Posts Tagged ‘railroad signals’

Clear at CP 412

June 24, 2021

The crew of Norfolk Southern container train 294 is looking at a clear signal indication on Track 2 of the Chicago Line at CP 412 in Goshen, Indiana.

In the distance a tie gang is working on Track 1 and the foreman had given the 294 permission through his work limits at 25 mph with instructions to make some noise.

The tie gang had Track 1 out of service until 5 p.m. on this Tuesday from CP 412 to CP 397.

The downside to track work season is traffic is generally reduced during work hours. The upside is the trains that are allowed to go through the work zones must identify themselves to the foreman in charge to get verbal permission through the zone.

Not far behind the 294 was the 22W, another eastbound intermodal train with stacks and trailers. But before these two trains showed up there had been a lull of more than an hour.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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

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.

Nice Way to Start the Day

April 29, 2021

We had driven up Interstate 69 to Waterloo, Indiana, which would be our first stop during a day-long railfan outing.

Scarcely had we arrived when the detector west of town on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern went off on Track 2, likely indicating an eastbound was coming.

Through my telephoto lens I could tell the lead unit was not NS black and for a moment I thought that, maybe, it was a heritage unit.

It tuned out to be a BNSF pumpkin with a Southern Belle of Kansas City Southern trailing. That’s not a bad catch although I wished the order of the units had been reversed.

It was train 880, which had come into Chicago from the Power River Basin of Wyoming and been turned over to an NS crew at Cicero, Illinois. The train was bound for Trenton, Michigan.

In the view above, it is splitting the westbound home signals of CP 367 and passing the former New York Central passenger station, which is now owned by the city and contains a waiting room for Amtrak passengers.

Steam Saturday: NKP 765 Has the Signal

April 24, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. is putting on a show as it cruises westbound at milepost 123.2 on Norfolk Southern east of Orrville on June 21, 1983. These rails were originally laid by the Wheeling & Lake Erie and then for several years were part of the Nickel Plate system. Now they are again owned by the modern W&LE.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Right Direction This Time

April 20, 2021

About a week ago I was chasing trains on the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in southwestern Ohio when we wound up in Somerville.

The tracks cross Sevenmile Creek there on a nice looking bridge. I was able to photograph a train here but it was a westbound manifest freight.

The images were fine yet not what I would have ideally wanted.

So last Sunday we got wind that an eastbound was coming and made our way to Somerville to wait on it.

The wait was worth it and the resulting image more what I wanted to get here.

Shown is manifest freight 143 on its way from Eklhart, Indiana, to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Not Many of These Left

March 18, 2021

While growing up in east central Illinois I often noticed that many railroad lines had a semaphore signal not far from where they crossed another railroad.

They were most common on branches of the Illinois Central but I also remember seeing them on other railroads as well, including the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The semaphore blade always seemed to be in the same position and in my childhood mind I wondered if the blade moved after a train passed it.

Years later I would learn that these were known as distant signals meant to give a crew a warning that they were approaching an interlocked crossing with and to be prepared to stop.

The semaphore blade was fixed into an approach indication.

Although distant signals are still used there are few of them that are semaphores.

During a recent outing to railfan the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in its namesake city in Indiana, I spotted a former Nickel Plate Road passenger station and a semaphore signal being used as a distant signal.

The rail line in question was once part of a former Lake Erie & Western route that ran from Fort Wayne to New Castle where it split into branches continuing south to Rushville and Connersville.

The line to Connersville is still in place and owned by the Connersville & New Castle Railroad. The line to Rushville, though, has been abandoned.

NS still owns the NKP depot and as can be seen above has kept it in good condition. Few trains pass by here today and the station is mostly used by the maintenance of way department.

There hasn’t been a scheduled passenger train here since August 1929.

A few blocks to the right of this location is the former Pennsylvania Railroad line that once was part of a Chicago-Cincinnati route.

The ex-PRR from New Castle to the Cincinnati region and the ex-NKP from New Castle to Fort Wayne now make up the NS New Castle District. The former Pennsy is abandoned northwest of New Castle.

Back in the day, the PRR and NKP ran combined through the northern part of New Castle.

A Favorite Ex-NYC Signal Bridge in Ashtabula

February 18, 2021

I’ve always enjoyed using signal bridges as photo props in railfan photography.

One of my favorites was the former New York Central signal bridge at the west end of the Ashtabula yard near the grade crossing with North Bend Road. 

It was easily accessible without any trespassing on railroad property. The signals shown in these images were for eastbound traffic so the best photos were westbounds.

The top photo shows a Conrail train on April 16, 1989.

The remaining photos were made on May 4 2007. In the last photo behind the BNSF units another road crossing can be seen.

Past that crossing and closer to the entrance of the yard is where a relocated signal bridge is now in use, obviously without NYC style signals.

These are another example of what I’m glad I got when I got it.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Still Standing

January 15, 2021

Over the years I photographed CSX trains passing beneath this signal bridge at the far west end of the yard in Ashtabula.

But with the conversion to positive train control, CSX like many Class 1 railroads, decided to replace many older signals on busy main lines with newer signals.

In some instances, the new signals were in a different location than the signals they replaced.

Such was the case in Ashtabula. As you can see, the new signals are closer to the yard itself.

This image was made near sunset on a very cold January day in 2018. I was hoping to get a westbound coming into that late day light but had no such luck.

But it made for a nice image anyway. I haven’t been back to this location since making this image so I don’t know if this old signal bridge that dates to the New York Central years is still standing or has been removed.

Permanent Stop Indication at Milepost 272

October 3, 2020

The Monon Railroad was known for its semaphore signals, some of which lasted well into the 21st century.

CSX replaced the last working semaphores on the north end of the ex-Monon north of Crawfrodsville, Indiana, with modern signals in December 2010.

But semaphores remained in place on the south end of the ex-Monon on the CSX Hoosier Subdivision.

However, CSX stopped using the Hoosier Sub in 2009 aside from a short segment of track in New Albany, Indiana, just north of Louisville.

In December 2017 CSX filed with the Surface Transportation Board for authority to abandon most of the Hoosier Sub and that request was granted.

In the meantime, some of the semaphore blades on the Hoosier Sub had been stolen.

Online reports indicate that the last pair of blades still intact on their masts were located in Campbellsburg, Indiana.

On a recent Sunday during an expedition to see what is left of the Hoosier Sub I found those blades still set to a stop indication in both direction in Campbellsburg.

The tracks are still in place, although passing sidings had been removed.

Indiana Trail Funds has indicated its interest in converting the former Monon right of way into a trail.

At some point a salvage company will pull up these rails and take down these signals which over the years saw trains of the Monon, Louisville & Nashville, Amtrak, Seaboard System, Milwaukee Road, Soo Line and the Indiana Rail Road pass by.

Today they stand displaying in essence a permanent stop indication.