CPL history lesson

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Jan 6 02:21:40 EST 2007

This summer I found a few miles of operating semaphores on the former Monon
line [now CSX I think] south of Mitchell, Indiana, near Orleans, Indiana.
Also, I saw slides taken in August by friends on the former ATSF [now BNSF]
high speed passenger line between Albuquerque and Raton Pass with semaphores
in operation. Both are "upper quadrant" style.

A few years ago on the N&W between Centerville and Portsmouth, Ohio, where
US-23 parallels the tracks, I noted quite a variety of signals in use: the
all yellow Pennsy type circular heads, the color position lights mounted in
the older large heads, some early style three color vertical lights, and I
think one or two of the newer style vertical color lights. I too wondered
about engine crews operating in that short stretch of track being confronted
with such a variety of signal heads. Gradually those are all being replaced
with the latest versions of the vertical triple color lights.

But for railfanning, nothing beats those semaphores. Always on, no
"approach" lighting, and you can see easily from the road what aspect is
being displayed. None of this having to get your eye right in the line of
sight of a "target" signal. Also, you can read the status of track in both
directions with a single glance.

Robert Mee

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[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 5:58 PM
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Subject: Re: CPL history lesson

There are a few semaphores still around, some in the Chicago
metropolitan area, and in the western US, but they are being replaced.
None survive on former N&W lines, I'm fairly sure.

J. Kelling, Greenbelt, MD

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