N&W Train Order Signals - "Calling On"

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Sep 20 09:22:21 EDT 2006

To answer your question, I'd looked in rule books from various railroads for
a definition for "call-on" signals. I didn't find an answer until this
I found it in Norfolk Division Timetable #20 eff. 9/24/23 -

52- Slow speed permissive signals, where installed at interlocking plants,
attached to the semaphore mast of main line signals below the regular
interlocking signals, where such signals are used as block signals in
addition to their regular function of route signals. These signals are
distinguished from the regular interlocking signal on account of having
a shorter semaphore arm painted yellow. When the arm is in the
forty-five degree position above or below horizontal and shows two yellow
lights in a horizontal line at night, it will indicate that the route through
the interlocking plant is properly lined up, but that the block is
occupied and engines accepting the signal must proceed with great
caution and under full control, prepared to stop short of train or
other obstructions.

Levermen must not use this type of signal except when absolutely
necessary to relieve or avoid congestion within the limits of the
interlocking plant.

ICC Investigation #651 placed the responsibility of the collision at
Walton on the engineer of No. 26 because he failed to control the
speed. It noted that the levermen at Walton, however, were using the
"call-on" indication for many purposes. Operator Harman noted that
he was attempting not to delay 2/2 (from Bluefield) by displaying a
"call-on" indication for No. 26. Second 2 wasn't due for another 10-
15 minutes..

Although N&W had no definition for "call-on" signals, the ICC report
identifies the permissive signal as a "call--on" signal.

Harry Bundy
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