Signals and Detectors

Eastbound SEFR rounds the curve coming up on CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 08:51 on May 12, 1988. The sun has gotten high enough by this time to spread it's light into the scene.
SEFR rolling through CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 08:51 on May 12, 1988.
C30-7A 6567 leads SEFR through CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 08:51 on May 12, 1988.
SEFR enters the single main at CP 123 in Chester, MA. on May 12, 1988.
SEFR notching 'em out through CP 123 in Chester, MA. on May 12, 1988.
In this rather sad April 1988 view looking east on the all but abandoned former PRR main, the semaphore signals are forever set to stop on the Panhandle at 75th Street Tower. Amazingly those signals stayed silent sentinels until the early 90's. The tower is behind the trees in the background. Doug Davidson photo with permission
GP40-2 3354 leads a 4 unit light engine set eastward past the gantry signal at State Line at 15:40. This was the last classic signal gantry left on the B&A and with the single-tracking of the B&A became redundant and was removed, hated to see it go!
SPENO ballast cleaner arrives at State Line on track 1 to clear up for westbound traffic.
The start of what would be a good day on the B&A, traffic-wise, with 18 moves between 07:00 and 16:30; SEBO-X, with the 6633 leading, splits the signals and soup at CP 140 in Hinsdale, MA. at 07:03.
The last train of the day has 6176 leading SESP through CP 140 in Hinsdale, MA. at 16:31. Tripped the shutter just as the train was entering the block, catching the approach-lit signals just starting to light up.

Five months after Amtrak President Paul Reistrup gave his approval, ex-PRR GG-1 4935 was restored to it's original Brunswick green and pinstripes. Amtrak's Wilmington shops completed the restoration as planned and sponsored by the "Friends of the GG-1," with GG-1 designer Raymond Loewy serving as Honorary Chairman.

On Sunday, May 15, 1977, following a dedication ceremony at Union Station, Altoona-built PRR 4935 made it's inaugural run to New York. Here, PRR 4935's gleaming Brunswick green paint gives the scene a model-like appearance as she blasts by Arsenal Tower in Philadelphia.

Semaphore 318.1 on the westward main at Brown's Crossing, NY. displays a "clear" indication, but not for long.
One of the good things about automatic block signals, of any kind, was that they gave warning about oncoming traffic running against the current. Semaphore 318.1 has "dropped" to caution for just that reason. And now you know where the expression "signal dropped" comes from, if you didn't already.
And here it is! BUOI, led by SD60 6850, rolls past the signal at Brown's Crossing, NY. The photo was purposely composed this way to show the "umbilical" between the semaphore and the code line.
Rule 291 block signal in Chester, MA. on Nov. 2, 1984.
One of the better heads the NS kept will be loaded into the truck behind the 580M.
CRHS member Joe Marchinchin works on one of the signal heads.
Joe guides the signal in. Of interest, in the background is a newer style signal that controls NS to CSX e/b moves, only used for detour moves for the most part.
One of the NS keepers being loaded into the truck at Berea.
The last of the "junk" has been loaded, and with that the Conrail era at Berea is done. New railroad, new trains, and now new signals "signal" that time marches on, but now a small part of an important Conrail junction has been saved through the efforts of the CRHS.
A little more Conrail is due to disappear soon, the ex NYC/PC/CR signals at Berea tower in Berea, Ohio. Shot last week on my way to the monthly safety meeting at Rockport, you can see the new signals are up but not yet facing the tracks. In all 3 sets of former Conrail signals will fall in this project- the e/b home signal bridge (out of the frame to the left), the cantilever seen to the left of the tower, and the w/b home signal mast (behind the tower). That's a newer signal up front in this view that guards the entrance from the NS main to the CSX ex Big 4, the "Toledo Connecting track" IIRC, and as a general rule used for little other than detour moves between the 2 railroads. Piece by piece the railroad morphs into sameness.... the Durf
DHT9 passing a "replacement" signal in Wellsburg, NY.
DHT9 by eastward semaphore 312.2 in Cameron, NY.
DHT9 passing semaphore 318.1 at Brown's Crossing, NY.
CN lease power works an Eastbound by Goodman Street yard. Those wide cabs were a novelty at the time.
Side view of the DED/HBD on track 2 at Ballou's in Washington, MA
Combination dragging equipment/hot box detector on track 2 at Ballou's in Washington, MA. Looking west and upgrade toward Lower Valley Rd. crossing and MP 135 at left.
CP Golly on the Akron Branch in Stow, Ohio was a signal to alert the train crew of hot journals and dragging equipment. This signal was to be viewed by the caboose crew who would then stop the train if a problem was detected. This was one of the ways it was done before the advent of talking detectors. It is located about 3 miles south of CP Hudson which was where the branch wyed off the Cleveland Line. Although the wye at Hudson is still used today to spin power, the branch between there and Akron has been OOS since the early 90's. It's amazing this signal has survived intact- even the lens isn't busted out. Photo taken March 20th, 2009.....a true Conrail survivor for sure. Summit County owns the right of way and rail these days, it's future is cloudy at best.
The sun hasn't risen far enough to get all the way into CP 123 at 06:53 as TV8B slithers into the new interlocking in Chester, MA. This location had been the eastern limit of Rule 291 signaling over Washington hill when the route was still double track/ABS. Note the naked signal masts in the middle distance which once held the Automatic Block signals.
TV8B's engineer throttles 'em up coming through CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 06:53 on the morning of May 12, 1988.
C30-7A 6583 leads TV8B through CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 06:53 on May 12, 1988.
Toward the end of Conrail, I can't imagine there were too many Detectors that weren't talkers-but here was one of them. The Middlepoint, Ohio HBD on the Ft. Wayne line (Between Delphos and Van Wert) never talked, only transmitted the information to Lima 'NS' Tower for the op to read. When 'NS' was abandoned, apparently so was Middlepoint. etector collection of Eric Kretz.
CP 5645 leads DHT9 passed semaphore 308-2 in West Rathbone, NY on 5/5/93.
Conrail GP15-1 1688 is seen trailing on a train at Morrisville, PA back in 1981. Just ahead behind her is CR 878027, a class 843H covered hopper of NYC heritage, built by the Despatch Shops in the early 1950s. The train is approaching MORRIS tower, where the former PRR Trenton Cutoff re-joined the NYC-Philadelphia Main Line.
GP15-1 1689 has the point on RESE coming into Bancroft (Middlefield station), MA. on April 17, 1982. The "baby tunnel motors" could often be seen as part of a lash-up on the Boston line, but rarely in the lead.
A grubby 1953 leads eastbound tonnage splitting the signals near MP 139 in Hinsdale, MA. on May 17, 1980. Note the white spots on the signal targets at right, these are sighting holes used to "line-sight" the signal heads so that engineers of oncoming trains see them clearly. They don't call this type of signal a "searchlight" for nothing. They project a relatively narrow beam, which is readily visible in a photograph of them taken at night with a little fog, so they have to be set correctly to "catch the eye".
Extra 1958 west at the Lower Valley Rd. undergrade in Washington, MA. on June 6, 1979.
CR B23-7 1991 is the rear unit on a westbound empty coal train at Benny Curve in 1981. This view clearly shows where the old Track 2 was removed. In the background you can see the grade separation between the new Tracks 2 and 3 and Track 1 on The Slide.
A gaggle of six B23-7's, led by the 2007, have an SENH in tow by the old depot in Dalton, MA. on July 21, 1984. These half dozen B-Boat lash-ups were not uncommon on the B&A, and were fun to hear, especially compared to the "stealth" C30-7A's, which were only a month away from taking over the B&A at this time. This photo really fits the "Signals and detectors" listing, since both are in evidence.
Conrail class N7E caboose 21150 is seen at Morrisville, PA in 1981. CR 21150 ex EL C351.
Conrail class N21 caboose 21204 is seen just west of Bennington Curve, PA in 1982. Note the bagged signal heads that formerly controlled movements on the now-removed #2 track.
An Eastbound with a GP-35 and 3 U25-Bs at Goodman Street Yard.
An Eastbound at ALTO with a GP-35 that got a patch job with CONRAIL spelled out on the nose.
An Eastbound coal train led by C-424 #2442 is stopped at the signal at ALTO. A pair of big SD45-2's are sitting in the distance awaiting their next helper assignment.
Former New Haven NE-5, CR N8B buggy 23552 on the rear of RESE splits the block signals at the Hinsdale crossovers near MP 140 in Hinsdale, MA. on March 6, 1982.
GP40 3075 on the head of SPSE in Chester, MA. on Jan .9, 1982. The signal on the right is one of two home signals that were in Chester, this one usually referred to as "signal 126.3" even though, as a home signal, it has no number board.
N7 bay window 21722 on the rear of SPSE splitting the signals in Chester, MA. on Jan. 9, 1982.
GP40 3092, with SENH, passing beneath the signal bridge at MP 138 in Washington, MA. on Feb. 20, 1982.
Conrail GP40 3145 (ex-PC 3145) is seen leading an eastbound train at Duncannon, PA in 1981.
GP40 3153 arrives at North Adams Jct. in Pittsfield, MA. at 11:18 on Feb. 26, 1983. Sharp-eyed perusers may note the second and third units look like GP35's with the lower sills and smaller fuel tanks, also the fourth unit, a GP40(?), appears to have a bent frame.

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