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Monday, March 19, 2018

NS Reading Line 261 Finally Cut In

Wow, so it took nearly 2 years, but the short, 30 mile long NS Reading Line has finally been "upgraded" to bi-directional Rule 261 operation, replacing the former Conrail small target searchlight signals.  Fortunately, over the course of two marathon trips I was able to document most of the signals between CP-WEST LAUREL and CP-ALLEN, inclusive.

The Reading Line and I go way back, it being the site of one of my very first interlocking surveys all the way back in 2002 and later captured in this blog post on CP-ALBURTIS. I later surveyed the Reading Line from the back of an Amtrak fall foliage train in 2016, returning a few weeks later to document the west end and then about 6 months after that to cover the east end.  Incidentally, the re-signaling will also come with an increase in speed from 50 to 60mph, with NS now making full use of its Class 4 track.  Speed increases are rare events, even after a re-signaling effort as it requires the re-timing of every grade crossing on the route, whereas normally they can be left alone.  This may have accounted for the protracted timeframe of the project.

I want to thank my friend Kevin, a Reading Line local, for being my guide and I want to direct everyone over to his own photo album of the signaling changes over the last 2 years.  It's a damn shame to see another stretch of increasingly rare ABS bite the dust, but at least we did everything we could to capture what it was like.

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