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Doll Posts or
Doll Arms are "sort of" an accessory item
When a signal could not be located directly to the right of the track it governed, with another track between it and the signal, railroads employed a Doll Post to indicate that to the engineer..... Think of the Doll Post as a place holder.
Many railroads employed a bracket post installation, much as they would if they were using two signals. In place of a second signal though, they would use a short mast with a blue light on it, and if you have ever seen one, it is a deep, deep blue. NONE of the pictures below have a lit doll post lamp, darn!
Other bracket post installations, such as the one below on SEPTA in the Philadelphia area, uses a blue circular reflector on the mast.
When the railroads did not want to go to the expense of putting in a bracket post, they would set up a simple two pipe installation to the side of the mast, supported by a small piece of angle iron as seen below in the B&O and SCL installations.
And furthermore, some railroads, like the B&O, employed no
signal at all.
The B&M was one railroad to employ Doll Posts with an active blue signal,
A visit to Waltham Massachusetts will not disappoint you (unless the lamp was out as it was on one of my trips)!
The Seaboard is another railroad that employed the blue lights, also shown below.
The picture below, out of a B&O rulebook, illustrates the doll post concept.
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.
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.
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! 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.
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New OCT06/2006, JUN27/2017
Last Updated: 11/18/2019