I am new to the forum so apologies if I am going over information already in other threads.
I live on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia and I have been interested in crossings since I was 3 years old. I will be turning 38 in April and my interest in crossings is just as strong as ever. I have been following these forums for about a year and really enjoy reading them whenever I get the time. My thanks and congratulations to all those who have contributed to making such a great website.
Apart from the actual crossing signals themselves, one thing I find interesting is the history of the many different crossing signal companies that have existed over the years. For example, the way WRRS was purchased by Federal Signal, then was later sold off and became WC Hayes. I had often wondered how each part of the name "Western Cullen Hayes" came to exist. After a quick search on their website it was easy enough to see that the name "Western" came from the Western Railroad Supply Co. which was purchased by Federal Signal in 1968. Likewise the name "Hayes" came from the Hayes Track Appliance Co. which was purchased by Federal Signal in 1970. but where did the "Cullen" part of the name come from? After a lot more searching the web I discovered that in 1968 Federal Signal also purchased another company named Cullen-Friestedt, who were makers of rail bed maintenance equipment including the Burro Crane, so I guess this is how the name Western Cullen Hayes came into being when that part of the business was sold by Federal Signal in 1977.
I am sorry if this is already common knowledge in the US, but the question I am asking is are there any websites that already document historical information such as this (so far I can't find any) or would it be possible to record such history on this website? Even if it was only in this thread. Who knows, maybe over time it would be possible to create a crossing signal family tree!
The other sort of information that would be interesting is the reasons behind the sale, purchase or amalgamation of the various crossing signal companies and the reasons behind changes to different equipment over the years, eg why was the WRRS Mini bell discontinued? Was it due to poor sales, manufacturing costs or did Federal Signal decide to scrap it when they took over? And what is the story behind the type B and D gate mechanisms with both WRRS and GRS names on them? I thought they were rival companies, were they in partnership?