GWR Semaphores

Whilst the current lq semaphores in R3D are plenty for a simple layout, they don’t cover all the “weird and wonderful” things that popped up under the gwr and br(wr), such as goods line signals, calling on arms, stacked junction signals, and so on. There is also some confusion with the three model sets (very imaginatively named lq, lq_ and lqt!) which attempt to represent different eras/models, as well as some display issues cropping up, such as wrongly orientated textures (I suspect R3D started parsing these differently at some point) and misplaced includes. What started out as a small project to correct the latter two problems has snowballed into a much larger project!

Different styles of lq signal

It is actually quite difficult to say that gwr and br(wr) lq signals were distinct from each other - the Western Region held on very tightly to its identity, and only continued as an evolution of the gwr’s standards. However, there are two main evolutions in the actual construction of the signals that roughly coincided with the creation of br in 1948 (I think the gwr had experimented or adopted both in the mid/late thirties, though) - the change from square wooden posts to tubular steel, and from wooden arms to steel ones, with a change to the spectacle housing occurring more or less at the same time as the arms.

In addition, some signal arms changed over time. Calling-on, shunt-ahead once carried letters on their faces, but were later standardised to the more standard red-and-white striped arm with the inclusion of a new “warning” arm, with an illuminated letter (C, S or W) showing the type of signal. Backing signals eventually fell out of favour completely, probably being replaced with normal signals or shunt discs.

Some photographs showing old versus new can be found at http://sdrsignalling.com/Signal_Types.htmlGWR Semaphores

Whilst it is inevitable that the old and new styles were all mixed up at some point, I have decided to simplify things and create “early” and “late” era signals. The former feature the wooden arms and square posts, whilst the latter have tubular posts and metal arms.

Types of signal included

Home Signal

The standard stop signal, ubiquitous across the gwr network. Both old and new styles are included, and the counterweights, spectacle light and check light (used by the signalman to check the signal has responded to the lever at night) all work (though I’ve yet to get around to putting counterweights on bracketed signals)

A variety of junction, right-handed, offset and bracketed (for sighting) signals are also included

Distant Signal

Distant signals inform drivers whether every home signal at a signal box will be clear, or whether to expect to find the first one at danger. On occasion, high-speed junctions would have splitting distants, where a separate distant was provided for each route, to allow the driver to regulate his speed accordingly. Distants co-located with home signals have a slotting arrangement, so that the distant will only come off when the home signal is cleared and the lever for the distant is also pulled - this is done with counterweights and works for most occasions (R3D’s limitations mean it’s not possible to have the distant counterweight shown when the signal is at danger, as the “next signal” is undefined - scripts could do the job for rivet counters, though).

Secondary line signals

Goods and other secondary lines had shorted 3-foot arm signals, to differentiate them from the main line signals. Signals into sidings were fitted with a white ring, whilst signals for wrong direction moves had two holes removed from the arm. All three are included.

The weird and wonderful

Other items such as calling-on arms, route indicators and shunt-ahead signals are included. The set is made up entirely of modular parts, so it’s very easy to come up with your own signals - I’ve also tried to make scripting easy by assigning a unique id to each arm, lamp and counterweight.