Block indicators in train order offices

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed May 17 06:55:35 EDT 2017

I have attached a photo of a block indicator that I believe was used in a
N&W train order office.  I understand that the standard practice was for
these indicators to show a continuous light for both "EB" and "WB" that
would extinguish when a train occupied a block.  Does anyone recall seeing
these in train order offices or depot agencies?

In areas where the N&W had double track in front of a depot, I suppose
there had to be a block indicator for each track.  The general design seems
to reflect early 20th Century production, perhaps by the metal shop in
Roanoke.  I worked at C&O stations during 1971-1973 Summers and none of the
depots on the Richmond Division had block indicators, so I don't think they
were used on all railroads.  Perhaps the N&W manufactured its own
indicators for use at its agency offices.

Best wishes,

f_scheer at

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