The Journal of the
Signalling Record Society Victoria

Somersault contains articles and information about railway signalling. Its primary focus is signalling in Victoria, Australia, but it includes occasional articles about signalling in the rest of Australia and internationally.

Click on a thumbnail to open and then download if required. To search the text within all issues of Somersault, use the green search box in the title bar. For further guidance on searching, please see  below.

Issues are made available online in one-year blocks at least two years after publication. Issues for the most recent year available:

Click here to browse all issues as thumbnails or
click on a year below to display issues for that year.

The articles are a mixture of historical and current descriptions of locations, signalling equipment, and signalling practices. A detailed list of signalling changes from the Weekly Notices is included in each issue providing a valuable resource for railway historians.

The magazine is published six times per year in February, March, May, July, September, and November as a hardcopy emailed to members.

All issues published online are in searchable PDF format. Up to Volume 21 (1998) they are scanned images of the original paper copies that have been processed using character recognition software to make them searchable. The scan quality varies and can impact the search results. Commencing with Volume 22 (1999) the PDFs have been directly generated from the original source files.

Searching Somersault

The contents of Somersault are valuable for researchers interested in railway signalling in Victoria. All issues, including the older scanned ones, are searchable by one of the following methods.

  1. Use the website search engine (accessed via the magnifying glass at the top right of each page) to identify issues of Somersault that contain the terms you enter. Then use Adobe Acrobat Reader (or similar) to locate the instances of the phrase in each document.

    Detailed instructions:

    1. Click on the green box (with the magnifying glass) in the toolbar at the top of any page on the website.
    2. Enter one or more search words and press Enter.
    3. Each issue of Somersault containing all of those terms  will be identified along with a brief excerpt of the text. Case is ignored i.e. prahran and Prahran are identical.
    4. To find the phrase inside the particular Somersault issue identified, first copy the search term you used from the search box (Ctrl+A then Ctrl+C),
    5. Click the title of that issue to open the PDF file for that issue in Acrobat Reader (assuming it is your default PDF reader).
    6. Click anywhere in the document and press Ctrl+F to open the PDF search box.
    7. Paste (Ctrl+V) or re-enter the search words into the search box. Note that Adobe Reader only returns results where the words are contiguous.
    8. The search words are highlighted within the document. Use the arrows next to the search box to scroll between them.
    9. If you repeat step e for a different issue, the PDF search box will remain and can be re-used without re-entering the search term.
  2. The most reliable way to search is to download the issues of interest to your computer and then use the search function in Adobe reader. You can select Advanced Search to search multiple issues (pdf files) at once. Note that this finds contiguous words only.
    A zip file containing all Somersault issues together with a search index that greatly speeds up searching  may be available on request. This file is over 800MB. If interested, please contact the webmaster (
  3. Google search can be used but is incomplete. Prefix your search terms by site: Unfortunately Google has not indexed all issues of Somersault so your search will be incomplete. We have not been able to resolve this issue to date but continue to try!
  4. A partial table of contents for Somersault is available via the Archives Search Engine here. Select SRSV Somersault as the Item Group.
Copyright Notice

Copyright 2024, Signalling Record Society Victoria, Incorporated.

Unless articles use copyright information, contents may be reproduced for non commercial use without prior permission, but acknowledgement is required.

For everyone interested in Victorian railway signalling.