CPL history lesson

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Jan 7 08:49:55 EST 2007

NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote: "There should have been a way that the CPL aspects could have been made to work with todays technology. Somebody just didn't try hard enough.
Jimmy Lisle "

Actually, they did. On the Pulaski district, NS chose not to replace the signals at interlockings, but rather integrate the home signals and bracket signals to work with the new system. So, we have the three light signals everywhere except for most of the passing tracks, which still have the old US&S CPL's.

But, I'll tell you, it wasn't easy. They had a lot of problems getting them to work. I can remember at Marion. For the first couple of months I'd come through there at night and the only light burning would be the B arm marker lights, and the top arms weren't burning at all. Eventually, they had to rewire the arms totally different to the way they originally were to fix the problem, which required running a separate ground for each aspect instead of all three sharing a common ground.

But anyway, yes, it could be done. But, another part of the problem is some of these signals were rusted to the point of being structurally compomised. One signal I purchased the arm off of was so rusty that when I took the arm off, I had to cut the bolts with a hack saw, and after I finally got the thing loose there was a big hole in the mast behind it where it had rusted completely through. Some of these masts and cases have been in service for nearly 90 years now.

Ben Blevins

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