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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Once Again its Time for the News

This week we begin with the CSX Philly Sub resignaling project, which completed phase 1 over the last several weeks for both interlockings and intermediate signals.  B&O CPL signals were replaced from Bayview Yard in Baltimore up through the Van Bibber siding south of Aberdeen.  This is yet another occasion of recent re-signaling not saving classic signals as the Philly sub was almost completely re-signaled 10 years ago with pole line replacement and some of the interlockings getting new vital equipment.  While the Van Bibber siding interlockings were still relay, Rosedale interlocking was one of those that had been modernized and was replaced like the others.  I believe that Rosedale did in fact get a new Relay hut and not just a signal splice.

Strangely enough the new signaling scheme has converted almost the entire line to 4-block signaling despite 2 mile blocks and 50mph speeds.  Here you can see the new northbound Rosedale signal displaying Clear over the equilateral turnout with the capacity for Approach Medium as well and yes it is Approach Medium and not the Seaboard's antiquated Y/Y/ Advance Approach.

Also lost were a pair of 1990 vintage intermediate signals south of Rosedale on the double track segment.  Luckily over the years I have had the opportunity to fully document the Philly sub CPL's so stay tuned for a possible post devoted to them.  One signal location I was not able to profile was this one at Bradshaw.  You can see the new but not new enough relay box still standing next to the new new box.  makes one wonder what was so different about 2000 vs 2013 in terms of cost calculations.

 Moving on I noticed that the fairly modern CPLs at the famous Youngstown diamonds have been replaced, but I don't think that anyone is really surprised by this turn of events.  Interestingly enough there is an elephant ear target on the former PRR line which must have been a Conrail recycle job. Also note the bi-directional 4-block ABS support.

Moving on to Fort Wayne, IN on the old Nickle Plate line it seems that despite being more immune to this practice than CSX, NS is dumping a modern traffic light bracket mast in favor of a cantilever at the Runnion St interlocking.  The way railroads want to spend money on shiny new signals structures you'd think it was going out of style. This is also the reason I place bracket masts of any type above searchlights on the priority list.

One might think Amtrak was operating a rapid transit line if you happened to see this signal at the new Brunswick, ME Downeaster station. The previously un-signaled line to Brunswick, ME was given the Darth Vader treatment as opposed to the circular target signals previously preferred by the Guilford Rail System, but this 7-stack of modular Safetran dwarf heads appears to be a close quarters exception. More puzzling is the mix of LED units and traditional bulb and lens units.  Can't quite determine what all this signal can display or if the lens units are Lunar or Green.  I plan to head up there at some point and will investigate.

Showing once again that drawbridges are one of the major saviors of classic signaling here is a picture from inside the control cabin of Amtrak's Bush River drawbridge on the southern NEC.  This movable bridge is not part of an interlocking and in fact to open it the rails must be unbolted manually.  It is only opened during summer months on weekends, one in the morning and once in the evening.  Here we see a couple of old school switch levers that move the wedges that keep the bridge locked for train movements.  Next to them is the drive assembly for the short bascule span.

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