Mystery Sign Help

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jan 3 16:53:08 EST 2017

Can't say which track that signal 49.5 governed, but it may have played a minor
part in SCL history.  NTSB Railroad Accident Reports aren't easy to come by,
but you may try DOT's web site.  On May 5, 1976, the Auto Train was northbound
at 72 MPH north of Jarratt when the R-3 wheel of the  49th "car dropped off the rail
and struck the components of the track structure."  Even in 1976, the SCL main track
was laid in 132# jointed rail.  About 1.4 miles beyond near milepost 51, the train
separated and 16 (of 18) cars derailed and fouled both main tracks.  No. 4 continued
for another 3200 feet before stopping.  If signal 495 governed northward traffic,
you can bet No. 4's crew was zeroed in on its indication.  If signal 495 governed
southward traffic, it did its thing and dropped to "STOP".  This is from NTSB
report # NTSB-RAR-76-11.                  Harry Bundy


Shortly after I sent this e-mail I figured out what it is.  This is the number plate off Atlantic Coast Line signal 49.5 between Stony Creek and Jarratt, VA.  The design and configuration is spot on for the ACL signals and I was able to confirm an intermediate signal was once located at the 49.5 from 1953 ACL track charts. 
Jeff Hawkins

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