College Special Train and Special Car

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Thu Jan 19 16:14:51 EST 2023

I’m guessing the last sentence meant the special was operating WB on the EB track and Dunlap, looking out the rear, saw the EB signal display Clear after the train passed. Sound like Dunlap didn’t understand how automatic block signals work since an automatic in Rule 251 territory (double track current of track) does nothing more than show the status of the track beyond it which would have been clear. They’re not dispatcher controlled and there is nothing the dispatcher can do to make them display anything else. 

Larry Stone
lstone19 at

> On Jan 19, 2023, at 11:16 AM, NW Mailing List via NW-Mailing-List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:
> Every May, N&W operated an inspection special, usually with seven business cars, that allowed the Bored of Directors to tour portions of the entire system.  In May, 1971, the special was westbound Norfolk to Crewe.  Welded rail was being installed on the westbound main track between M. P. N-71 and Poe.  The extra force had  been advised to "look sharp" when the special passed.  In passing, VP-Operations Dunlap on N&W 100 never missed an opportunity to criticize and cleared the Crewe dispatcher's ear wax out when he questioned why an eastbound signal was displaying "clear".                 Harry Bundy
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