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ATSF Semaphore and Train Order Signals designed using the plans in the book "The Chief Way Reference Series - System Standards - Volume 2" and the article on pages 16 to 23 of the July/August 1985 issue of "SANTA FE MODELER".


700 Semaphore signal. complete/painted/working/lighted/RTR signal, needs 3V flat DC supply (not included)

701 Train order signal. complete/painted/working/lighted/RTR signal, needs 3V flat DC supply (not included)

These signals will be made in limited quantities, basically on order.

CAUTION: Do not operate over 3V FLAT DC........... over 3V the LED will burn out....... and replacement is not easy.


Masts are made of 1,3 mm brass tubing (trainorder signal) and 1,3 / 1,8 mm (semaphore signal).

Foundation of the semaphore signal, the pinnacle and motor/led housing are 3D prints, as is the top of the trainorder signal.

Ladders of both signals are 0,25 stainless steel etchings (very sturdy/stiff).

Platform and numberboard of semaphore signal are half etched (0,125 mm) stainless steel (see picture below).

Blades of both signals are partial half etched (0,125 mm) stainless steel as per picture below.

Lighting is provided by a 0401 LED in the top of the mast  in case of train order signal or in the fixture/housing next to the top of the mast in case of the semaphore signal.

The motor drive is a 2,5 RPM 3 - 6 V geared DC motor (one motor for the semaphore signal, two motors for the trainorder signal).

My sugestion is to run both LED and motor(s) on 3 V flat DC. If you want the blades to move faster you can separate the LED and motor leads and use a higher voltage to drive the motor (again: NEVER go over 3V FLAT DC for the LED). You can connect both leads (+ and -) to the solder pads on the underside of the base plate. If the LED does not light simply reverse the leads. Turning direction of the motor is not important.  


Prototype operation was by electric motor for the semaphore signal and by hand for the train order signal. The semaphore signal blade movement/speed for this N scale model is about what I saw in several different movies; for the train order signal I could find no movies unfortunately so thats remains guesswork, certainly because of the fact of being hand operated........

My suggestion is to use a dedicated 3V straight/flat DC adapter (more signals cab be connected to one adapter).

I decided on a very simple way of operation: a pushbutton in one of the motor leads...... 

Just press/hold the button till the signal reaches the desired postion...... movement will stop almost immediately upon release.

Install the pushbutton near the signal in the layout fascia or furher away on your train control pannel......... as desired.

Electronic wizzards will certainly be able to incorporate the signals into their (DCC) control systems using relais/arduino's/servos.

To keep cost down and basic operation simple for everybody I decided to omit these last possibilities.


Base plate semaphore signal = 40 x 80 mm...........................Signal height = 57 mm.

Base plate train order signal = 50 x 90 mm............................Signal height = 71 mm.

Base plate = 2 mm thick.....................Mechanism height below base plate = 40 mm.


ATSF N Scale Models                           Dirk Jan Blikkendaal                                            © 2017