Train Order Board

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Wed Oct 6 04:38:54 EDT 2021

 David Baker asked: "How tall are the 2 arm train Order and manual block signals on it n&w? I found drawings in the archive, but no dimensions? HS-D10636."

Ken Miller answered: " That drawing is based on the Union Switch and Signal drawing, with, indeed, no dimensions. But it is also a very old drawing dated 1890. It is also marked with 'Void' meaning it was replaced at some point. The train order signals I am familiar with in the more recent era are different. That is for a two head version, but does offer dimensions and a scaled drawing. It would be simple to eliminate the lower head as it likely will be the same height for consistency."

Adding to this thread: the train order signal masts varied in height but from photographs they appear to be able the same height as the peak of the station building roof. Also, the upper signal in the drawing Ken referenced was the block signal with a flat-end blade. The lower one was the train order signal, evidenced by the inward-curved blade tip. When automatic block signaling was introduced, the top signal was converted to use as a train order signal and the lower position eliminated. The main modifications were changing the blades and reconnecting the rods to the upper signal so that the lever inside the operator's bay had two positions for "orders" and "no orders."

Some stations had a conversion to color light signals, eliminating the blades, spectacles, rods and levers. When Traffic Control was introduced, nearly all stations had train order signals removed.

Good luck modeling,

Frank Scheer
f_scheer at  
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