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Tail Disc - White & Red, Victorian Railways, circa 1920s-1960s Object Reg. No: HT 30598

Summary:
Alternative Name(s): Marker Disk, Train Disc.

Hinged folding 'tail disc', used as part of signalling and safety procedures by the Victorian Railways. Possibly made at the Newport Railway Workshops. Given the red colour of the paint on the back and the disc's estimated age and construction method, this example may have been used on one of the red suburban electric passenger train carriages of the 'Tait' or 'swing door' type, which were used on Melbourne's electrified suburban railway network from 1918 to the 1980s. The same type of disc was also used on country passenger and goods train rollingstock and guard's vans.

The disc was designed to be slotted onto a vertical bracket attached to the last carriage or rollingstock vehicle of a train. When the top half of the disc was pinned up it was 'open' with the white side showing, which indicated that it marked the official 'end' of a train (i.e. to show the complete train had passed). When the rollingstock to which it was attached was not positioned at the end of a train, the top half of the disc was folded down or 'closed' so that only the back of the top half, painted in red, was visible.
Description:
Metal disc with central hinged joint allowing it to be folded in half. One side (front) painted white and the other (back) is painted red. The disc has two riveted straps on the back allowing it to be mounted on a vertical bracket and a rectangular slot below the strap in the lower half. There is also a small circular hole through the centre of the top half of the disc.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Australian Railways Union (ARU) Victorian Branch, 1985
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 310 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: Dimensions above refer to opened disc.

More information

Tagged with: railways, railway signals, railway communications, railway signage
Themes this item is part of: Victorian Railways (VR), Spencer Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Victorian Railways - Refreshment Services Branch, Transport Collection
Primary Classification: RAIL TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Railway Operations
Tertiary Classification: signage
User: Victorian Railways (VR), Victoria, Australia, circa 1920s-1960s

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