end would be illuminated--no reason to light the right, at this time.

The dwarfs might as well change from red to green and back by using contacts on the switch machines.  It's super simple, the lights will change colors, and it seems to me to be close enough to reality to impress most of us.  Including me.

 

Ed

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Posted by Erie1951 on Saturday, December 29, 2018 11:08 AM

This has been a very informative discussion and I thank you all for your suggestions. They certainly have given me a lot to think about. The layout won't be changed into anything else when built and will take up all the room reserved for it in the basement. Part of the bench work has been completed and the top is ready for roadbed and track, but that has to wait until my diesels have been upgraded with new gears, couplings, etc. That should happen in the next couple of weeks and then it'll be time to get working on the layout's 2.5' x 7' section.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, December 29, 2018 11:46 AM

7j43k
I'd still put in the two dwarfs for the far-yard tracks.

If you want dwarf signals those would be the tracks I would interlock (make operated by the tower), put dwarf signal for moves leaving those tracks, entering the main track.  All the industry switches I would make hand operated with no signals.  

The engine facility could go either way, you could put a leaving signal there and make it an interlocked, or you could make it hand operated.

If you wanted more color, you could have the signals so when all the main track switches are normal and the main track is clear you get clear signals on the main tracks (well technically clear in one direction).

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, December 29, 2018 2:15 PM

The interlockings that I am familiar with have all Home signals red, as a rest state.  Which means, if no trains are coming: red (these day, dark, but what fun is that?).  If no train is coming for a day, the signals will be red (in all directions) all that day.

If there's a switcher working inside the interlocking, the Home signals should be red, also; if for no other reason, because it's an occupied block, and the ABS takes over.  An exception would be if the other main was expecting a train.

Signaling:  it sucks you in because of the colorful lights.  But THEN you get fall into the rabbit hole of "why?".............

 

 

Ed

 

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Posted by OldEngineman on Saturday, December 29, 2018 10:56 PM

Erie1951 -- Looking at your diagram in the original post, the two tracks running diagonally are "the mains", is this correct?

If so, the high signal bridges at the lower left and upper right are correct, as they define the interlocking limits.

However...

None of the industrial sidings would "rate" signal bridges. The switches in such places (at least in real life) are going to be hand-thrown. In 32 years of running trains here and there, I don't ever recall seeing a signal bridge with high signals to govern switching on industrial tracks.

The switch just beyond the crossover (upper left) might be a power switch, but it would be governed by a low home signal (aka "dwarf"), everything else "inside" would again be hand-thrown.

Same goes for the industrial spurs on the lower right. Again, one power switch (the one that diverts from the main), low home signal, but all hand switches inside.

Same for the 2 tracks at the bottom center.

Sometimes we even find hand-operated switches -within- interlocking limits. I remember one in particular in the North Bronx as a part of CP 212 on Metro-North (for a bakery warehouse located almost directly under the 241st St. bridge). That little siding (only held one or two cars) even had its own low home signal. If you placed a car there and "ended up in the clear", the dispatcher would then display the signal to "come back out" even though the switch it governed was hand-operated.

Regarding your 3-aspect home signals, the aspects you posted above aren't quite correct.

For crossover moves on the main, assuming medium or limited speeds, your aspect would be "red over green over red" or "red over flashing green over red", respectively. Red over red over green would be "slow clear", not used much on the mainline.

For the low interlocking signals governing movement from your industrial tracks, they'd most likely display either green (slow clear) or amber (restricting) for trains entering the main track.

For trains on the main track that will enter the industrial tracks, the interlocking signals will ALWAYS display nothing better than "restricting". That would be red over red over yellow. That's because anything "better than" restricting (such as Clear or Approach) is a "track-circuited" signal, and there aren't any [signal] track circuits on industrial tracks (notwithstanding grade crossing circuits).

Aside:  I worked on [former] Erie territory, running freight between Port Jervis and Oak Island on the Southern Tier back in the Conrail days (both as an extra engineer out of PJ and I also held the regular traveling switcher at Campbell Hall off and on from '85 to '91).

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Posted by Erie1951 on Sunday, January 06, 2019 4:59 PM

So here's what I've decided on for the layout signals:

The signals here are a reference for the signals that I'll use on the layout.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Erie1951 on Sunday, January 06, 2019 5:02 PM

Here's the location of the signals on the layout using the reference above:

Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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