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Railroad Crossing Signal

September, 2007
Ok, so this may not actually be a "scale" model railroading project, but it is certainly some scale. I used prototype pictures and drawings for proportions, but I didn't really built it to 'scale' so to speak. But it works nice in my basement recreation room where I have it on display.
I decided to built this "life-size" Railroad Crossing Signal because my son at the time seemed to be obsessed by them. He loved hearing them and was always excited because he knew a train would soon be approaching. So I decided to build one he could turn on anytime he liked. It has working lights which oscillate about once per second. It also has a mechanical bell which dings each time a light shines. The construction of the mast is mostly out of PVC pipe which I welded together and painted with "Hammered Metal" spray paint to make it look metal. The cross bucks and signal borders are made out of 1/8" hardboard. The signals themselves are made from automotive trailed tail lights. Finally the base is a hollow 3/4" birch plywood box painted flat black.
Inside the box is the circuit which controls the signal. The signal is actuated by pressing the red button at the center of the base in the front. After the button is pressed the signal will stay on for about 30 seconds and then wait for the next press.
It was an incredibly fun project to work on. My son seemed to enjoy it as well.
Click here for a PDF version of the schematic of the circuit I built for this.