Railroad Photo Gallery

Featuring (Hopefully) Beautiful or Interesting Photos of Mostly Railroad Signal Equipment, Crossbucks, and Surrounding Scenery

This page is dedicated to showing captioned images of certain times and places on the railroad which the author thought were beautiful or interesting enough to share.  Although the author likes to see good photography as much as the next person, he isn't too proud to show a slightly blurry photo now and then if the subject merits.  Whether the individual photos have any aesthetic value or not, the captions can shed some light on the value of a photo and should generally appeal to a broader audience than those who are interested in signal circuits alone.  These are part of the sights of the railroad industry that will hopefully give appreciation to those who have never seen them, and that will hopefully be appreciated by those who have seen them before but missed them in the passage of time.

Some of the scenes on this page are of older equipment that had survived later than average to be photographed, but which have since ceased to exist as such at the location shown.  Which scenes are still in place the author does not always know, and to the extent that he knows, he does not always specify.  The same applies to exact location information as well.  This helps site visitors to enjoy the photos more in some respects and avoids encouraging industry officials with a burden to upgrade or remove everything that isn't brand new when equipment diversity in this field has already largely disappeared.  And it helps prevent people from removing signal equipment on abandoned lines for whatever reason, as some people actually enjoy seeing such things in the "wild" and in as pristine a condition as possible.  Some of the valuable photos on this site wouldn't have been possible with out those specific pieces of equipment.

There are over 300 images on this page, so it may take some time to fully load, depending on the speed of the reader's Internet connection.

Please let the author know if you really liked any particular photos or found them interesting.  Enjoy!

Picture 1
Picture 1--A quintessential crossing from the previous generation of signaling, at dusk.  Somewhere in Kansas, summer of 2010.

Picture 2
Picture 2--(Same location as above.)

Picture 3
Picture 3--(Same location as above.)

Picture 4
Picture 4--(Same location as above.)

Picture 5
Picture 5--(Same location as above.)

Picture 6
Picture 6--(Same location as above.)

Picture 7
Picture 7--(Same location as above.)

Picture 8
Picture 8--(Same location as above.)

Picture 9
Picture 9--(Same location as above.)

Picture 10
Picture 10--A train clears a crossing in the distance under a big sky.  North of Ashland, Nebr.

Picture 11
Picture 11--The Union Pacific route in the middle of 4th Street, Lincoln, Nebr., south of Hall Tower, looking toward A Street and Hill Street.  Note the rare "NO TURN" signals for parallel traffic.  Circa 2001.

Picture 12
Picture 12--A not-all-there searchlight signal marks the seemingly untraceable route of the Rock Island Railroad through this portion of rural Nebraska.

Picture 13
Picture 13--A signal with a “cat eye” jeweled crossbuck at Saltillo Rd., south end of Jamaica siding, south of Lincoln, Nebr.  Circa 2001.  The location has since become the scene of a bike path.

Picture 14
Picture 14--Scenery north of Ashland, Nebr.

Picture 15
Picture 15--A retired semaphore on display in eastern Washington.  This is an upper-quadrant semaphore operated by a base-of-mast mechanism, either a Style-S or possibly a double-arm Style-B with special hardware to transfer motion to a three-position upper quadrant blade.

Picture 16
Picture 16--A view of the former Rock Island in Hallam, Nebr., circa 1998.  The heads of RI searchlight signals in this part of the country were turned out to the field but left in place for many years following sale of the line.

Picture 17
Picture 17--The Walnut St. crossing in Hallam was a passive one (i.e., without signals), but featured jeweled crossbucks on round metal posts.  Circa 1998.

Picture 18
Picture 18--This was the quaint but peaceful scene in Hallam prior to the 2004 tornado.

Picture 19
Picture 19--A cat appears to approach a railroad crossing in a neighborhood of Walla Walla, Wash.  The crossbuck on the right is shorter than usual to achieve the same viewing angle when seen from a distance, while the crossbuck on the left is across the track from its usual position, apparently due to the terrain on the usual side giving no place easily erect a typical post.  Circa 2000.

Picture 20
Picture 20--The hill south of Hallam, Nebr.

Picture 21
Picture 21--A remote crossing on the former Rock Island features refreshingly lighter (but still shiny) rail and a fairly sharp curve, reminiscent of some of the more humble railroading scenes of yesteryear.  A round metal post like this one, used to display a crossbuck, may have once been a boiler tube.  Circa 1998.

Picture 22
Picture 22--A Union Pacific passive crossing during an eastern Washington dawn.

Picture 23
Picture 23--Evidence that the steam era has passed is given with this signal location on the route of the California Zephyr, featuring searchlight heads facing both ways on the same mast and resulting in a left-hand signal location for westbound trains.

Picture 24
Picture 24--An elevator north of Ashland, Nebr.

Picture 25
Picture 25--This crossing in Hallam, Nebr. still had a jeweled crossbuck when its picture was taken in or around 2008.  The relay case has a style typical of the golden age of railroad signaling, but is unusual due to its width--probably owing to the multiple tracks in use around the elevator.

Picture 26
Picture 26--A truck rides the rails between searchlight signals.

Picture 27
Picture 27--Searchlight signals at a distance.

Picture 28
Picture 28--A distant approach semaphore after sunset.  This fixed-arm semaphore is designed to remain continually in the position seen here, and warns of an interlocking about a mile or so in advance of the signal.  Thanks to the lack of movable parts loathed on the railroad, semaphores like this one remain in service long after their movable cousins have been removed.

Picture 29
Picture 29--A rare "NO LEFT TURN" signal at Skinner St., Wichita, Kans.  These signals, with their advisory amber roundels, dignify the motorist with the option to proceed on a different route without stopping and without being accosted by flashing red signal heads facing every which way.

Picture 30
Picture 30--(Same location as above.)

Picture 31
Picture 31--Snow adds character to a shallow-angle crossbuck.

Picture 32
Picture 32--With only a short detection circuit at this crossing, rules require that trains must stop just beyond the "HIGHWAY CIRCUIT" sign and observe the signals operating before entering the roadway 20 or so seconds later.

Picture 33
Picture 33--Time-honored technology that some railroads would prefer to do away with.

Picture 34
Picture 34--A tree aspires to be useful as a a track bumper near this elevator somewhere in Kansas.

Picture 35
Picture 35--Stormy weather in the industrial park.

Picture 36
Picture 36--No, this signal isn't out-of-place.  It's just easier to see than the track buried in the grass and asphalt of this abandoned crossing.

Picture 37
Picture 37--A handsome-looking crossing with equipment from WRRS, still maintained, with fresh paint, and apparently in good health.

Picture 38
Picture 38--An abandoned crossing with track that fades into the distance.

Picture 39
Picture 39--With wire holding its gate in the vertical position, this "active" crossing on an abandoned line seems to be anything but.

Picture 40
Picture 40--This WRRS signal, probably a Model 10, certainly began life with 8-inch heads.  But they were replaced with shiny new 12-inch ones some time before the the line was abandoned and the highway department chose to pave over the rails.  The crisp new heads make the missing gate arm almost unnoticeable while the gate mechanism is wired into is normal position of readiness.

Picture 41
Picture 41--(Same location as above.)

Picture 42
Picture 42--Here's a classic gate test box with different keyholes for “RAISE” and “LOWER”.  Unfortunately, the vines tell us that nothing is going to lower.

Picture 43
Picture 43--These signals are considerably far apart for only having two tracks, but the tracks were themselves considerably far apart, typical of sidings where trains are loaded and unloaded.

Picture 44
Picture 44--(Same location as above.)

Picture 45
Picture 45--The crossing at the above location features a US&S “pear” bell, named for its shape but relatively normal sounding except to bell spotters who like to analyze such things.

Picture 46
Picture 46--An advance warning sign is the “old soldier” at these crossings.

Picture 47
Picture 47--An advance warning sign is the “old soldier” at these crossings.

Picture 48
Picture 48--A perspective on a passive crossing.  The smooth field to the right seems to wash over the track.

Picture 49
Picture 49--A perspective on a passive crossing.

Picture 50
Picture 50--A long, hilly byway crosses the tracks at dusk.

Picture 51
Picture 51--The above crossing has a rare “TRANSPORT PRODUCTS CORPORATION” base and terminal box.  This later became what we know as Safetran.

Picture 52
Picture 52--A termination shunt spices up the foreground in this mundane but striking view of the Kansas terrain and skyline.

Picture 53
Picture 53--A two-piece crossbuck with the usual uphill-downhill placement of the individual pieces swapped for a change of pace.

Picture 54
Picture 54--This view of the above crossing shows the both of the methods for mounting a two-piece crossbuck without having the post obscure any of the words.  In both schemes, the piece that says “CROSSING” goes on the top, while the part that says “RAIL ROAD” must be in the rear..

Picture 55
Picture 55--An interlocking between two railroads that cross at “diamonds,” the name given for the feature of the track where two sets of parallel rails cross each other.  The lesser railroad must call the dispatcher to get a “signal” (here a green light) to move across the other railroad's tracks.

Picture 56
Picture 56--A former MOP (Missouri Pacific) crossing using GRS signals characteristic of the road, some with jeweled crossbucks.  This industrial lead track crosses a divided highway and a frontage road to connect to the main, resulting in a delightful pack of vintage signals.

Picture 57
Picture 57--(Same location as above.)

Picture 58
Picture 58--(Same location as above.)

Picture 59
Picture 59--(Same location as above.)

Picture 60
Picture 60--An older GRS crossing.

Picture 61
Picture 61--Jeweled crossbuck giving reflected light at night.

Picture 62
Picture 62--Lincoln St. in Wichita, Kans. has four crossings spaced rather closely together: the K&O Baylay St. Corridor (not visible), the Union Pacific main line, the BNSF main line, and a BNSF spur serving industry in the area.  All but the latter converge at South Junction nearby to use shared, elevated trackage through the heart of the city.  Prior to the construction of shared, elevated trackage, railroads caused traffic problems in the city with their many tracks making it difficult to traverse the downtown area expediently.  The elevated portion was recently extended to reach over a larger portion of the city.

Picture 63
Picture 63--A cast iron crossbuck at dusk in the summer of 2010.  The tree “tunnel” suggests that this railroad is somewhat of an unassuming one.  A close inspection of the photo reveals the rails of a more pretentious railroad existing on an adjacent right-of-way.

Picture 64
Picture 64--(Same location as above.)

Picture 65
Picture 65--(Same location as above.)

Picture 66
Picture 66--Crossing heads facing in different directions is not only a modern phenomena, but was at times done in the past also.  However, it was more often reserved for situations where the track crossed through the middle of an intersection, like this one in a small town neighborhood.

Picture 67
Picture 67--(Same location as above.)

Picture 68
Picture 68--(Same location as above.)

Picture 69
Picture 69--(Same location as above.)

Picture 70
Picture 70--(Same location as above.)

Picture 71
Picture 71--Never say that bells always mount to the top and center of the signal mast.  This one uses a bracket to attach off-center.  This was probably done in order to use a bell with a 4-inch base on a 5-inch mast.  Also unusual about this crossing is the combination of 8-inch heads with a gate, with which 12-inch heads are more contemporaneous.  Both the bell and heads on this signal would be more probable on a 4-inch mast, commonly used on lighter signals that have no gate.

Picture 72
Picture 72--Classic Exide batteries that saw better days before the equipment that they supplied was retired.  These unsealed lead-acid batteries would normally be maintained with a visibly high water level, and the plates would not be warped and corroded as seen here.

Picture 73
Picture 73--A large, shallow-angle crossbuck.

Picture 74
Picture 74--(Same location as above.)

Picture 75
Picture 75--A very rarely used crossing.

Picture 76
Picture 76--Heavy rails bluntly sawed off and removed from the paved area of a closed crossing.  Apparently there is still railroad access from the far side of the crossing, as a sign facing away from the camera marks the new end-of-track.

Picture 77
Picture 77--Passing catty-corner through the intersection, this former Frisco main track now ends 100 yards or so away.  Not to be lax with crossing protection, though, the Frisco-era signage includes two crossbucks on the same round post, one facing each of the intersecting roads.  Valley Center, Kans.

Picture 78
Picture 78--A crisp shot of insulated joints and a battery well.

Picture 79
Picture 79--A nice pasture that happens to have rails running through it.  Make no mistake.  This was once a Rock Island main track.  Not only is the road grated over the rails, but the ditch cuts under them.

Picture 80
Picture 80--More defunct signals and paved-over rails.

Picture 81
Picture 81--(Same location as above.)

Picture 82
Picture 82--No, this is definitely not a Model 95 gate mech.  A rather sturdy builder's plate indicates its make and vintage design.

Picture 83
Picture 83--While rare at active crossings, cast-iron crossbucks came in both one-piece and two-piece designs.  A two-piece crossbuck could be double-sided and visible from both sides of the signal.  Where necessary, this functionality is usually accomplished today with separate crossbucks on each side of the mast.

Picture 84
Picture 84--The Rock Island used US&S triangular colorlight signals to protect its crossings with other railroads.  In this case, someone, possibly the other railroad, displaced the rail on the approach to the former crossing to ensure that no renegade equipment from the Rock Island could intrude into the other right-of-way following abandonment.

Picture 85
Picture 85--(Same location as above.)

Picture 86
Picture 86--(Same location as above.)

Picture 87
Picture 87--A former ATSF depot with decorative border lights in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Picture 88
Picture 88--Newton, Kans.

Picture 89
Picture 89--ATSF Cantilever signals in Mulvane, Kans.

Picture 90
Picture 90--Stormy weather for a pair of monohood signals somewhere in Kansas.

Picture 91
Picture 91--A track of the K&O Railroad goes down the middle of Platter St., Winfield, Kans.  Another website stated that some of these signals were wigwag signals as late as 2008.

Picture 92
Picture 92--The pole line.

Picture 93
Picture 93--The pole line.  Note the insect in flight.

Picture 94
Picture 94--A WRRS crossing near Hutchinson, Kans.  This is an old signal with 8-inch heads and an old split base, but with a modern Model 95 gate mech bolted to the side of it.

Picture 95
Picture 95--(Same location as above.)

Picture 96
Picture 96--Note the vertical closeness of the crossbuck to the light units and the length of excess mast above it, characteristic of the ATSF.  Compare to the UP crossing in the background.  (Same location as above.)

Picture 97
Picture 97--(Same location as above.)

Picture 98
Picture 98--(Same location as above.)

Picture 99
Picture 99--(Same location as above.)

Picture 100
Picture 100--The pole line doesn't always carry only low-voltage circuits.  Observe the power feed to the pole line.

Picture 101
Picture 101--Another instance of time-honored technology.

Picture 102
Picture 102--An interesting crossing with some decent scenery around it.

Picture 103
Picture 103--An interesting crossing with some decent scenery around it.  Normally the heads are plumbed to the front and back of the manifold while the ends of the manifold are capped.  This signal, however, has the front and back of the manifold covered with blanking plates, while the heads attach at the ends.  This would seem to result in wider spacing than usual between the units, but it may not be apparent when viewed from the angle at which the heads are aimed.

Picture 104
Picture 104--Carey Blvd. and Fairlawn Cemetery, Hutchinson, Kans.

Picture 105
Picture 105--Carey Blvd. And Fairlawn Cemetery, Hutchinson, Kans.

Picture 106
Picture 106--Carey Blvd. And Fairlawn Cemetery, Hutchinson, Kans.

Picture 107
Picture 107--A colorful scene.

Picture 108
Picture 108--A healthy-looking pole line.

Picture 109
Picture 109--A healthy-looking pole line.

Picture 110
Picture 110--A WRRS split base.

Picture 111
Picture 111--A modernized signal still retains its pinnacle.

Picture 112
Picture 112--A crossing and a control point at sunset.  Burrton, Kans.

Picture 113
Picture 113--(Same location as above.)

Picture 114
Picture 114--(Same location as above.)

Picture 115
Picture 115--(Same location as above.)

Picture 116
Picture 116--(Same location as above.)

Picture 117
Picture 117--Tired of unpainted signals or signals with silver paint?  Take a vacation to the territory of the Kansas City Southern, where “Signal Gray” paint is in use in northwest Arkansas.  Don't waste any time, though, as the older signals are being replaced if they haven't been already.

Picture 118
Picture 118--Scene near Abilene, Kans.

Picture 119
Picture 119--(Same location as above.)

Picture 120
Picture 120--A fixed-arm semaphore using a recycled crossbuck piece.

Picture 121
Picture 121--The Union Pacific line between Lincoln and Valparaiso, Nebr.  Raymond.

Picture 122
Picture 122--(Same location as above.)

Picture 123
Picture 123--The Union Pacific line between Lincoln and Valparaiso, Nebr.  Agnew.

Picture 124
Picture 124--(Same location as above.)

Picture 125
Picture 125--A passive, 2-track crossing with a slightly shallow-angle crossbuck.

Picture 126
Picture 126--Changes.

Picture 127
Picture 127--Transit signaling the old fashioned way.  New York, NY.

Picture 128
Picture 128--Closeup of a defunct pole.

Picture 129
Picture 129--Large, cast-iron crossbuck on left side of the road.  Louisville, Nebr., circa 2001.

Picture 130
Picture 130--(Same location as above.)

Picture 131
Picture 131--The mounting of a crossbuck not optimized for the back side view in this rural setting.

Picture 132
Picture 132--Milton-Freewater, Oregon.

Picture 133
Picture 133--Crossing signals with pedestal bases.  These signals probably originally had Griswold or Raco 8-inch signal heads, possibly back-mounted.  Milton-Freewater, Oregon.  Circa 2001.

Picture 134
Picture 134--Milton-Freewater, Oregon.

Picture 135
Picture 135--Older Kansas City Southern locomotives passing a milepost characteristic of their company.

Picture 136
Picture 136--A cold scene in central Kansas.

Picture 137
Picture 137--Griswold or Raco hoods in central Kansas.

Picture 138
Picture 138--Griswold or Raco hoods in central Kansas.

Picture 139
Picture 139--BNSF (Former CB&Q) signal in Crete, Nebr.  Note old-fashioned practice of cables not entering signal through foundation.

Picture 140
Picture 140--(Same location as above.)

Picture 141
Picture 141--(Same location as above.)

Picture 142
Picture 142--Crete, Nebr.

Picture 143
Picture 143--A KCS crossing and intermediate signals in northwest Arkansas.

Picture 144
Picture 144--North Gentry Control Point.  Gentry, Ark.

Picture 145
Picture 145--(Same location as above.)

Picture 146
Picture 146--A KCS crossing and intermediate signals in northwest Arkansas.

Picture 147
Picture 147--A KCS crossing and intermediate signals in northwest Arkansas.

Picture 148
Picture 148--A KCS crossing and intermediate signals in northwest Arkansas.

Picture 149
Picture 149--A 14-track (yes, fourteen-track) crossing in Wichita, Kans.  Most of the tracks are yard tracks, probably with island-only presence detection.  The farthest two tracks in the picture are the mains.

Picture 150
Picture 150--(Same location as above.)

Picture 151
Picture 151--A crossing signals sharing structure with traffic signals.

Picture 152
Picture 152--This gravel road is fairly level but at one point rises up to form a very small hill.  Timbers in the crest of the hill give a clue as to the otherwise elusive reason.  Murdock, Nebraska was once a water stop for the Rock Island, the tracks of which are not only removed but the right-of-way also plowed under for much of the region.  One of the homes in the town has an unusually short crossing signal on display in front of it.  Perhaps this was used to achieve a more normal viewing elevation to motorists in approach to the small "hill."

Picture 153
Picture 153--Crossover.  Greenwood, Nebr.

Picture 154
Picture 154--Until about 10 years ago, Nebraska Hwy. 2 was dubbed “Nebraska's Deadliest Highway.” Its accident history could be explained largely by the speed and volume of traffic between Lincoln and Nebraska City, combined with the fact that it was an undivided two-lane road.  Notwithstanding this fact, it seemed to have had the spirit of a scenic byway that those living in the southeastern part of the state may remember fondly as a mainstay of travel.  Part of the scenery that ranks most prominently for visitors to this site is a former Burlington Northern railroad line, commonly referred to as the Nebraska City Line or the “Arbor Line.” This line crosses the highway twice at grade, and has some other interesting features.  In recent years, rail service on the line has been off and on, the only substantial runs being coal runs to a power plant that can arrive via a competing rail route.  Hwy. 2 has been improved, making it a divided highway, and its right-of-way relocated, but pieces of the original highway route are still intact for local traffic, including the pieces that contain the two grade crossings with the Arbor Line.

Picture 155
Picture 155--A crossing on Old Hwy. 2.

Picture 156
Picture 156--Same location as above.  Rust shows that the competing rail line is handling coal runs at the time of the photo.

Picture 157
Picture 157--(Same location as above.)

Picture 158
Picture 158--Same location as above.  The signaling installation seems to bear the design of the CB&Q, predecessor to the Burlington Northern.  The line is currently owned by the power company for which coal is hauled.  Unfittingly in view of its heritage, the case reveals a sign of more recent Union Pacific operations and maintenance.  

Picture 159
Picture 159--(Same location as above.)

Picture 160
Picture 160--(Same location as above.)

Picture 161
Picture 161--(Same location as above.)

Picture 162
Picture 162--(Same location as above.)

Picture 163
Picture 163--A nearly overlooked shallow-angle crossbuck, perhaps on a private crossing, is seen from Old Hwy 2.  The semi-truck in the background delineates the new highway route.

Picture 164
Picture 164--A mast-mounted crossing control case in Dunbar, Nebr.

Picture 165
Picture 165--(Same location as above.)

Picture 166
Picture 166--Flashing yellow traffic head above an advance warning sign near Dunbar, Nebr.

Picture 167
Picture 167--The terrain around Weeping Water, Nebraska is somewhat different from what one would expect in a flat state, and the area around the town is home to limestone quarries and the like.  It was also home to the Missouri Pacific Railroad, with the associated GRS crossing equipment.

Picture 168
Picture 168--A crossbuck nestled in the trees in Tennessee.

Picture 169
Picture 169--An interesting cantilever crossing signal has both 8-inch and 12-inch heads.

Picture 170
Picture 170--A view of passing Norfolk Southern trains on a busy track can be had from the lawn of Southern Adventist University.  A main track passes near the edge of the campus, as given by the gates lowered for another train.

Picture 171
Picture 171--A modern conglomeration of signals on a main line is visible from the adjacent Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

Picture 172
Picture 172--Whitman Dr., near College Place, WA, 2002.

Picture 173
Picture 173--(Same location as above.)

Picture 174
Picture 174--(Same location as above.)

Picture 175
Picture 175--Council Bluffs, Iowa used to be an important location for the Rock Island.  The track is now the Iowa Interstate Railroad, and the passenger depot is now the Rails West Railroad Museum.  Also remaining at the time of this photo is this fine specimen of a WRRS crossing signal.

Picture 176
Picture 176--The crossing heads originally made by WRRS were rather round-backed and built like tanks.  The shape of the visors used by WRRS is still seen in the new LED heads made by its successor, WCH, and is preferred above the squarish or misshapen visors seen on some brands of signals by the author of this site.

Picture 177
Picture 177--(Same location as above.)

Picture 178
Picture 178--Near College Place, WA, June 2002.

Picture 179
Picture 179--Palouse River & Coulee City locomotive #2333 and BLMR locomotive #784 Near College Place, WA, June 2002.

Picture 180
Picture 180--Near College Place, WA, June 2002.

Picture 181
Picture 181--Near College Place, WA, June 2002.

Picture 182
Picture 182--A gated signal with 8-inch Safetran heads on a major railroad.  May, 2006.

Picture 183
Picture 183--A shallow-angle crossbuck at Hoag, Nebr.

Picture 184
Picture 184--(Same location as above.)

Picture 185
Picture 185--Crossing at Last Chance Road, near College Place, Wash.

Picture 186
Picture 186--(Same location as above.)

Picture 187
Picture 187--(Same location as above.)

Picture 188
Picture 188--The legend goes that the water tower in the background used to have a giant “B” for Brunswick, but since the plant has become a Kawasaki plant, the “B” has been shaved on the top and bottom to form a “K.” Although the Union Pacific line between Lincoln and Valparaiso, Nebraska seems less important lately for several reasons, it still serves the Kawasaki plant, which now makes rail transit cars that roll away from the plant on their own wheels, if the author understands it correctly.  Before transit cars were of the essence, the author snapped photos these photos of a signal with a jeweled crossbuck with inverted black and white scheme.  May 20, 2005.

Picture 189
Picture 189--(Same location as above.)

Picture 190
Picture 190--(Same location as above.)

Picture 191
Picture 191--(Same location as above.)

Picture 192
Picture 192--(Same location as above.)

Picture 193
Picture 193--(Same location as above.)

Picture 194
Picture 194--(Same location as above.)

Picture 195
Picture 195--A rural scene in Nebraska.

Picture 196
Picture 196--KCS Crossbucks in northwest Arkansas.

Picture 197
Picture 197--(Same location as above.)

Picture 198
Picture 198--An unusual structural arrangement combining a cantilever signal with an otherwise free-standing signal in front of it.

Picture 199
Picture 199--Hoppers seen moving across a wooden pile bridge while riding through the Northwest.

Picture 200
Picture 200--Shallow-angle crossbucks protect tracks in an industrial park of Wichita, Kans., circa 2008.

Picture 201
Picture 201--(Same location as above.)

Picture 202
Picture 202--The Frisco used to run through Wichita between Valley Center and El Dorado, Kansas.  Once a main track, now only pieces of it remain to access rail customers in Valley Center and Wichita.  In Wichita, the track runs down the middle of Washington Ave.  At the 17th Street crossing, the tall mast with a case at the base, seen on the far side of the street in this photo may have at one time held a wigwag signal similar to the one at a former Frisco crossing in Missouri.

Picture 203
Picture 203--(Same location as above.)

Picture 204
Picture 204--(Same location as above.)

Picture 205
Picture 205--A rather ABS-ish looking pair of searchlight signals photographed while riding through Montana.

Picture 206
Picture 206--An economical looking cantilever crossing.

Picture 207
Picture 207--(Same location as above.)

Picture 208
Picture 208--(Same location as above.)

Picture 209
Picture 209--Most crossing signal heads mount from the top, but Griswold had different designs that mounted from the top, from the back, and even from the bottom.  These Griswold heads feature a rather mundane top mounting.

Picture 210
Picture 210--(Same location as above.)

Picture 211
Picture 211--A “portable” crossing signal used during construction of the road and also elevated trackage.

Picture 212
Picture 212--(Same location as above.)

Picture 213
Picture 213--Scenery with a shallow-angle crossbuck in the foreground.  Near Keystone, So. Dak.

Picture 214
Picture 214--Scenery with a shallow-angle crossbuck in the foreground.  Near Keystone, So. Dak.

Picture 215
Picture 215--Handsome looking Griswold cantilevers on Union Pacific line in Walla Walla, Wash.  Note that the signal heads mount from the back instead of from the top.

Picture 216
Picture 216--(Same location as above.)

Picture 217
Picture 217--(Same location as above.)

Picture 218
Picture 218--Industrial park in Walla Walla, Wash.

Picture 219
Picture 219--Most likely, the signal isn't for the track that curves to the left in the photo.  There used to be a switch here on the Rock Island, with a track that proceeded straight ahead and crossed the MOP.  The remaining track from the two railroads is connected by the rails in the photo.  The nonfunctioning signal continues to exist despite drastically changing surroundings at the time of this photo.

Picture 220
Picture 220--Former Rock Island trackage.

Picture 221
Picture 221--Signals look nice with foliage.

Picture 222
Picture 222--(Same location as above.)

Picture 223
Picture 223--(Same location as above.)

Picture 224
Picture 224--(Same location as above.)

Picture 225
Picture 225--A nice looking neighborhood crossing with the former Rock Island.  Now part of the ASVRR.

Picture 226
Picture 226--(Same location as above.)

Picture 227
Picture 227--(Same location as above.)

Picture 228
Picture 228--An unused crossing in Nebraska City.  In the background, a coal train, comprised of OMAX cars, rolls over a bridge to a nearby power plant.

Picture 229
Picture 229--OMAX cars in Nebraska City.

Picture 230
Picture 230--Union Pacific crossings in a Nebraska City neighborhood.

Picture 231
Picture 231--(Same location as above.)

Picture 232
Picture 232--(Same location as above.)

Picture 233
Picture 233--(Same location as above.)

Picture 234
Picture 234--Older style “monohood” colorlight signal heads characteristic of the Union Pacific prior to the more plastic versions.

Picture 235
Picture 235--A crossing near Nebraska City.

Picture 236
Picture 236--A signal case exists near this passive crossing on dark territory.  More strangely, the case is painted blue.  The best explanation the author can come up with points to the MOP heritage of the line, the MOP having blue as one of its favorite colors.

Picture 237
Picture 237--(Same location as above.)

Picture 238
Picture 238--Searchlight signal visible across a field of golden straw.

Picture 239
Picture 239--(Same location as above.)

Picture 240
Picture 240--A fixed-arm semaphore in Lincoln, Nebr.  This appears to improvised from a lower-quadrant spectacle.  If the author is not mistaken, in the distant past, the CB&Q sometimes used Federal semaphore mechanisms to operate lower-quadrant blades.  Perhaps the equipment here is a remnant from that time.

Picture 241
Picture 241--A small signal-related case on the former Rock Island.

Picture 242
Picture 242--One or more former Rock Island hoppers on former Rock Island track.  Near Plymouth, Nebr., circa 2002.

Picture 243
Picture 243--An older diesel locomotive used on the former Rock Island trackage.

Picture 244
Picture 244--(Same location as above.)

Picture 245
Picture 245--(Same location as above.)

Picture 246
Picture 246--(Same location as above.)

Picture 247
Picture 247--(Same location as above.)

Picture 248
Picture 248--(Same location as above.)

Picture 249
Picture 249--(Same location as above.)

Picture 250
Picture 250--ATSF pole line.

Picture 251
Picture 251--ATSF pole line.

Picture 252
Picture 252--ATSF pole line.

Picture 253
Picture 253--K&O (previously MOP) crossing near 21st Street & Zoo Blvd., Wichita, Kans.

Picture 254
Picture 254--Same location as above.  Note bell above case.

Picture 255
Picture 255--(Same location as above.)

Picture 256
Picture 256--(Same location as above.)

Picture 257
Picture 257--A possible boiler tube post.

Picture 258
Picture 258--This former ATSF crossbuck features a vintage “LOOK OUT FOR THE CARS” sign on the post.  Literally on top of this, it also features signs providing safety and location information.  Apparently the safety value of the underlying sign was not highly valued at the time of this August, 2005 photo.  Enterprise, Kans.

Picture 259
Picture 259--Cheney, Nebraska on the Arbor line.

Picture 260
Picture 260--Near Keystone, So. Dak.

Picture 261
Picture 261--“DO NOT PARK ON TRACKS” sign near Keystone, So. Dak.  Originally serving mine spurs and continuing as a Burlington Northern line more recently, a flood in the 1970s washed out a bridge near this spot, severing access to Keystone about a mile away.  Notwithstanding this fact, line has been used for a tourist railroad since its CB&Q days.  The line to Keystone was repaired several years ago, and now the Black Hills Central Railroad runs a land-office business during tourist season, with the steam train often parked in view of a main thoroughfare between Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore.

Picture 262
Picture 262--Remnant of old Burlington Northern track headed west of Baird Tower area in Lincoln toward Woodlawn, Seward, and Columbus.  The right-of-way for this line is parallel to the Union Pacific right-of-way in this general area.  October, 2006.

Picture 263
Picture 263--A colorful variety of paint schemes on older locomotives on the BNSF. The order of the locomotives could be construed as anti-Burlington Northern sentiment in ATSF territory.

Picture 264
Picture 264--K&O railroad crossings in Wichita, Kans.

Picture 265
Picture 265--K&O railroad crossings in Wichita, Kans.

Picture 266
Picture 266--Iowa is the scene of this ABS line with normally green signals visible from the highway.  A US&S R-2 colorlight signal protects the crossing with another railroad at this interlocking for a normally red interruption.  Near Hinton, Iowa.

Picture 267
Picture 267--Colorlight signals along Nebraska Hwy.6 near Waverly.  These colorlights have three separate visors on each head.

Picture 268
Picture 268--(Same location as above.)

Picture 269
Picture 269--Melia siding, near Gretna, Nebr.

Picture 270
Picture 270--Melia siding, near Gretna, Nebr.  The high signal on the main track is approach-lit, but the dwarf signal on the siding is continuously lit, due to the siding being “unbonded” and having no track circuit to detect occupancy.  Note the ornate pinnacle on both high signals and entrance of cables near the bottom but not through the signal foundation.

Picture 271
Picture 271--Melia siding and crossing at dusk.  Near Gretna, Nebr.

Picture 272
Picture 272--(Same location as above.)

Picture 273
Picture 273--(Same location as above.)

Picture 274
Picture 274--(Same location as above.)

Picture 275
Picture 275--(Same location as above.)

Picture 276
Picture 276--The “Arbor Line” to Nebraska City was dormant for a few years before seeing regular traffic again.  Safety concerns regarding trains on a track possibly conceived as abandoned resulted in “TRAINS ARE RUNNING AGAIN” signs placed at both passive and active crossings along the route.  The train traffic again subsided after the time of this 2006 photo, and once again is being opened to trains.  Whether the signs will appear again is not yet clear.

Picture 277
Picture 277--The “passenger main” in Lincoln, Nebraska allows passenger trains and “hot shot” freights to bypass the freight yards, diverging from the freight main at Denton before coming into town.  One of the first lines around Lincoln to be fitted with CTC in the CB&Q era of ABS, it is also one of the last lines to be re-signaled.  The wayside signals were already redone, but the gate mechanisms on this particular pair of crossing signals were still rather vintage in these 2007 photos.

Picture 278
Picture 278--(Same location as above.)

Picture 279
Picture 279--(Same location as above.)

Picture 280
Picture 280--(Same location as above.)

Picture 281
Picture 281--(Same location as above.)

Picture 282
Picture 282--(Same location as above.)

Picture 283
Picture 283--(Same location as above.)

Picture 284
Picture 284--(Same location as above.)

Picture 285
Picture 285--(Same location as above.)

Picture 286
Picture 286--(Same location as above.)

Picture 287
Picture 287--(Same location as above.)

Picture 288
Picture 288--A US&S Automatic Flagman (wigwag) surviving to be photographed in operation late in 2007 in Missouri.  It also survived a local tornado to be seen in 2011 with slight upgrades.  In the 2007 sighting, the paint scheme of the locomotive looked suspiciously similar to that of CORP (Central Oregon & Pacific) locomotives which had been coming on the market in the last decade or so and were spotted elsewhere quite far from Interstate-5.

Picture 289
Picture 289--(Same location as above.)

Picture 290
Picture 290--(Same location as above.)

Picture 291
Picture 291--(Same location as above.)

Picture 292
Picture 292--(Same location as above.)

Picture 293
Picture 293--(Same location as above.)

Picture 294
Picture 294--(Same location as above.)

Picture 295
Picture 295--Wigwag near Liberty, Mo. at dusk.

Picture 296
Picture 296--(Same location as above.)

Picture 297
Picture 297--(Same location as above.)

Picture 298
Picture 298--(Same location as above.)

Picture 299
Picture 299--(Same location as above.)

Picture 300
Picture 300--(Same location as above.)

Picture 301
Picture 301--Signal at end of platform in Omaha, Nebr.

Picture 302
Picture 302--Wayside signals seen from the rear window of the California Zephyr in 2007.  Pardon the locomotive exhaust.

Picture 303
Picture 303--Wayside signals seen from the rear window of the California Zephyr in 2007.  Pardon the locomotive exhaust.

Picture 304
Picture 304--Wayside signals seen from the rear window of the California Zephyr in 2007.  Pardon the locomotive exhaust.

Picture 305
Picture 305--Wayside signals seen from the rear window of the California Zephyr in 2007.  Pardon the locomotive exhaust.

Picture 306
Picture 306--Wayside signals seen from the rear window of the California Zephyr in 2007.  Pardon the locomotive exhaust.

Picture 307
Picture 307--Mast-mounted searchlights on top of a signal bridge.  2007.

Picture 308
Picture 308--No picture of Small Town USA would be complete without a railroad crossing.  Noel, Missouri is pronounced more like “toll,” but still capitalizes on the Christmas aspect by sometimes having holiday decorations out-of-season.  Missouri's scenic Hwy. 59 passes under some interesting natural rock overhangs within the political boundaries of Noel.

Picture 309
Picture 309--Defunct block signals on the Rock Island in Belleville, Kans.

Picture 310
Picture 310--(Same location as above.)

Picture 311
Picture 311--(Same location as above.)

Picture 312
Picture 312--Fog on the Arbor Line at Dunbar, Nebr.

Picture 313
Picture 313--After noting the fall colors and warm welcome sign, note the faded KCS herald in Anderson, Missouri.

Picture 314
Picture 314--Anderson, Missouri is also the scene of this cantilever crossing signal, notable in that it has no more heads than a typical mast signal, but provides better visibility.

Picture 315
Picture 315--A gate with a pedestal base near Pendleton, Ore.

Picture 316
Picture 316--(Same location as above.)

Picture 317
Picture 317--Perspective on a modern crossing gate.

Picture 318
Picture 318--Unlike many distant approach signals where a track in dark territory comes to a signaled interlocking, this colorlight signal was not always fixed at yellow as given by the two-aspect head, indicative of the importance of the Hall Tower interlocking ahead where expedience was required.  Probably the lower aspect was yellow and the upper one green.  It was not always a colorlight, as suggested by the vintage mast and pinnacle, but previously sported a searchlight head.  An area signal maintainer believes that the signal was a even a semaphore before the searchlight head was installed.  Despite the changes, the Union Pacific signal on 4th St, Lincoln, Nebraska only saw a few more years of service before the Union Pacific line to Marysville, Kans. was removed.  Photo circa 2001.

Picture 319
Picture 319--South Bend, Nebraska was an exciting place on the Rock Island.  The Burlington Northern paralleled the Platte River on the west bank, and the Rock Island crossed both the foreign railroad and the river, only to cross the Missouri Pacific three miles to the east.  The Rock had two signals in the west approach to the BN crossing, one of which was a double-headed colorlight with triangular arrangement of lights, and one of these signals was unusual by the fact that all three colors were possible on both heads as opposed to some being blanked out as with their interlocking signals in most other situations.  This photo shows the bridge over the Platte river with a few spans missing.  Although it is not clear to the author if these are the original spans, the bridge was being restored and has since been completed for private, non-rail use.

Picture 320
Picture 320--The boundary between Washington and Oregon is skirted over a certain space by State Line Road.  On a hill roughly between Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater, the road lends a view of a remote grain elevator on the Oregon side, and the skyline of Walla Walla, but from a safe distance, on the Washington side.

Picture 321
Picture 321--(Same location as above.)

Picture 322
Picture 322--Same location as above.  The most recognizable and probably the most historic building in Walla Walla–Whitman Tower–is visible.  Circa 2001.

Picture 323
Picture 323--A Union Pacific trainman interfaces with an electric switch lock as seen from the water.

Picture 324
Picture 324--A scenic view involving tank cars (if it were possible) can be found in this Oregon photo.

Picture 325
Picture 325--Waverly, Nebraska circa 2001.  The signal bridge marks the end of a somewhat unusual center siding track serving traffic in both directions of the two-main-track line on the BNSF (previously Burlington Northern, previously CB&Q).  A road crossing at grade lies just beyond the signal bridge.  Apparently the center siding was not bonded, meaning that there were no bond wires on the jointed rail and hence no track circuit in the center siding.  This further means that there was no approach circuit for the crossing on the siding track.  A signal maintainer states that when the dispatcher sent a control to clear the signal for the siding exit movement, the effect in the circuits would first be to activate the crossing signals, causing the gates to come down.  When the gates were fully lowered the signal providing for the siding exit would then clear, from the gate mechanism circuit controller if the author remembers correctly.  It is not known if there was any time element relay involved as well.  This kind of check circuit between crossing and wayside signals is extremely rare in American freight railroading.

Picture 326
Picture 326--Two of several unused tracks forming a quaint scene in an industrial park.

Picture 327
Picture 327--A windmill and a rustic (or should I say, rusty?) crossbuck on the Rock Island near Hallam, Nebr.

Picture 328
Picture 328--(Same location as above.)

Picture 329
Picture 329--An all-wood (except nails and paint) crossbuck at the intersection of 19th & Y Streets, Lincoln, Nebr.  At the time of this photo, it served to warn passers-by of the dangers presented by rails that span only the pavement.  If not for this short span of rail, the fact would be nearly or entirely lost on the world that a track ever passed through this well-changed environment.  The track was certainly a spur serving some industry, probably by the Rock Island, the main tracks of which were the closest to this point of the three railroads that once existed in the area, and which still exist about a block or two away in the service of other industries.

Was there anything on this page that you found particularly interesting, helpful, useful, educational, or enjoyable?  Please contact the author and let him know!

Contact Info

Back to Home Page

Copyright(©) 2012 by M.R.E.  All rights reserved.

By accessing the content pages of this website the reader is agreeing to the terms given on the legal page.  This page contains important safety disclaimers and restrictions regarding the use, copying, sharing, and application of the content in any context.  This is especially pertinent for railroad employees and the like.  Please contact the authors with any questions regarding use of the content, including requests for any special exceptions.  Your careful observance of these terms is appreciated.