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Welcome to my railway website.
A semaphore was on the railway a means of signalling before the light signal.
By means of different positions on the semaphores blades, the trains had to stop
before the semaphore or could run further. The semaphores on the picture are of the
last type installed by Norwegian State Railways (NSB), in 1922. It is very similar
to semaphores used in Germany. From 1924 however, new signals were light signals at NSB.
The word 'semaphore' comes from Greek 'semeion' (sign) and 'pherein' (to carry).
A sema-phore is thus a sign carrier. When the Bible tells that Jesus is making signs and wonders, it is the 'semeion' that is used. A sign refers to something else than it self. It symbolizes something beyond the sign itself. This holds for railway semaphores as well. If a blade point straight out, does not mean that it is nothing but (non aliud) pointing straight out, but that a train should not run further than up to the semaphore. Is the blade is risen half way up, like a risen gate, then a train can pass safely. It is a matter of life or death if the locomotive engineer respects the semaphore or not.
In this respect, two of my websites are in a way in opposition to each other.
The other, "Non Aliud", says that things are just was it appears to be, but this one,
The Semaphore, says that the meaning is on a higher level. In this case, you ought
to know the code. You have to know the meaning of the sign. Perhaps the two websites should have switched names?
The web pages
This web site is based on a database. The articles can thus be displayed in several layouts (different font sizes and font faces), and
phrases in the articles is searchable. This English version of my website consists of pages in both English and Norwegian. In the menus you will find my
Norwegian pages with grey links, and the English or bilingual ones with red links. The majority of the articles are illustrated, so it
might be interesting to visit the Norwegian pages even if you can't read any Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Danish and Swedish are not so different).
The picture in the top banner is by Fættenfjorden in Nord-Trøndelag.
My modell railroad pages are form 29 Nov 2007 put in its own web site: The Viaduct
Svein Sando, 29 Jan 2007, revised 1st April 2012