Signalling for branchlines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by alexander, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. alexander

    alexander Member

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    Hi,

    I am wondering what sort of signals would be appropriate for a Branchline. i intend to operate with anything up to 3 trains at once, but only one will be moving at the moment.

    How many lights and that sort of stuff would i need?

    Another thing, if someone could please explain what each signal means, that would help too

    btw, dont ask what Railroad it is, i deliberatley left that out as i only need Generic signals, but, if it helps, its a BN branchline in the 1970s
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    I am wondering what sort of signals would be appropriate for a Branchline. i intend to operate with anything up to 3 trains at once, but only one will be moving at the moment.

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    First some railroads didn't use signals on a branch except at level crossing with other railroads or when approaching the junction with the main line instead they use employee time tables or train clearance forms which basically told them to run from the Junction to the town where the branch ended because as a rule a branch line would see a single round trip made by one mixed train or local on a daily bases except on Saturday and Sunday.
    Now if this was a larger branch line then it may see 2 trains a day a AM passenger run and a PM passenger run with a local freight switching the industries..Movements would be by Employee Time Table and form19s..The 19s would be received by line side phone when the conductor or head brakeman would call in for clearance to proceed to the next stop..Again this was only done when 2 trains was operating on the branch.
    Now when signals was used they would be the same style as found on the main line.
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    How many lights and that sort of stuff would i need?
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    What ever type of masthead the railroad use..It could be a single light mast to a multi light mass...The three light masthead seem to be the more common signal used.
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    Another thing, if someone could please explain what each signal means, that would help too
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    That would depend on the railroad and their operating rules govern signals.There is a short cut for us modelers,
    Green= Proceed
    Yellow=Approach
    Red=Stop
    Our club layout has the following added
    Yellow over Yellow Advance Approach
    Red over yellow =Restricting
    Yellow over Green=Diverging approach.

    This site should help you as well.
    http://www.railroadsignals.us/
  3. alexander

    alexander Member

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    ok,. thanks, i'm modelling a freelanced 1970s era BN branch line terminus, the way i model it, it gets 14 (freight) trains a day, but most terminate at towns closer to the main line, there are 6 towns on the branch, and all have at least one train a day servicing them, most get 3 to 6, but the terminus gets at leasr one mixed freight a day, 7 passenger trains back to the town as well as some local services operating out if the small yard. its mainly the various entrances to the yard that i'm interested in, as well as the track going to the main line (about 50-70 miles away), and one on my Industry spurs

    i'm just planning on some plain, generic signals, theyb will look like the signals feautred in the July 2006 edition of Model Railroader magazine, only without the ladders, i'll add them later

    so, would light signals be appropriate for the verty end of a branch line?

    alexander
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Well with your planned traffic that sounds like a Secondary Main or Sub-Division instead of a branch line so,I would add signals at the begining of each electrial block and before entering or leaving the yard or passenger terminal...
  5. alexander

    alexander Member

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    yeah, your right, scratch that (it can take me 5 minutes to change

    At the moment, i have a small layout, that serves as a terminus of a branch. You come in, from staging (one track), do some laps of the layout, before going to the yard.

    from the Yard, you assmeble shorter trains, at most 5 cars, to go to local industries. (i plan on alot of veiw blocks and backdrops too)

    then, from the Industries, its back to the yard for the retrun trip. this is all that i model at the moment
    so, for the time being, this is all i'm worried about, sorry if i confused you
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Our local branchline only has signals at the end where they interchange with CPR (the parent railroad) and where the cross CNR. They only have one locomotive, but at the interchange CPR can pull cars onto the branch tracks.
    Many small lines would operate by train order and timetable. Trains would be given written authority to occupy a length of track (usually between two sidings). The modern method is by radio.
    I posted copies of Canadian signal rules ... somehwere on here. A branch line would probably use only the simpler forms of the rules -- no need to indicate that the train is to "proceed at limited speed through the interlocking and be prepared to stop at the following signal".
  7. alexander

    alexander Member

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    yeah, i'm only going to do 3 color signals. Now i only have 2 color signals