1896 "Statement of Block Signals in Use on the Road"

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Feb 18 19:35:35 EST 2013

After years of thinking about it, I finally took the time to digitize the
1896 "Statement of Block Signals In Use on the Road." The digitization is
attached hereunto as a PDF.

This document, a five page typescript issued by the Engineer of Maintenance
of Way in September 1896, is so old and badly faded that parts of it could
simply not be reproduced by scanning or digital photography. The only
solution was to set it up in Excel and then convert it to a PDF. The
document shows all Block Signals in use on the N&W, whether one or two arm,
whether "absolute" or "permissive," whether operated by pipeline, wire or
rope, and whether in conformity with existing standards or "pre-1890."

The PDF file contains a four page letter from the late Bill Harman, which
accompanied the "Statement" when he sent it to me in 1988. Bill was a
third-generation Radford Division Telegrapher who hired in 1940, and he
worked the towers at Christiansburg, Walton and Cowan. In the letter he
recounts some of his experiences.

-- abram burnett

Download PDF (around 7.6M in file size):
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