SIGNALS AT HANAU
by John Hinson
Photograph by Janet Cottrell, 1992
This example of a typical German semaphore signal was taken by Janet
Cottrell in 1992. It is at Hanau, which is near Frankfurt.
To understand the functions of
these signals, it is necessary to discard any understanding of British
Hauptsignale (Stop Signals)
- The upper arm, when horizontal, indicates stop. The lower arm is
vertical, flush with the post.
- The upper arm, when inclined at 45º, indicates clear.
- If the lower arm is also inclined at 45º, the signal indicates clear
for a slow speed route - with a speed restriction of 40 km/h across the connections.
Vorsignale (Distant Signals)
The yellow-coloured signal in the photograph is a distant signal.
- The disc, when visible to the driver, or two amber lights by night,
- If the disc is pivoted to be flat and not visible to the driver, or
two green lights by night, the signal indicated clear.
- The yellow arm, if pivoted to 45º (with the disc remaining face-on
to drivers), indicates clear for a low-speed route. The night indication is
amber (left) and green (right).
The principles of German signalling were adopted by many other European
Additional notes by Simon Lowe and Robert Neuhoff
This photograph formed part of the July
Comments about this article should be
addressed to John Hinson