After my recent blog about Charles Adler’s ‘automatic speed-control system‘ for road travel in which I highlighted one of Adler’s earlier inventions that lead to modern railroad crossing lights, reader Speedwell pointed out the Wikipedia article for wigwags. This in turn lead me to the British mention of wigwags, their own non-pendulum alternate flashing lights systems found at level crossings.
I’m still something of a Flickr nerd, and consider it an indispensable resource for finding images of subject matter – sometimes more-so than Google Image Search which crawls the greater web. Which is why I was really happy to find Glen Wallace’s fairly extensive album titled ‘Level Crossings,’ of British-style wigwag setups. Surprisingly, some of these images even feature clear blue skies up above!
Interestingly, and perhaps any British reader can enlighten me why this is so – but many British wigwags appear to be installed at fairly acute angles to the roads they cut through; i.e. the tracks run at a sharp angle. Is there a reason why this is the case? In the States train tracks are usually fairly perpendicular to the road they bisect.
See many more images on Glen Wallace’s Flickr account.