General Question: Railroad Marker/Warning Sign/ROW Sign.

Run 8
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Run 8
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Joined: 9:11 PM - Dec 10, 2013

9:11 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #1

Ok, major senior moment in effect here -

Today at a local flea market a vendor had a rather heavy flat steel rectangular device that was about 15" inches in length, maybe 4"-5" wide and 1/4" thick.  It was painted yellow and had two painted black circles about 3" in diameter, no other markings. From the stub of the angle iron bracket (it had been cut off) that had been riveted to it, it appears the device would have been installed and projecting at a 45 degree upward to the right.

Of course I didn't have the presence of mind to snap a picture, (duh) which would have made identifying it much easier.

Anyone out there care to speculate what it was? Warning for snowplow/spreader lift - MOW equipment - fouling point indicator?  I'm drawing a complete blank.
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Goffprof
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Joined: 1:05 PM - Feb 25, 2008

11:17 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #2

Sounds like you were looking at a typical “raise flanger” sign or “flanger board” that the New Haven mounted at a 45 degree angle on a pipe or metal sign post on the right of way to advise the operator of a snow plow, flanger (machine used to clear the wheel flange area on the inside face of each rail), Jordan Spreader, or ballast regulator to raise the equipment above the top of the rail.

The flanger board signs were placed at the approaches to grade crossings, turnouts, crossovers, bridges, stations, and other locations so the operator knew when to raise the flanger, snow plow blades, Jordan Spreader wings, or ballast regulator plow and side boxes in the winter, fog, or other times when sight lines were obstructed. In many cases, the equipment was being pushed by a locomotive so visibility in heavy snow was always a problem. The direction (left or right) of the sign indicated which side of the track switches, station platforms, or other obstructions were located.

There are many cases where equipment derailed in the winter at a grade crossing due to a missing flanger board as the unplowed snow covered the road.

On some lines with infrequent service, the grade crossing flangeways packed with ice, derailing the first train over them. It was common in the NH, Penn Central, and Conrail years to have trackmen riding in the cab of locomotives to clear the crossing flangeways, clean switches, and other areas of snow ahead of the train to avoid derailments. Many of the flanger boards have been removed but there are still some in place all over the old New Haven system.

I included a picture below as an example that shows a typical left hand flanger board sign installed to indicate a station platform is ahead on the left side.

Al Goff
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jfloehr
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jfloehr
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Joined: 6:32 PM - Aug 05, 2010

8:40 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #3

Flanger sign drawings & descriptions (New York Central System):
http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/rail ... 8-1950.pdf
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Run 8
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Run 8
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Joined: 9:11 PM - Dec 10, 2013

7:32 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #4

Thanks to both of you gents for the information. I have seen these from time to time over the years, any I remember were free of paint and very rusty.  Once the pole/mast is cut off, the effect of what this device is is all but lost. I especially liked the NYC specs - basically anything that sticks into the ground is suitable to hold the board. The one I saw the other day was in really nice condition, strong yellow paint and black circles, I hope the vendor has it with him next week, at least for a better look at it and a few pics.

There's nothing quite like these 1:1 scale collectibles. 👍
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

8:04 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #5

The New Haven and the New York Central both used the diagonal metal signs as shown in the photograph.  The Pennsylvania, however, used a black-edged yellow triangle with a black dot in the center.  Perhaps this yellow diagonal metal sign with two black dots might be a post-merger, pre-Conrail application.
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Run 8
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Run 8
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9:21 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #6

Statkowski wrote: The New Haven and the New York Central both used the diagonal metal signs as shown in the photograph.  The Pennsylvania, however, used a black-edged yellow triangle with a black dot in the center.  Perhaps this yellow diagonal metal sign with two black dots might be a post-merger, pre-Conrail application.
I stumbled across this tonight on a Boston and Maine site.  Apparently it is wooden and mounts horizontally, but the dimensions and marking are the same.  Not sure if other roads may have had the same style.
yellow flanger board.JPG
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Rodeo Joe
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Joined: 6:57 PM - Nov 17, 2012

10:52 PM - Oct 13, 2018 #7

If you happen to get on the MBTA's Riverside D line, there's a couple of these still out there between Chesnut Hill and Newton Ctr. on the outbound. Both are pretty rusty and no paint and mounted to an old piece of rail. Not sure if they date back to the BA/NYC days, don't think the MBTA put these up for any reason.

Joe
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