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Monday, April 30, 2018

Racine PLs Removed! A Chicago Icon is No More

Well the famous "Racine" position light signals inbound towards the north end of Chicago Union Station were suddenly replaced last week.  If anyone was ever wondering why there were PRR position lights in Milwaukee Road territory, since taken over by METRA, it is because the former PRR Panhandle Route to Chicago came up the west side of the city, took a right turn and entered Union Station from the north. (This was discussed in my article on Tower A-2).

This was not part of a re-signaling effort, the signals were cut into the existing interlocking logic one by one over the course of  several nights.  The replacements were METRA standard non-Darth LED traffic lights.  Fortunately the bomb-proof PRR signal gantry was re-used and will probably live on until the end of time.

Photo courtesy Robert Jordan
While located at the Racine St grade crossing, the signals are officially part of CP-MORGAN, a remote interlocking controlled from TOWER A-2. There are two facing point crossovers with movements made at Restricting speed.  Under Metra signal rules the lower LED heads will display R and L.

Photo courtesy Robert Jordan
The signals at the other end of CP-MORGAN were converted to searchlights sometime in the 1980's.  Word is that this will be replaced in the near future.

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