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Sunday, January 14, 2024

Velcorp Gems - A New Signal Supplier Enters the Fray

While out riding the new MBTA Green Line Extension I noticed a new corporate brand stenciled onto the back of a cheap looking transit type LED signal head.

My original assessment that  Velcorp is the company and GEMS is the brand name of their rail signaling equipment turned out to be incorrect as Velcorp was actually Virginia Electronic & Lighting LLC and GEMS was their subsidiary General Electronics Mechanical Services, which I guess does all the rail stuff? Anyway, as you can see below the product looks to be on the low end of the build quality scale with exposed nuts on the front, lots of hard angles and what appears to be a non-locking access door on the rear.


The mounting equipment is branded as Harmon, which may be doing business under the Landsay brand now. Each signal also has a pair of mounting brackets on the top that look a bit like owl tufts. From Velcorp's website it looked like they had previously focused on LED modules before suddenly getting the contract for the GLX wayside signals. Velcorp isn't local so maybe its a Veteran owned small business or something.

Despite their appearance, the signals seemed to work well enough. Still, I have not encountered them on any other transit system. Velcorp is one of several entrants into the rail signal space to have offered up products competing against the legacy brands of US&S and GRS (Alstom) who have the capability to make larger cast aluminum and iron housings.

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