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Monday, December 12, 2011

Wee Bit of Good Searchlight News

Just saw that out on the former Southern Pacific line in Mojave, CA the MP 377 signal bridge is being taken down for what are probably justified structural issues.  However the two track gantry with its 4 searchlight signals is being replaced with a pair of searchlight masts.  Huzzah!!  Finally, a Class 1 railroad that isn't afraid to Reduce, Reuse and/or Recycle.



The searchlight masts definitely appear to be used, but hey, I'll take it.


  1. MP 377 was replaced by used masts retrofitted with UP's favored "party platforms" and ladders, not because of "structural problems," but rather because UP wants to elminate as many cantilevers and bridges that they can get away with in D-251/252 territory systemwide. Management's thought is that this is a valid way to eliminate work injury claims...durrr. MP 377 was installed along with CTC in 1942 as part of the massive MOJ-BK CTC installation designed to unclog Tehachapi of wartime traffic slowed to a crawl by T&T operation and 1910s ABS with Style B semaphores. The CTC from that era is largely intact, although the "button job" machine at BK has long ago been remoted to Denver and probably to the "Harried-Man Dispatch Center" by now. Another motivator for officials to do this: scrap steel prices are at an all time high due to China, and scrapping these installations actually makes a profit. However, the replacement of these cantilevers and bridges with cheesy aluminum festooned with K-Mart signals will rain down on their heads in the next big windstorm. BNSF is already learning that lesson on the "transcon." You get what you pay for! --Retired SP maintainer

    1. Not sure if one could make a profit on the scrap steel as the cost of labour and associated signal testing will far outstrip the payout. However if there are recycled signals waiting to go maybe...

      Am really hoping for at least some diversity in modern signaling like LED searchlights or at least something that isn't a stack of clam shells with a Vadar hood.

      Thanks for the history however.