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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CSX CnO Signal Rape On the Move West

Until just a few years ago the C&O Main Line between Limeville and Huntington Kentucky contained some of the finest examples of C&O signaling anywhere.  The route had frequent interlockings and a good deal of 3 and 4 track running with a pair of complex flat junctions between major C&O Subdivisions.  Well over the last few years CSX has been on a tear, completely denuding the line of its classic elephant ear color light signals all the way from Russel Yard to Montgomery, WV.  Well I am sorry to report that CSX has resumed its westward march setting its sights on the last sections of exemplary  C&O signaling between Russel Yard and LJ (Linedale Junction) Cabin where the Northern Sub to Columbus branches off the Cincinnati Sub.  

This was brought to my attention by some pictures on Railpictures.net showing LIMEDALE interlocking with the dreaded Darth Vader signals already up and in place.  What stands to be lost are two C&O signal gantries each with ABS exit signals.  Even more galling is the fact that both signal gantries were rehabilitated with fresh coats of silver paint sometime within the last 2 decades or so and easily had another 2 decades of good service left in them.  The impetus for the re-signaling is due to the C&O being an early adopter of bi-directional CTC and thus still relying on all relay logic and a pole line to communicate block state and CTC commands.

Unless you happen to live out in that area there isn't much of an opportunity to see these signals because while the route is used by Amtrak's Cardinal, it passes through this area at night in both directions.  The only chance to take photos would be if an eastbound train were to be delayed by 2-4 hours.  Fortunately those masterful photos were posted on Railpictures.net for us all to enjoy, or to get depressed about because such a beautiful piece of engineering will soon vanish forever.






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