NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Aug 14 01:00:19 EDT 2013

a good book to get is the Compendium of Signals by Roger Karl.

a Y signal set on one side of the tracks, when facing the signals
observing the aspects...
the right most is for the right track, the left most for the left track.
Its just like if it were on a bridge over the track but stuck to the
side of the tracks instead of having the signals braced over the tracks
engineer side viewing.

Again the treatment of position lights and Color position lights in
making aspects is very differrent.

But I don't know if for today they decided to treat CPL signals like
your normal color light signals with multiple heads.

Anyways, any signal heads on the same mast are meant for the same track,
not separate tracks, and should usually display an aspect that has a
specific meaning, so say its red over green can usually mean you will be
taking a diverging route on the switch or proceed at a specific speed
(and or both)

Anyways with all these multiple heads on one mast and can be up to 3
heads (at least color lights) they can clue the path the train is going
to take thru a series of turnouts.

so G/R, take main (top head shows main clear, bottom head shows
diverging not possible, turnout straight)
R/G take siding (top head shows main not possible, because your
diverging thru the switch to another track)

But CPL's in the book is different than the standard color light
treatment or position light treatment, they use extra lunar white lights
at specific locations to create the aspects for your

N&W uses position lights originally and NS seems to be changing over
here and there to CPL.
So whatever your modeling period you should find what signal style to
use for your layout.

but a quick check on my links is this...

thats the color position lights they later used.

heres the main link for other railroads.

for the N&W Position light, just use the Pennsy version, as you know
Pennsy had stock in the N&W.

I seem to recall this, say at the end of double track to single, say you
are on the siding, your signal will still have 2 heads, the top head
will show a permanent red while the bottom head will show an aspect
whether to clear your train or not. For a color light it would be R/R
full stop, R/G to move onto the main over the turnout. Position light as
sen in the above link, you could have 2 red lights on top, then 3 yellow
lights in some configuration below. Full stop the lower yellow lights
would not be lit, when on allows the train to move to the main, CPL
would be fairly similar.

signals are fun, eh...


On 8/13/2013 8:15 PM, nw-mailing-list-request at wrote:

> Subject:

> Signals

> From:

> NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>

> Date:

> 8/13/2013 4:07 PM


> To:

> "nw-mailing-list at" <nw-mailing-list at>



> I would like to thank the contributors of the signal discussions. I

> am mystified but less so now. Here are some thoughts I have:

> 1) Two CPL heads on the same post over each other--are they combined

> into one "aspect" like (making this up...) Red over yellow means X

> and green over yellow means Y or are they independent

> as in red up top means main line stop but yellow means diverging has

> train two blocks ahead?

> 2) 4 CPL heads on the Y post...double track main with

> crossover...first of all, is that what signal design you would see?

> Second, right side is green over red (again making up some aspect) is

> that a combo or do they refer to the two different tracks...

> I have trouble with the signal books in NWHS--I see the signals but

> have no idea what the track plan would look like beside the signal.

> I ache to have signals on my N&W Guyandotte Division but I am not sure

> what goes where. Right now my signalling is, "Hey, ya'll, watch out

> over there...! The beauty of a small layout...

> I don't know if anyone can make sense of this or make me understand

> signalling on the N&W. You are welcome to try. I know simple answers

> and signals don't go together.

> I guess the upside is maybe nobody could criticize my layout 'cause

> nobody knows either!

> Love you all,

> Mike Shockley

> N&W Guyandotte Division (dark)

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