Ball's Hole signal

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Nov 27 23:11:01 EST 2016

Hey Bruce,

The eastward signal at Wilson's would have served as the home signal for 
Ball's Hole and was near MP N-275, so I assume the number was 2750. 
Assume, because there was no number plate on the signal. I have not seen 
signal charts and contrary to track charts, #2750 was a Stop and Stay 
automatic, not a Stop and Proceed as called for on track charts, thus 
the lack of number plates. This error got me curious enough to ask a 
dispatcher and a maintainer about the signal, but to no avail, and I 
lacked opportunity/thought to ask senior enginemen acquaintances at the 

The break-in-two history and crossover (thank you, Abram) are reason 
enough for the Stop and Stay. Also, if a heavy eastbound might have 
stalled after stopping on signal at Singer, #2750 would have protected 
his rear if in need of a reverse move to get a run at the hill (?). As 
the advance signal to the control point at Singer and given recent posts 
about idle aspects, #2750's idle aspects were Stop and Stay on the 
westbound (reverse) main and Approach on the eastbound.

Grant Carpenter

On 11/19/2016 7:44 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 2:19 PM,
> ​abram
>  wrote:
>     This was such a problem that the railroad installed a special hand
>     operated crossover un or approaching Tie Yard Hill, named
>     Bachelor's Crossover (supposedly named for old Engineman Harvey
>     Batchelor, who could never make it through Ball's Hole without
>     breaking in-two.)
> ​Haven't heard that location in a while -- Tie Yard Hill (or Tyart 
> Hill in N&W-ese). It took us a while to figure out that one when we 
> heard it on the scanner (back in the late '70s/early '80s). It was 
> usually in reference to the signal that was located to the west 
> between Singer and the Cove Hollow road crossing, just about behind 
> Wilson's (burned out) Restaurant.
> There was something unusual about this signal (which is no more) and 
> it may have had to do with that dip to the east. I can't remember the 
> details, Grant needs to weigh in since I seem to remember he found 
> someone in the N&W to explain the how and why of that signal (I think 
> part of it had something to do with the signal being shown as a 
> automatic on track charts but operating as a control or vice versa).
> As to Tie Yard Hill, we did get filled in on what the guys were 
> actually saying but I don't believe we ever got a full explanation as 
> to why it was called that. Any insight would be appreciated.
> Bruce in Blacksburg

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