• Questions About A Color Light Signal Used on NS

  • Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
  by bmrdrums
I couldn't seem to find a forum that partained exclusively to signals so I decided the NS section would be appropriate since the signal in question came from NS.

First of all, I recently aquired (from a junk shop in Bell Buckle, TN) a RACO color light signal. It has two lights, green on top and red on the bottom. The problem is, I can't find any information on RACO color light signals anywhere. In fact, I have found very little on the company in general. It is my understanding that RACO stands for Railway Accessories Corporation and that it is/was based out of Minneapolis, MO. The only other info I've found is that they made "rotating banner" grade crossing fixtures after Griswold went out of business. Does anybody know anything about their line of color light signals or the company itself? Certainly I'm not the only one in North America with a RACO color light signal. Afterall, the signal came off of NS, a class 1 railroad.

Secondly, I know this signal was used on NS lines because when I got the thing home and opened it up, there were two cards in the signal housing (one in each light box). Each card has the NS logo on it and is titled, "Signal Lamp Record." I'm assuming these were cards filled out by the signal maintainer so as to keep track of bulb replacement and general maintenance. The cards state that it was at Milepost: 23.4, Signal Number: 23.5, Aspect: B G E B (in the green box), Aspect: B R E B (in the red box) and that the bulbs were last replaced 3-14-94. I'd love for someone to be able to tell me if it's possible to pinpoint this signal's exact location while it was in use based on the info on the cards, and if so, where would I look? Also, What do the letters in the "Aspect" section mean?

Any information will be greatly appreciated. This is definitely the coolest piece of railroad equipment I've ever owned and I'd love to know as much about it as I can. Since I can't find any info out there, does this mean I've stumbled upon a rare find? After all, everyone seems to own or have info on US&S and GRS signals but not on RACO. Thanks again for any answers.

Murfreesboro, TN
  by jgallaway81
any chance on getting a picture of this thing?
  by bmrdrums
Sure thing. Here are pictures of the signal and one of the cards that was inside the thing.
148 - Copy.JPG
150 - Copy.JPG
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  by jgallaway81
Best guess, that looks to be the bottom head of a two head color light signal...
This would have been used on the distant signal... the signal governing the approach to a home/interlocking/control point signal... If the Home was displaying Medium/Limited Clear or Medium Approach, the Distant signal would have displayed Approach Medium/Limited... In this case, it would have displayed a green/flashing green below a solid yellow.

If the Home signal was Approach or worse (Slow Approach, Restricting, Stop Signal) then this would have been lit up Red under a solid Yellow, telling eh crew to approach the Home signal prepared to stop.

All signals given here are the NORAC/Conrail implementations that I'm qualified on the Pittsburgh Division. The N&W/Southern/NS signal system uses the same aspects, to denote similar applications, but the NORAC version differs in meansing.

All this is assuming it wasn't used as a shove signal to instruct a hump/switch engineer weather or not to continue shoving a string of cars into a yard track. This is argued against by the fact that a milepost is referenced on the inspection card.