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Can We Sing a Rainbow?

I haven’t been down to the station to really look around for quite a while, and the changes that have taken place are considerable.


For a start, it appears that the Jungle is taking over. One can now stand on the garage side of the road bridge and find that it has become difficult to see the two far lines because of the undergrowth sprouting in the gap where the old signal box existed (God rest it’s soul). The houses next to the station have disappeared behind sprouting undergrowth, while even the stark outlines of “Smiths” factory  are beginning to disappear in the greenery (perhaps not a bad thing).


The whole area has been re-signalled and the points (turn-outs) have been replaced and upgraded. It maybe that this is what drew me to the railway again, for there has been so much honking and tooting recently that I finally worked up the energy to go and see for myself what was occurring. Our eastern end of the site produced one stone-tern who was looking bored and lonely, but it was apparent that the main flock was at the western end of the area. The station bridge gave a good, but distant, view of proceedings where a considerable of vans were parked, I should say adjacent to the ladder crossing and before the turn to Sutton Park/Bescot. Multitudes of stone-terns were in evidence, their luminous orange plumage gleaming in the sun as they went about their business (yes occasionally we do glimpse that rare sight in the heavens, but worry not, it was not for long).


All our signals have now been replaced with new type, just as I was getting to grips with the problems of producing a gantry of 3-aspect, “feathered” signals to protect the ladder junction. Things have changed, the new signals are much smaller and appear to have a dissimilar format to the old, while the colour codes remain as ever. As “one picture is worth a thousand words” here is graphic of a normal sequence:

Now, that is as you would expect, but as always nothing is straight forward.


On odd occasions this signal indication does not remain solid it flashes on and off.


I have not seen many occurrences so I haven’t  worked out what its official meaning is, but would hazard a guess that during very busy periods it means “proceed with extra, extra caution, you are crawling up the bum of the bloke in front”!

However that is a surmise (guess).



Proceed with extra caution

Proceed with caution

A 3-aspect signal (with feathers) in n-gauge is possible, I know because I have seen them advertised. However, we now seem to have made a  quantum leap in what is required.


How is it possible to represent current technology when one light can produce all three colours?


I am aware that much jiggery-pokery is possible with LEDs and fibre optics but how can we reproduce what is seen at my local station?


I can only envisage some sort of light-box with 3 independent light sources, which must surely be rather cumbersome and fragile for the rigours of the exhibition circuit. Then of course there is the matter of getting only one colour to flash!!!


I feel that those of us “who know” will tell me it is piece of cake and that it can be done for pennies, while those who manufacture with tell us “it can done, but it will cost you”.


Given the seemingly galloping inflation seen in the modelling industry, I think it is cheaper and makes more sense to draw a line at 2014 and stop signal development on the local scene.