Sunday, January 22, 2012

Here's Your Signal

Above a former rail station (now a county museum) in Vinton, Iowa is this defunct signal system. I have no idea how this works or what information it was designed to convey. Maybe it signaled that the train was ready to depart from the depot.

The contraption's vibrant lenses show signs of being polished with a wax. Also, recently installed stainless steel bolts are visible on the yellow flag support. That means someone has made an effort to maintain or preserve this signal system.

Turned into a museum, the train station is still functional as a historic building, open by appointment. Perhaps some money and effort can be secured to properly return both the signal and station to its former condition. Future generations could then see how the early 20th century citizens moved from point to point. Know that.

Update: January 26, 2012 - A regular 42N reader from Missouri provided me with the name of the signalling device. Its called a semaphore. Here is an excellent site that explains U.S. railroad signals. Thank you G.

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