At this point, I have little experience with railroad signal systems (except maybe grade crossings), but the internet shall provide… I found a great resource for signal implementation with many rulebook pictures from different road names – Railroad Signals of the US.
I will be modeling the 1920’s and 30’s era on the WVR so I will be using semaphore signals. I have settled on Tomar single and double headed upper quadrant signals with red-yellow-green roundels using an LED as a light source. They are expensive, but I don’t see how they can manufacture them for the price. Looks like the company is changing hands, hope the quality is still there in the future.
Since the WVR reflects no particular road name, I can use whatever system I like. I would, however, like to imitate prototype practice. I am looking at automatic block signaling on the main and passing sidings with diverging turnouts taken into consideration.
For a block with no passing siding turnout to consider, here will be one single head semaphore at each end for each direction. Green (arm vertical)will be indicated if the 2 blocks ahead are clear, yellow (arm at 45 degrees) if 1 block ahead is clear, and red (horizontal arm) if the next block is occupied.
At each end of a passing siding, I’ll place a double headed signal. The upper head will indicate for the main and the lower for the siding. Automatic signaling will work the same, except that whichever route is not available due to turnout position will indicate stop (red).
I think this will be fairly straight forward to implement through JMRI running on a PC. I’ll need block detection and a connection to my Loconet bus to operate accessory decoders for each signal. This is discussed in another blog entry.