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.
Thurs 09/22/2005 The left picture is kind of interesting.....
The vertical line (street) on the sign is Railroad Ave, the horizontal Seminary
In the upper right corner of the intersection, is the old Pennsy Lutherville
An article on it ran in the Baltimore Sun (09/18/2005)
This is a view of the station
More pictures of stations around Baltimore can be found
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.
082805 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.
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
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
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,
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...
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
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
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.