BOLTON'S BITS 7mm SCALE SIGNALS, HELPING TO RESTORE BOLTON TRANSPORT 122

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ORDER BOOKS OPEN FOR 2020!

 

LMS GANTRIES AVAILABLE SOON!

A RANGE OF 7mm SIGNALS CAN BE MADE TO MADE TO ORDER, WITH PRICES STARTING FROM 90 WITHOUT ILLUMINATED LAMPS OR 105 WITH. (SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO FLUCTUATING MATERIAL COSTS

FOR PRICES OF SERVO FITTED SIGNALS, PLEASE EMAIL OR PHONE WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS. DUE TO PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS ALL SIGNALS WILL BE SUBJECT TO P&P.

SEE BELOW FOR GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS AND AN IDEA OF LIKELY COSTS

 

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I was a signalman on BR, Railtrack and Network Rail  for nearly 40 years, and I have developed a passion for semaphore signals and traditional signalboxes.

While working at Chester PSB I got involved with a friends gauge 0 layout and offered to build signals for it. As there were going to be quite a few upper quadrants, to save money I made my own masters for signal arms, lamps, backlight blinders etc and set about casting almost all the parts I needed although I have now (2020) upgraded and improved many of the parts I used.

I have produced some 40 signals for the layout  including some ex GW types built from kits.

Visitors to the layout have subsequently ordered a few signals and I have now built over 200 for various customers in the last 15 years!

Each signal is designed and built to be workable by your chosen method and can be fitted with LEDs in the lampcases (if required). The arms are either etched brass or nickle silverand lampcases are usually Modelu 3D printed. The posts are brass tube or etched brass from MSE or SSS. The ladders, coloured lenses and post caps are from MSE or Scale signal Supply or my own range

Pictures of a small number of them are shown in the Signal Gallery for some of my older ones or the Latest Signals tab for some of my more recent ones. 

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So how do I order a signal then?

Have a think about your track diagram and your needs and ring me up for a chat or send an email with a few ideas.

Some basic design points to bear in mind when designing your signals.

  1. Where is it going to be placed? Would a driver be able to see it? Take into consideration bridges, tunnels, canopies and other scenic bits and bobs.

  2. Will it physically fit where you want it to be? What's under the baseboard and will you have room for the operating mechanism?

  3. What's the signal for? Plain line, junctions left or right, parallel running lines, shunt moves etc?

  4. This is not a hard and fast rule, but generally, a bracket signal controlling diverging routes from one track will have it's dolls or posts a scale 6ft apart, and a bracket signal controlling parallel running lines converging to one line (at the end of a loop or slow line or exiting a bay platform) will have the dolls or posts a scale 11ft apart.

  5. What's the best way of operating the signals? I used to use solenoids (point motors) but found the operation to be a bit harsh, especially on the bracket signal linkages. I now favour using micro-servos as used in the smaller radio controlled aircraft. These are as cheap if not cheaper than point motors but of course need electronic "drivers" to control them. These are available cheaply if you are a member of MERG the model railway electronics group or from model railway electronics retailers such as "Heathcote"  Megapoints, and Scale Signal Supply.

Alternatively, you can maybe get an idea of what you need from the chart below. It is by no means an exhaustive list but may help a little. The functions of one type of signal may be fitted to another configuration. You may wish to consult your books and photo collections for further inspiration!

Fancy some RTR signals for your layout?

As stated above, I can build a range of 7mm scale signals to order.

The signals I have built so far are mainly ex LMS tubular post upper quadrants but I've branched out to encompass most UK railway semaphores. I can work to photographs and drawings or I can design signals as required but the main dimensions for the Upper quadrants are from the excellent and now recently re-printed book, "LMS Signals" by L.G.Warburton. Click on the thumbnails in the centre column to the left to get an idea of the end result.

The general specification for example, an LMS tubular post upper quadrant is as follows:-

Main posts from brass tube, soldered.

Arms are either Scale Signal Supply, MSE or more than likely from my own slowly expanding range of etches

Brass sheet baseplate, standard size 50mm X 32mm

Whitemetal castings or 3D printed items for lamps, some  of the post caps, and other sundry post fittings.

Machined brass trimmers (the horizontal supports to which each of the "dolls" are fixed)

0.8mm plywood for landings/staging.

Brass wire, strip and tube for all necessary operating rods and cross shafts. "Return to danger" springs fitted if required.

OPERATING RODS EXTEND ABOUT 2" BELOW BASEBOARD LEVEL TO ALLOW FITTING OF YOUR OWN PREFERRED OPERATING METHOD OR SERVOS CAN BE FITTED ON REQUEST AT EXTRA COST.

Brass or nickel-silver wire for safety railings around landings.

Etched brass ladders.

 Warm white LEDs fitted to each lamp  and  a suitable resistor wired to positive side with rest of signal as negative (if requested.)

Sprayed with primer then finished with appropriate enamels. Light weathering at no extra cost.

How much are they likely to cost?

As a rule an illuminated tubular construction straight post signal will cost (105) with one arm plus (50) per additional arm to a max of 3 arms.(4 if all are shunt arms)

A similar specification bracket signal will cost (190) with one arm plus (50) per additional arm to a maximum of 4 dolls or posts with a maximum of 6 arms in total over entire signal.

The maximum number of arms on each signal reflects what I can reliably guarantee to work! More than that is possible but the workings become a bit too crowded and cumbersome.

As stated elsewhere, a drive rod to approx 2" below baseboard level is provided but operation of the signals is left for the customer to provide their own preferred system or servos can be fitted on request.

LMS Pratt Truss Gantries now available to special order

The lighter version of the LMS Pratt Truss gantry will be available in 2020 with prices starting at 250 with one doll/arm although each gantry will have to be specially priced according to specification.

Feel free to email or phone to discuss your requirements. Full details in the contacts and ordering page.

Please Note!: These prices are a guide rather than a definite quote and may vary as materials prices change.   

 

   
Please Note!: These prices are a guide rather than a definite quote and may vary as materials prices change.  
TYPE TYPICAL OR SAMPLE CONFIGURATION  GENERALLY FOR? SIZES (scale feet) LIKELY COST
STRAIGHT POST STOP SIGNAL photo Controlling straight ahead movements along plain line, at ends of platforms, loops etc 17'to 30' From 95
STRAIGHT POST DISTANT SIGNAL Gives an indication of what the next stop signal will be showing 17'to 30' From 95
OFFSET BRACKET LEFT OR RIGHT (with up to 3 dolls and a total of 6 arms) photo Used where a straight post signal would not be visible to the driver or where a straight post could not physically  be situated 16'6" to cross trimmers, 15' width, up to total height of between 20'-35' From 190
BALANCED BRACKET(with up to 3 dolls and a total of 6 arms) photo Controls diverging routes at junctions (dolls 6' apart) or parallel lines converging to one (dolls 11' apart). 16'6" to cross trimmers, 15' width, up to total height of between 20'-35' From 240
SHUNT SIGNAL (with up to 4 arms) photo With smaller shunt arms, for controlling diverging routes in sidings and yards. 17'-25' From 95
RUNNING LINE TO LOOP photo For use when a loop line or goods line diverges from a main line.   From 190
STOP & DISTANT SIGNAL photo Where 2 signalboxes are close together, the starting signal of one signalbox may have the distant signal of the next box underneath it.   From 145
         
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