High-ball, What Color?

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High-ball, What Color?
Posted by seppburgh2 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:49 PM

The use of ball based signals go back to the 1800's of railroading, and used by some RR into the 1950's (Main Central?)  So, what color were the balls?  Red, yellow, green?  All the photos I've seen through the years are B&W, which doesn't help in drawing one in color.

Thanks folks!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 8:06 PM

I hit one of my Morning Sun color railbooks, and it looks like ball signals were red.

The shots are in "Trackside In The Northeast, 1946-1959."  Specifically page 37, in 1955 the White River Junction signal had multiple red balls that resemble radar reflectors used on sailing craft.  Also, there's a shot of the Edaville Railroad on page 53 circa 1954 with antique ball signals, also red.

Mind you, they were red in the 50's.  Who knows what they were in the 19th Century, but I think it's a safe bet they were red back then as well.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, March 22, 2018 8:24 PM

Here are some pictures of ball signals, which happen to be red.

http://www.railroadsignals.us/early/#Ball_

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, March 22, 2018 8:39 PM

Mike, thank you for the pictures of the ball signals--and even more thanks for the pictures and discussion of banjo signals.

Johnny

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 10:46 PM

Thanks everyone, appreciate the photo link and explaination. :>

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 22, 2018 11:44 PM

Firelock76
I hit one of my Morning Sun color railbooks, and it looks like ball signals were red.

Isn't this where the Red Ball logo came from?

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Posted by wanswheel on Friday, March 23, 2018 12:18 AM

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, March 23, 2018 6:18 AM

The last one in use, at Whitefield NH, has orange-red balls.

The Ball Signal at White River Jct. Vt. was apparently just tossed over the bank when it was taken down in the late 1960s after the Boston track was removed.  It was found about ten years ago and is now in the possession of the museum in the station there.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 23, 2018 10:06 AM

Overmod
Firelock76
I hit one of my Morning Sun color railbooks, and it looks like ball signals were red. 

Isn't this where the Red Ball logo came from?

 
Not quite, they were the basis of the term "highball", meaning proceed.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 23, 2018 11:13 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
Not quite, they were the basis of the term "highball", meaning proceed.

i meant the shipping line.

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Posted by wanswheel on Friday, March 23, 2018 12:33 PM
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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 23, 2018 2:29 PM

"Isn't this where the Red Ball logo came from?"---Overmod

I drank 17 of those in a row with a another fella once...boy were we jittery at the end. 

Wait ....maybe that's something else.

Never been quite the same since. Explains a lot. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, March 23, 2018 2:45 PM

I had an Irish Highball at lunch Saturday; it was pale yellow.

Now back to railroad highballs (non-drinkable because they were out of reach).

Johnny

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Posted by Fr.Al on Friday, March 23, 2018 2:50 PM

The Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, is alleged to have downed something like 17 highballs one night. He was in the United States at the time. This is according to a work of fiction by Josef Skvorecky. In the story, after this night of drinking, Dvorak goes on to teach his classes and his pupils notice him slightly more cheerful than usual. He finally falls asleep train watching later in the afternoon. I don't know how accurate Skvorecky's information about Dvorak is. However, the composer really was railfan. He's also one of my favorite composers.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 23, 2018 11:30 PM

Gotta luv those pictures of White River Junction and Bellows Falls stations...just the trackwork alone shows how vital and important they were. I can remember places like that all over Southern Ontario. A very few remain, mostly restaurants or bars, perhaps a brewery but the trains are gone or in rare cases there is a lone track. It is not even close to the same. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 25, 2018 12:04 PM

There's another great shot of White River Junction from that Morning Sun book I mentioned, it's of the passenger loading platform with tracks going to the left and right.

On the left, the sign says "Montreal via CNR: Montpelier, Burlington, St. Albans,"  and on the right it says "Montreal via CPR: Woodsville, Berlin, Newport."

Talk about "You pays your money and takes your choice!"

Must have been an action-packed place back in those days!

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