The Signal Display at the Illinois Railway Museum, located along the north side of Barn 4, includes a wide variety of railroad signals. Signals on the railroad are every bit as important as traffic signals on the road, and since the mid-1800s they have been used to ensure the safety of passengers and crew traveling the rails.
Different railroads and different signal equipment manufacturers developed a wide range of signal varieties over the years, and the museum’s Signal Display seeks to exhibit as many varieties of lineside signal as possible. Learn about the difference between semaphores and searchlights, find out why different railroad signals at the same location can have different “aspects” (like red or green), and discover how signals were sometimes engineered for a specific location – like in the subway.
The display is open for viewing anytime the museum is open, located along Depot Street just south of Barn 3. On most weekends, the signals will be in operation, including rotating color aspects and moving semaphore blades.