Posted June 25, 2010

Hello, my name is Marvin.

Signal at the College Park Caltrain station, guarding the switch to the spur track that leads to the Caltrain Centralized Equipment Maintenance and Operations Facility (CEMOF) in San Jose. I have no idea why this situation calls for a weird signal that is wildly different from every other signal anywhere on the line.

Shot with the Nikon D70s and the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom at 70mm, ISO 400, f/11, shutter 1/400 sec. Exposure, contrast, saturation, levels, and highlights adjustments in Aperture.


  1. What you’re seeing here is a “dwarf signal,” commonly used in yards and other tight-clearance locations. Because of the low-speed nature of yard operations, they’re usually only two-aspect (green for go and red for stop), unlike mainline signals with more aspects (such as yellow for caution).

    Posted by: Kevin Standlee | August 3, 2010, 5:49 pm
  2. I’ve seen a number of dwarf signals along the right-of-way (there are even a few pictures on this site), but none that looked anything like this one.

    Posted by: Chip | August 3, 2010, 5:52 pm

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