The first semaphore signals were erected on the London and Croydon Railway at New Cross in 1842 by Charles Hutton Gregory on the newly enlarged layout  which accommodating the South Eastern Railway. John Urpeth Rastrick claimed to have suggested the idea to Charles Hutton Gregory.

The semaphore signal was rapidly adopted as a fixed signal throughout Britian and superseding all other types of in most uses by 1870 Such signals were widely adopted in the U.S. after 1908

In August 1872 a new style of distant signals appeared at Norwood Junction, Both the distant and home signals had the same appearance and to avoid any confusing the two. Mr. W.J. Williams come up with idea of cutting a notch out of the end of the arm.

In the 1920s, the British railway companies began to colour their distant signal arms yellow to better distinguish them from red stop signals.





Extracted & adapted from the Railway Magazine October 1955

In December, 1842, the boiler of an engine named “Brighton” blew up shortly after passing 
Hove station with a train from Brighton to Shoreham. The connection rods and other parts 
were blown a considerable distance by the force of the explosion, and were picked up by the 
policemen from Hove police station, who arrived on the scene with other helpers attracted to the scene by the report of the explosion. Brighton Driver William Cavan, was severely scalded about the legs and body, but the fireman escaped injury, and so also did one of the railway engineers, named Meredith, who was travelling on the tender at the time.

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