• What kind of grade xing flashers are these

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by carajul
While exploring the Somerville area today something came up I've been wanting to ask. Some of the grade xing flashers have a red plastic mask over the entire flasher. It forms a lens over the lights and sun visor. Kinda hard to explain but it's the same thing as those blackout plastic covers people put over their car headlights. There are a few scattered around Rt 22 / Somerville area. Anyone see these before? The are not 'new' as I recall them from the early 1980s when I worked in the area. Were these any kind of 'new' technology of the time or were they just a different manufacturer or something. Any info on why these unique ones were installed or a bit of their history would be appreciated.
  by Jtgshu
Yea, there are a few of them on the Coast Line as well, one that pops into my head is at Leonard Ave Xing, behind Fort Monmouth

I think they look stupid, but so long as they work......
  by GSC
I'm thinking they might be some sort of shield to keep the glass lenses from being broken or smashed.
  by carajul
They are some type of shield. As I stated in my OP they are not new, probably been there for 30 years. The shields are really sun faded. I think the line that crosses Rt 1 to get to raritan center has then too and they do not flash they are actually disco strobe lights.
  by ApproachMedium
From my signal maintainer friend at the CN, they were something that I believe it was GRS thought of in the 80s to help improve visability. The shields were a part of the entire flasher light assembly and they would use them in areas where there was excessive sun glare at times of the day. The design wasnt proven to help in actuall application so the heads were discontinued. Today modern LED flashers provide a glow that can be seen much easier in most any lighting situation and far exceeds what these were trying to do.
  by JimBoylan
Should this be moved to the Operations and Facilities section?

The manufacturer also touted the idea as less parts. The hood, lens, retainers, housing, and reflector inside were one unit instead of more than 5 different parts plus screws and washers to buy and stock. The background remained as another part.
  by PRSL1972
In singal maintainers laiman words, we call these darth vaders. If you look at them close enough you can see the resemblance. Lec are the way to go. Some of these vaders can be forund on the vineland secondary that is run by the SRNJ near the town of Vineland. Crossings and track have not been travled in a long time.
  by FarmallBob
Does it look like this?
IMG_2136 GRS plastic grade crossing signal head.JPG
There's only 3 pieces: A sealed combination sloped lens/visor, a back housing/lampholder/mirror and a target disc. All are made of injection molded plastic (the whole assembly only weights a couple pounds).

Despite its odd appearance the head projects a nicely focused, bright red beam.

  by SurlyKnuckle
LEX-C lights! They are pretty cool. Biggest issue seems to be everything is plastic, including the threads which break easily.