Circleville Interlocking

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Jan 4 17:31:04 EST 2020

Interesting. First, comparing the two model boards (local tower and the later CTC board), not a lot had changed. Lever numbers changed but that’s all local to the person operating the board. What was 6R was still a controlled signal but now 204R. Westbound east of Circleville changed a little - still a controlled signal on the main (22L which became 214L) but no signal (was 22R) coming out of the middle track.

Regarding the 1938 ETT comment, signal 6768 is almost certainly the same spot as later 6R and then 204R as the automatic nearly opposite it on the WB main is 6765 (the number being the milepost in tenths restricted to even numbers EB and odd number WB). So 6768 is roughly milepost 676.8. 

Are you sure about the other number being 6769? That would be almost opposite 6768 which would not be 1/2 mile east of the passenger station. I’m thinking maybe it’s 6749 which would put it out where the later 22L and still later 214L signal is and make more sense in the context of not blocking streets.

I still have my 1981 ETT for that territory as well as rule book and things seem to have been tightened up. It says:
When the signal at the locations show below displays a Stop and Stay indication, a train or engine governed by that signal mist not proceed except as indicated:
Westward signal at west end of Dorney [LS comment: I think that’s the 22L/214L signal] and eastward signal near M.P 677, west of Circleville [LS comment: that should be the 6R/204R signal] - permission from the train dispatcher at Portsmouth. Paragraph (b) of Rule 343, Book of Rules, does not apply.

Rule 343 says: When a train or engine is stopped by a Stop and Stay signal, where Rule 267, 359, or 391 does not apply, it must not proceed except as follows:
(a) [Not quoting it but it’s dispatcher permission]
(b) If communication is not available to secure permission to proceed as indicated in paragraph(a), train or engine will move forward until leading wheels are 100 feet past the Stop and Stay signal, wait ten minutes, then proceed at Restricted Speed.

So what are Rules 267, 359, and 391? 267 dealt with Traffic Control (CTC) which was not in effect at that location and 359 was interlocking rules (and as we discussed earlier in this email threads, these two signals were controlled but not interlocked with anything). 391 dealt with automatic interlockings and is also not applicable. So 343 applies to these two signals but unlike in 1938 when you could pass them without permission provided you fit between the crossings, in 1981 you needed to have permission and could not even apply the emergency procedure* for passing them when you can’t communicate with anybody.

* I call it the emergency procedure because we have a similar rule (pass and wait x minutes) at the Illinois Railway Museum and we explicitly call it an emergency procedure.

Larry Stone
lstone19 at

> On Jan 4, 2020, at 9:12 AM, NW Mailing List via NW-Mailing-List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:
> 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
> <PastedGraphic-2.png>
> 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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