To Index
Warning signals (from L to R): warning lantern; flagging kit; switch stand marker light. Warning signals were used to caution engineers about the conditions of the track, or about unscheduled stops. Signals were made by colored flags during the day and by lamps at night. Torpedoes were used in addition to flags and lamps during foggy or stormy weather. Trackmen would use a red signal to signal danger, usually meaning that there was an obstruction of some kind on the track. A green signal meant caution, and a white signal showed that it was safe to proceed. The switch stand marker was mounted on a box-shaped shaft and informed trains entering the switchyard about which lines were accessible and which ones were not. Trains might enter these yards for service, or to access a 'passing lane' of sorts which allowed them to get around another train on the tracks. (Railway Heritage Association, photo by Tom MacDonald)
To Text