Having an operational signal system on your model railroad is an exciting aspect of the hobby that's growing rapidly as new hardware
and if using a computer, software making it easier to install and configure.
railroad signaling, once installed on a layout adds not only visual
animation, but governs your train activity. It gives you a clear,
positive visual indication of what is happening on the track. As in
prototypical railroading, a fully operational signal system on your layout
utilizing train detection to determine what aspect or colors a signal
should display. Signal heads display different colors that gives the train
engineer a clear indication of what is happening on the tracks ahead and
whether to stop or how to proceed.
systems can be as simple as showing turnout
position or as complex as
train detection for full signal automation. Some examples of signal system
installations that I've built into custom layouts are detailed
in the photos below.