signals under electrification

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Feb 27 12:39:20 EST 2017

I seem to recall that the first installation of PL signals on the N&W was
around 1920.  The brunt of the Pokey electrification was completed by this
time, so it was signaled with semaphores on the catenary supports.  I don't
recall seeing any photos showing PL signalling in the electrified section.
Conjecture:  The N&W needed/chose to retain semaphore signalling in
electrified territory until electrification was discontinued in 1950.  I
would assume that as the catenary was removed, PL signals were installed in
this area.  So Bluefield to Iaeger would have seen PL signals for only
about ten years - from the end of electrification until the change to CPLs
around 1960.  Would this make the electrified part of the Pokey the last
portion of the N&W to be upgraded from semaphores to PLs?  Can anyone
confirm, deny or add to any of my speculations?
Jim Cochran
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