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General Railway Signal Company (GRS) was a supplier of railway signaling equipment, systems and services in the Rochester, New York area. The company was established in 1904 and became part of Alstom Transport in 1998. GRS was a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1928 to 1930.[1]

General Railway Signal Company
FateMerged with Alstom [1]
PredecessorPneumatic Signal Company
Taylor Signal Co.
New York and Standard Railroad Signal Company
FounderJohn Taylor [2]
Defunct1998; 21 years ago (1998)
Area served
Key people
John Taylor, Wilmer Salmon, Winthrop Howe [2]
ProductsLevel crossing signals, Railway signaling
Number of employees



GRS was founded in 1904 with the merger of three companies (Pneumatic Signal Company of Rochester, New York, Taylor Signal Co. of Buffalo, New York and Standard Railroad Signal Company of Arlington, New Jersey). In 1923 GRS acquired the Federal Signal Company of Albany, New York.[2]

Company's former logo.

General Railway Signal was one of the 30 stocks when the Dow Jones Industrial Average[3] was expanded from a 20-stock average on October 1, 1928. It was replaced in the DJIA by Liggett & Myers on July 18, 1930. In 1965, General Signal Corporation (GSX) was created with the intent to diversify into areas other than railway signaling. GRS was a wholly owned subsidiary of GSX.

In 1960, GRS opened up a division called the "General Railway Signal Company de Argentina" (GRSA) in Buenos Aires, which took care of manufacturing, installing, and providing technical support of GRS railroad signalling systems in Argentina. Some of local railroad lines that were provided with GRSA products were Belgrano Norte, Belgrano Sur, Urquiza and Sarmiento. Most of the signals are still active. Noticeably among their products are their railroad crossing signalling parts, branded with the GRSA logo, instead of the usual GRS one. This facility was closed down in the early 1980s.

In 1986, GRS joined with China National Railway Signal & Communication Group Corporation (CRSC) to form the Chinese-American Signal Company (CASCO) in Shanghai, China, which produces products and systems for railways in the People's Republic of China.[4]

In 1989, GRS was acquired by the Italian company Sasib and joined the Sasib Railways group. From its founding until 1993, GRS main office and manufacturing facilities were located at 801 West Avenue in Rochester. In 1993, it moved to two new suburban facilities: administration and engineering to Sawgrass Drive in Brighton, and manufacturing to John Street in West Henrietta. In 1998, it became part of Alstom, a French corporation, when Alstom acquired Sasib Railways.[1] The GRS name is no longer used. All products now use the Alstom brand.

In 2003, the Sawgrass facility was closed and all activity was consolidated at the John Street plant, renamed Alstom Station.


red lights signal and gates device manufactured in Argentina and still active as of May 2014.
GRS Model 2 interlocking machine. (1915).
Semaphore and lights devices still active in Padilla station, Buenos Aires, 2015.


Major accomplishmentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Alstom signaling history" Archived 2013-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d "A Centennnial: History of Alstom Signaling, Inc., 1904-2004." Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Charles Dow, the History of the Dow Jones Averages
  4. ^ CASCO Signal Ltd
  5. ^ Elements of Railway Signaling, General Railway Signal (June 1979)
  6. ^ GRS (1937). "Speed and Simplicity in Train Directing." Bulletin 172. p. 7.
  7. ^ "Automation: TV, Tickets & Trains". Time. 1955-02-07.
  8. ^ Alstom Signalling Inc.(2010). "Rochester Signalling and Control Systems."

External linksEdit