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Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 135
Posted by: Espee99 ()
Date: July 10, 2015 05:20PM

Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 135 - 07/10/15

This day in Railroad History

July 10, 1929
Pacific Electric Magazine, published an article detailing the development of the first "magnetic flagman" (wigwag) crossing signals by the Pacific Electric Company in Los Angeles beginning in 1909. The first signal, a type of automatic bell, was installed at Michelinda, on the Monrovia Line. After some intensive study and no small amount of work, the first motor-driven automatic flagman was tested out at Albia crossing on the Long Beach Line in 1910. In 1914 magnetic flagman began to appear. They had no motor, but in its place two sets of coils, each set being energized in turn by an ingeniously designed pile changer, causing the banner to swing and the gong to ring. Immediately the advantage of the magnetic flagman was seen, there being a lesser number of moving parts and consequently it reduced operating cost, and it soon began to replace the motor driven type. The Pacific Electric magnetic flagmen wigwags were the very first electric crossing signals.

Tonight's Photo - Please send photos to

UP's "Plummer (ID) Turn local freight heading south in the Mica, Freeman, Manito (WA) area on a snowy winter day. 2/25/2008

Bruce Butler Photos
(remaining images follow the news)


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