Page created by Tommy McGowan

Note:  this page doesn't go too much into the technical details on how the mechanisms operate.  The main purpose is to show the change in design of the gate mechanisms over the years and to help identify the age of signals.

The Type B is one of the more unique looking mechanisms.  These usually had both GRS and WRRS branding on them.

The Type D was the more common version used during its time.  These could be seen with just GRS lettering or GRS and WRRS lettering and had cast iron counterweights.

WRRS's branding of the GRS mechanism.

According to David, these were made in conjunction with US&S, but I don't know much more about these beyond that.

These are very rare and I usually only see these used as pedestrian gates, although there used to be some for road signals around Buffalo, NY.

This was Federal Signal's design after they acquired the Western Cullen signal division.  The mechanism cover become more rounded as opposed to square like before.  There were 2 different versions of these with different logos, but I only have pictures of this design unfortunately. These appear to be very rare and I've only seen 2 crossings in person with this mechanism:  Route 13 #1 in Greenwich, OH, and Pipe St. in Sandusky, OH. California and Naevada have a decent number of these though.

Federal Signal also designed their own pedestrian gate mechanisms.  These were primarily seen on Burlington Northern, and are very rare to find.

This was the first design used after Federal Signal sold off the Western Cullen division in the 1970s.  This had Western Cullen Hayes Inc. fully spelled out.  The counterweight arms did not appear to change from the WRRS or Federal Signal.  As far as I can tell, this didn't last very long and is not very common to find.  The BNSF Mendota Sub seems to be the most popular place to find these.

Style 2 was the first to shorten the letter down to WC Hayes, although it still has Western Cullen spelled out below it as well.  As far as I can tell, this style was not used for very long either and is somewhat hard to find, almost as hard as the Western Cullen Hayes Inc. mechanisms.  The counterweight arms did not appear to change with this redesign either.  Again, the Mendota Sub seems to be a good place to find these.

Sometime in I believe the early 1980s, the design on the mechanism box was changed again to just say WC Hayes.  This style is pretty common to find, as almost every major railroad has used it at point or another during the 80s and 90s.  The counterweight arms once again did not change.


In the mid to late 1990s, the counterweight arm was changed for the first time in years to an alunminum design instead of cast iron. The mechanism box design stayed mostly the same, hence why I'm calling this 3.5, although the top has changed slightly, though it's hard to tell unless you're looking at from above. This is very common to find, especially on UP.

Finally, in the late 2000s, the logo on the mechanism box was changed with the newer italicized WCH logo.  The counterweight arms stayed the same, just receiving the new logo as well.  These are very common to find nowadays, with UP using them, plus many shortlines, and very recently, CN has started using these.