Obscure wayside signals

Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

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Obscure wayside signals

Postby RDGAndrew » Thu May 06, 2004 9:44 pm

I've been scouring all of my color Rdg. Co. books in vain for a shot of a semaphore-type signal used at flag stop shelters on branch lines, since I am doing a diorama of County Line on the Newtown Branch c. 1958 as a run-up to a layout. All I can find seem to be train-order semaphores, which were red with a white band at the end of the blade and three lenses - anyone have any clue if the "flag stop" ones were different? Maybe only two lenses and a yellow pointed blade? Any leads or links to color shots would be much appreciated.
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Postby RDG-LNE » Sun May 16, 2004 4:20 am

See if you can locate the article Julioan Cavalier wrote for RMC in the early 80's about modeling the Huntigdon Valley flagstop shelter. I believe he included scale drawings of the passenger train stop semaphore signal in his article. I know he did the shelter and coal box.

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Postby KJ » Tue May 18, 2004 3:00 pm

The signal you are looking for is the Reading's "Standard Station Stop Signal" and is depicted as line drawing in a book reprint of " Maintenance of Way Standard Plans of the Reading Company" published by the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society, although not currently available. It did have a two lens semaphore casting and a yellow and green blade. There is one, or at least there was the last time I was there, of these in service on the Wanamaker Kempton & Southern tourist pike at Kempton, PA. They had it set up at their lineside picnic grove. This type of signal was also used by the Reading at the begining of some branch lines, called a "Train on Branch Signal', but with a solid red semaphore blade. Hope this helps.
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Postby RDGAndrew » Sat May 22, 2004 10:16 pm

Thank you both RDG-LNE and KJ. Isn't the Internet the second best invention ever?!? :wink:
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:19 pm

Here's the inbound to Reading Terminal flag stop signal at Forest Hills, Pa. in 1967:

phillyhistory.org/PhotoArchive/Detail.aspx?assetId=122379

https://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArch ... tId=122373

and the station parking lot:

https://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArch ... tId=122382

https://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArch ... tId=122380

That's a rather big station building for a flag stop:

https://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArch ... tId=122376
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Re:

Postby amtrakhogger » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:23 pm

KJ wrote:The signal you are looking for is the Reading's "Standard Station Stop Signal" and is depicted as line drawing in a book reprint of " Maintenance of Way Standard Plans of the Reading Company" published by the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society, although not currently available. It did have a two lens semaphore casting and a yellow and green blade. There is one, or at least there was the last time I was there, of these in service on the Wanamaker Kempton & Southern tourist pike at Kempton, PA. They had it set up at their lineside picnic grove. This type of signal was also used by the Reading at the begining of some branch lines, called a "Train on Branch Signal', but with a solid red semaphore blade. Hope this helps.


There was a remnant of a "train on branch" signal at Oreland for the Plymouth Branch. The pole was still standing with parts of the arm, but the signal blade appeared to be missing.
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:23 pm

It's been awhile since I saw one, but it had a pointed blade with one half painted green and the other yellow, the division between the two colors being pointed in parallel with the end of the blade. I can't remember which color was next to the spectacle and which was on the outer end.
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby glennk419 » Sat May 12, 2018 11:28 am

Here are pictures from Hatboro and Philmont showing train order semaphores. Both were in existence well into the 70's though obviously no longer used.
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philmont1.jpg
hatboro.jpg
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby ExCon90 » Sun May 13, 2018 2:36 pm

The signal at Philmont is the Standard Station Stop Signal mentioned by KJ above; it was operated by the waiting passenger and I assume restored by the conductor or trainman after the train stopped, and served only to inform the engineer that a passenger was waiting.
The signal at Hatboro (which had a blade ending in a concave semicircle --unique to the Reading as far as I know -- is either a manual-block signal or an order board, depending on the rules in effect. It was worked by the operator and governed train movements.
OT, but an unusual feature at Hatboro was the Philadelphia-New Hope RPO: RPO clerks (presumably with sidearms at the ready) transferred the mail from an EMU RPO to a gas car with an RPO for the remainder of the trip to New Hope, but to the Post Office Department it was a continuous route.
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby glennk419 » Sun May 13, 2018 7:11 pm

ExCon90 wrote:The signal at Philmont is the Standard Station Stop Signal mentioned by KJ above; it was operated by the waiting passenger and I assume restored by the conductor or trainman after the train stopped, and served only to inform the engineer that a passenger was waiting.
The signal at Hatboro (which had a blade ending in a concave semicircle --unique to the Reading as far as I know -- is either a manual-block signal or an order board, depending on the rules in effect. It was worked by the operator and governed train movements.
OT, but an unusual feature at Hatboro was the Philadelphia-New Hope RPO: RPO clerks (presumably with sidearms at the ready) transferred the mail from an EMU RPO to a gas car with an RPO for the remainder of the trip to New Hope, but to the Post Office Department it was a continuous route.


You mean like this?
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reading_steam_016.jpg
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby ExCon90 » Mon May 14, 2018 4:02 pm

That's it -- a treasure from the past.
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Re: Obscure wayside signals

Postby phillyrube » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:54 pm

glennk419 wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:The signal at Philmont is the Standard Station Stop Signal mentioned by KJ above; it was operated by the waiting passenger and I assume restored by the conductor or trainman after the train stopped, and served only to inform the engineer that a passenger was waiting.
The signal at Hatboro (which had a blade ending in a concave semicircle --unique to the Reading as far as I know -- is either a manual-block signal or an order board, depending on the rules in effect. It was worked by the operator and governed train movements.
OT, but an unusual feature at Hatboro was the Philadelphia-New Hope RPO: RPO clerks (presumably with sidearms at the ready) transferred the mail from an EMU RPO to a gas car with an RPO for the remainder of the trip to New Hope, but to the Post Office Department it was a continuous route.


You mean like this?


Geez, that brings back memories. Grew up around there. Used to hide under the old REA platform whenever a train came in, holding on for dear life so the "suction" wouldn't pull us under the train. We used to crawl through the storm drain under the tracks and come up next to the station. The cables for that semaphore ran along the edge of the platform. We would pull down on them and make the flags wave.
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