Main Line Fixed Signals
The examples below show four different types of signals commonly used on the branchline from
the turn of the 20th century. The three different forms of semaphore signals are distinguised
the shape of the arm.
Arms on the first two move upwards from the
(upper quadrant signals), whilst the arm on the VH home signal moves downwards by 45degs (lower
quadrant signal). A more modern colorlight "searchlight" signal completes the collection.
Mt Barker Junction
The lower arm, permanently set at 45degs conveys the "caution medium speed" indication and warns
that the line terminates at a dead-end on the platform road.
Train Authority Signal
(previously Train Order)
at Strathalbyn and
Two arms are mounted back-to-back.
A closed station has both arms vertical and the
disk displayed. Both arms horizontal indicate the train should stop for an authority (red
facing arm at 45degs indicates that the train should slow to collect an authority
vertical arm acknowledges that the train has a "through" authority (green light).
at Victor Harbor
The lower quadrant signal is located just prior to the facing switches at Victor Harbor and is
used to control entry to the yard when the station is attended. The signal is normally
lowered when the station is first opened so that trains can enter the yard on the main line
If a train is to be admitted to other lines the signal remains at
STOP and the train is admitted by the SM by handsignal.
signal protecting road
The signal faces northbound trains departing Strathalbyn
Normally red, it clears to
caution (yellow) when the
level crossing warning lights for the High Street crossing have been flashing for 20 seconds.
The High Street crossing lights are set in action from push buttons on the platform and
in the yard and do not activate automatically so that yard shunting can occur without disrupting
Level Crossing Protection
The following photos show the devices used to protect the 76 individual road or farmers
access crossings between Mt Barker Junction and Victor Harbor. Twelve crossings are protected
by flashing lights, one by a unique "wig wag" warning device using a mechanical arm swinging
backwards and forwards and 57 by STOP or triangular GIVE WAY signs
Activated either by approaching trains completing track circuits or, at Strathalbyn, by manual
Located at Cameron Road, between Mt Barker Station and the Freeway Tunnel
Unique in South
GIVE WAY Signs
Standard highway signs protecting 20 main and 37 minor road crossings with STOP and
triangular GIVE WAY signs respectively
Located on main roads where a minor road diverges to cross a parallel track
Four different types of traditional track switches are employed along the railway. These
range from simple lever points and cheese knobs within depots to indicator switch stands and
bolt locked indicator stands on main lines. Locos are permitted to travel over each type at
different maximum speeds.
Used in depots and goods sidings. May be spring loaded, allowing trailing movements to reset
Spring loaded switches are found, for example, on triangle roads at Goolwa
Used in depots and goods sidings. The heavy cheese shaped weight flips over when the switch is
operated and holds it firmly in position. May be padlocked to protect movements on running
Used at facing points on the main line. The green arrow indicates the switch is set for the
main line, a red disk that it is set for a crossing loop. Usually padlocked
Switchstands in yards usually have the indicators mounted closer to rail level.
Place your mouse over the photo above to see an example of a low level switch
goods siding (indicated by a yellow disk).
Used at main line facing switches to the yard and triangle at Goolwa Depot to allow through
trains to travel at track speed.
The points are operated by the left hand switchstand and if correctly set are locked by the
right hand indicator.
Place your mouse over the photo above to see
how the green pin operated by the right hand indicator locks the switch by passing through a
slot in the red plate connected to the switch blades.