Railway Crossings 2

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Examples of some active warning devices.

Interlocking gates. Once common in Victoria, these gates were worked from a wheel in a nearby signal box. These examples were at Kyneton, Vic. were the last ones left still operated this way. They were interlocked with the signals, so that they couldn't be closed across the railway if the signals were at proceed. or more accurately, the signals couldn't be set to clear unless the gates were closed across the road.

Wig Wag signal. A type of signal which swung back and forth with a red light and bell. They were used in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. As yet, I'm not aware of them being in use in other states.

Coal Creek Historical Park, Korrumburra, Vic.

Hand operated gates. New South Wales often used farm type gates for level crossings. These examples were at Cootamundra, NSW.
Mechanically operated boom gates. I don't believe these were terribly common, but the gates seen here were operated from the signal box by cable. Presumably connected to a wheel or lever.

South Maitland Railway,
East Greta Junction,
Telarah, NSW.

Boom gates. I managed to see these just in time. Note the new FL signals ready to be installed. These gates made a loud hiss as they opened and closed. Possibly operated pneumatically. I'm ready to be corrected if you know otherwise.

Newcastle, NSW.

Flashing Light Signal - Victoria. Old example of a Flashing Light (FL) signal in Victoria. This one was on the former private line to a paper mill in Gippsland. It has since been replaced with a more modern signal. This one was unusual in having a continuously ringing bell, rather like an alarm. The STOP ON RED SIGNAL sign is also rather home made looking. The top set of lights were redundant as the alignment they faced was replaced by a roundabout.

Maryvale, Vic.

FL signals - Tasmania. Tasmanian FL signals had yellow poles, but were otherwise identical to other states. This one guards the Tasrail mainline and the one in the background is for the Emu Bay Railway.

Burnie, Tas.

FL signals - South Australia. An example of a South Australian FL signal. Much the same as elsewhere, but with a ladder on the pole.
These ones had been recently installed which explains the loose cables.

Bordertown, SA.

FL signal and boom gate - New South Wales. Boom gates were much the same from state to state until recent years. This one has the lights hanging above the boom (when closed) as I recall they used to be in Victoria. I notice it also opens almost vertical. Something rarely seen elsewhere. This one and its twin were operated manually by switches in the signal box.

Cootamundra, NSW.

FL signal - NSW. This signal was unusual (to me) as it was the first time I'd seen the white background STOP ON RED SIGNAL signs, which are now the Australian standard (apparently). I don't think the black ones are in danger of disappearing too soon however.
The other unusual part were the odd shaped pieces under the visors (click on the close-up). I assume they are to make the lights easier to see when the sun is low.

Kooragang Island, NSW.

FL signal - Queensland. Red background rectangular crossing sign on a Queensland flashing light (FL) signal. Note black on white STOP ON RED SIGNAL sign. Also note pedestrian signals (many Queensland crossings do not have bells) and the sign underneath the pedestrian signal showing a steam train pictogram  So, rather apt that one is crossing here. Toowoomba Qld.

Paul Tiffany photo.
FL signal - Victoria. Example of a typical 1980's FL signal. This one is on the disused Webb Dock line.

Fisherman's Bend, Vic.

FL signal and boom gate - Victoria. Now that boom gates in Victoria have been repainted red and white, I took the opportunity to take this photo of the last time I saw a black and white boom gate still with the chevron shaped white reflective strips in the centre of the black sections. Most had been replaced by round reflectors by the 1990's.

Sunbury, Vic.

FL signal with strobe - Tasmania. This FL signal in Tasmania uses a strobe light for extra emphasis on the flashing red lights.

Photo: Rob Mathews of Hand Made Accessories.

The Red / Green Show. There'll be more on the subject of railway crossings at intersections with traffic lights on this site later. But for now, here's a photo of the set-up at Yarragon, Vic. When  a train is approaching, the signals on the far side of the crossing turn green (with arrow) to clear the crossing of any vehicles stopped over it. The signals on the near side remain red. The problem is that traffic stopped at the stop line can't see them and crosses anyway. Also, traffic from the side street to the left can't see them or the red arrow facing the street either (they're too busy looking right for other traffic).

Next Page - Railway Crossing Advance Warning Signs.

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Page updated 18/02/2007.

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