3mm diameter LEDs fitted into brass or Plastruct tube built signals is
about as easy as it gets.
You need a resistor for every LED, possibly different values on each
colour to get the brightnesses equal.
Add an accessory switch to a Peco pointmotor and you could make basic
red/green or red/yellow signals that show when turnouts are set for a
You can either use a double pole switch for track sections or make a
relay from a Peco point motor and add-on accessory switch to drive the
Those options don't give precisely realistic signal operation but they
do give useful indications for operators.
You can use multiple accessory switches for more realistic indications:
eg for a station platform track the 'green' could be wired through both
the point accessory switch and the block section switch, so that with
the turnout wrongly set the 'red' LED is always on and the 'green' can
only come on when the turnout and block switch are correctly set. If you
have a station throat of say six turnouts then the 'green' feed can go
through all of them. That does leave the possibility of both 'red' and
'green' aspects being on on the same signal when the turnouts are
wrongly set but the section switch is on - that's something you want to
know about as the operator!
Three (or four) aspect signals 'red/green/amber' look more like the
prototype, and the 'amber' LED can be wired to the 'red' LED of the next
Wire for what will quickly become a 'birdsnest' can be cheap telephone
wire. This comes (in New Zealand anyway) in 24 and 48 wire bundles in a
grey plastic sheath and can be picked up at business building demolition
sites etc etc.
Colourcode and stick a label on each wire!
Making your signals operate to railway rules is entirely possible, but
do it the easy way first.
A word of warning - this can develop into a whole new hobby with the
model railway existing only to operate the signals :-)
Knightwing make some nice mouldings to make varies multi-aspect signals
that you can up and add your own lighting. For automatic operatation you
might want to think about train detection as well.
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.