JeffPo's Handlan Crossing Gate Lamp Page

Last update:  12/12/11


This is a crossing gate railroad lamp made by the Handlan company.  It has two red lenses, 180 degrees apart.  In the second image, you can see the glass peep hole used for checking on the burner and flame.

A sliding panel door gives access to the burner inside.  The burner and fuel font are nothing more than a glorified candle.  The magic is in the lenses.  And it needs to be seen in the dark to really appreciate how it works.

The crossing gate lamp was used to warn motorists of an oncoming train.  It would have been used at a manned crossing and lowered into place on the approach of a train.  Traffic on either side of the tracks would see the red signal and know to stop.

This particular lamp is an example of a two-way crossing gate lamp.  I also have a Dressel four-way crossing gate lamp.

This image shows the lamp lit, with the red lens glowing.  How could a car not stop when it sees this?!

This is a screen shot from a 1940 documentary film of a Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) passenger train.  Notice the single lens crossing gate lamp hanging on the crossbuck pole, just above the boy that is waving to the train.

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