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Thread: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

  1. #1
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    Default British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    These have been used on the railway for years as hand signal lamps, the Military use the same lamps but there in green with the crows foot marking on, i dont have one yet, also i once saw on eof these lamps with a blue lense but these are rare, The lenses on mine are Red, Amber, Green, Clear. The batterys i have rebuilt an all the lamps work, you push down the knowb to switch on and turn it to change lense covers.


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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    Hi Exide

    I have a couple, the first is a mint late production model with NRS cast onto it (national Rail Supplies I think) made after privitisation of the trains, the second one is a wrecked BR model off ebay that I am trying to use as the basis for a powerful hand lamp mod.

    I absolutely love Bardics, but my Fenix LD01 AAA makes the output and runtime look feeble!

    The modification plan is being held up by the postage and lead time of chinese parts, but I am hoping to put a 35W HID kit into it with some Li-Ion batteries (probably 18650s), I did start a thread on the mod, but I have no progress to report yet.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    I always enjoy seeing the various lights used by the railroad,military etc.Thanks for posting!

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    No problem, there was a bardic lamp with a blue filter but i dont have one yet, they all have different controls that are shaped so you only get clear, red and green filters but some were four aspect, They came in many colours including green which were used by the military and had an arrow marking on them, they also had a lense cap with an arrow, other body colours were grey or yellow and blue. Alot have been converted to run on D cells as the batterys are hard to get hold of but they still make them but i prefer to rebuild the original.

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    I use one regularly, new and used lamps turn up on ebay regularly.
    The light output with the supplied PR base lamp is very feable, but it is a simple matter to fit a good LED drop in.
    I normally use 3D cells in a suitable holder
    AFAIK the the ones with a blue lens were intended for police use and are very rare.
    The red/white/green/yellow ones are widely available.
    Some are red/green/white only, these have the same colour change mechanism as the red/green/white/yellow but contain a segmented washer that prevents the knob being turned to the yellow position. This can be removed if desired.

    The four aspect lamps were normally issued to train drivers and signallers.
    The three aspect lamps being intended for guards (conductors in USA terms) on trains.


    The case colour was usually either grey, silver, or natural aluminiun for the Railway lamps, with yellow being common for those sold outside the rail industry.
    Military issue being normally olive green.
    A blue cased version that is approved for use in flammable atmospheres was made, but I have never seen one.

    The manufacturrers also made a white only, non signalling, rechargeable version, but I not seen a new one for many years.
    Last edited by broadgage; 08-11-2012 at 06:28 AM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    I have seen the blue colour Bardic lamps with a key you use to open them as they were designed for use in explosive atmospheres. I only ever saw one with a blue filter an it was in Pickering market in Yorkshire, the guy wanted £70, not seen one since. They did do a one which hung on a wall charger. Some of the Military ones had am arrow cover you put on the lense to shine an arrow, you can get the covers of Ebay and the lamps to. I have not added any more Bardics to collection as yet.

  7. #7

    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Exide View Post
    I have seen the blue colour Bardic lamps with a key you use to open them as they were designed for use in explosive atmospheres. I only ever saw one with a blue filter an it was in Pickering market in Yorkshire, the guy wanted £70, not seen one since. They did do a one which hung on a wall charger. Some of the Military ones had am arrow cover you put on the lense to shine an arrow, you can get the covers of Ebay and the lamps to. I have not added any more Bardics to collection as yet.
    Hello, I just found this forum via Google and just registered.

    A friend of mine has a blue one of these lamps in what seems to be very good condition, but does not have the key for it (needed for unlocking the side-clamps). Does anyone know, please, whether spare keys can be got and if so where from and at what price? I tried looking up Chloride Standby Systems, but they seem to have been long since swallowed up by a larger multinational that doesn't seem to have anything to do with hand lamps any more.

    In case it helps, here is the wording from a plate affixed underneath the lamp... many thanks.

    BARDIC N1224 (10/50)
    Primary Battery Handlamp
    (Ex) e II BASEEFA No.73156
    SFA 3008 (1970)/BS4683 Pt 4 (1973)
    ----------------------------------------------
    Chloride Standby Systems Limited
    William Street - Southampton - England

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    dude that's an awesome collection!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
    my lights - review of PrecisionWorks - that's Gucci Mane in my avatar

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    As posted above, bardic handlamps with a blue filter are very rare, until today I had never seen one, only heard of them.
    I now have one ! Purchased from ebay.
    Exactly the same mechanism as the more common red/white/green/amber lamps, but with the amber replaced with blue.
    With a deep blue filter and the yellowish light from the supplied 3.8 volt 0.3 amp vaccuum PR base bulb, the blue output was minimal.
    On fitting a good qaulity PR base cool white drop in, the blue, and other colours output is impressive.

    With 3 alkaline D cells the run time should be a few dozen hours.
    The correct batteries, type AD28 are still available but are expensive and of poor performance being zinc carbon.

    As these lamps are widely used on the railway, I find it suprising that no one, AFAIK, makes an alkaline battery to fit them.

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    How is the word "chloride" being used in the name of these lights? I don't understand its meaning outside of a chemistry context.

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    How is the word "chloride" being used in the name of these lights? I don't understand its meaning outside of a chemistry context.

    The handlamps are/were manufactured by the Chloride Bardic Ltd in the UK.
    Originaly, decades ago, the main business of Chloride batteries Ltd, as the company was then known, was the manufacture of lead acid batteries.
    They held a patent for an improved manufacturing process for lead acid batteries that involved the use of lead CHLORIDE.
    The trading name "chlroride batteries" still exists but AFAIK it is now owned by some large conglomerate. Still known for batteries, especialy for older type electric vehicles and for industrial standby purposes.

    In common parlance on the UK railways "bardic lamp" is often misused to refer to ANY battery operated portable lamp that can give light of different colours.
    A fleabay search for "bardic lamp" will turn up numerous new and used genuine bardic lamps, and also numerous other colour changing lamps and flashlights of quite different designs.

    Apart from use as a handheld lamp for various signalling purposes, the bardic handlamps can serve as a temporary headlight or tailight on a train in the event of failure of the built in lights. Trains are equiped with a bracket to hold either a purpose made tail lamp or a handlamp.

    In the days when batteries for flashlights and cycle lamps were expensive, railway staff used to use the issued handlamps on bicycles, thereby avoiding buying batteries.

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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    Thanks for the history lesson. I've seen the word "Chloride" used in brand-names in various places throughout my life, notably on devices I was fairly sure contained no chlorine, and I never understood why the usage of the word.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: British Chloride Bardic rail signal lamps

    These lamps are no longer made, so if anyone wants one it would be best to buy soon.
    They are very readily available on UK fleabay, but prices may rise and availability decline now that production has ceased.

    Prices vary according to age and condition, but are often about £25 for a well used but working example, or twice that for NOS.

    And yes I know that this is a very old thread, but still relevant IMO.

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