Circleville Interlocking

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Jan 4 10:12:24 EST 2020

About a week ago, Larry Stone wrote that signal 6R on Circleville’s model board (dad said the second shift operator referred to the model board simply as “the plant”) was probably a “hold out” signal. His whole comment is at the tail end of this email.

I found the following bit of information in the “Local” section of a 1938 Employee Timetable (#17) that lends some relevant context. 

"100(c) Eastward stop and stay signal 6768, just west of Circleville freight house, (and) westward stop and stay signal 6769, one-half mile east of Circleville passenger station <snip> shall be observed as stop and proceed signals by passenger trains, light engines and short trains that can clear between street crossings"

Signal 6768 appears to be the signal controlled by the 6R lever (N&W Scioto District Right-Of-Way and Track Map).  

A little more recently, Eric provided the 1967 PRR Interlocking Diagram for Circleville. A friend has the model board from Portsmouth that is probably from the same general time frame. I’ve attached an image of the Dorney/Circleville component of it. Both this and the older model boards have hand-drawn and/or taped-over tracks. Evidence of things changing over time. 

Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio, US

On Dec 29, 2019, at 9:49 AM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:

6R is a bit of an odd duck as it appears to be a controlled signal that governs moves over hand-operated switches (no lever number shown for the crossover or switch on to the Old Main). In addition, there appears to be no controlled signals over those switches westbound. So 6R is what I would call a “hold out” signal. The operator would use it to hold an eastbound train west of 6R when he was unable to clear 8R (the next signal) for a move across the diamond. By doing this, he could protect westbound moves off the Old Main going across to the Westbound Main or at least keep the switch and crossover clear until he could get the eastbound through (also possible is that there were road crossings between 6R and 8R and by holding a train at 6R, you kept them clear as well).

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