Siren Crossing         
Picture of the famous Siren or Screaming crossing as the locals around here used to call it. This device had neon lights and an air-raid siren. This device was developed by W.A. Billups, a Grenada native. This crossing had numerous deadly accidents, one of which was someone in his family and thus inspired him to create this unique warning device. Mr.Billups tried to market his invention but the idea never took off and to my knowledge, this was the only one ever built. The device was installed in 1940 and lasted untill 1970. The crossing is still here but all that remains of this device is the concrete blocks that supported it. Picture was taken sometime in 1940.
Date: 1/1/1940 Location: Grenada, MS   Map Show Grenada on a rail map Views: 9270 Collection Of:   Joe Marascalco
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Siren Crossing
Picture Categories: This picture is part of album:  Grenada District
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User Comments
Name Type Comments Date
Fred Stuckmann General They should all look like that. Thanks for the on board shots as well. 7/15/2009 9:28:42 AM
Atlanta Rails General Cool, glad to see a shot of this here, i remember reading about it in trains magazine a while back. Unique to say the least! 7/15/2009 12:45:54 PM
michael carlisle General I wonder why only one was built they should have more like them. 7/22/2009 11:55:45 PM
Robert Hammons General Great photo Joe... 7/28/2009 10:33:26 AM
Ed Ellis General It laid in the ditch for years after it was dismantled. Everyone I knew in Grenada called it the "Skull and Crossbones" 12/2/2010 5:49:35 PM
Anthony Holmes General It can be made again,just use LEDs 3/18/2011 2:58:08 PM
Virginia Vardaman General I was a small child (6) when this ws built. All of my family referred to it as the 'Lonzo because Alonzo Billups designed and tried to market it. Oh, and it was scary - flashikng red lights, a siren that went oooooouuuuuu - for fun, we would go out and watch the 'Lonzo when it was time for a train to come by - which ithey did often. The train track was located next to Highway 51, which at the time ran from N. O. to Chicago. Now the highway next to the RR crossing is not much in use - this was our route to Oxford and Ole Miss. - now we get to Oxford on the Interstate once it turns from N/S to East/west 2/5/2012 10:58:51 PM
Joe Marascalco General I have come to learn that there were probably a lot of nick names for this thing. I am always glad to hear from people that actually got to see it in person. I wonder what ever happened to it after it layed in the ditch? 2/7/2012 11:27:01 AM
C.S. Jackson General Some people called it the Lonzo, The Billups Neon Crossing Signal, etc. If I was living next to that thing, I'll have trouble sleeping. 3/12/2013 10:39:39 PM

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