Old photo of Rural Retreat

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Mar 23 12:27:38 EDT 2013

Just to clarify a minor point (for those who might not know which side of the tracks Rural Retreat depot was located on, and therefor might not understand an east/west reference)...

The erstwhile Mr. Blevins is referring to the semaphores at far right in the image. They are automatic block signals of the semaphore type. He is not referencing the Train Order semaphores located in front of the station building which, of course, were manually operated.. This might have been immediately obvious to some, but it wasn't to me.

Now a question for Ben: The first automatic block signal system on the Bristol Line used AC track circuits. (This was because there was no way to charge the "storage batteries" necessary for a DC signal system at the time, and the railroad hung 4400 volt AC on its own pole line to power the new automatic block signal system.) How long did the AC track circuits remain in use? Were they changed to DC track circuits during the CTC program of 1947-1948, or were they left in place during the transition to CTC?

-- abram burnett

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