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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Even New Signals Aren't Safe

I know I've brought this up before, but one of the most disturbing trends over the last 10 years is how railroads are unwilling to simply preserve signal or signaling hardware that still has many decades left on the clock simply because it is cheaper to build new than splice into old  The latest, although not all to unexpected victim of this trend is the JD Tower interlocking complex in Hyattsville, MD on the CSX Capitol Sub.  As profiled on the JD Tower website the current B&O CPL signals were installed in 1992 when the original tower was closed.  However only 20 years later those signals are on the chopping block just like other new-build CPLs like the ones at CARROLL and DORSEY and numerous other locations.  Looks like its time to plan another expedition to catch some classic signaling before it bites the dust.  :-(

Brand new in 92
Here we see evidence of the ongoing resignaling on the former Southern RR line near Chattanooga with some really strange ancient searchlights on a functional, yet admittedly rusting beam gantry.  I guess I'm not surprised when this sort of signal is replaced by a pair of cheapo masts...

But at the other end of the interlocking is a brand new tubular signal gantry with Safetran seashell signal modules, same as the newer Darth Vaders use also slated for replacement.  Really?

To pick on NS some more we have an update from BURKE interlocking which apparently is being completely re-signaled.  In this case NS actually replaced the heads of the on the southbound Southern style signal bridge with Darth Vaders, but is now throwing the whole thing out for a cantilever.  There were times when a modification such as that would save a bit of historic signaling for decades more, but not apparently any more.

Ok, you get the point, but since this is a new post no point stopping there.  I have the sad duty to anounce that after over a year of being "on notice" the remaining CBQ searchlight signals on the 3-track Aurora racetrack away from the Eola yard complex have finally been replaced.  I was lucky enough to bag two sets of photos of these signals on the California Zephyr in 2012 and 2013, both coming and going.

Finally if you were looking for a railroad that isn't installing Darth Vaders look no further than SEPTA which recently installed new target color lights at its redone FORD interlocking as part of the R6 Norristown Line CTC project.  Here we catch the new three headed mast signal, replacing the previous dwarf stack, displaying Medium Approach the old fashioned way to an approach NS freight off the Morrisville Line.

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