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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clear Sweep on the Port Road

For the last few years NS has been "cleaning up" most of the PRR heritage on the Port Road.  Having already eliminated the old PRR pole line 100Hz power supply and embarked on a project to remove most of the old catenary poles, this past week they finally completed work on a project to re-signal most of the old territory controlled by COLA tower.  Back in 2007 I discovered the first part of this project taking place at CP-SHOCKS where the PRR PLs were being replaced with the standard Darth Vader types.  Since then the project spread to CP-LAKE and finally CP-COLA, which was actually still using the original PRR era relay logic from the COLA tower CTC project.

The scope of the project was to install full Rule 261 operation between CP-CRESS and CP-SHOCKS.  While CP-SHOCKS and CP-LAKE were both re-signaled independently and in short order, the COLA and CRESS portion of the project took a little longer to complete with replacement signals standing at COLA since at least July and only being finally cut over in conjunction with the entire line segment between there CP-LAKE.  With the cutover CP-LAKE was removed from service as an interlocking with the third middle siding track between there and COLA being converted to having a hand throw western end.

The desecration didn't stop there as both ends of the Harbor siding were also re-signaled.  This was a 6000 foot, non-signaled siding with slow speed entrance and exit.  CP-WEST HARBOR appeared to have been recently rehabilitated with fresh paint on the eastbound PRR PL mast, but I guess this was just a fakeout as someone made the decision to upgrade both the entrances and exist to Medium speed operation and possibly signal the siding as well.  Fortunately I was able to get pretty good coverage of COLA and WEST HARBOR, but time ran out before I could get to CRESS or the PL intermediate signals between there and COLA.  Fortunately I do have a smattering of coverage from one of my contributors taken in 2006 which I hope to include in a future survey piece. 

In one last bit of news I noticed at MINNICK that along with the catenary poles the Conrail-era 100Hz power supply station was also ripped out, although the PRR PL signals there were given a fresh coat of paint indicating that NS has no plans to fully destroy the southern Port Road branch yet. 




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