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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Caught on Camera - Episode 2 Google Special

having a railfan catch a rare signaling situation on camera, but having one be captured by a civilian on a completely unrelated mission is a lot rarer.  In today's episode of Caught on Camera I wanted to show off two interesting bits of signaling captured by the Google Street View car.  With more and more of the world's roads appearing in glorious HD by the law of large numbers it is only natural that Street View will capture comparatively rare events.

The first of these is located at SHEPARDSTOWN interlocking  on the NS Shenandoah Line in Shepardstown, WV.   The Street View car was traveling on State rt 230 when it caught the southbound N&W position light signal displaying a Diverging Approach indication for a southbound train taking the single track to wait for a northbound to pass.

Here is a closer view of the same signal in its normal state.

The second photo was taken in Bridgeport, NJ on the Conrail Penns Grove secondary.  This is the location of the Bridgeport Movable Bridge on the Raccoon Creek   The Bridgeport Movable Bridge is a non-interlocking swing bridge that was converted to automatic operation about 10 years ago.  The bridge works by a train occupying an island circuit which combined with some radio handset tones will command the bridge to close and a small dwarf signal to light up.   Well the Google Street View Car did it again, capturing the bridge in the closed position, crews on hand wanting for something or another.  

 Interesting detail is that the dwarf displays G/R proceed instead of G.  Remember this is DCS trackage so the signal only indicates the bridge is locked and does not convey movement authority.

Our last photos was actually not provided by Google, but looks like it should have.  Instead the Ohio DoT compiled a photo database of every grade crossing in the state and in so doing captured the unique pair of automatic signals on the former Conrail Cincinnati Line at Hague Ave in Columbus.  These are the only known examples of Amtrak style colorized position lights employed by Conrail.  Later replaced by NS as part of the general SCIOTO tower resignaling project in 2003 they live on in these photos.  

Of course Google is still helpful if you want to check out the non-Darth traffic lights that replaced them.

Anyway that's all, but rest assured that next time I catch the Google Street View car catching I'll let you know ;-) 

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