Destination of old signals

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Destination of old signals

Postby YamaOfParadise » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:29 am

I recently had my interest in obtaining an old signal piqued, but finding one is a bit of a problem. I know many railroads now are doing widespread replacement of signals, such as CSX. Does anyone know where these old signals end up? I can definately guess they end up at scrapyards, but where is the question, in addition to the ability to intercept one. I also assume that this would end up being cheaper than trying to find one off various places on the internet that have them listed for sale.

I definately can't get with a large pole it's mounted on, so it'd have to be a small one or a signalhead. I also doubt i'd be able to find one locally in my state, as i'm in Connecticut, which is mostly Class II or III for freight.
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:32 pm

I think on most railroads the purchasing department is charged with selling off unneeded materials. However, be sure you know what you're wishing for; many people have been flabbergasted to find out just how big and heavy a signal can be close up.
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby scharnhorst » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:58 am

There is a modern Railroad signal for sale at an antique shop here in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Route 66 Antiques
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Gadfly » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:45 am

scharnhorst wrote:There is a modern Railroad signal for sale at an antique shop here in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Route 66 Antiques


I found a "dwarf" switch target in the scrap bin at our shops (SOU). I asked for it and got it for FREE! :wink: I had intended to make one of those lamps you see in some of the fan rags, but never got 'roun tuit'! It's in "fair" shape. I've held onto it for almost 20 years. I used to find such things as crossbucks, radio antennas, and the "high" 3-aspect signals. I guess I could've gotten one of them by simply asking, but it never occurred to me. And, BOY! They ARE heavy: I had to transfer them to the scrap car out of the baskets that signal maintainers & and pump knockers sent their stuff to us in. Used to get motor cars in box cars for repair, too!
Found old switch locks & keys and Master locks that were "standard issue" on the Sou-NS Rwy. EVERYBODY had a key for these Master locks. Those were used on everything from shed doors to mechanics' toolboxes!

Good luck with your search for a 2-3 aspect signal.


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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby mvb119 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:51 pm

I would love to get my hands on an old Pennsy Position Light signal. I was kicking myself for never asking about them when I still worked in Signals and we were replacing them with modern color signals.
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Gadfly » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:38 am

mvb119 wrote:I would love to get my hands on an old Pennsy Position Light signal. I was kicking myself for never asking about them when I still worked in Signals and we were replacing them with modern color signals.


A lot of the stuff we ran across while working we considered junk. After merger with NW & buying part of Conrail, I saw a couple of those position lights, all bent up, in the scrap bin. Not being a true railfan, it never occurred to to me to grab some of it. But I do have my share of memorabilia: My 1910 Hamilton 992 Railway Special pocket watch (works, too!) w/ Simmons chain. It was used by me as an Operator/Clerk. Got the Watch Inspection Card, too. Then there's the Handlan lanterns with the big "loop" handles. One is metal circa .......oh, about 1955 or so. Then there's the orange plastic one from about 1980, marked with the "SR-Look Ahead, Look South" logo. I've got a very nice whiskey tumbler set from Southern Railway with real gold rims and scenes from the Southern's Crescent train & E8 engines. Several jackets from SR and NS, two of them the rare forest green "Greenlighter" jackets (as they were known) & some ballcaps. A portrait of the Crescent pulled by the green 1300-1400 series Pacifics. Various belt buckles and tie clasps & service pins. Probably not valuable.............now, but maybe in a few years after I'm gone AND they pass on to my daughter. And, of course, a LOT of railroad memories!!!! :wink:
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Cowford » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:00 am

Not being a true railfan...But I do have my share of memorabilia...a very nice whiskey tumbler set from Southern Railway with real gold rims and scenes from the Southern's Crescent train & E8 engines. Several jackets from SR and NS, two of them the rare forest green "Greenlighter" jackets (as they were known) & some ballcaps. A portrait of the Crescent pulled by the green 1300-1400 series Pacifics. Various belt buckles and tie clasps...


The first stage of recovery is acceptance. :P
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Gadfly » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:24 pm

Cowford wrote:
Not being a true railfan...But I do have my share of memorabilia...a very nice whiskey tumbler set from Southern Railway with real gold rims and scenes from the Southern's Crescent train & E8 engines. Several jackets from SR and NS, two of them the rare forest green "Greenlighter" jackets (as they were known) & some ballcaps. A portrait of the Crescent pulled by the green 1300-1400 series Pacifics. Various belt buckles and tie clasps...


The first stage of recovery is acceptance. :P


Recovery from what??? All this stuff I got either as service awards, Christmas door prizes at company parties and the like. I never said I didn't like the fact I was a railroader, but if you think I run around following trains, wearing this stuff, sitting around tracks waiting for some switcher, or worrying about what is pulling a train, etc, you are wrong. All the memorabilia is stored away for my daughter who may, perhaps, realize some financial gain from it, OR just remember her Dad.
I am NOT a fan or "hobbiest" in the sense you put it. What I WAS was a professional railroader who was privileged to experience many facets of the business from the shops to the transportation department and back. And I guess it WOULD've been a rail buff's dream since I was involved with everything from track machines to diesel trains to steam (the SR excursions). I met many colorful people from Mr Bill Purdie to Jim Bistline to Wick Moorman. At the end of the day I went HOME where I pursued OTHER hobbies and interests such as woodworking, flying airplanes, amateur radio and playing music from hymns on Sunday to organ jazz and pops. If I need to "recover", I need to recover from all the chores I have to do at home; you certainly won't find me at trackside looking at an old train! :(

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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby BR&P » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:44 pm

What he said.

When my son was young he wanted an HO layout. I built the table, I laid a circle of track and a few switches. But I could never bring myself to do anything more with it with him. When you deal with the realities of railroading all day long, there are VERY few who want to continue it as a hobby in their off time. I did - and still do - maintain an interest in railroading as it was before my time, and wish the retirement rules allowed part-time railroad work as I would love to put in 2 or 3 days a month. But after you've been a participant, it's hard to get excited about being a spectator.

(And lest anyone feel too sorry for my son who didn't get a dream layout in the cellar, he celebrated his 18th birthday by becoming a railroad employee. He did not stay with it as a career, but he did get a good taste of what it's all about).
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Freddy » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:19 am

Haven't been back, haven't been to a union meeting, haven't worn a cap or jacket since I walked off the property in 07. I only miss SOME of the people I worked with, SOMETIMES. When I was there and returned from being off sick it would take a few days to transition back just with the changes that occurred in the short time I was out. Today, except for the name on the buildings and vehicles, I doubt I'd even recognize the place.
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Gadfly » Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:08 pm

Freddy wrote:Haven't been back, haven't been to a union meeting, haven't worn a cap or jacket since I walked off the property in 07. I only miss SOME of the people I worked with, SOMETIMES. When I was there and returned from being off sick it would take a few days to transition back just with the changes that occurred in the short time I was out. Today, except for the name on the buildings and vehicles, I doubt I'd even recognize the place.


I think its also true that people who are really NOT employees have a difficult time separating the REAL railroad from the hobby. THEY just love it so they can't imagine looking at the business from the standpoint of a profession and the harsh realities of the railroad environment. For THEM, its this wonderful world of choo choos and 'on the point', and riding on a pump handcart (LONG ago history). To US, its simply a different viewpoint. It DOES imprint us to a degree, and one never truly forgets their railroad background. Was it interesting? YES! Like I said, I prob'ly experienced stuff that a fan dreams of--stuff they'd 'die' for......like watching NW 611 creep around the wye that used to be behind our shops! But for me (and the rest of us railroaders), it was very often a gritty, tension-filled existence where one was never far from being FIRED for some minute infraction! Thus, not having LIVED it, the died-in-the-wood railfan cannot IMAGINE how it really is! So they think EVERY RAIL is a "fan", and *must* spend his off-time hanging around the railroad! NOT!!!!!!!! It would take a very special event to get ME to go around the tracks again................except for ONE thing. Its when they put on a 'Feed"! Where there's free food, I all over it! LOL! LOL! :wink: :-D
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Re: Destination of old signals

Postby Railjunkie » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:04 am

Typical RR if it isn't glued or hammered down its going and IVE NEVER SEEN A RR REFUSE A FREE MEAL. :-D
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