Posts Tagged ‘Position light signals’

Through a Signal Bridge

June 5, 2021

Conrail SD 60 No. 6754 SD 50 No. 6711 are on the point of an eastbound train in the Canton yard on Jan. 17, 1987. This is former Pennsylvania Railroad territory as evidenced by the position light signals on the Fort Wayne Line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Friendly Wave at Alliance

May 30, 2021

It’s July 1972 in Alliance. The fireman of Penn Central Alco C628 No. 6314 is giving a friendly wave as the train enters the Bayard Branch on its way to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh. Also in the motive power consist are PC 6314, 6300, and 6317. The track under the rear trucks of No. 6314 is the Fort Wayne Line to Canton and Chicago.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

A Little Wild Mary, a Little B&O

May 28, 2021

Western Maryland SD40 No. 7595 is working solo at Warwick on July 14, 1982, to haul an intermodal train on what is today the CSX New Castle Subdivision. Originally, this was a Baltimore & Ohio mainline, hence the B&O style color position light. No. 7595 would later see duty on the CSX motive power roster and may have taken this signal years later in CSX dress.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

In the Middle of a Lap Siding

May 10, 2021

CSX has removed some of the lap siding on the Toledo Subdivision that the Baltimore & Ohio installed years ago, but it kept the one in Cairo, Ohio. Shown is steel train K596 coming out of the northern end of the siding and onto the main.

If you look carefully, you will see that the dwarf signal is giving a train in the southern end of the siding a clear signal to come out onto the main.

Out of view is CSX manifest freight that is meeting the K596 here.

Note that lead unit SD40-2 No. 4008 has one of the square cabs CSX gave some of these units when they were rebuilt. This locomotive was originally built for the Seaboard Coast Line.

Massilon Two for Tuesday

December 8, 2020

Here are two views in Massillon that show some of the changes in the past 40 plus years.

In the top image, Conrail GP38 7793 is at Mace Tower in March 1978.

Notice the freight cars in the small yard. The steel industry (now gone) and local industries made this yard needed.

The Baltimore & Ohio crossed Conrail (ex-Pennsylvania Railroad) on a diagonal here and there were two tracks west out of Massillon.

In the bottom image it’s April 17, 2009. Notice how the B&O line, now part of R.J, Corman, switches onto NS and then switches directly off. Look at all that’s missing.

Today even the ex-PRR signals are gone, having been replaced by modern signals.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Vintage Scene in Alliance

July 1, 2020

It is July 9, 1972. Penn Central GP 40 No. 3221 is eastbound in Alliance on the Fort Wayne Line.

Much of what you see here is gone although the track layout remains largely the same.

The bridge in the background carries Main Street in Alliance over the maze of former Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.

The rear of No. 3221 is over the diamond of the Fort Wayne Line and what is today the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern that goes to Bayard and Yellow Creek on the Ohio River. The PRR called it the Mahoning Secondary Track.

One of the more interesting elements of this scene involves the signals on the bridge, which in Pennsy days was known as Bridge 83.23.

As explained by author Robert J. Yanosey in volume 12 of his Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities series, this was not an interlocked crossing although it almost was.

By law, railroads in Ohio were required to place a target signal on mainline tracks at non-interlocked crossings.

The position of the target controlled the signal circuits so that signal indications could not be displayed unless the target was lined correctly for the route of travel.

When the target was in the vertical position, Fort Wayne Line trains could move with the flow of traffic if they received a signal indication of better than stop.

The signal heads mounted on the bridge are for Tracks 2 and 3 while the signal for Track 1 was on the ground.

Just to the right of the nose of the 3221 is the Alliance block station, from which the signals for the crossing of the Cleveland Line and Fort Wayne Line were operated.

It was a block station only for Cleveland Line trains.

Today all of these signals are gone and the Fort Wayne Line here is a single track. Most traffic uses a double-track connection between the Cleveland Line and Fort Wayne Line.

But back in 1972 that connection was a single track

Photograph by Robert Farkas

PRR Signal Bridge Removed From West Park Trench

October 5, 2019

The Pennsylvania Railroad era position light signals in the trench in Pittsburgh’s West Park were removed last weekend.

The signal bridge on the far east end of the Fort Wayne Line have long been a favorite for photographers.

It was located near the intersection of Brighton Road and West North Avenue.

An online report indicated that as part of the work and interlocking has been expanded and new switches installed inside the trench.

The work also included removal of intermediate signals between CP Leets and CP Penn.

Trains using the Fort Wayne Line are now using cab signals with wayside signals located only at interlockings.

PRR Signals Being Removed in Pittsburgh

September 17, 2019

Workers this past weekend were reported to have replaced the former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals in Pittsburgh at Bloom, Solomon and Pitt.

All of these locations are on the Pittsburgh Line east of the Amtrak station in downtown Pittsburgh.

Norfolk Southern has been replacing the venerable PRR signals over the past year in favor of modern signals.

The work has eliminated intermediate signals. The line is being governed by cab signals with a positive train control overlay.

An online report indicated that the signal bridge just west of the South Millvale Avenue was removed.

It had in recent years supported a set of the newer signals.

CP Bloom is where Amtrak’s Capitol Limited diverges from the former PRR mainline to the original Baltimore & Ohio mainline through Pittsburgh.

It is also a popular place for photographers to capture Amtrak trains with the Pittsburgh skyline looming in the background.

Tribute to Fallen PRR Signals in Pennsylvania

June 11, 2019

Some railfans having been making pilgrimages to central Pennsylvania in recent weeks to get one last photograph of the Pennsylvania Railroad installed position light signals before they are pulled down from the Pittsburgh Line of Norfolk Southern

Oneline reports indicates that at interlocking plants the position light signals are being replaced by modern signals and that intermediate signals are being removed and not replaced.

The former PRR mainline has a cab signal system similar to that in use on the NS Cleveland Line/Fort Wayne Line between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Here is a tribute to the position light signals featuring NS trains as well as Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian at Lilly (two photos), Summerhill, Cresson and MG Tower (located two miles west of Horseshoe Curve near Altoona).

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Getting Them Just in Time

June 5, 2019

Workers have been making steady progress in removing the former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals from the Norfolk Southern mainline between Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh.

Given that, Ed Ribinskas set out on May 17 for a trip to Altoona to get the venerable signals while they are still standing.

On Saturday he visited Summerhill and Cresson. He was just in time to get the signals and signal bridge just east of where Pennsylvania Route 53 crosses over the NS tracks between Cresson and Gallitzin.

Last weekend that signal bridge was taken down. It shown below with an intermodal train passing beneath it.

The trip also gave Ed the opportunity to get Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian coming back the position light signals and signal bridge at Summerhill (top photo).

This image had eluded him in a trip to Summerhill last year when he arrived just in time to see the train passing beneath him.

This time he was there in plenty of time. But if you look in the distance in that photo you’ll see an oncoming NS freight.

The timing worked this time but it might have been worse. That train is shown passing the signal bridge in the bottom photo below.

Also shown are signals at Portage and Summerhill.