Trains.com

What is this signal?

2568 views
11 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 1,477 posts
What is this signal?
Posted by pennytrains on Saturday, January 13, 2024 11:31 AM

Doing research for a small classic 19th/early 20th century style depot to provide inspiration for a freelance structure I'm designing for my Lionel layout, I came across this photo.

Depicted is the Leipsic Junction of the Nickel Plate Road and the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton in Putnam county Ohio.

https://www.west2k.com/ohpix/leipsicjunctionold.jpg

The mother website is Ohio Railroad Stations Past and Present.

I assume it has something to do with the control of the diamond.  But it also bears traces of the old highball signals.

Any info would be greatly appreciated as I'm trying to decide whether I want to model a signal of this type.  Of course I could be way off and maybe it's a birdhouse for carrier pigeons Wink

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,942 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 13, 2024 4:18 PM

It's a stop signal for the crossing.  The angled frame swings across the track and the target at the top follows the pole's turn, so when the angled frame is across the track the light, when lit as the "night signal", faces the oncoming train. If you look carefully at the bottom photo the gate is actually in the middle of the track running across the photos.  The iron rod appears to be used to push the "gate" around.

 

The semaphores next to the station are train order signals, which indicate that form 19 orders are to be picked up. 45  degrees would indicate form 31 orders, and vertical would indicate no orders.  Form 31 orders contain information about train movements, but not any that would compromise safety if missed.

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 1,477 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Monday, January 15, 2024 6:29 PM

But where would the pivot point be?  I can't make out anything in either photo that shows how the assembly is mounted.  And the ladder appears to be how the lamp is lighted, so I would think that (and the type of locomotive on the track) would indicate oil rather than electricity?

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,942 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 5:52 AM

The white pole on the platform corner (which kind of disappears into the background) is the pivot, with the signal supported by the triangular assembly.  The picket fence thing (and the lamp) face the oncoming train in the stop position.  The signal/gate could just as easily swing out in front of the locomotive next to the depot.  

The ladder is nowhere near long enough to reach the signal's top bar from where it is on the platform.

Note also the "butterfly" train order signal on the corner of the depot near the locomotive.  It serves the same purpose as the double semaphores, but can only display two indications - no orders when parallel to the track, and "19" orders in its position in both photos, unless it's fixed in that position, in which case all trains have to stop and sign a "clearance card" (form A in most rulebooks).

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, January 18, 2024 3:52 PM

rcdrye
...

The semaphores next to the station are train order signals, which indicate that form 19 orders are to be picked up. 45  degrees would indicate form 31 orders, and vertical would indicate no orders.  Form 31 orders contain information about train movements, but not any that would compromise safety if missed.

I would feature that the Train Order signal blades being horizontal would indicate 'STOP to pick up the 31 order'.  31 Orders normally restrict a train AT or very close to the location where the order is given to the train.  Under some rule books I have seen the person recieving the order has to sign a Register for it. 45 degree would present an indication to pick up orders 'on the fly' Form 19 orders. Vertical indicate no orders.

Most of the 31 orders I copied when I was a Train Order Operator were at towers on Current of Traffic multiple track territory to allow a train 'right over opposing trains' against the current of traffic signaled track.  On the B&O it was West on #1 and East on #2 for signal inidcations.  East on #1 and West on #2 required 'Right Over' train orders.

In my experience on the B&O 19 orders were written on green flimsy paper; 31 orders were written on yellow flimsy paper.  On the B&O double sided carbons were used when copying train orders.  The most copies that could be made in one writing was 13.  On the B&O opertors were instructed by the Train Dispatcher to 'Copy 3' for a single freight train and 'Copy 4' for a passenger train.  Engineer and Conductor got copies for both types of train, the Baggageman got a copy on passenger trains.  The office retained one copy for the office file.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 1,477 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, January 18, 2024 6:36 PM

This is why I love railroading.  There's always something new to learn!

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 6,368 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, January 18, 2024 8:54 PM

BaltACD
Train Order... the Baggageman got a copy on passenger trains. 

OK, got to ask why would the Baggageman get a copy?

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, January 19, 2024 8:10 PM

MidlandMike
 
BaltACD
Train Order... the Baggageman got a copy on passenger trains.  

OK, got to ask why would the Baggageman get a copy?

Specifically I don't know.  I can only surmise that he was condsidered to be knowledgeable on the physical characteristics of the territory and would act as a third set of eyes and brain power in seeing that the train complied with what the train orders would command.  Baggageman has access to the Emergency brakes as does the Conductor.  I don't know what craft protected the Baggageman position - I suspect it was from the trainman/conductor's craft.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 19,937 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 20, 2024 11:38 AM

The answer seems to me to give him information to plan his work.  Have an idea when to have boxes and luggage close to the door for quick unloading and have clear space slose to the door for quick loading.  If there was an RPO on the train, he also gave the information to the POC.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,942 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 20, 2024 6:22 PM

I dug out my old pre-NORAC B&M rulebook.  It turns out some railroads (like B&M, which had its own rulebook) used form 19, but not form 31.  But then again, B&M used ball signals into the 1980s... The 1974 rulebook still called out the use of train order signals.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 21, 2024 10:48 AM

daveklepper
The answer seems to me to give him information to plan his work.  Have an idea when to have boxes and luggage close to the door for quick unloading and have clear space slose to the door for quick loading.  If there was an RPO on the train, he also gave the information to the POC.

Worked the Agent/Operators position at Salem, IL wiht a start time for the job was 2230.  The Eastbound #12 was due around Midnight.  Upon arriving at the station the freight room had to be checked for whatever mail bags USPS had deposited for furtherance on the RPO's on #11 and #12.  Normally it was only a couple of bags for each train, however, there was a hunting magazine that was published and printed locally and when that happened there would be several hundred 'pigs' to be sorted (pig is a small, but heavy, mail bag for the magazines).  When it was a magazine night, it took most every minute to get the pigs sorted and loaded on the baggage cart to be ready for the arrival of #12.  Very few people showed up to buy tickets for passage, but that was also a duty of the job.  The Westbound #11 was scheduled around 0600.  Another duty of the job was to physically check the interchange track between the M&I (Missouri & Illinois - a UP subsidary) to verify if the cars had been interchanged before or after Midnight - a few years later, per diem began to be calculated on a hourly basis rather than the daily basis at Midnight.

 

The hardest part of handling 'baggage' was when Military remains from the Vietnam War were recieved off the baggage car and transferred to one of the local funeral homes who had been notified of the shipment schedule for the remains and would be on hand to accept the remains.

It was a way of railroading that would not live to see the 21st Century.

 

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 6,787 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 3:42 PM

rcdrye

I dug out my old pre-NORAC B&M rulebook.  It turns out some railroads (like B&M, which had its own rulebook) used form 19, but not form 31.  But then again, B&M used ball signals into the 1980s... The 1974 rulebook still called out the use of train order signals.

 

The first General Code of Operating Rules in 1985 still had rules for movements using time table and train orders.  The second edition in 1989 no longer had them.

GCOR only had a "train order" form, no form 19 or form 31 blanks.  Some railroads by then no longer used 19 or 31 blanks.  There were those still using the form 19 but not the form 31.  In the few instances where a signature was required before making complete an order, the signatures were just signed on the form 19 order.

The form 31, which had places for the engineer and/or conductor to sign the order, gradually fell out of favor as rules changed that signatures weren't required on train orders that restricted the rights of superior trains in most cases.  They no longer had to stop a train and obtain signatures.  They could deliver those orders on the fly. 

Looking at a couple rule books from the end of TT&TO operation, the only times signatures were required was when restricting or annulling a work extra, before an operator could copy a train order restricting a train when the engine had already passed the train order signal in the proceed, no orders position or when train orders and clearance had already been delivered to the engine. 

 

Jeff       

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter