Larger Than They Might Appear

No longer standing tall, but still tall nonetheless.

No longer standing tall, but still tall nonetheless.

Weeds are now growing up through the signal head.

Weeds are now growing up through the signal head.

One of the amber lights. It could have been used to signal clear block or an approach indication.

One of the amber lights. It could have been used to signal clear block or an approach indication.

The red lights only displayed a stop indication.

The red lights only displayed a stop indication.

Railroad block signal heads don’t look all that large when viewed from ground level or a distance. Unless you are willing to trespass or else you work as a signal maintainer chances are you’ve never stood next to a signal head as it sat on its support pole.

The size of the heads of Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signals seem small when viewed from ground level.

But stand next to one of those head when it is lying on the ground and you might be surprised at how large it is.

There was a former PRR position light signal lying on the ground in Bucyrus when I paid a visit there a while back.

Aside from its size, I was amazed at how beat up and rusty that it was.

Granted, this signal might have been out of service for several years, but still, it looked like it had not been painted in more than a decade.

Countless train crews depended on this signal to safely guide them home or to their destination terminal. But now its work is done and I presume it will be cosmetically restored and displayed at the small railroad museum that is part of the depot in Bucyrus.

This town used to be, after all, a major junction point on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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