1) Grade Crossing Signs
2) Crossbucks
3) Round Railroad Crossing Signs (for vehicular traffic)
4) Whistle
5) Yard Limits
6) Switch and Derail Banners (targets)
7) Spring Switch
8) Speed Limit
9) Speed Restriction
10) No Trespassing
11) Flanger
12) Clearance
13) Tell Tales
14) Rock/Mud Slide
15) Defect Detector, Hot Box, Dragging Equipment
16) Mileposts  
17) Train Order
18) Stop Signs
19) Yard Signs (seen at the entrance to yards)
20) Block End & Start
21) ID signs on Grade Crossing Equipment
22) Look Out For .....
23) with a Railroad Name
24) Station Signs
25) Sub-Division
26) Other Misc Signs
27) Signals, Semaphores, and Such


Railroad signs are every where we go.

Signs are about as varied as you can get, for every railroad seemed to have it's own idea about what a sign should look like.

If you are building a model pike, they add a bit of realism to the layout.  As you can see from the pictures here, you have great leeway in creating your own if you so choose, it's one place where there are no standards, unless you want to be prototypical.

A great deal of the pictures on this page come from the train show held every year in Gaithersburg MD where a number of vendors sell signs. The show is held on the weekend of November at the fairgrounds - but Sunday is the day for the general public because otherwise it costs a lot to get in.  It's mostly a paper and collectables event, but there are some signals and signs on display and for sale.  I've included multiple pictures of the same sign to illustrate that not every sign is either wanted or collectable.

I have to add my Wikipedia type disclaimer here: It is up to the buyer to ascertain, before you buy something, to determine it's authenticity.  Sometimes this may not be easy, other times it might.  Most older signs are made from cast iron, and will show signs of rust.  If you find something you like, and it has been repainted and/or otherwise restored, ask many questions, maybe get a second opinion.  For instance, Larry and Doris Krise from Michigan sell replacement semaphore rings, and for a decent price I might add, along with replacement lenses to help you restore your semaphore ($17 and $20 each).  They also do an excellent job in restoration if you want to bring in something for them to work on (and leave it with them).  Also, if you are buying a signal, open it up and look inside to make sure everything is there - if not, ask for a cut in the price, cause many times you will search all over the place to find the parts that are missing, and it will probably cost you more than the discount you receive.  I bought a plain old three aspect colorlight signal years ago from someone in Wisconsin, and asked for $25 off his asking $100 because it didn't have the hoods and a cracked outer lens.  Another signal I bought uses a special 3-pin type bayonet base lamp - good luck in finding them! :-)

A couple of grade crossing signs in Lutherville MD protecting the Light Rail grade crossing with Seminary Ave.

Pictures taken Thurs 09/22/2005
The left picture is kind of interesting.....
The vertical line (street) on the sign is Railroad Ave, the horizontal Seminary Ave.,
In the upper right corner of the intersection, is the old Pennsy Lutherville station,
An article on it ran in the Baltimore Sun (09/18/2005)

This is a view of the station from Trackside
More pictures of stations around Baltimore can be found

Unique crossing protection and signs on the old N&W south of Roanoke and Salem VA along US11
For a map of the area and where to find this gem: https://railroadsignals.us/virginia/roanoke/salemchase.htm







    Whistle and speed limit sign in Clare MI  07/2009

  Whistle sign at the crossing in Doswell VA


  Yard limit sign across the road from Delrey Tower in Detroit MI

    A yard limit sign at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer NC



You can find this guy at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer NC - Great museum and it's convenient to I85.

A couple of speed limit signs on the CSX in Relay (S. Denis) MD.....
A southwestern suburb of Baltimore MD in Baltimore County

The upper speed is the speed limit for passenger trains
The lower speed limit is for freights
The signs are 18" square, on 1/8" thick aluminum
The third picture is of the station the signs are next to, which I have heard is going to be moved about a half mile south (or so) so the MARC passenger platforms are not next to the Old Main Line.

     Speed limit sign in Albert Lea MN on the (I think) DM&E / IC&E - 2006

  Speed limit sign in Doswell Virginia at the diamond




  A sign at the entrance to the parking lot at the NS Manassas yard

  A sign from the west end of the NS Manassas VA yard

  A no trespassing sign in Harrisburg PA at Enola Yard

    A sign from (probably) the NYC subway system, made in Baltimore MD


  August 2005

A comparatively new, plain aluminum milepost near Thomas Viaduct on the main line to DC
Located in Relay / St. Denis (Elkridge) MD, a southwestern suburb of Baltimore MD in Baltimore County

    August 2005
The same style milepost mounted to an old B&O concrete milepost at the split between the mainline and the old mainline,
I was told the difference in the two mileages (between this MP and the one above) stems from the old days when the two routes took different paths through the city, resulting in a different mileage at this point,
The picture on the left is the mainline going to DC, with the Thomas Viaduct just barely to the left, and a monument to the original builders of the B&O railroad,
The picture to the right shows the split in the routes.

Now some classic stuff....
This stone milepost stands next to the "7" milepost above,
Great stuff!
The one side says 9 miles to Baltimore, the other says 31 miles to Washington DC,
There is another one on the other side of the three tracks.
Unfortunately, these guys disappeared in 2007, and I'm willing to bet they are not down at the B&O Transportation Museum...

  Milepost sign in Cadillac MI.

  For more pictures of this milepost, check out my Doswell page: https://railroadsignals.us/diamonds/doswell/index.htm

          August 2005

The stop signs above were at Relay (St. Denis) MD while CSX was in the process of installing a new signal bridge, about 300 ft down the tracks (it went live in early 2008).... They needed these signs to get the trains to stop before proceeding thru the area.
The Yellow sign with an orange stripe is an "approach" sign for the stop signs, and they are placed about a quarter of a mile in advance of the stop signs.
Both signs are temporary in nature, and are either laid down or removed when not needed.... As in after regular work hours for the construction crews.
The right picture shows the approximate placement next to the St. Denis station when they were being used.
Note: As of 2005, it was rumored that this station would be moved about a half mile or so to the south to get it away from the heavy traffic on the old main line (which is the track to the far left in the first and last pictures), but as of mid 2008, MARC has supposedly given in to users of this stop and plans on keeping the station here.


A couple of signs at Enola Yard in Harrisburg PA

A few signs at the diamond in Doswell VA, a very good railfan spot..... for more cool stuff click here

     Same sign, three years in a row....


  in Doswell VA
  Sign on Equipment cabinet in Cadillac MI


        Four years and no sale!

Looks like very, very few want the "look out for the loco or car" signs, as they have been to quite a few shows.....





Miscellaneous signs found at (mostly) the Gaithersburg MD train show in November.  Pictures from the train show are labeled something like 5e123, the first number is the year the pictures were taken (exp 5e123 = 2005).  A lot of these signs appear year after year.





General views of the stuff you can find here every year....

  "Enter code now before white sign" by Delrey Tower in Detroit MI

  I'll probably get emails about this one, but it can be found at the Junction Valley RR, a quarter size RR in Michigan.

You will see about a dozen of these on I85 between Raleigh and Charlotte

    August 2005

This street sign pays tribute to the fact that Railroad Ave runs parallel to the CSX (B&O) tracks,
And the Thomas Viaduct is only a few hundred feet away,
This sign is only a few years old, as BaltCo just started using this style around 2008,
The thumbnail is a picture of Thomas Viaduct, alas, not a very good one,
Located in Relay (St. Denis) MD, a southwestern suburb of Baltimore MD in Baltimore County









I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


New: 10/6/2006, 02/22/2016
Last Modified: 07-Nov-2018