Searchlight Signals & Trackside Details

Because the Los Angeles Model Railroad is a shelf type layout, operating signals would not be in view of the operator, the Searchlight Signal models were set up as non-operating units. A red or green M.V. Products lens was installed in each signal head, these lenses reflect some light making the signals look as though they are lighted.

This three head Searchlight Signal model is located on the layout just as its prototype, at the east end of Burbank Junction. (photograph below) It was built up from several HO signal kits using Century Foundry, Searchlight Signal heads.

The prototype Searchlight Signal at Burbank Junction.

The Cantilever Signal Mast seen above and in several layout photos was modified from a N.J. International styrene kit into a Southern Pacific prototype, the signal heads are Century Foundry. This model follows the prototype that was located at the Coast Line connection to Burbank Junction with two westward facing signal heads pre 1960s design. Seen in the lower photograph, a third searchlight signal head was added in the early 1970s.

Along the prototype double tracked main line to Burbank Junction, all spur tracks and the connection to the branch line have Dwarf Searchlight Signals and Time Switch Locks protecting the main line. There are three Dwarf Signals modeled on the layout (made by Century Foundry) following prototype practice. Other trackside detail castings have been added such as Time Switch Locks, Relay Cases, Electric Switch Motors, Switch Stands and a Wig Wag Signal protected road crossing.

Adding these trackside detail parts gives a layout the heavily used main line look. Details Wast Co., produces a number of nicely detailed soft-metal castings seen on the this layout. Century Foundry made Searchlight signal castings and other track details, they are out of business, but some parts do show up on from time to time on Ebay .

Looks like a long haul across the desert.

This road crossing uses an old Century Foundry Wig Wag Signal kit. Road signs also add to crossing details. The new backdrop was painted with Latex house paint on the plaster board wall. The distance between the road crossing and the painted road backdrop is only seven inches.


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