Signals

THE SIGNAL BOX


Railway signalling discussion

Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Signalling outside the UK (but including Northern Ireland), past, present and future

Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby flyingsnail » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:15 am

A friend of mine spotted this in a pub...
http://briansolomon.com/trackingtheligh ... ted-place/


TRACKING THE LIGHT:

Unusual Semaphore in an Unexpected Place





"Every so often, I stumble upon something that flummoxes me.



On St. Patrick’s Day, I was enjoying the evening’s celebrations with some friends at The Full Shilling in Finglas (in north suburban Dublin).



This is a large shop and lots of décor characteristic of a Dublin Pub.



On the way to the loo, I looked up and was startled to find a three-position upper quadrant semaphore blade.



‘What’s this? And, what’s it doing here?’



As the author of two books on American signaling, I’m reasonably well versed in semaphore practice.



On the surface, it looks a like a standard pattern three-position upper-quadrant semaphore blade, commonly used by many American railways beginning about 1908.



The flat-end red blade with white stripe would have been typically used for an absolute signal that display a full stop in its most restrictive position.



There’s one critical difference with this semaphore blade; it’s a mirror of the signals typically used in the USA.



On most American railways, semaphore blades were oriented to the right, while in British practice (which includes Ireland) they are oriented to the left. (New Haven railroad was an exception).



I would guess that this signal is an adaptation of the American pattern for service in Britain or Ireland. But where did come from? And how did this anomalous signal blade find its way to Finglas, which is not even on a railway line.



At the moment, this stands as one of signaling’s great unsolved mysteries.



Do you know the story behind it?"


Any thoughts??

Image
Photo Brian Solomon. http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/
Last edited by flyingsnail on Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
flyingsnail
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Sep 6, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby Andrew Waugh » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:04 am

The US signal companies exported standard three position upper quadrant home semaphore arms to a number of countries where the trains ran on the left. These semaphore arms were a mirror image to those used in the US. Countries that received these arms include the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

This particular pressed steel arm is very similar to that used in NSW (see some of the photos in my http://vrhistory.com/walks/Gunning/Gunning.htm). It would be interesting to know if the middle spectacle was red or green instead of the expected yellow. Three position upper quadrant semaphores lasted until around a decade ago in NSW, so it could quite easily have been collected...

The illuminated green aspect is because the light is in the wrong place. It should be to the left of the pivot point, not the right.
Andrew Waugh
Branch line box
Branch line box
 
Posts: 441
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:34 am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby John Webb » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:16 am

"Two Centuries of Railway Signalling" by Kitchenside and Williams shows (p115) a photo of such an arm in use on the Great Central Railway at Keadby, installed in 'the First World War period'. The main difference is that the corrugations run the length of the arm, not part-way along as in the arm at the pub. A very similar photo, possibly of the same signal, also appears in Vann's "An Illustrated History of Signalling".
John Webb
(Member, St Albans Signalbox Trust)
User avatar
John Webb
Main line box
Main line box
 
Posts: 1783
Joined: Tue Jul 8, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: St Albans, Herts

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby flyingsnail » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:41 am

Thanks for replies so far, click on blog link (now added to first post) if you want to view a larger image of the 'mystery arm'.
User avatar
flyingsnail
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Sep 6, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby Pete2320 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:46 am

The design of the corrugated arm does suggest NSW, so I go along with Andrew Waugh. I should imagine it got to Ireland simply as railwayana.

Pete
Pete
Pete2320
Main line box
Main line box
 
Posts: 2096
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:50 pm
Location: Barton on Humber

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby MRFS » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:38 pm

I can remember it (or one very similar) appearing on eBay a while back. I suspect that may be the source.
ND: Why is there a door handle on the inside of my airing cupboard?
MF: Because it's the fire exit from Narnia.

I like David Lynch films. I don't consider incomprehension to be a barrier to enjoyment.
User avatar
MRFS
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3556
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 9:29 pm
Location: ex cathedra cantuar

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby JRB » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:42 pm

Te Ealing & Shepherd's Bush is also a line which used them, but did they never reach Ireland? Did no one ask the people displaying it?
JRB
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 3168
Joined: Sun Dec 9, 2007 10:12 pm
Location: GWR

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby flyingsnail » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:24 pm

Yes, the bar owner/manager was asked. He didn't have the foggiest idea where it came from.
User avatar
flyingsnail
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Sep 6, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby JRB » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:16 pm

Not totally surprising.
JRB
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 3168
Joined: Sun Dec 9, 2007 10:12 pm
Location: GWR

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:36 am

John Webb wrote:"Two Centuries of Railway Signalling" by Kitchenside and Williams shows (p115) a photo of such an arm in use on the Great Central Railway at Keadby, installed in 'the First World War period'. The main difference is that the corrugations run the length of the arm, not part-way along as in the arm at the pub. A very similar photo, possibly of the same signal, also appears in Vann's "An Illustrated History of Signalling".

I'm not questioning the accuracy of the origins of the particular arm discussed here but it should perhaps be said there were other locations on LNER territory where three-position arms were once found, such as at Kings Cross with the 1930s resignalling and of course in the hump yards at March where they survived until the 1980s:
http://signalbox.org/signals/threeposition.htm

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6644
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby kbarber » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:33 am

John Hinson wrote:
John Webb wrote:"Two Centuries of Railway Signalling" by Kitchenside and Williams shows (p115) a photo of such an arm in use on the Great Central Railway at Keadby, installed in 'the First World War period'. The main difference is that the corrugations run the length of the arm, not part-way along as in the arm at the pub. A very similar photo, possibly of the same signal, also appears in Vann's "An Illustrated History of Signalling".

I'm not questioning the accuracy of the origins of the particular arm discussed here but it should perhaps be said there were other locations on LNER territory where three-position arms were once found, such as at Kings Cross with the 1930s resignalling and of course in the hump yards at March where they survived until the 1980s:
http://signalbox.org/signals/threeposition.htm

John

I recall seeing one at the Temple Mills hump in about 1979/80 (I would think); I only had a distant view (from TM West box) and my abiding memory was the way it was frequently moved between yellow and green (the light very visible as dusk came on), seeming to waver slightly each time it went to yellow.
User avatar
kbarber
Rest-day relief
Rest-day relief
 
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:12 pm
Location: London

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby StevieG » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:19 pm

John Hinson wrote:
John Webb wrote:"Two Centuries of Railway Signalling" by Kitchenside and Williams shows (p115) a photo of such an arm in use on the Great Central Railway at Keadby, installed in 'the First World War period'. The main difference is that the corrugations run the length of the arm, not part-way along as in the arm at the pub. A very similar photo, possibly of the same signal, also appears in Vann's "An Illustrated History of Signalling".

I'm not questioning the accuracy of the origins of the particular arm discussed here but it should perhaps be said there were other locations on LNER territory where three-position arms were once found, such as at Kings Cross with the 1930s resignalling and of course in the hump yards at March where they survived until the 1980s:
http://signalbox.org/signals/threeposition.htm

John
.... Not intending to consciously veer away from this topic's subject title, but may I mention that, over time, I have also seen photos of the well-known 3-position arms (taper-style), [and discs] power installation at the former Victoria, 'Eastern side' (London, England), and have also read mentions of one-time single examples (one or both of a trial nature?) at the GWR's Paddington Departure Box (the Down Main Starting), and supposedly somewhere at/around Wolverhampton Low Level (?).
Last edited by StevieG on Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
StevieG
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 2958
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:30 am
Location: ex-GNR territory in N. Herts.

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby StevieG » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:36 pm

kbarber wrote:I recall seeing one at the Temple Mills hump in about 1979/80 (I would think); I only had a distant view (from TM West box) and my abiding memory was the way it was frequently moved between yellow and green (the light very visible as dusk came on), seeming to waver slightly each time it went to yellow.
Assuming, as most likely, that it was power operated Keith, I wonder if your 'wavering effect' when stepping down from green to yellow was from any similarity in how that was achieved, to the way that, when the typical Westinghouse signal motor-operated standard UK semaphore arm is being released from the 'Off' position that it is usually seen to perform one or two quickly diminishing 'bounces' before slowly reaching the fully 'On' position, no doubt having a sort of wavering effect in changing from green to red or yellow at night.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
StevieG
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 2958
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:30 am
Location: ex-GNR territory in N. Herts.

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:29 pm

Actually this arm faces the wrong way for a true yankee signal as these would face to the right of line rather than to the left.
Graham
User avatar
Fast Line Floyd
Main line box
Main line box
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 11:42 am
Location: Raunds

Re: Yankee signal arm...in Ireland???

Unread postby Tulyar15 » Fri Apr 8, 2016 10:11 am

They also had 3 position left facing semaphores at Pinval Novo in Portugal until around the turn of the Millennia. I remember riding on at least one Portuguese Traction Group railtour which stopped there and thus enabled me to photograph them.
User avatar
Tulyar15
Rest-day relief
Rest-day relief
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Nov 9, 2007 11:59 am


Return to Signalling - overseas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest