Static Trackside Signs

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GNMT76

Active Member
How does one know which trackside signs (not signals) to use (for what purposes) and where they would go on a layout when many prototype signs consist only of a letter, a number or a symbol of one kind or another and no wording?

My GN freight layout, c. 1945-1955, is a small 5' x 7' with a double reverse loop, five track crossings by road, a wayside siding and two freight depot sidings, so there would be a need for only a modicum of signage.

I've already placed crossbucks where the roads cross the tracks. What other non-operational signs would be appropriate and practical for the GN line in my era? Color photos with interpretations (uses) and appropriate locations along the route would be most helpful.

I've already contacted the GNRHS, but did not receive a helpful reply. I've also since learned that the only books even remotely related to my question are long-winded recitations of rules and regulations, with basically zero graphics, that were written for railroad employees, not the general public.
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
"I've also since learned that the only books even remotely related to my question are long-winded recitations of rules and regulations, with basically zero graphics, that were written for railroad employees, not the general public. "

Welcome to the wonderful world of research. You will find that many times you have to sort through a bunch of chaff to find the couple grains of wheat, especially if you are looking for a very specific answer.

The railroad will have whistle posts before the crossings and mile post and probably 1/4 mile markers. There will be signs 1 mile before stations, there will be signs at each end of permanent speed restrictions, beginning and end of CTC or ABS signs, signs at each station. One of the reasons its not covered too much is that on a model railroad things are so close that if you added all the signs It would either look like a picket fence or they would be irrelevant. For example on 5x 7 layout the main line is probably only going to be about 20 ft long. An HO mile is 66 ft, so you wouldn't have enough run for a full range of mileposts. Whistle posts are 1/4 mile from the crossing, so with a less than 1/3 mile main and 5 crossings the signs are all going to overlap each other even if you move them closer than the prototype to the crossings.

That's the challenge to adding signage.

An alternative is either model a specific place or to find a picture of an area similar to what you are modeling and look in that picture/place for the signage, then add that signage at that specific place.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
I place my W signs about 9"-12" from the grade crossing, except where the crossing comes around a curve, in which case I increase the distance enough to give me time to blow the whistle before the engine enters the crossing. The other signs I use are "Yard Limit" signs along the main line, which is appropriate at locations where yard switching operations would result in the main being temporarily blocked. I have a location where a house track (siding) is close enough to a building or structure that a trainman would be struck if riding the side of a car. That warrants a "Close Clearance" sign. I don't recall where I got that one from, but it probably was a set along with the "W" and "Yard Limit" signs.
 

GNMT76

Active Member
Find yourself a GN employee timetable book, it usually has that info in it.
Better yet grab a standard plans book:

View attachment 116513


View attachment 116512
Rico,

Thanks, but..."I've also since learned that the only books even remotely related to my question are long-winded recitations of rules and regulations, with basically zero graphics, that were written for railroad employees, not the general public."

The other book to which I was referred by a retired engineer is "Rights of Trains". The lack of the sought-after information (graphics, etc.) in both volumes was also confirmed by the respective Amazon and eBay sellers.


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twforeman

Certified Great Northern Nut
Why are you asking this question again?

 

twforeman

Certified Great Northern Nut
And I already answered your question. https://modelrailroadforums.com/for...ailroad-symbols-and-signage.32742/post-487010

These are not "long-winded recitations of rules and regulations, with basically zero graphics, that were written for railroad employees, not the general public." They are reference sheets with actual drawings of the signs and info on how they were located. No one is going to spoon-feed you this information. You need to put some effort into it by reading what is available.
 




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