Style-S Semaphore Where You Wouldn’t Expect to Find One.

In my books on railroad signaling I’ve chronicled the history of Union Switch & Signal’s Style S semaphores.

See: Classic Railroad Signals

In the 1980s and 1990s, I made a project of photographing these three-position semaphores on Conrail’s former Erie Railroad route.

Recently a Style S signal has appeared in Palmer, Massachusetts in front of the railroad-themed ‘Train Masters Inn’.

A recent photo of the preserved US&S Style S semaphore in front of the Train Masters Inn on South Main Street in Palmer, Massachusetts. Can you spot the erroneous installation?

I asked the owner where he got it, and he indicated from a dealer in Ohio.

For point of comparison, I’ve included a few of my photos of semaphores along the old Erie.

This was a signal near Erie’s 242 milepost. The style of blade is a bit more modern than the signal in Palmer as it uses a different counterweight arrangement. However careful comparison between this blade and the preserved blade should lead to a conclusion.

Certainly, the signal in Palmer has similarities with the Erie’s; same type of blade as used on older installations, same type of finial.

Careful observers will notice the operating mistake in the way this preserved signal was installed; something that could be easily rectified.

A Susquehanna SD45 roars west at Canaseraga, New York on the old Erie Railroad mainline. Exposed on Kodachrome in May 1988.
Conrail’s BUOI is running on track 1 against the current of traffic so the semaphore is displaying ‘stop and proceed’ as this is automatic block signal territory. Believe it or not, this was exposed on May 7th, 1989 following a freak late season snow storm.
So I ask, where did this signal come from? Is it from the old Erie? And if so, where .I’d like to know.

The Train Masters Inn is a B&B located near the old Palmer Union Station. See: train masters inn.

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5 thoughts on “Style-S Semaphore Where You Wouldn’t Expect to Find One.”

  1. The owner’s a busy guy. If he gave a moment’s thought to the engineer’s confusion if the semaphore were in the raised position vs the light display, he’d correct it. He’s used to moving glass around.

    Question: why would these be sold this way? Did a RR deliberately do this knowing that a purchasing RR would correct but an amateur would not, so if displayed near the tracks engineer would disregard.

  2. The placement of the green and red lenses is incorrect such that their meaning is not aligned with the correct corresponding blade position. Blade vertical must be green. Blade horizontal must be red. TSH

  3. THX Brian – yup, I once bought a blade with that ‘mistake’, easy to fix. I would not expect a restauranteur to understand that…. LOL. Great pix, we still had working LQs on the CNJ into the 1970s, a treat for me.. THX, from an old signalman….

  4. Looks like the wrong colored glass is placed in the three aspect locations. Straight up would be green, not red. For SHAME !

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