[From mailing list archives] Wig Wag Signals

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 7 05:17:09 EDT 2006

Thanks for digging this out of the archives!
Oh, and I never followed up on my research about the one that was at Copenhaver's either I see!
It took me some doing, but I finally tracked down the person who was supposed to have had that particular wig wag, but he said he didn't have it. I was misinformed about that. I have no idea who got it.
Ben Blevins

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org wrote:
Here's the discussion 6 years ago about wig-wag signals:


Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 16:37:30 -0400
To: N&W Mailing List
From: N&W Mailing List
Subject: Re: Wig Wag Signals

[Tim Rose asked:]
The N & W used hundreds of Wig-wag signals. They were often refered
to as " Banjo" signals.
To my knowledge, they have entirely disappeared. Why and when?

I believe the wig-wag signals were manufactured by the
Mechanical Flagman Co. The wig-wag was a product of
the 20's and by the 80's required a lot of the signal
maintainer's time. There was one at the North Street
crossing in Wavery, VA. in 1977, but it had disappeared
by 1983. The Pulaski District (Walton-Bristol) was one
of the last hold-outs of Mechanical Flagman crossing

[Then later:]

Following a trip to the Archives and review of N&W's Standard Plan
for grade crossing signals -- only the "banjo" gyrating mechanism
was manufactured by The Magnetic Flagman Co. (previously noted
to be the Mechanical Flagman Co.). Apparently N&W did much
of the fabrication of the wig-wag.The cross bucks, "Stop When
Swinging" and "Slow Down - 5 MILES(sic)-VA. LAW" signs, and the
Magnetic Flagman mechanism were all bolted to 85# or 100#
scrap rail.

By1984, the wig-wags at Wyndale, Abingdon (Fairground Road),
Meadow View, Crockett, Wytheville (6th Street) and Clark Avenue
at Max Meadows had disappeared from the Radford Div. track charts,
having been replaced by flashing lights. The crossing at Copenhaver,
however, was still protected by wig-wag. Copenhaver MAY have had
the last active wig-wag installation on N&W.
Harry Bundy


Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 22:38:43 -0400
To: N&W Mailing List
From: N&W Mailing List
Subject: Re: Wig Wag Signals

Ther was also a set of wig-wags in Welch WV that lasted into the 1980's. They
protected the crossing nearest the new Welch station.

Zachary Scellato
Weren't some Wig-Wag's mounted hanging down and some mounted upright?

Does anyone make HO scale Wig-Wags?

Gerry Albers
What will be left that was/is distinctively N&W ?
The pole line, but that, too, is fast disappearing.
Harry Bundy
I remember vividly the wig wag signal that used to be at Copenhaver's
Crossing, just west of Marion, VA on the Bristol line. If I remember
correctly it was taken out in 85 or 86. I also know the person who has
it! But, a signal collector like myself has had no luck in obtaining
it! I don't know if he has both of them or not, or if it only had one
at the crossing. To be honest, I'm surprised it survived the
derailment back in '74 that broke the original milepost which is still
laying in the grass beside the tracks. The wig wag was only about 50
feet from the milepost as best as I remember.
Anyway, I concur with the opinion that it was the last one operating on
the N&W anywhere, it is certainly the last one I know of. I would have
asked the local signal maintainer, but, he got the axe last year!
Ben Blevins


Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 20:51:39 -0400
To: N&W Mailing List
From: N&W Mailing List
Subject: Re: Wig Wag Signal Models

On the wig wag signals I checked my Radford Division track charts for Jan.
1,1977 and Jan. 1,1980. In the 77 edition on the Pulaski District there were
6 wig wag signals as follows.
{1} Max Meadors St 1006 Between mile Post N328 & N329 gone by 1980
{2} Marion Chatam Hill Road Between MP N364 & N365. gone by 1980
{3} Copenhaver Rt 660 MP 367
{4} Seven Mile Ford St 642 Between MP 371 & MP372
{5}North of Emory St 609 Between MP 382 & MP 383
{6} Meadow View State Route 80 MP 386. gone by 1980
Harvie Jones

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