J. Alex Lang

Portraits of Railroad Signals

Joliet, Ill.

Rail signals have always fascinated me. As an adolescent, learning about signals’ use and meaning enabled me to convince my mom to let me stay out longer to see one more train.  Rail signals are used to convey information to the crew regarding the condition of the route ahead, as well as the speed at which the crew is authorized to proceed.  Across the U.S. signals take different forms, depending on the railroad company’s own preferences.