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Thread: Railroad lights, what do I have?

  1. #1

    Default Railroad lights, what do I have?

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    Help please.

    Hope these photo's show up(?)
    Can you tell me what this is. A woman sold them to me saying her husband worked for railroad and had this. I've got $10 in it and I'm curious?

    Thanks,Bob

  2. #2

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    Not sure of the manufacturer, but they are the lens units for a block signal. The yellow lens in called an outer doublet because the fresnal edges are on the outside of the curve. the clear lens is an inner doublet, I think. The lenses are worth about $20 apiece or more depending on who wants them. They would make a great lamp.
    Tom Zorko
    "She was a tall girl, could hunt geese with a rake"...Sheldon's mom

  3. #3

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    Thank you for responding.
    Having no background in railroading I'm confused as to what a 'block signal' is.
    Incidentally, I have three of these light units, two have amber inner lenses and one has red. The outside lens of all three is white or better: clear.
    Is the block signal the multi lens tower unit that had a small arm on the side that moved? More information please.
    Thank you, Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Edmonds (near Seattle), WA. USA
    Posts
    4,065

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    Here is part 1 of a basic tutorial on railroad signaling. You can search out the remaining parts if you want to pursue it further.
    Bill Anderson, Mile Post 18 regular

  5. #5

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    This a picture of block signals on an old railroad in Kansas. A block signal is similar to a traffic light for trains.


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    Tom Zorko
    "She was a tall girl, could hunt geese with a rake"...Sheldon's mom

  6. #6

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    Thank you for the good information. It's becoming more clear to me.

    Is there any way this set of three lights was used as a unit? Amber, Amber, and Red are the choices I have. They can not be changed except for on and off. I'm thinking about making new surrounding targets and mounting them on a pole for my shop. Naturally having them light up. Would this make sense to a railroader?

    Thank you, Bob

  7. #7

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    Possibly. If one the ambers was hooked to a flashing circuit. More than likely the third one was green. Green lenses are available on the internet, you just have to get the correct diameter. As far as having them light up in your shop that would a good thing to do. If you mount them vertically remember the red light is on the bottom unlike traffic lights. Have fun with them. With all the new government regulations that type of signal is pretty much obsolete. It was a good purchase.
    Tom Zorko
    "She was a tall girl, could hunt geese with a rake"...Sheldon's mom

  8. #8

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    Sorry for the delay, but I've been working on the block lights. I'm almost to the stage where I need to know how to arrange the lights on a pole. I found a green lens so I plan to put that light unit on top. Amber light next down, and a red at the bottom. Is this correct: Green light on steady (not flashing) at top, Amber in the middle flashing, and the Red light on the bottom on steady? That would be all three lights illuminated, but the center Amber light flashing. Correct??? Please reply. Thank you for past guidance and I'll send more photo's as I get close. Bob, Council Bluffs, Iowa

  9. #9

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    Yes. Green on top (steady), Yellow in the middle either flashing or steady and red on the bottom steady. If you are electronically savvy, you could have them sequence thru G, Y flash, Y, R with 1 on at a time just for fun. Targets and lens hoods should be flat black. Back can either be silver or black. Tom
    Tom Zorko
    "She was a tall girl, could hunt geese with a rake"...Sheldon's mom

  10. #10

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    Normally a 3 light signal with 3 separate light units would have a single large target. You did such a great job with the round targets, that they will look just great on a pole.
    Tom Zorko
    "She was a tall girl, could hunt geese with a rake"...Sheldon's mom

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