CPL history lesson

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jan 5 10:08:36 EST 2007

As far as uniformity, it is interesting to note that on PRR three amber
lights in
a horizontal position over one amber light on the bottom target was their
AND PROCEED indication. On the N&W, this indication was STOP-and-STAY.
For a brief period after N&W acquired the Sandusky District in 1964, it's
apparent that PRR signal rules were in effect on the Scioto Division north of
Columbus, while N&W rules were effective south of Columbus.

Right, Jimmy, I'll be the last one to say that signals are failsafe. One
witnessed is what some refer to as a "swinging signal". This most often
with light engines. As the light engine rocks and rolls through the block,
it fails
to shunt, and the following signal will swing from STOP to CLEAR and back to
STOP. There was a collision at Shaffers Crossing resulting from a "false
The head of Signals & Communications was notified. "No way!" was his
so the powers on the 7th floor of General Office Bldg-North had him driven
to the
collision site. There ahead of the wreckage on the main track was a signal
with a
CLEAR indication. Reporting to Tidewater one morning, a coal train en route
Sewells Point had approached the home signal during the night. The home
dropped from CLEAR to STOP-AND-STAY and the engineer put it in emergency.
In front of the Ford plant, the 73rd car had buckled. Although the facts
became known, it was thought that a switcher working an adjacent industrial
clear of the main track had caused the signal to shunt.

The ICC doesn't investigate them all and I don't know what happened at
Apparently, the number of dead bodies plays a part in the procedure. Circa
VGN Extra 506 West plowed through the 27th car of an eastbound SAL freight at
the interlocked crossing at Algren. Since there were no deaths, but three
I guess the ICC didn't think it worthwhile to investigate. During World War
II, a pair
of light engines (Class W's so I've been told), went through an open draw at
Bridge 5
in Norfolk. Despite an apparent breach of rules, the ICC never investigated
that one

Harry Bundy
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