Danish Signaling, Turnout and Derail Signals

Updated 000206

General use and appearance

Turnout and derail signals (danish: sporskifte- og sporspærresignaler) are used to indicate the state of turnouts, derails and other track barring devices.

Originally, turnouts in main tracks were equipped with special disc or semaphore signals showing colour light by night. Generally, these signals were only capable of indicating 'straight' or 'diverging' track.

1897, revolving lanterns were introduced, showing symbols for 'straight' and 'diverging'; 1919, a symbol for 'track inaccessible' was added. Special movable-cover lanterns for double slip turnouts were introduced 1911.

These mechanical signals were illuminated by night, thereby having the same day and night appearance. They are still in standard use, however, signals with a reflective surface have to some extent replaced illuminated signals.

Electric signals were introduced around 1950 at some special double slip turnouts, and later at train ferry turnouts. A more general-purpose version was introduced around 1980; it is primarily used by private secondary lines.

Nowadays, derails etc. are always equipped with signals, whereas turnouts are equipped as necessary, primarily in main tracks. Since the mid 60'es, the use of turnout signals has decreased due to
- improved speed signaling by main signals, and
- increased use of shunting (dwarf) signals and locked routes for shunting operations,
leaving the purpose of turnout state indication to other signals.

This page describes all types of turnout and derail signals.

Signal types in standard use since 1935:
Mechanical Symbol Signals
Electric Symbol Signals

Older signal types:
Disc Signals
Semaphore Signals
Mechanical Symbol Signals


[Back]           [Home]           [Comments]

 Copyright © 2000 Henrik W Karlsson