Whistle and speed restriction signs

Anyone happen to know what the LMS, LNER and SR whistle and speed
restriction signs looked like?
I'm putting together some notes that I intend to put up on the web and
this is one point I haven't been able to sort out.
Buying three more books on signalling isn't really practical just at
the moment but if anyone could recommend books containing these signs
I could try ordering via my local library.
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Green with a white "WHISTLE"
Letters about 9" high. Board had trim around the edges.
-- Cheers Roger T.
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of the Great Eastern Railway
Reply to
Roger T.
I don't know about across the board, but I have certainly seen an SR example (either on the Watercress Line or the Bluebell Line, I can't remember which) which is a large wooden rectangular sign, which spells out the message 'WHISTLE' in large white letters. The letters also seem to have 'cats eye' type reflectors attached to them so that they can be seen in the dark.
(Cross posting to uk.railway added)
Reply to
Chris Rogers
Thanks team - I think the LMS and LNER also used a plain board with Whistle on it, the GWR had a rectangular board with SW on it (sound whistle that is)and BR had a circular plate with W in the centre and a ring round the edge.
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Re the reflective 'lozenges' - These were invented by a chap called Murray and he called them Mur Ray - They were also used on road signs. I cannot recal when they appeared, I think they were invented in the late 40's or early 50's.
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I doubt whether the cats eyes are an original SR feature but the basic sign sounds right. (The variation 'Whistle for at least 1/4 mile' was used at the northern end of Polhill tunnel - impressive in steam days.)
AFAIR the LMS and SR did not have (permanent) speed restriction indications; the LNER used cut-out numbers and these were adopted nationally by BR. (There were some changes to paint colours.)
Reply to
Peter Lawrence
What was the visibility of cut-out numbers compared with painted numbers on a board? I'd have thought that cut-out numbers would be hard to see against a patterned background (eg the bushes on the side of an embankment, or the sleepers of the adjacent track), no matter whether they were painted black or white, whereas painted numbers on a board can have a contrasting background around them (eg black digits on a white background or vice-versa).
Reply to
Martin Underwood
Presumably someone agreed with you when they changed over to the current designs. However, as was pointed out in another thread recently, cut-outs can't be totally obscured by graffiti, so perhaps the LNER were anticipating current yob culture...
Anyway, I don't think visibility was an issue. In those days drivers were expected to know their routes in detail, including all speed restrictions, so the signs were only a confirmation of the exact speed and where it started. And in many cases, especially at night or in fog, the driver would need to brake for any restriction long before he could see any kind of sign.
Reply to
Roger H. Bennett
Does this apply to temporary speed restrictions as well, where the driver won't have route knowledge of exactly where the limit applies? I'd have thought that those would have warranted an advance warning sign at the point where the fastest trains should begin braking.
As an aside, I wish the rules about 30 mph speed limit signs on roads could be modified to give advance warning, especially where the sign is round a bend on a 50/60/70 mph road! I've only seen a very small number of cases where you get the 300, 200, 100 yard count-down markers and I've always thought that this very useful device should be universal where there's a dramatic speed reduction (a bit like Morpeth Rules for road traffic!). I *know* you should always drive at a speed such that you can slow down in time even if the sign is hidden round a corner, but additional signs (as long as they don't actually mislead) are no bad thing.
Reply to
Martin Underwood
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 16:51:05 +0100 someone who may be "Roger H. Bennett" wrote this:-
They can also be totally obscured by snow, unlike cut-out signs.
AFAIR the LNER only put signs up at the start of some speed restrictions, this was essentially a marker as to where precisely the restriction started. BR adopted the same approach. Later (and this may well have been in the 1960s) they extended it to all changes of line speed, so that the end of restrictions was marked for the first time.
The LNER painted the signs white. At some stage BR painted them yellow, but I think this was a change made at some relatively early date.
The original message did not ask about the GWR, but they used illuminated signs at some places.
Reply to
David Hansen
In the US and Canada, virtually all speed limit reductions have an advance warning sign. In Canada, it is a rectangular white sign (as is the speed limit sign) with the reduced speed and an upward-pointing arrow. On a level road, you can usually coast to the new speed by the time you reach the second sign, which has "BEGINS" at the bottom.
The use of advisory speeds on bends and ramps is also more widespread.
Reply to
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 16:13:53 GMT someone who may be "Martin Underwood" wrote this:-
That has been the case for a very long time, probably well over a century. Because the location, time and speed varies they have "always" been marked by signs.
I have never seen a history of such signs, but I would imagine that by say the 1870s there were signs roughly along the lines of the ones BR used for many decades (until the late 1960s I believe).
1) An advance warning indicating that there was a speed restriction ahead and what the speed is.
2) A sign indicating the start of the restriction. This had a big "C" on it.
3) A sign indicating the termination of the restriction. This had a big "T" on it.
At some time the "C" sign was changed to a repeat of the speed restriction. Other changes have been to the material of the sign and illumination.
Reply to
David Hansen
In Australia on main roads you often get "60 zone ahead" about 200 metres before the 60 speed limit sign.
Contrary to what actually happens on some roads the 60 means kph not mph.
In Northern Territory you also get a black circle with a diagonal line through it that means no limit at all. Although up there the animals have right of way on the roads which can be interesting at 160kph over a hill.
Reply to
Andrew Robson
The advance warning sign was in the form of a horizontal yellow-painted arrow (about 1 ft. x 3 feet long), pointing to the track in question. It had two large round holes drilled in it (about 2 ft. apart) which two amber lensed oil lamps shone through. It was positioned about 1/4 to 1/2 mile in advance of the "C" (Commencement) sign which was also back illuminated, as was the "T" (Termination) sign.
Reply to
Thanks for that - My notes say the arrow shaped (point one end, notch at the other) board was originally green with a green and white light which changed to white with two flashing amber lights. When did you see the yellow arrow with yellow oil lamps?
Reply to
The yellow arrows were certainly around in the late1940's and well into the British Railways era. (I still have a couple of the amber lensed oil-lamps in question) while the "C" and "T" signs were, in fact, stencils, which were slid into special oil lamps which had a large 2ft (?) cowl, fitted with an opal white plastic 'glass'. The end result was surprisingly visible at night.
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