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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Laughlin Junction is No More

CSX ripping down CPL's is nothing really newsworthy, but this time it involves the subject of a previous blog post.  If you happen to remember the piece on Laughlin Junction you will recall that it was an actual junction located on the CSX P&W Subdivision on the route of Amtrak's Capitol Limited.  The P&W Sub was the original B&O route to Chicago, but was long ago relegated to secondary status by the use of P&LE trackage rights between Braddock and New Castle.  Laughlin Junction was the junction of the short branch to the old B&O station in downtown Pittsburgh, last used for the PATrain service in the 1980's.  Laughlin Junction was special because it contained one of two Full Complete CPL's with all 4 positions on the target and all 6 orbitals being used.

The Junction's fall began in the late 90's the station was demolished and the line to it converted into a bike path. In 2003 the active interlocking tower at Glenwood was closed due to a long trending decline in local industrial rail traffic which was done in conjunction with CSX single tracking the line between there and Braddock which in turn caused the full CPL to lose all of its orbitals.  Shortly thereafter the entire P&W sub was leased to a shortline and all of the CPL signaling removed from service, making the three remaining interlockings orphans on the CSX system, retained only because of the Amtrak traffic but still requiring all the usual maintenance.    Well next Laughlin lost first one of its crossovers and then the other leaving only one switch between the former second main turned running track and the west end of the Glennwood yard.  Well this past week the final nail was put in the coffin when CSX removed the entire interlocking from service, replacing the CPLs on the E/B bracket and W/B tubular gantry with a simple bi-directional Darth automatic signal at the site of the gantry.

It remains to be seen what will become of the new gantry, the old bracket and the forest CPL.  Anyway I can't really get too made at this one.  The interlocking was barely functional and a dispatcher told me it would take several minutes for the all relay plant to display an indication.

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