MAKING ERSATZ GROUND SIGNALS

Welcome to St Agnes

Views of the Layout

Further Views

Map of the “St Agnes”

Operating the “St Agnes”

The Budd Cars

The Transistor Throttles I use

Building my Throttles

Calculating Scale Speed

Using a Model Lathe 1

Using a Model Lathe 2

Using a Model Lathe 3

Making Searchlight Signals

Ersatz Ground Signals

Making Dummy Signals

MRE “Hints and Tips”

Exhibitions and Layouts

Building a Layout in a short time frame

Simple Street Lighting

Simple Cut out Buildings

Canadian Trees



Updated July 2017






Model Railways in general need some form of signalling system although many of us install them or put dummies in place. Here is an ultra cheap method of representing signals, namely ground signals, on your layout.

On my railway, I had the need for a “fouling peg” system which could be readily seen by visiting operators yet look as though they are meant to be there. The seeds for this idea were sown when my wife bought me a set of Lifelike dummy signals for the layout which included a couple of ground signals. However these are fairly fragile at the base and one spectacular derailment broke two of them when one of my visitors threw the wrong point under a moving train.

I needed a few “fouling peg” type signals anyway for other areas on my layout so I took the idea to make my own but needed something a little more forgiving of such mistakes. Searching around the scrap box came up with a few spare Kadee coupler pockets (not too necessary when you have Athearn cars) and some scraps of styrene which many of us should have. Cutting down the pocket to approximate size I simply backed it up with a piece of .020” styrene and glued it onto a styrene base. A dab of white and black paint with a Yellow dab where the lens would be to represent “Caution” and voila one ground signal.






Note that I have put in the small triangular piece as a gusset to assist the structural strength of the signal.

I do have the advantage that these signals are not directly seen front on at the back of the layout and were decorative and functional enough at the front. However I have also found “Jaycar” in Melbourne supplying 3mm bidirectional LED's and have fitted them to a couple of these ground signals... and they almost fit perfectly. The “bulb” aspect is a little oversize when you drill the 3mm holes (careful that you don't tear your signal visor” but it is as good as we are likely to get for a while apart from turning the LEDs themselves down to a closer size. I have coupled up the wires to the control panel and they are now part of the signalling system.