Signals are crucial to the running of a safe and efficient railway.
The first signals were operated by hand by a signal ‘policeman’.
The introduction of signal boxes gave central control using rods and wires, and later on, point and signal interlocking.
When combined with the telegraph bell code system and single-line block tokens, signal boxes finally were able to work together to operate trains more safely.
Today, semaphone signals and signal boxes have all but disappeared, but are still used in Cornwall, a few other lines the Settle to Carlisle and, of course, preserved railways.
Apart from the way they look, semaphone signals differ from modern signals in two ways.
The distant signal is usually seperate from any signal, being placed about a quarter mile ahead of the home signal.
This warns trains in time to stop without the need to run miles of wire to the previous signals.
The second difference is that they are normally at ‘danger’ except for when a train is cleared, whilst modern signals are green unless the line ahead is occupied.
Ratio’Quick Assembly’ signals reflect those used by railway companies from the 1930’s onwards.
Our quick assembly kits allow you to easily make home, distant, junction and bracket signals.
They include signal operating wire and lever.
You may also wish to consider using our advanced construction signal kits.
This plastic kit needs to be assembled and will require paints and glue to complete.