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Weekend Photo Fun - April 30th through May 2nd 2021

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  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 12,394 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Monday, May 3, 2021 4:35 AM

The new signal bridge sounds like it is quite a project. Is this the most complicated signal component you will have?

Thanks for asking, Kevin.

This bridge spanning four tracks is my largest as far as the number of signal heads (arms) but it really isn't too complicated if I look at it in small bites.

The outer two signals will control movements at the ends of sidings entering the main. If the respective turnout is not aligned they will show absolute stop. The inner two signals will control movents on the main line.

There are modelers who go for full signal protection and their systems are geared for detection and occupancy of a track. I much prefer to use the Signal Animator from Logicrail to make the signals "do stuff".

When I watch an engine pass a permissive signal, it "drops" to red or stop for any train following. This is through an I-R detector or a photocell on my older signals I haven't upgraded yet. This makes for somewhat realistic appearance. The signal will stay red as the train passes over the detector.

Once the IR or photocell is uncovered a timer will start, I have mine set to 30 seconds, then the signal will go to medium, then after another 30 seconds clear.

Sure, IF the train stops with the caboose just past the photocell the signal may go to green but this doesn't happen often and I can live with a few compromises.

If there is a turnout or if the direction of traffic changes the Signal Animator board can be overridden to hold the signal at stop or the most restricting aspect.

As far as most complicated I would say there is a signal bridge I put in a couple years back that was a little involved. The bridge was just before the beginning of a siding that went to the staging yard. I wanted to show a "diverging medium" aspect , red over flashing yellow over red, so the engineer knew he was taking the siding. As the train passed the signal it dropped to all red. Getting the flashing yellow was a challenge until I figured out how to use a circuit for a FRED flashing rear end device to incorporate into the final wiring.

Here is the signal showing the main line clear:

 IMG_2752fix1 by Edmund, on Flickr

This is what makes it all work:

 IMG_2745fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Another recent project was the working semaphore:

I really enjoy watching the signals "do their thing" while the trains are running.

Just one more fun aspect of the hobby that can be very rewarding.

 IMG_3607_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 12,595 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 3, 2021 10:18 AM

Ed: Thank you for all that information.

I was planning on using my signals to represent route selection and turnout position on my layout. However, I am thinking the signals really should "do something" as the train passes.

It sounds like the system you are using would really fill the need for what would look right.

I am going to be looking into a few options for signalling. I have plenty of time to decide.


Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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