Track Circuits on the N&W: What Type and Where?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Mar 16 10:23:15 EDT 2013

Does anyone have a list of what type of track circuits were used on the N&W, and where?

>From references I have seen in old editions of Railway Age and Railway Signal Engineer, it seems that the N&W bought a little bit of everything: steady energy DC circuits, steady energy AC circuits, coded DC circuits, coded AC circuits, and some of the AC equipment was apparently 60 cycle, while some was 100 cycle.

While "living memory" is still with us, this might be a good time to assemble a database of such information.

Other worthwhile information to get from those who still remember: Where were the N&W's own power houses for generating the 4400 AC which was carried on its pole line starting about 1915, and when was the switch made to commercial power for the signal system? What were the "forms" (i.e. "models") of Union Switch & Signal CTC on the N&W (e.g., 504, 514, 530, etc)? Where were the "code line feed points" at which the CTC code line was fed? (On long installations like the Shenandoah Division, the code line was probably fed from at least three locations.)

-- abram burnett

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