Wednesday 27 March 2013

No more dark territory on the D&H

After many years of planing, design, construction and installation, Im very happy to report that the last signal was installed on the layout yesterday.

Now the entire main line is under CTC (ABS for now) control via JMRI's Panel Pro.

While the single mast and dwarf signals have been installed for some time, the work needed to make specific D&H dual mast signals has taken some time due to the custom brass etching that needed to occur.

As the D&H has two types of dual mast signals, I felt that I needed to build both types to give a good representation of the signals used on the D&H.

Here are a few pictures of the new signals installed.

This signal is specific to the D&H and is a canterleaver type that us used for double track situations.
On the 1:1 scale D&H, each of the 6 search lights can display the aspect of Red / Yellow / Green.
In most cases these display speed and the status of the next 2 signals down the line.
As the legth of line between towns on my layout is short, I decided that I would reduce the total number of aspects that I wuld show and limit them down to just the top and middle search light being able to display Red / Yellow / Green. The bottom pair of search lights remain hard wired to show a red aspect.

One of the key reasons for doing this, apart from the limited need to show anything other than a Red on the bottom search light, is that the number of outputs on the electronics to drive the signals increases from 8 to 12 and therefore hits the funding for other projects on the railroad. Plus the issue of adding 2 more wires to the already very tight mast would be a challenge.

You may be thinking, those signals look rather tall. I am happy to report that they are built to scale from scale drwings provided to me by Dominic Bourgeois from the US who have been very helpfull in my quest to make these signals.

This second type of signal is the older design of the two that the D&H used on the railroad.
This signal says "D&H" as they were the only ones use use this type (I believe!)
Again, the bottom pair is search lights are hard wired to always display Red.

Now that these siganls are installed, I completed a count back to determine the number of signals. The total number of signals installed including dwarfs is 32.
The total number of driven search lights is 71. That then means that there are 142 separate outputs to drive the signals.  Then I also have some panels on the front of the layout to show
 occupancy of track that is hidden.

Well, thats the update for now. I will take a few more pictures of complete interlockings to show all the singals at some of the locations on the layout.


  1. Nice job on those signals Brendan. They look great!

    Having the bottom LED permanently on red is handy for (colourblind) me as it will give me a reference for the other LEDs. If they ain't all red, then they ain't red at all, and I can just keep going! (With apologies to


  2. Are those signals made out of plastic or brass? What LEDS did you use for them?

    - Mark

    1. Mark the LED's are from I use the 2mm bi colour 3 ping LED's for my signals. All the signals are hand made from brass with a few etchings for the hand rails, masts and disc's that make the search light.