Wally's RailRoad Crossing Project


I'm always looking for interesting projects to do and one day I found a set of railroad crossing lights on craigslist. It wasn't around the corner but I thought about how cool of an item it was for a few days. I began to research railroad crossing signals and thought that it would be interesting to make one as a display in my yard. I bought the lights and then a coworker told me that a railroad crossing without the bell was a waste of time, so I found one on ebay and bought it. I laid out a rendering with coreldraw and the project was officially a go. I stripped down the lights and cleaned them up (they were down right nasty filthy). The wiring was shot and I wanted to make them AC powered (rather than DC) so after they were all painted and reassembled I fabricated lighting brackets and wired in porcelain sockets. The bell needed a new base (it was cracked and glued) and Western Cullen Hayes still makes replacement parts so that was ordered. I cleaned the parts and fixed the wiring, low and behold the bell still worked like a charm. New paint and hardware was applied and installed. Next up were the signs, I had them fabricated and then purchased a schedule 40 4" pipe. A friend of mine fabricated the mounting base and welded it all up. Everything was finally painted and ready to assemble. I made a jig to hold the entire signal on my motorcycle lift and assembled it piece by piece. I bought mounting brackets and welded extensions to them and after a shot of flat black paint they looked and worked great. Finally, I wired in an AC light sequencer so they would flash back and forth as well as a 12 volt power supply for the bell. Two switches were wired and mounted on the back of the light bar. One toggle turns the lights on and the other (which is a momentary switch) closes the circuit that rings the bell. We finally have some warm weather so I hand dug the foundation for the mounting cage, stubbed my electric conduit, and poured my foundation. The electric is run and and once the concrete was ready we installed and wired the completed railroad crossing. It stands almost twelve feet tall. Enjoy the pics below!



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