Prototype grade crossing signals

When did the red flashing light and bell become in use for grade
crossings on real railroads?
I've seen several versions of these, even in the same town. Does the
style depend on the railroad or amount of rail traffic or what?
Why do some have a set of lights above the set mounted on the pole and
some have gates and lights while others just have lights?
Reply to
A. Paul
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It depends on the probability of an accident. A spot on a major road in a city will usually have a gate and lights. A less used road on the edge of town (or a side street) will likely only have a flashing light/bell. Out in the country, I mostly see simple crossbucks on the gravel roads, but there's still flashers on the paved road crossings.
Kent in SD
Reply to
Some of the major crossing in Ontario (Canada) actually have a truss of sorts, that goes out over the road with lights mounted on it too..
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click "Brochure" on the left side for a picture. -------------- Drew Halifax
Reply to
Andrew Bunn
The time before the bells/lamps start flashing depends on the spped of the trains. In the 'old' days, the circuit(approach block) was longer for lines that has higher speed passenger trains. That was why the lights would start flashing for a slow freight train and you would have to wait 'forever' for the train to arrive at the crossing! Many newer installation have a radar unit that times the speed of the approaching train, and starts the flashers depending on the train speed.....
Jim Bernier
"A. Paul" wrote:
Reply to
Jim Bernier

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