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Former B&O signals at South Deshler OH on Jan 22 Page 25 "Trains"

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Former B&O signals at South Deshler OH on Jan 22 Page 25 "Trains"
Posted by NP Eddie on Monday, November 22, 2021 4:48 PM

What are the two arms (top and bottom) for on the former B&O signals for?

Ed Burns

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, November 22, 2021 5:39 PM

A full B&O CPL is made up of the main disk and two sets of markers, above and below.

The markers provide additional information on speed.  Depending on the installation, they may also give an indication of routing coincidentally.

Search online for B&O CPL - there are a number of sources of the rules and plenty of illustrations of the various aspects.

CPL (Color Position Light) signals only include those components that will be used at a given location.  Thus, a signal that will never display "Approach Slow" using the upper right yellow maker won't even have it installed.

You can see CPLs at work on the Deshler cams, especially the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) signals for the main and the two transfers/wyes (southeast and southwest).  The signal governing the SE wye onto the Toledo Sub always gets me as it does not have a top marker, but there's a streetlight in the distance that looks like a top marker.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, November 22, 2021 6:28 PM

tree68
...

You can see CPLs at work on the Deshler cams, especially the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) signals for the main and the two transfers/wyes (southeast and southwest).  The signal governing the SE wye onto the Toledo Sub always gets me as it does not have a top marker, but there's a streetlight in the distance that looks like a top marker.

Such 'things' are the reason that crews must be QUALIFIED on the territory they operate over.  Knowing what the signal indications are SUPPOSED to be able to be displayed at a location - independent of street lights and traffic lights and all the other lights can befall a location.  In urban areas it can be difficult to discern the lights of signals and all the other lights that abound in the urban areas. 

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, November 22, 2021 7:33 PM

Absolutely!

I should point out that in this specific instance, we're seeing the side of the signal, and only at night, as the same view during the day cannot see the signal indication.  That particular signal does have a lower marker...

But as further illustration of your point, during the day there is a sign that lines up with the top center marker (as viewed from the camera) that makes it look like that marker is lit...

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Posted by mvlandsw on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 7:31 PM

Phantom indications that originate on the signal itself can be a problem.

I was eastbound on single track approaching double track at Lambert, Ohio just west of Akron when I heard a westbound telling a signal maintainer that he had a restricting indication to head west onto the single track. The maintainer told him that that was impossible since there are no lenses on the signal to give that indication.

I looked back as I passed the signal and could see that snow was piled up on the lens hoods of the signal. However when I reached the position of the other train about ten cars from the signal it did indeed look like a restricting indication.

A fellow engineer once got in trouble for passing an absolute red signal at Gibsonia, Pa. He swore that the top marker light was lit but the dispatcher swore that he had not cleared the signal. The union finally talked the officials into going out to look at the signal at the same time of day and they saw that the sun shining on the marker light made it appear to be lit.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 8:13 AM

mvlandsw
Phantom indications that originate on the signal itself can be a problem.

I was eastbound on single track approaching double track at Lambert, Ohio just west of Akron when I heard a westbound telling a signal maintainer that he had a restricting indication to head west onto the single track. The maintainer told him that that was impossible since there are no lenses on the signal to give that indication.

I looked back as I passed the signal and could see that snow was piled up on the lens hoods of the signal. However when I reached the position of the other train about ten cars from the signal it did indeed look like a restricting indication.

A fellow engineer once got in trouble for passing an absolute red signal at Gibsonia, Pa. He swore that the top marker light was lit but the dispatcher swore that he had not cleared the signal. The union finally talked the officials into going out to look at the signal at the same time of day and they saw that the sun shining on the marker light made it appear to be lit.

Most of the signal installations that have happened because of PTC installations are being referred to as 'Darth Vader' signals account of the large hoods that are placed on each signal head.  These hoods are an attempt to eliminate false indications caused by weather anomolies - such as identified in the preceeding post. Time will tell how successful they will be.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 11:20 AM

BaltACD
Most of the signal installations that have happened because of PTC installations are being referred to as 'Darth Vader' signals account of the large hoods that are placed on each signal head.  These hoods are an attempt to eliminate false indications caused by weather anomolies - such as identified in the preceeding post. Time will tell how successful they will be.

Another factor with recent signal installations is that they are generally LED, meaning red is red, amber is amber, and green is green.  They aren't white light as viewed through a colored filter.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:27 PM

tree68
 
BaltACD
Most of the signal installations that have happened because of PTC installations are being referred to as 'Darth Vader' signals account of the large hoods that are placed on each signal head.  These hoods are an attempt to eliminate false indications caused by weather anomolies - such as identified in the preceeding post. Time will tell how successful they will be. 

Another factor with recent signal installations is that they are generally LED, meaning red is red, amber is amber, and green is green.  They aren't white light as viewed through a colored filter.

It will be interesting to see what happens during a blowing, sticking snowfall into the face of the so called 'Darth Vader' signals - since LED's don't generate the heat that to some extent kept signals with bulbs visible by melting the snow.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:32 PM

tree68
You can see CPLs at work on the Deshler cams, especially the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) signals for the main and the two transfers/wyes (southeast and southwest).

Do you mean cameras, not signals?

Still in training.


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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 1:26 PM

Lithonia Operator
 
tree68
You can see CPLs at work on the Deshler cams, especially the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) signals for the main and the two transfers/wyes (southeast and southwest). 

Do you mean cameras, not signals?

The signals placed on PTZ are a new profit center for CSX. [/sarcasm]

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 6:57 PM

Lithonia Operator
Do you mean cameras, not signals?

That was about as clear as mud, wasn't it...

You can see the CPLs on the PTZ cam.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 9:27 PM

BaltACD
 
tree68
 
BaltACD
Most of the signal installations that have happened because of PTC installations are being referred to as 'Darth Vader' signals account of the large hoods that are placed on each signal head.  These hoods are an attempt to eliminate false indications caused by weather anomolies - such as identified in the preceeding post. Time will tell how successful they will be. 

Another factor with recent signal installations is that they are generally LED, meaning red is red, amber is amber, and green is green.  They aren't white light as viewed through a colored filter.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens during a blowing, sticking snowfall into the face of the so called 'Darth Vader' signals - since LED's don't generate the heat that to some extent kept signals with bulbs visible by melting the snow.

 

Two times I climbed a signal mast to clear snow from signals. One was a B&O CPL and the other a P&LE US&S searchlight signal. The conditions were such that the bulbs did not melt the snow.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 11:01 PM

mvlandsw
 
BaltACD 
tree68 
BaltACD
Most of the signal installations that have happened because of PTC installations are being referred to as 'Darth Vader' signals account of the large hoods that are placed on each signal head.  These hoods are an attempt to eliminate false indications caused by weather anomolies - such as identified in the preceeding post. Time will tell how successful they will be. 

Another factor with recent signal installations is that they are generally LED, meaning red is red, amber is amber, and green is green.  They aren't white light as viewed through a colored filter. 

It will be interesting to see what happens during a blowing, sticking snowfall into the face of the so called 'Darth Vader' signals - since LED's don't generate the heat that to some extent kept signals with bulbs visible by melting the snow. 

Two times I climbed a signal mast to clear snow from signals. One was a B&O CPL and the other a P&LE US&S searchlight signal. The conditions were such that the bulbs did not melt the snow.

Doubt that CSX will authorize T&E personnel to climb signals to ascertain the indications being displayed.

A signal that doesn't display a indication is to be acted upon as the most restrictive indication that signal is able to display.  Contact the Dispatcher and report a DARK signal and get the Dispatchers permission to pass it if it is a Absolute signal.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, November 25, 2021 10:28 AM

mvlandsw
Two times I climbed a signal mast to clear snow from signals. One was a B&O CPL and the other a P&LE US&S searchlight signal. The conditions were such that the bulbs did not melt the snow

Are you an engineer or conductor? Are we talking about stopping the train, climbing down, then climbing up the mast just to ascertain what you were supposed to do?

Or are you a signalman?

Still in training.


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Posted by mvlandsw on Friday, November 26, 2021 12:07 AM

Lithonia Operator

 

 

 
mvlandsw
Two times I climbed a signal mast to clear snow from signals. One was a B&O CPL and the other a P&LE US&S searchlight signal. The conditions were such that the bulbs did not melt the snow

 

Are you an engineer or conductor? Are we talking about stopping the train, climbing down, then climbing up the mast just to ascertain what you were supposed to do?

Or are you a signalman?

 

I was the engineer. I had to stop anyway since I had an approach signal coming up to the absolute signals. It was quicker to clear the snow off the signals than to call the dispatcher for permission to pass a signal that couldn't be seen and then procede at restricted speed to the next signal.

It also eliminated any problem for following trains which also would have been delayed.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Friday, November 26, 2021 12:26 AM

BaltACD

 

 
mvlandsw
 
BaltACD 
tree68 
BaltACD
Most of the signal installations that have happened because of PTC installations are being referred to as 'Darth Vader' signals account of the large hoods that are placed on each signal head.  These hoods are an attempt to eliminate false indications caused by weather anomolies - such as identified in the preceeding post. Time will tell how successful they will be. 

Another factor with recent signal installations is that they are generally LED, meaning red is red, amber is amber, and green is green.  They aren't white light as viewed through a colored filter. 

It will be interesting to see what happens during a blowing, sticking snowfall into the face of the so called 'Darth Vader' signals - since LED's don't generate the heat that to some extent kept signals with bulbs visible by melting the snow. 

Two times I climbed a signal mast to clear snow from signals. One was a B&O CPL and the other a P&LE US&S searchlight signal. The conditions were such that the bulbs did not melt the snow.

 

Doubt that CSX will authorize T&E personnel to climb signals to ascertain the indications being displayed.

A signal that doesn't display a indication is to be acted upon as the most restrictive indication that signal is able to display.  Contact the Dispatcher and report a DARK signal and get the Dispatchers permission to pass it if it is a Absolute signal.

 

Given the legal enviroment most companies won't authorize anything out of the ordinary. It's easier to beg forgiveness than to get permission. Everyone is afraid to take any inititive for fear of being punished.

Many railroad rules that do not apply directly to train operation are written to protect the company from lawsuits by people who were not capable of doing what they were attempting to do or were doing it in an unsafe manner when they were injured.

I don't recall ever seeing a rule prohibiting climbing a signal although I suppose it has it's hazards. One of the P&LE double track signals blew over on a windy day because the bottom of the mast rusted through.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, November 26, 2021 11:03 AM

mvlandsw
I don't recall ever seeing a rule prohibiting climbing a signal although I suppose it has it's hazards.

I would opine that an issue might be the crossing of crafts.  Thus you probably wouldn't find it in the rules, but in the agreements.  I could be wrong.

 

issue may be 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, November 26, 2021 2:48 PM

tree68
 
mvlandsw
I don't recall ever seeing a rule prohibiting climbing a signal although I suppose it has it's hazards. 

I would opine that an issue might be the crossing of crafts.  Thus you probably wouldn't find it in the rules, but in the agreements.  I could be wrong. 

issue may be 

With the newer signal installations I would guess the base areas of the signals would be constructed in such a manner as to prevent 'unauthorized' climbing - such has having no 'steps' for the 10 feet or so nearest the ground.  Most telephone poles in today's world are configured in a similar manner - need pole climbers spikes or a bucket truck to access the climbing steps that the pole contains.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, November 26, 2021 3:11 PM

BaltACD
With the newer signal installations I would guess the base areas of the signals would be constructed in such a manner as to prevent 'unauthorized' climbing

The ones around here have locked security guard things around the ladders. 

   The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, November 26, 2021 3:14 PM

Actually, I'm not so sure there is any access to the front of the signals at all.  Most I've seen have ladders/platforms on the back side of the heads, as that's where maintenance is going to occur.

You'd need a long pole to reach the face of the signal from the ground...

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, November 26, 2021 5:51 PM

mvlandsw

  - since LED's don't generate the heat that to some extent kept signals with bulbs visible by melting the snow.

 

 

 

Two times I climbed a signal mast to clear snow from signals. One was a B&O CPL and the other a P&LE US&S searchlight signal. The conditions were such that the bulbs did not melt the snow.

 

LED's don't generate enough heat, and incandecent bulbs where the signal is approach lit often aren't on long enough to generate enough heat to melt snow accumulation.  Especially if the snow fall has been heavy and a long time between trains.

I've had to deal with those problems, too.  In my case, we had cab signals and now have PTC.  That helps a lot.

The bigger hoods on the signals are supposed to help seeing the signal aspect during daylight hours.  It's meant to keep the sun from shining directly on the color light.  They help, but it also helps when the signals are sighted properly.  The signal heads can be moved to allow them to be sighted for the best viewing for approaching trains.  Some of ours are starting to tilt from being loose enough to have strong winds move them. 

Properly sighting them, because even slightly off they can still be seen, isn't a big priority.  Especially when PSR cuts have taken their toll on signal maintainers, too.

Jeff     

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Posted by ns145 on Friday, November 26, 2021 6:14 PM

tree68

Actually, I'm not so sure there is any access to the front of the signals at all.  Most I've seen have ladders/platforms on the back side of the heads, as that's where maintenance is going to occur.

You'd need a long pole to reach the face of the signal from the ground...

 

From this side view photo that I shot at South Deshler, it wouldn't be too hard to get to the signal lenses to clean them off: https://flic.kr/p/Rp3UNC

Also, due to the age and design of the CPL signal equipment, there is nothing prohibiting access to the ladders: https://flic.kr/p/RmohRA  Kind of shocking, given how many railfans visit the Deshler area.

On page 14 of Brian Solomon's excellent book Railroad Signaling there is a photo of a NS signal maintainer scraping snow and ice off of a searchlight signal lens.  There is a bit of a reach around required, but it doesn't look too bad.  The larger size of a CPL signal head might make things a bit more difficult, but obviously there has to be a way to get the job done when necessary.

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Posted by ns145 on Saturday, November 27, 2021 2:39 PM

Here is a Preview link to the Railroad Signaling book that includes the photo on page 14: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Railroad_Signaling/rIf4y6otfu0C?hl=en&gbpv=1

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Posted by mvlandsw on Saturday, November 27, 2021 3:47 PM

On the B&O CPL's each lens can be aimed individually. They have an aiming tube with crosshairs to pick the aiming point.

 In some cases on a foggy night I've seen the beams of light shining through the fog in all different directions. Reminds me of those laser beam security systems seen in movies in bank vaults or museums.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, November 28, 2021 3:20 PM

ns145

Here is a Preview link to the Railroad Signaling book that includes the photo on page 14: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Railroad_Signaling/rIf4y6otfu0C?hl=en&gbpv=1

Nice! Best illustrations of the subject that I have seen in a publication to date. Having been in a Signal and Communications Dept. while in college, I will have this book on my Xmas wish list. Worked with PRR's cab signaled line between Indianapolis to Stubenville and manual block Richmond to Logansport lines as well as many interlockings. Designed to fail safe, logic is everything. Miss it. 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, November 28, 2021 9:18 PM

I have that Brian Solomon signaling book. It's very informative, and has lots of good photos. Yes

Still in training.


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