This page is about railroad signal bridges, and pictures of them.

In General

CPL Signal Bridges:
    Baltimore MD - Ridgely St
    Baltimore MD - Gable Ave

PL Signal Bridges:
    Baltimore / Halethorpe MD *
    Perryville MD *

Searchlight Signal Bridges:
    Batavia to Buffalo NY
    Toronto ON

Color Light Signal Bridges:
    Bordentown NJ
    Clifton VA
    Gastonia NC
    Kennesaw GA
    Manassas VA
    North Platte NE
    St Denis MD

Locations with an asterisk are on another page

In General

Signals can be mounted in a number of ways:
     1) Mounted on a piece of pipe, called a mast. 
     2) Mounted on the ground, as a dwarf signal is.
     3) Mounted on a signal bridge, which crosses all of the tracks and has a support on both sides of the tracks.
     4) Mounted on "half of a signal bridge", in what is called a Cantilever Signal Bridge.
     5) Two (maybe three, but not very common) signals mounted to a single mast, but using a horizontal bar to separate them.  This is called a Bracket Post.

Here are examples:

A typical signal bridge over two tracks.  There used to be a 4-track mainline here.  This one is on the NYC in upstate New York near Batavia.

A two-track signal bridge over the former Southern Rwy in Gastonia NC.

A cantilever signal bridge in Toronto ON.

A classic cantilever signal bridge on the ex C&O Rwy in Sandston VA, behind the Richmond airport.

A bracket post installation in Doswell VA, protecting the diamond there.  This is on the CSX/former RF&P mainline.

A standard single head installation on a mast, in Spencer NC on the ex SR (now NS).  This signal was replaced by a huge signal bridge in 2011.

Dwarf signal installations, left and middle are in Doswell VA, the right is on the light rail system in Charlotte NC.

Not all dwarf signal installations are on the ground, the left picture is a PL dwarf at the Perryville Wye in Perryville MD.  The photo on the right is a B&O dwarf CPL mounted to the side of a standard signal mast - very unusual - it's in Delaware near the Wilmington & Western RR.

Baltimore MD - Bailey's Wye / Ridgely St

This signal bridge is typical of what the B&O used when they installed CPL signals over a multitrack mainline.  This particular one is in downtown Baltimore, just west, or south of Bailey's Wye at Ridgely Street.  For more CPL pix: https://railroadsignals.us/signals/CPL/cpl.htm
This bridge is on my Baltimore map at: https://railroadsignals.us/baltimore/map15.htm

Baltimore MD / Landsdowne - Gable Ave

This cantilever signal bridge is located at the south end of a yard located on the south side of Baltimore.... West Yard on the old B&O, now CSX.  Gable Avenue used to cross the mainline, but not since the late 50's or early 60's.  Before they replaced the CPL signals with color lights back in 2007, it used to be a great place to take pictures.  Pictures by Michael Watnoski.  It's on this map, just to the right of Patapsco Ave: https://railroadsignals.us/baltimore/map6.htm


   Picture taken from the Patapsco Ave overpass.. 

Batavia to Buffalo NY

This track is the old New York Central mainline that stretches between New York City and Buffalo NY, and was a four track main for most of the trip in the old days.  But as you can clearly see, down in the Corfu set, only two tracks survive in most places.


A cantilever bridge adjacent to CSX's Frontier yard off Broadway St (NY 130), just west of I90.



Corfu NY

Near Corfu NY at mp 413 is this bridge, typical of them all along this line.

Depew NY

These pictures were taken from the Depew Amtrak station.  1 - 6 are looking east.... the proceed in pictures 4 & 5 is for the Amtrak train in 3.  Picture 6 shows you how the signals go dark after the train has passed, or is not in the following block, whether approaching or going away from you.  7 - 9 are looking west, and 10 - 13 are close-ups of the far bridge were looking at in 7-9.  Pictures 7 - 8 - 9 show several different aspects before and after an Amtrak train went thru and the switches got lined up for the next move.  This is a very good railfan spot, and the Amtrak people do not bother you while on the platform as they do in places (for instance) like on the Northeast Corridor.

1   2   3   4   5   6

7   8   9   10   11    12   13

  This map is from Stephen Titchenal, and is from his website: http://www.railsandtrails.com/Maps/Buffalo/

I also found this railfan guide to Buffalo, but there doesn't seem to be much on it: http://www.buffalotrains.com/

I came across this article dated Sep 5th, 2009: http://www.buffalonews.com/145/story/641363.html

Bordentown NJ

The track between Camden and Trenton New Jersey is used by both CSX and the NJT's River Light Rail line.  Colorlights signals are used exclusively.  Here's a few cantilever type signal bridges south of Bordentown.  Some of the shots are at Dulty's Lane, including the crossing gate.  The far signals in the right picture are at Neck Rd, where CSX has a small yard, shown on the bottom row of pix.



Clifton VA

Located halfway between Fairfax and Manassas VA, is this quaint little spot called Clifton - located here is a double track signal bridge on the former Southern Railway (now NS).

The signal bridge pictured here is on the east side of Clifton VA, with great morning sun, as this photo was taken around 9am, I believe this is the eastbound Crescent.


They even have a general store still standing and N&W caboose # 518590 sits next to the tracks.

Mike Turner of South Carolina informs me that this signal bridge was made of Southern Railway boxcar sills. Of the two construction styles I know about, mostly welded and mostly riveted, the photos show one mostly riveted. The mostly welded version has smaller gussets as the diagonal member. The mostly riveted style has the longer diagonals. Traincat has a model that's a good starting point for this style bridge.  Thanks for the info, that's good stuff!

Gastonia NC

This classic signal bridge in Gastonia is located just off interstate 85 at exit 19, Ozark Ave.  South from 85, Ozark turns into Long, keep going south to Rhyne St and take a left, and another left at the tracks, go north along the tracks till you can't go 'no further.



Kennesaw GA

These signal bridges are located in Kennesaw GA, off S Main St NW, aka, old Hwy 41..... Main St splits off from Cobb Parkway, just north of Barrett Parkway.  Kennesaw is next to Marietta, and is also home to the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History (it's off Cherokee St NW, just north of this signal location.....  The museum's best exhibit is the Western & Atlantic's General steam locomotive #3).  It is on the old L&N route between Atlanta and Nashville TN, and is now owned by CSX.  This line sees a lot of traffic.  Downtown Marietta is a good place for pix, in both directions, and between here and downtown Marietta, is the home base for the Georgia Northeast RR (if you go south on old 41 till it "T's" with Church St Ext NE, take a right, and in a short distance, take another right onto Loudermilk, then a left on Marr Ave... the shops will be on your right).

These signal bridges protect a crossover, and are of the cantilever type.  The equipment is manufactured by MI in Louisville KY.

For more info on the museum: http://www.southernmuseum.org/





Unrelated, but next to the signal bridge is this sign for close clearance on the siding.


Manassas VA

This signal bridge is on the former SR (now NS) in Manassas VA... guess the sun wasn't in my favor  :-(


North Platte NE

Here are a few pictures of a couple of colorlight installations on the UP up in Nebraska.  Three are from west North Platte, the one on the right is in West Hershey.  Looks like they use approach lighting, as only one of the four heads on the cantilever bridges is lit.  Images are copyrighted by Joseph Hoevet, and are used with his permission..... Many Thanks! 


North Platte is home to the largest classification rail yard in the world, and is one of the few places that a railroad has put up a place to watch the operations, here are just a few of the links I came across:

St. Denis MD (Baltimore)

This is a new signal bridge, having been placed into service after CSX removed several crossovers in front of the old (closed) HX tower in Halethorpe, extended one of the tracks down to the MARC station in St Denis.  They then subsequently removed two CPL signal bridges on either side of the crossovers (seen below thru the new bridge).  The upper set is from Washington Blvd looking towards Baltimore with the pix on the right at the station.  Top row of pix  are by Michael Watnoski.


                  Mar 2008

                           Oct 2008

Toronto ON

Here are several signal bridges on the west side of Union Station.  This part of the continent seemed to have favored GRS searchlights, as the photos from the Buffalo area above can attest to.  Pictures are in no particular order.



This set shows you that not every signal bridge is a railroad structure.  These signals are mounted to the hotel overpass at the Renaissance hotel, off Blue Jay Way.  Again, GRS searchlight signals.



New: 10/6/2006
Last Mod: 12-Dec-2016