• Does LIRR have any color position light signals?

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by twropr
In the mid-late 1980s Amtrak began converting some of the PRR position light signals to color position lights?
Has LIRR done any of the same?
In electrified territory, excepting the new double track between Farm and Ronkonkoma (which I understand is protected by pedestal color lights) is most of the railroad still protected by position lights?
Jacksonville, FL
  by R36 Combine Coach
Some yes, the most notable at Woodside (visible from the (7) Flushing Line platform).
  by Head-end View
He asked about color-position lights. The signals at Woodside are so called G-heads, triangular pattern color-lights which are different. I don't think there are any color-position lights on the LIRR. Those are found on former Pennsy RR sections of Amtrak.
  by Head-end View
gamer4616, those are not color-position lights. They are color-light signals.

Color-position lights are traditional LIRR/Pennsy style yellow position-light heads that have had their center light removed, and their vertical lights refitted with green lights and their horizontal lights refitted with red lights.

Color-position lights show two horizontal red lights for stop. Two vertical green lights for clear. And two diagonal yellow lights for approach.

It is a little confusing. Hope this helps.
  by workextra
Short answer NO.
LIRR did instal some LEDs in some position lights but they still retain the PRR amber color across all
Aspects. (Full Heads)

LIRR was in the midsts of changing course to the safetran style traffic light (lines south)
And G head type (lines north) this would have been an acceptable standardization.
But the bottom fell out and they did and about face to do these “RAS” reduced aspect signals.
Many of the Railroader’s dislike these and feel it’s a absolute waste knowing we still
Need to know all the conventional aspects into New York. Unless Amtrak decides to adopt this RAS system.
  by Head-end View
Workextra, as you said, it seemed like LIRR was standardizing on generic color-light signals for the last ten years or so. But these new RAS signals blew that idea. I don't like the RAS either. It's the first railroad signal I ever saw with the red on top and green in the middle, instead of the usual G-Y-R set-up like an upside-down traffic light. I thought they were trying to standardize, not re-invent the wheel.

I remember maybe ten years ago someone on here said LIRR wanted to try pedestal signals like Metro-North uses, but at that time the operating unions were able to get that idea squashed in favor of full-aspect signals. With RAS it looks like MTA is finally getting their way after all. Do you know if LIRR intends to eventually install RAS system-wide or only on the Eastern sections of the system, like Farm to KO?

Also on this subject, SEPTA in Philadelphia has gone to reduced-aspect signals on some lines but they use full-height G-head mast signals instead of small pedestals. Their proceed/cab aspect is flashing-green over red using a two-headed signal. And I've heard that when they were installed some years back, their engineers didn't like them either, 'cause they wanted full-aspect signals at interlockings.
  by Kelly&Kelly
Traditionally, the Transportation Department stood up for full aspect signaling, and in particular position light PRR type signals. There are several studies that indicate these to be the most visible and least prone to interpret error. For over a century, this type of decision was the realm of the Transportation Department.

Times change both within the Company and outside. Much of the old school has retired. The Engineering Department now decides what signal formats will be installed, and this is greatly influenced by the MTA, which seeks some standardization among the heavy rail agencies. It is also very difficult to source certain signal supplies. "Off the shelf" signal logic appliances favor more widely used color light systems. Manufacturers simply don't make the PRR style stuff and the political climate is such that the LIRR will not attempt to convince the MTA to pay for custom manufacturing.

Unfortunately, signal visibility, once paramount to design, takes a backseat to economy in an age of cab signaling and automatic speed control. Just how it is. This is no longer the LIRR of twenty years ago and those operating the trains are no longer calling the shots.
  by workextra
Can anyone answer why LIRR didn’t carbon copy Metro North’s. RAS system and opted for something similar but different aspects?
I don’t understand why the RAS aspect here provide for “Slow speed” just provide a 20 code with a green/white?

RAS is not your typical block signal/speed/route signal system. It’s an enterirly different concept and idea toward train movement.
  by Kelly&Kelly
The LIRR's Signal Department is entirely independent from Metro North's. The system has been greatly built on the former PRR's technology and the signal systems that existed when the MTA acquired it. In that respect of the signal system, it has no relation to Metro North.

Most of what is being installed today was designed when the PRR-influenced signal and transportation people were still designing things. Even where new systems are installed they generally interact with 1910-era PRR technology. Maybe now that many of the old timers are gone and totally new expansion is being made, you will see entirely new installations reflect the technology used by Metro-North.
  by phillyrube
Didn't old PRR signals have a separate aspect that lit whenever the 3 horizontal lights came on? When did those go away?
  by ExCon90
If you mean the single marker light appearing below the 3 horizontals above it, that distinguished Stop (no marker, Rule 292) from Stop and Proceed (with marker, Rule 291). Conrail, and possibly also the LIRR, gradually did away with that and adopted the practice of many other railroads, in which a number plate mounted on the mast indicates that the horizontal aspect is Stop and Proceed. The advantage of the marker was that a controlled home signal could be made to display Stop and Proceed to permit a following movement even at a controlled home signal; I believe this was done only in cab-signal territory. (One thing that always baffled me was that the N&W observed exactly the opposite practice, which meant that a failure of the marker changed a Stop indication to Stop and Proceed.)
  by Sigz
Ex-con 90,

“Stop and proceed” signals are still very much in use on the LIRR.

Stop and proceed can be found on automatic signals. Additionally, it can be found on most semi-automatic signals (IE: interlocking signals) when fleeted by the block operators.

Automatic signals are identified by a “number plate” but that does not replace the “stop and proceed” aspect/indication.

  by ExCon90
Glad to hear they're still alive and well on the LIRR. Amtrak kept them too; the ability to display Stop and Proceed on an interlocking signal helps keep things moving.