CPL history lesson

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jan 5 21:30:01 EST 2007

Thanks Gary,

You saved me.....Now I don't have to explain myself to Ed King. I have never seen any report about the near collision of #2 and #95 at Cloverdale. That would make an interesting story.


----- Original Message -----
From: NW Mailing List
To: 'NW Mailing List'
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 2:49 PM
Subject: RE: CPL history lesson

The N&W changed to color CPL's because of the accident on Easter Sunday in Sardinia, Ohio where #99 missed obeying the approach signal and the STOP-and-STAY signal at the siding switch and rammed the engines on #94 which was taking the siding there. Some of the crew of 94 died in the wreck and the resulting fire. The investigation centered on the crew of 99 stating that they saw proceed signals approaching Sardinia and at the siding. The N&W and the ICC could only determine that dispatching did set the signals for the stop properly and that the signal relays appeared to have operated properly.

This night (the accident happened around 2 am) during stormy weather with lightning. Previous to this accident the N&W experienced an incorrect signal display on the Shenandoah Valley due to a freak lightening strike. Based on this incident, there was some speculation that lightning may have caused the signals to mis-display this night. However, the Shenandoah incident did not display a PROCEED type signal due to the lightening strike but a less dangerous aspect. The ICC did investigate and test to see if a voltage spike could set the signals to such a dangerous aspect as that which occurred in Sardinia. They did not find any reason or evidence to support this dangerous outcome in the signal system then in use.

Due to the uncertainty around the reasons for the accident, the N&W agreed with the ICC and changed to color position signals.

I am currently preparing an article for the ARROW covering this accident and the results caused by this unfortunate incident.

Gary Rolih



From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 9:30 AM
To: NW Mailing List
Subject: Re: CPL history lesson

"WHY did the N&W change the position lights to Color?

Ben Blevins"

Who knows the real reason the N&W's changed over to CPLs? I will assume that "Safety" was behind it somewhere. I am sure I will get an arguement from some,but, I think the CPLs are safer.

You read what I posted. With PL signals, the only color the crews were seeing was YELLOW. And that was my point! If the signal indication was obscured in some way, all you saw was YELLOW. If some of the lights were burnt out, all you saw was YELLOW.

Now, introduce color into the signal system and what do you get? Now (with CPLs) when you look through the fog or smoke or steam or tree branches and you see a fuzzy green light you knew what you had, etc. etc.

I have also been told that the wreck between #95 and #2 at the South End of Cloverdale was related to the PL signal at the North End of Cloverdale being worked on that same day. I have yet to find an accident report on that one.

Jimmy Lisle


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