“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Sanford in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Fixed Signal

Fixed Signal Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, December 30, 2011
1. Fixed Signal Marker
Inscription.    This railroad signal device is a semaphore, originally located in Maitland on the main line of what is now the CSX Railroad. In 1880 the South Florida Railway built a narrow gauge railway between Sanford and Orlando running through Maitland. Taken over by Henry Plant in 1883 the line was extended to Tampa (115 miles) that same year and later upgraded to standard gauge. Today's railroad from Sanford to Orlando is on the same roadbed laid out in 1880.

   This type of signal was the communications link between the dispatcher and the train's conductor and engineer (see signal designations below). It was the dispatcher's job to regulate all the train traffic on the tracks to make sure that the trains did not run into each other.

   If the dispatcher wanted a train to pull off on the next siding to allow a train to pass going the other way, or to allow a fast passenger train to pass a slow freight, he sent a telegraphic message to the station master at the next station to train was to pass. The station master then adjusted the levers in his office that positioned the arms of the semaphore along the track to relay one of the messages
Fixed Signal Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, December 30, 2011
2. Fixed Signal Marker
shown below. If a train were to slow down to receive orders without stopping the station master wrote the order and attached it to a rod with a hoop at the end. He held it up to the passing train and the engineer on the train would catch it by sticking his arm through the hoop and pulling the message into the cab.

   Today telecommunications between the dispatcher and the train have replaced the semaphore along much of the track; however red, yellow and green signals are still used to tell the engineer the condition of the track ahead.

[graphic: yellow light, black, yellow]
Restricting Signal
Receive train orders without stopping. Reduce the speed of the train to permit orders to be delivered safely.

[graphic: green, black, yellow]
Clear Signal
Proceed. No orders.

[graphic: red light, black]
Stop Signal
Stop and receive train orders.
Erected by the E.W. Marcel Family, Coastliners Railroad Club, Auto Train, and Paul M. Lukas Family.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 28° 44.603′ N, 81° 17.949′ W. Marker is in Sanford, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker is on Bush Boulevard north of County Home Road. The
Museum of Seminole County History image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, December 30, 2011
3. Museum of Seminole County History
Site of the Fixed Signal display
marker stands outside the Museum of Seminole County History at the Seminole County Operations Center complex off of South Orlando Drive (US Route 17/92), on the north side of the Museum building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Bush Boulevard, Sanford FL 32773, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oviedo Turntable (here, next to this marker); Old Folks Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Seminole County Courthouses (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lake Mary Historic Sites (approx. 1.7 miles away); First Presbyterian Church of Lake Mary (approx. 1.8 miles away); Belair Historical Marker (approx. 2½ miles away); "The Phoenix"… (approx. 2½ miles away); Big Tree (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sanford.
Regarding Fixed Signal. The rail line between Sanford and Orlando is no longer owned by CSX Railroad. It has been purchased by the Florida Department of Transportation, which will use the line for SunRail commuter trains.
Main line through Maitland image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, December 30, 2011
4. Main line through Maitland
The display's semaphore may have been located near this crossing at Lake Lily Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 10, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 505 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 10, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 19, 2020