Canadian Railway Signals & Interpretations
Initially written as a web based utility to assist in learning standard CROR railway signals during my Railway Association of Canada Railway Conductor course (it looks like necessity really is the mother of invention). Other students saw it and said "you should make it into a mobile app", so here it is. A basic demo version without the "game" function is shown below in case you'd like to try it out.
The following standard CROR signal combinations are included in the mobile version:
• Mast style with single, double and triple aspects.
• Staggered and non-staggered aspects.
• Single and double aspect dwarf signals.
• Letter plates (except double letter plate signals).
You can either select your own signal pattern and mast style or have some "fun" and let the system pick a pattern for you (Game). "Game" mode is a great way to learn railway signals and is much better than practicing with the standard issue flashcards.
All valid signals are fully explained, including the CROR rule number, correct signal name and the action to be taken.
Note: Rail transit systems such as Ontario's GO Transit may have modified some signal definitions to meet their particular requirements.
Tapping on a light in the first column will toggle it between blinking and non-blinking. Tapping on an empty box in the second column will remove the selected light or letter plate from the pattern.
Signals is a great learning tool. With Signals you can perform what-if scenarios with various signal patterns. How would a signal definition be changed if a light was blinking instead of non-blinking? What effect does adding or removing a letter plate have?
Hint: When naming the colours always start with the colour in the highest position on the signal and finish with the name of the lowest colour. The highest colour tells you what to do at the signal and the lowest colour tells you how to approach the next signal.
Have fun rail fans.
(updates are free):
3.4 (Android/BlackBerry) [Aug 17/14]
- Catch and correct impossible signal combination. Green over Yellow over Black was being accepted under rule 27x. Thanks "Tyme" for reporting this!
3.3 (Android/BlackBerry) [May 30/14]
- Expanded definitions for 27 signal series.
- Added full signal definitions to Clue option.
- Expanded and reformatted help screens.
- *NEW* Added "Kicker Calculator". Something I thought of to help determine which railcar may have a potential brake problem.
- Synchronize code and features across all platforms.
Basic web based demo version.
It really works, try it out.
Calling all RAC instructors
• Are you an instructor currently affiliated with the
Railway Association of Canada?
• Would you like a free* copy of our Signals app for
If you're interested, please contact us at
* Promotional codes are currently only available for iPads & iPhones. Promo codes will be available for BlackBerry devices in the near future.
• The official version of the CROR (Canadian Rail Operating Rules) in its entirety is available on Transport Canada's website and applies to all Canadian railway companies.
• Do you want to know more about Canadian Railway history? Have a look at this article from The Canadian Encyclopedia.
Just for fun...
Where in the world (and in no particular order) is this app being used?
* Hong Kong
This utility is for your convenience and entertainment. I do not guarantee its accuracy.
Signal info based on CROR May 2008.
Copyright Rob Chandler 2012.