Locomotive classification lights and flags

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Glenn Brooks
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Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:16 pm

Iam just finishing up a TI and winter paint job on my Ottaway 4-4-0 coal burner. It has two flag holders mounted one on each side of the front deck, just behind the pilot. Iam trying to replicate what style classification lights were carried on an 1890’s Great Northern RR 4-4-0 and where they were likely to be mounted.

Edit: I’ve learned that white lights indicated extra train (not in the schedule) and green lights indicated extra sections of a regularly,scheduled train. Tip of the hat to the good Doctor Google.

Iam also interested in learning about any side or rear lights or flags on the back end of the loco or around the tender.

And, Whom might sell 1890’s style locomotive classification lamps in 2 1/2” scale, or better 3”+ scale ??

Thanks very much for any info or references you might be able to pass along.
Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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Pat Fahey
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by Pat Fahey » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:25 am

Hi Glenn
I found two photos of the William Crooks, one in service, and at the Museum. I don't believe at that time, locomotives were carrying classification lights? All thro I can be wrong. Pat WLS.
A3673 James J Hill standing on step of William Crooks steamer engine of Great Northern Railway system 1908 optimized.jpg  JPEG Image  1000 × 738 pixels    Scaled  85  .png
Found photo off the web
St._Paul_ _Pacific_William_Crooks_steam_locomotive.jpg  JPEG Image  1280 × 970 pixels    Scaled  65  .png
William Crooks in Museum found photo off web

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makinsmoke
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by makinsmoke » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:53 am

Looks like white flags on that bad boy in the in service photo, imho. The standards are shorter than the ones in the museum photo.

Many flag standards had holes in the top to hold flags, many others were cast with brackets on the sides to hold lanterns.

Take care,
Brian

tomc
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by tomc » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am

If steam engines were pushing on the caboose or running lite, the tender would have the Markers hung on the tender. Not to be confused with class lites as they are different.

Tom C.
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:00 pm

Tom, I’ve read about markers, but never could learn what markers signify? How were they different from classification lights/flags, and And any idea where on the tender they were mounted?

For example, Are markers always the red end of train lights??? Or something else...

Thanks
Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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trivettj
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by trivettj » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:42 pm

To answer your question as to who sales the lanterns and marker lights check out bryterails he makes very nice stuff the web address is http://www.bryterails.com

rkcarguy
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:39 pm

Not much info out there, I did a google image search, and only saw one image with flags(white ones in picture above), and several that stuck American flags on there of course.

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Marty_Knox
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by Marty_Knox » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:13 pm

You are looking in the wrong place, you should be looking in the operating rules for the railroad you are modeling. They spell out where, when, and how headlights, flags and markers are to be displayed.

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makinsmoke
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by makinsmoke » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:17 pm

Classification lamps and flags indicated the class of train, whereas marker lamps (red) indicated the end of the train, whether it was a train, caboose hop, or light engine. Engines running in reverse outside the yard were required to show red to the rear, in this case on the front of the engine.

Class flags were used in daylight, lighted lamps at night, although I've seen photos of unlit lamps with the proper lens color and flags used together during the day.

Here's a pretty nice site with descriptions of all kinds of lights and lamps and their use:
http://www.jeffpolston.com/home.htm

Go to the right and down below the Universe part and click on Railroad lanterns.

Take care,
Brian

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makinsmoke
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by makinsmoke » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:22 pm

One quick point. A regularly scheduled train, or one on a timetable or schedule would not have any classification flags or lamps, unless it had following sections of the same train. In that case the flag or lamp would be green.

So if the Santa Fe Fast Mail was running in two sections, the first engine on the first section would display green flags or lamps. The following section would not.

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johnpenn74
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by johnpenn74 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:42 pm

There's probably a Model Railroad book that explains all this. Or this out of an nyc manual.

JP
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Locomotive classification lights and flags

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:56 pm

Thanks all for the good info. Having decided my display at the Wa state model RR exhibit will be an “extra” train - literally and figuratively, I made up a couple of white flags - signifying the addition of the Ottaway as an extra train to the KLS display roster. Sort of an inside joke. As the early day RR folk stipulated flags could be either cloth or metal, I opted to cut the flags out of heavy gauge brass shim stock. Then spray painted them white and affixed to the flag poles mounted on the cow catcher. Used individual strands of copper wire to thread the tiny holes in the flag poles. Works a treat!

These are original Ottaway flag poles and look very well done. However they are quite small. Maybe half or 1/3rd the size they should be. So after the show Iam thinking about turning some flag staffs and making new flags, maybe 4” square for 2.5 to 3” scale. These existing ones measure 2” x2” square.

Anyway here’s how they look so far.
DFED2560-B1B0-4485-B387-9B0C4439D13F.jpeg
B122063D-84AC-4DFA-A6A6-2E31FB789332.jpeg

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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