Train Order Board?

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Thu Oct 7 05:13:53 EDT 2021

David Baker added: "I see photos of the old train order signals, e.g. on blue ridge in the late 50's? (I could easily be wrong.) Were those fixed to down-clear, or was that not traffic control territory? I also see some where the mast is there, but the blades are gone. Were the wood masts pained white?

Some train order offices continued after Traffic Control was introduced on a division, but not many. These locations would be noted in the employee timetable. Also at locations where Traffic Control ended and Automatic Block Signal territory began such as Bentonville, Virginia, northbound trains at Bentonville had to receive a clearance card. No clearance card was required for southbound trains at Bentonville entering Traffic Control trackage unless specified in the employee timetable special instructions because all trains operated by signal indication; timetables and train orders no longer dictated train movements.  Train orders were mostly used for notifying train and engine crews about temporary speed restrictions or other roadway conditions.

The normal position of a train order signal is downward.  When an office was open, the train order signal lamps were illuminated; they were turned off when the station was closed.  When blades were removed, the station was no longer a train order office and it was only a matter of time before the remainder of the signal was removed.

A wooden mast was painted white, but there were not many of those.  The steel tubular mast was coated with aluminum-colored paint.

Good luck,

Frank Scheer
f_scheer at

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