Ground mounted Signals

Can someone please let me know if/when ground mounted illuminated signals were intro'd into the UK? In fact, could you let me know when illuminated
signal first appeared and did they operate concurrently with semaphores?
Thanks
Steve
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There are some sound sites on the web about signalling and although I can't help with the dates (I believe ground signals would have been around as long as standard semaphores) you are right in that they were both concurrent. What makes our question a little awkward is that semaphore signals had colour lights fitted to them (some gas ones before elctricity) both for poor lighting (night and fog) as well as difficult locations (in tunnels etc) and this would be the same for the ground signals. One of the common ground signals is an illuminated disc with a bar (semaphore style) which is either horizontal or diagonal for stop and proceed.
Is your question actually about colour light ground signals rather than illuminated semaphore types?
Luke
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Luke
thanks for responding
you point out something that I had forgotten. Being 30 years away from the hobby, I forgot that semaphores had illuminated "tails". not sure if all or always, but I do recall now, thanks.
the purpose of my question is to establish the relative authenticity of building a layout which dates from say, 1870 - 1925 and having a mix of signalling throughout. I was hoping to find out if semaphores had started to be replaced by this time, by illuminated-only signalling and if ground signals were used through this time...... being an Aussie, I don't really know if ground-based signals were used in the UK.
Interesting comment about that diagonal bar - it is probably what started all the international symbols for "NO something or other", if you get my meaning. As someone who works as a graphic designer, I find this very interesting. Needless to say, my wife found the fact less interesting
:)
Thanks again - hope my rantings are clear enough to decipher
Steve

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Quote from signalbox.org: "Although the individual railways in Britain intially developed their own ideas, harmonisation of signalling principles soon took place, and semaphore signalling as we know it today was well established by the 1880s. Power operation of points and signals had arrived by the turn of the century, although initially only for small signalling schemes. It wasn't until the 1950s that large-scale power signalling came along. The earliest applications of power signalling simply saw motorisation of existing types of semaphore signal, but it wasn't long before colour-light signals appeared."
There's a whole load of useful stuff on that site. Can't find any dates though....
Interstingly, not all 'ground signals' are on the ground. They are commonly called shunting signals and can be full blown semaphores but with different colours to distinguish them from main signals.
I can't find what dates starting seeing colour light signals introduced but bear in mind that some lines still have semaphore signalling today so you could go with semaphore throughout if it is a turn of the century layout!!!
Luke
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Thanks heaps Luke
My desire is to run a combination of both, yet still stay true to period if at all possible
That site (among others in the rail world) is an awesome referral ..... thanks!
Steve

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As far as I can tell the illumination was only visible when viewed square-on, ie from the drivers point of view.

Coloured lights didn't replace semaphores at my local main line station until it was rebuilt in 1962 so would not affect your layout. I think I read once that the LNER experimented with coloured lights as early as 1923 so it would depend on which region of the UK you were modelling? If your purpose is to model a 'typical' layour of 1870-1925 I suggest you stick to semaphores. The question then is upper or lower quadrant? :o)
All of the ground based signals in my area were at the top of embankments so I have no idea what they looked like. (We didn't used to trespass in those days).
(kim)
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"kim" wrote
I think I read

it
The LNER may have experimented as far back as 1923 but colour lights certainly didn't become common place at least on the ECML until after nationalisation. York, for instance, wasn't converted until the 1950s.
John.
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http://www.signalbox.org/signals/lmsspeed.htm
shows that some colour light signalling was in place in 1932 on the LMS
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"Colin Reeves" wrote

Yes, the famous Mirfield Speed Signalling installation. Not standard colour lights by any means, and very much experimental if I recall.
The system at Mirfield survived the steam era.
John.
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Pressed the "send" button too early ....!
The "Oxford Companion to British Railway History" says the following:
Light signals without semaphore arms appeared on the Waterloo & City railway in 1898. The first daylight colour-light signals in Britain appeared on the Liverpool Overhead Railway in 1920. In 1922 the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers set up a committee to consider three-position signalling, by the time they reported in December 1924 .. the report principally concerned colour lights. The first four aspect signalling was installed between Holborn Viaduct and Elephant and Castle in 1926.
--
Colin

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brilliant thanks!
man I have my work cut out for me, scratchbuilding these babies - will post a new thread asking for info on how to do it
thanks again
Steve
contains these words:

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John Turner wrote:

The Southern railway started large scale use of colour light signals fro m the early 1920's in combination with electrification. On the South Eastern first where they introduced 4 aspects to allow steam and electric trains to be better regulated. A little out of your era was the first mainline to be resignalled throughout, 1933, London to Brighton. At the time this used a combination of full lever frames down to miniature types used at Brighton. York on the Eastern region was the first use of route setting, known as one button route setting, later superseeded with entrance exit, or NX route setting the standard now. Latest schemes use automatic route setting using data from timetables, train describers and rules to determine priority of different trains.
Chris
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this is turning out to be a science/research fellowship in itself! I am finding it fascinating to explore all the different issues surrounding the signalling.
Thanks heaps for the info ...... I will be looking into this further and working through what to do, over time
:)
Thanks again
Steve

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thanks Kim
This leads me to my next question and harks back to my earlier statement, that I am returning after a 30 yr absence
"What's an upper or lower quadrant?"
:))))
I know - I know - ignorant newbie! But I 'd rather ask and know, than try to look cool and continue to be dumb
:)
Cheers
Steve

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"mindesign" wrote

Basically what it says. An upper quadrant is a signal where the arm goes 'up' into the off (clear) position, whilst a lower quadrant drops into the clear position.
John.
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Thanks! Can just imagine the smiling engineers as they pondered the committees that made such decisions
Steve

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Imagine the semaphore blade is the hour hand of a clock. (Hand? Remember when clocks HAD hands? ;) )
An upper quadrant signal has the arm at 3:00 for stop, 1:30 for caution, 12:00 for proceed.
A lower quadrant signal uses 3:00 for stop, 4:30 for caution, and 6:00 for proceed.
In the US at least, there were different color lenses on the "spectacle" (where the blade was mounted) and these also moved to cover a lamp as the blade moved. Red-stop, Yellow-caution, Green-proceed.
I like semaphores for model railroading. Consider that the place a signal actually _belongs_ may NOT be front-side visible from all operating positions - the semaphore is the only signal type readily readable from the "wrong" side!
--

Joe Ellis

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Joe Ellis wrote:

A pity there seems to be a lack of working, ready-to-run, semaphore signals. Did semaphores normally 'rest' in one of the three positions (stop , caution or proceed)? If so, and using something like memory wire, it would be convenient to use that as the 'no power' position.
Mark Thornton
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According to C.J. Freezer the signals were weighted in such a way that they always returned to the safe (stop) position in the event of a mechanical failure. That included lower quadrant semaphores which were counterbalanced so as to return to the upper position.
(kim)
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"kim" wrote

they
counterbalanced
There were exceptions. The NER slotted post lower quadrant signals didn't always fail safe. There were instances of snow packing into the slot and preventing the arm returning to danger.
The last of these survived into the (pure guess here) 1980s (at Haxby?) near York, and was at one time preserved in the concourse of York station.
John.
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