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On the marker lights on the front of a steamer, are those just white also, or a color? If colored, which side is red or green? And on a streamlier passenger train, the rear observation car lights on the sides, are they colored, and which side is which?

thanks! Jerry
 

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The front markers are usually unlit. When lit they display white for an extra, green for a second section following. Red is displayed only if the loco front is the rear of a train as in a pusher pushing backwards (relatively rare). There are also rules for locos and cabooses sitting on passing sidings that vary from road to road and sometimes call for one color on one side and another color on the other side. This is for standing trains only. I use plain unlit markers on my lokies as that's the most common way to see them. This is not to be confused with lights illuminating number boards as used on diesels.

Red is always displayed to the rear of the train. Some roads used either yellow or green on the sides of the markers or nothing at all.

The same rules apply to flags in daytime.
 

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Richard is correct according to what I've read, or at least in the Pennsy and B&O operating manuals anyway. One thing to note, though, the Rio Grande Narrow Gauge ran EVERYTHING as an "extra" for YEARS, so all of them had (and continue to have on the D&S and C&TS) white markers/flags on the loco. Yes they generally took down the lights and put up flags in daytime, and reversed it again at dark (no sense having stuff out when not actually needed to be lost or "liberated")

O gauge builders (Lionel and Marx especially) often put incorrect multicolored markers on their locos because they looked nice... and that practice carried over into large scale (as on the Delton/Aristo C-16 for example)
 

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A question, Richard, just because it's older than the rule book I have....

Wasn't it sometimes the practice when running several sections to one train to run red flags/lamps on the head end of all but the last section, which carried green, just so's you'd know when they'd all gone by? Seems like I'd heard of this with large military movements...

Matthew (OV)
 

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I had always understood that a white flag(day) or light(night) on a train meant another section of the same numbered train was following. So it one train was being run in 10 sections the first 9 engines would show a white flag/light on the front
 

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On the question of following sections:

Every rule book I've ever seen used green markers for all but the last section of a train. The last one wouldn't need anything, since the absence of any marker WAS the indicaton that it was the last section.

Also, red was exclusively used for the rear of a train. As an engineer, I can testify to the significance railroaders place on nearly anything red. I doubt that anyone would have thought it a good idea to use a red marker for anything besides the last car in a train.

I think it's a real shame that we've moved away from using markers. Of course, since we don't run by timetable, there's no need for them, but still, I think they were great, and added to the "flavor" of railroading.
 

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Jerry,

There is a difference between class lites & marker lites.. Markers are used to identify the locomotive when setting in the dark & are red @ each corner.. Class lites are for trains on the move.. White lites or flags is for extras, green means there are sections & none is the real train.. Hope this helps..

BulletBob
 

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Posted By SlateCreek on 10/12/2008 10:56 PM
A question, Richard, just because it's older than the rule book I have....

Wasn't it sometimes the practice when running several sections to one train to run red flags/lamps on the head end of all but the last section, which carried green, just so's you'd know when they'd all gone by? Seems like I'd heard of this with large military movements...

Matthew (OV)



Your idea's right you've just got the colors wrong. In the heyday of the Twentieth Century Ltd. for example often four or more sections were run to accomodate all the passengers. Sections 1, 2, and 3 in this case would display green flags or lights which for each section indicated to tower operators, etc., that another section was to follow shortly. The 4th section would display no lights or flags at all, the same as a single individual train, and told an operator that this train was it. There were no additional sections following.
 

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Once more Jerry :light rear of a pass train are red. There are no classification lights on the rear of a train. Later RJD
 

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Don't know if it helps, but the lights on the rear sides of my USA Trains streamliner observation car are red also. So far, these cars have been very true to prototype.

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Jerry Barnes on 10/14/2008 6:56 PM
On my Zephyr, it has two side lights on the rear observation car. Just wondered if they should be colored.

*****
On older cars, you will see lanterns that display red to the rear and yellow to the sides. That's because on older heavy lights, often called "marker lights" by railroad personnel, the lantern was designed to rotate in its bracket, which meant, at least with some end of train car configurations, that the crew didn't have to remove them to change what it was displaying .... by rotating the lamp 90 degrees, the red was pointed inward at the car, and yellow was showed to the rear ... thereby showing a train that was clear of the main line and stopped, as at a meeting or waiting point. Trains approaching from the rear could tell where the end of the other train was, and that it was in the clear, on the siding where it should be as they roared toward the station. Once ready to start moving again, the lamp would be rotated back out to show red to the rear .... and it saved swapping them side to side as would otherwise be necessary.

So, on your model, showing yellow to the non-rear facing sides of the four lens marker lamp would be a propos. Should you need the actual rule, I can publish it from home.

Matthew (OV)
 
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