How to Read Railroad Signals
Articles, Blog

How to Read Railroad Signals

August 14, 2019

Hello ladies and gentlemen, RailROL82 here. Your railroad archaeologist. Who today is going to show you how to read RR signals specifically on FEC line I’m going to show you, I used to be a certified freight conductor for the FEC I had to get 100% or anybody that wants to be a conductor has to get 100% on the signals test because it is a very important aspect of railroading so I’m going to show you the block signals the aspects, what they mean and what they cab signals are the cab signals are whats inside the locomotive that the conductor has to read aloud to the engineer as they come to let them know what is ahead so I’m going to show you also my credentials show you my employee id show you several pictures of me on the job so you know I’m not taking you for a ride that I’m indeed certified to teach you this so please like the video, give me a thumbs up, and leave a comment down below please subscribe enjoy and learn something. Thank you. Bongo Madness Most important: Stop! Restricting- Proceed at restricted speed Diverging Approach- Proceed through diverging route, observing prescribed speed at crossover, preparing to stop at next signal. Approach- Proceed, prepare to stop at next signal Diverging Clear- proceed through diverging route, observing prescribed speed through crossover Advance Approach- Proceed, prepared to stop at next signal *Cab Signal Only* Approach Diverging-proceed, approaching next signal to take diverging route Permissive- governed by Cab Signal Indication (Flashing Yellow Block Signal) clear- proceed


  • Reply Bryant's Railfan Productions June 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm


  • Reply Jerry Johnson June 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Hey it's time to teach about FEC signals

    Me: yes

  • Reply Ethan the Railfanner June 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Great video! That should probably help me a bit though on those railroad signals though.

  • Reply George Williams June 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    This guy right here doing this clip is what I call to be a true railroad archaeologist.

  • Reply Dziad TV June 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm


  • Reply Martha Gutierrez June 5, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Great info. Keep it coming

  • Reply Taslim Chaudhry June 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Lovely Music. ??

  • Reply Paul Simkins June 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm


  • Reply Francisplayz926 & bear June 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    now it’s easier to catch a train

  • Reply curtis mccorkel June 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm


  • Reply Genesee County Railfanning Productions June 5, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Seen a Video Like this Before, But Still Cool To Revise/Learn all of These
    And Yeah, all of These are (Still) Similar Patterns as The CN Flint Sub (The one That I Railfan on)

  • Reply astrogater June 5, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Roly good video. Happy Railfanning!

  • Reply Walter Fink June 5, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    I enjoy your videos, and this one is no different. The photo, where you're sitting at the desk, with a coat and tie on, is definitely a Photoshop photo. Maybe that was you, and you wanted a different head shot of yourself, or whatever the reason, it is not the same head, as the original shot. Just wanted to point that out to you.

  • Reply Ky'lan Trains June 5, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I'm pretty Shore when you was on FEC there was no such thing as QZ from Brightline & TryRail

  • Reply Ky'lan Trains June 5, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    1:50 how did you get your own FEC Truck also do you pay gas with your own ? or Hedqorders pay for it

  • Reply Texas Railroad Furnace June 5, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    I started to know about the train signals back in 2012. Just like traffic lights, the signals are facing where the train engineers can see them. Green lights are a good sign when there's one coming when you are waiting for one at a railroad crossing

  • Reply Geoff Lane June 5, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    How do the cab signals work, what triggers them?

  • Reply Geoff Lane June 5, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    I see the number 182 shown on some signal posts, is that significant? Is it anything to do with the 82 after your screen name?

  • Reply frankpierce2008 June 5, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    What happened to the guy in the picture? Lol

  • Reply Floridian Railfan June 5, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Different type of video, but nevertheless interesting

  • Reply Lee Powers June 5, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    A couple of weeks ago I saw the distant signal to Ft. Lauderdale on the West mainline the red signal was flashing and a Brightline train was southbound on the West mainline .Is it supposed to be steady red or flashing red for the opposite of the train?

  • Reply Phantom Gaming June 5, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Now im more familiar with these signs thanks rolly

  • Reply DouglasP201 June 5, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Nice music & video!!

  • Reply Shawn Powell June 5, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks Rolly, this was a really cool video.

  • Reply Gator Train Chaser June 5, 2019 at 9:14 pm


  • Reply Street Stories June 5, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks! That was cool! I knew you knew your railroad stuff!
    I heard a saying about signals; “if it ain’t ALL red, it ain’t red at all!
    That’s all I knew up until now. Thanks again!

  • Reply Musicman The FAM June 5, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Great info video! Now I know what it all means.

  • Reply Kathy simon June 5, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Very nice video Rolee, did you make the drawings ? Does the other major railroads use these same signals and do they mean the same thing at each ? I had a signal the other day I wasn’t sure what it meant and unfortunately I didn’t see it here. I hope to find out what it meant. How have you been ? I had not seen your videos come up on my notifications section. Our friend told me to watch your video and I could learn from it. Thanks for sharing this information :-))

  • Reply michael June 6, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Nice video again, great job! Remember safety first around the tracks

  • Reply kenshin891 June 6, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Lol nice! I know up here CSX uses a lunar white aspect in any position for restricting. No diverging aspects either. Not so sure about norfolk southern

  • Reply Computist40 June 6, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Awesome video Mr. RailRol, I learned something new today about what these different signal lights mean for the railroad. I should share to, when I was a kid I originally wanted to work for the railroad, but that all changed when I found a extremely high interest with Information Technology. I have no regrets changing my mind.

  • Reply Curt Nicholson June 6, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Well I know it sure would take me a while to memorize them all. Where do they show up in the cab of the engine? Were you forced out, or bought out of railroading due to a merger or buy out or takeover of FEC because it appears to me that with as much as you like railroads that that's about the only thing that would have gotten you out of the job you had? Nice informative video, it would have been nice to see them all in real time pictures but se why you did it this way as it would have taken a tremendous amount of time and traveling to find all of the needed examples so I understand it was much easier to produce in this way, nice job!

  • Reply basketmakerkai June 6, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Love it and informative. Also, the background music is great. Soooooo Hialeah!!! 😉

  • Reply BNSFBishop June 6, 2019 at 4:08 am

    Thanks for the valuable information!! I plan to be a conductor/engineer so this was helpful. I saw you “sub4sub” thing in your about me. I been subbed. Are u to me?

  • Reply trainfan1287 The Roblox Train Fan! June 6, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Nice video!

  • Reply trainfan1287 The Roblox Train Fan! June 6, 2019 at 4:51 am

    4:27 Whoa you started using real train tracks

  • Reply Mel Perry June 6, 2019 at 8:26 am

    clean shaven, no stubbies otj?

  • Reply shariys1 June 6, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Now I'll have that little Cuban jam playing in my head all night.???

  • Reply Mr Mistr Productions June 6, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Great educational video, Roly! It's very helpful, as I'm a bit familiar with NORAC signals, but signals of other railroads were just a total mess for me. I still have a question, though. When you receive a restrictive or diverging signal, how do you know what the prescribed speed is? I found out that namely BNSF timetables include this information for switches and turnouts, but not sure if this is the case for all railroads. Especially under NORAC rules, where there are all those Limited, Medium and Slow speeds, I'm not sure how one can find out the actual speed. Anyway very good job on this video!

  • Reply Erik Max Q Mcc June 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Wow R I see another award coming bro LOL Thanks I really enjoyed this sir 🙂 And cool Graffics 🙂

  • Reply Jerry Sinclair June 6, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    One of your better and most informative videos to date. I had no idea you were an FEC employee. I liked the animation and the background music was catchy. Do this again with live signals. God bless…

  • Reply StevePotts June 6, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Wow! It would take me forever to get 100%!! Congrats! And thanks for sharing your work history! Always enjoy history!

  • Reply Meach Pieters June 6, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Nice training video. Not only you is a good railroad archeologist you is a good railroad training teacher. If no one say that they love you I love you my Florida best friend. So far I'm still trying to get a job. Getting some help. That's a start. I listen to old music and some of them motivated me. Love you bro

  • Reply Trains ‘N Sirens June 6, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    yay thx

  • Reply Amtrakfan 153 June 7, 2019 at 12:31 am


  • Reply's Dutch Train Simulator channel June 7, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Good video again. ?

  • Reply PalmettoSubRailfan June 7, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Oh wow! Thank you! I’ll use this if I ever railfan the FEC, it is a huge help! Again thank you!

  • Reply Chuttlely June 9, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Great video and drawings!

  • Reply Jovetj June 11, 2019 at 12:58 am

    "It's a very important aspect of railroading."

    Very funny. Very amusing…

  • Reply Jovetj June 11, 2019 at 1:09 am

    4:51 I don't think that's right. Diverging Approach would not be shown on a permissive signal. The signal shown has a number plate.

    7:10 Remember it's Advance Approach not "Advanced."

    I always assumed the FEC used a speed signaling system. Apparently it doesn't.

    Roly, if you have an electronic or hard copy of an official signal rules and indications list for the FEC, I would add it to my website.

  • Reply TheRobdock June 12, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Wow I had to watch this a second time!! There’s a lot to learn!! You can’t think in regular traffic light ? mode, there’s a combination to know what they all mean and different styles of signals!! Wow I had no idea your an actual freight conductor! ?? are you still working for FEC?? Thank you for putting this together!!!

  • Reply Jared G451 June 14, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Dude I didn't know you worked with the FEC, you gotta share some of you're stories from the job!
    Are you still employed there?

  • Reply Alan Bowler June 30, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    That pretty awesome railrol soon probably join Union Pacific

  • Reply Dakota North July 8, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Three minutes in… do they all say stop? Sorry my focus is too weak for repetitiveness

  • Reply New Jersey railfan Productions July 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    A diverging clear in my area is red over yellow over green

  • Leave a Reply