New Haven railroad signals

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New Haven railroad signals

pmirick
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pmirick
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Joined: August 25th, 2015, 7:30 am

June 23rd, 2018, 12:14 pm #1

I need some advise as to what would be the proper signals to be using on a 1957 era New Haven model railroad (HO scale).  Looking at pictures in books I see many different types used but not sure which would be correct for my era.  Interested in different areas such as Maybrook Line and Springfield to New Haven Line.  Also remember as a kid that the station in my home town on the Canal Line had a semaphore which I am assuming was for crews to get train orders.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

June 23rd, 2018, 12:58 pm #2

When automatic block signals were installed on the Maybrook Line (and probably the Springfield Line, too), they were right-hand, two-aspect, lower-quadrant signals.  Although upgraded to left-hand, three-aspect, upper-quadrant signals on other lines, they were not thusly upgraded on the Maybrook Line, and the originals remained until the line was single-tracked and Centralized Traffic Control installed.  When the C.T.C. was installed, the wayside signals were removed and the only ones remaining were three-aspect searchlight signals at the east end of the passing sidings and a single dwarf searchlight signal for exiting the west end of the passing siding.  Someone more knowledgeable than me on the subject can pipe in when this was accomplished.

Concerning the Springfield Line, these were mostly three-aspect searchlight signals (installed when?), but there may have been some semaphores thrown in just to keep people like us confused.
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jkasey
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jkasey
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Joined: July 6th, 2017, 10:31 am

June 23rd, 2018, 5:50 pm #3

The following Issues of Shoreliner have articles on signals with very nice photos:
Vol 20-Issue 3
Vol 31-Issue 1
Vol 32-Issue 1

John
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TomCurtin
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Joined: July 13th, 2017, 10:13 am

June 24th, 2018, 8:41 am #4

Statkowski wrote: When automatic block signals were installed on the Maybrook Line (and probably the Springfield Line, too), they were right-hand, two-aspect, lower-quadrant signals.  Although upgraded to left-hand, three-aspect, upper-quadrant signals on other lines, they were not thusly upgraded on the Maybrook Line, and the originals remained until the line was single-tracked and Centralized Traffic Control installed. 
What style of signals was on the Maybrook pre-CTC depends upon where on the Maybrook you were.  Some semaphores may still have existed in some places on the line but I know there were color-light
(not searchlight) signals in other places.  For example one location I knew well was the eastbound distant (or approach, whichever term you like) signal to Berkshire Jct which was located where the line ran right alongside Federal Road (which was US 7 at the time) about two miles east of downtown Danbury.  That was always, within the era of my memory, a color light signal.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

June 24th, 2018, 9:10 am #5

And the key phrase here is, "within the era of my memory..."  Originally all lower-quadrants, some may have warranted replacement over time (as you pointed out).  When was such replaced?  Unknown.  Were there any others?  Unknown.  As with anything New Haven, it seems there's always an exception to the rule.
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Goffprof
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Joined: February 25th, 2008, 1:05 pm

July 7th, 2018, 8:59 am #6

The New Haven installed GRS type SC searchlight signals on the Hartford Line in the late 1940’s, replacing the semaphores. At SS-214 (Hart) and SS-274 (Spring), GRS type 2A semaphore signals were used only for low home / dwarf signals and they were equipped with small wooden semaphore arms made of plywood.

I made and painted many small replacement 2A semaphore arms on rainy days in the Hartford Signal shop referred to as the “Happy Hour” from the NH years through the PC, Conrail, and Amtrak years until it was torn down in the 1980’s.

The Hartford Line signals were numbered with an H preceding the number, such as northbound Signal H-20.4 and southbound Signal 20.5 at Quarry Jct. Between Newington and Hartford, the 2 main line signals had 4 numbers in their number plates, as the last number designated the track since there originally were 4 tracks from Newington Junction to Hartford, reduced to 3 which continued until the 1990’s when the New Britain Secondary track was removed and the busway was installed

The Signals between Newington Jct and Hartford were numbered as follows: Northbound Signal H-32.34 and Southbound Signal H-32.32 at Newington, just north of the old Newington Station; Northbound Signal H-34.64 and Southbound Signal H-34.62 in Parkville (located north of Flatbush Ave, south of Hamilton St grade crossings), Northbound Signal H-36.34 located north of Flower St crossing just south of Hartford Station, and Southbound Signal H-36.92 located north of Hartford Station, but south of Hart Tower.

Some of the “new” SC signals were equipped with a large yellow sign with a black G, denoting a Grade signal, wherein if the Signal was at Red (Stop and Proceed), the engineer didn’t have to stop the train and could proceed at Restricted Speed. This was to avoid long freight trains stopping on a grade for the Red Signal, then having to restart the train. Signal H-22.6 in Berlin was equipped with a Grade sign.

Northbound Signal H-24.8 and Southbound Signal H-27.5 in Berlin were tied into Train Order Signals at Berlin Station. If the Station Agent had a Train Order for a Train, the Agent would flip one of two large knife switch on the office wall, which set either 24.8 or 27.5 to Red, and illuminated one of 2 flashing lunar white Train Order Signals located near the track midway though the Berlin Station platform.

Hope the above helps for modeling the Hartford Line Signals.

Al Goff



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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

July 7th, 2018, 7:18 pm #7

Goffprof wrote: Northbound Signal H-24.8 and Southbound Signal H-27.5 in Berlin were tied into Train Order Signals at Berlin Station.  If the Station Agent had a Train Order for a Train, the Agent would flip one of two large knife switch on the office wall, which set either 24.8 or 27.5 to Red, and illuminated one of 2 flashing lunar white Train Order Signals located near the track midway though the Berlin Station platform.

Al Goff
Al, I'm sure your insight and experience is well appreciated.

Flashing lunar white = train order signal.  Most interesting.  Couldn't find anything in the Book of Rules about such, but my eyesight isn't what it used to be.

I did, however, find a slightly cryptic entry in the Time Table, notably Rule 1900, to wit:

1900.  When automatic block signals as enumerated below display R, Figure 3, Rule 501A, and cab signal indication is lunar white, enginemen will not pass Train Order Station, when open, until proper orders are received or it is known there are no orders.

Locations as follows:
                              Northward                           Southward
Wallingford         H. 11.4  6758 ft. south    H. 12.7   600 ft. north
Meriden              H. 17.8  4600 ft. south    H. 19.1  2000 ft. north
Berlin                  H. 24.8  5400 ft. south    H. 27.5  7973 ft. north
Windsor Locks   H. 48.4  1000 ft. south    H. 49.7  5900 ft. north
Thomsonville     H.  53.4  3900 ft. south    H. 54.7  5000 ft. north
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Goffprof
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Joined: February 25th, 2008, 1:05 pm

July 7th, 2018, 10:56 pm #8

Amtrak_train_at_Berlin_station,_May_1980.jpg
Above is a picture of Berlin Station in 1980 and both Train Order Signals can be seen.
The Track 1 (Southbound) Train Order Signal head is at the top of the signal pole next to the Southbound Budd Car (Train 405). The Track 2 (Northbound) signal head is attached to the station and can be seen at the top of the vertical roof support next to the station agent standing on the platform. As the Signal Maintainer at Berlin, I had just cleaned and painted both Train Order Signals and replaced the standard glass lenses with magnifying lenses so the flashing Lunar White signals were more easily seen by train crews approaching the station preparing to stop to pick up a Train Order. Both Train Order Signals displayed a Lunar White "O" which we created in the New Haven Signal Shop by painting the inside of a clear signal lens with Black paint, except for a large "O" stenciled in the center.  A standard 10VDC, 2-pin 25W "Signal Precision" bulb illuminated each signal.  We normally set the Automatic Block Signal (GRS SC Searchlight) bulb voltages at about 9.2VDC to 9.5VDC to lengthen the bulb life, however when I installed the magnifying lens, I decided to raise the voltage to almost 10VDC for the two Train Order signals as I wanted the "O" to be more visible in direct sunlight.     
----------------

Regarding Stankowski's very good post about Rule 1900, in this case, it pertained to a Red signal and the old 140-cycle Cab Signal System on the Hartford Line that was discontinued in the early 1970's. But, the Rule also designated where Temporary Block Station (TBS) locations were located as crossovers north of North Haven Interlocking MP 7, except SS-214 Hart and SS-274 Spring Interlockings, were hand-thrown at the time.  Block Operators were stationed at one or more of the TBS locations to handle crossover moves whenever track work, derailment, or another need arose requiring trains to be diverted from one track to the other.  Note that the Automatic Block Signal (ABS) System on the Hartford Line was single-direction only under Rule 251 until the 1990's so any crossover movement and all traffic against the normal current of traffic required a Form 19 Train Order. 

The TBS locations listed in the 1956 Timetable existed until the early 90's when Amtrak began single-tracking the Hartford Line and installed CTC and bi-directional signals under Rule 261. When the project was completed in the later 1990's, the TBS locations were no longer needed as a train dispatcher could control Interlockings equipped with new US&S M23A dual control electric switch machines. Bi-directional cab signals were installed along with the single track project.

Note that the 5 TBS locations listed in the 1956 New Haven Operating Rules really referred to the following railroad locations with dual or "universal" crossovers:

Wallingford (Wall Crossovers)        H. 11.4  6758 ft. south    H. 12.7   600 ft. north
Meriden  (Holts Hill Crossovers)            H. 17.8  4600 ft. south    H. 19.1  2000 ft. north
Berlin   (Berlin Station Train Order Signals, and TBS locations at South Berlin Crossovers and North Berlin Crossovers) H. 24.8  5400 ft. south    H. 27.5  7973 ft. north
Windsor Locks   (Locks Crossovers)   H. 48.4  1000 ft. south    H. 49.7  5900 ft. north  (We made a decision in 1984 or '85 to relocate Signal H 49.7 to just south of the CT River Bridge in Windsor Locks rather than remain ON the bridge as 49.7 experienced too much vandalism)
Thompsonville    (Thompsonville Crossovers)  H.  53.4  3900 ft. south    H. 54.7  5000 ft. north

In the late 60's and early 70's, additional TBS locations were installed in:

Meriden MP 20.4 known as "Quarry Jct"
Hartford MP 38.9 just north of Fishfry St Crossing known as "Fry"
Enfield MP 53.4 known as "Field"
Just south of Springfield known as "Pecowsic" 

Each TBS (not Berlin Station of course) was simply a small wooden shed placed along the right-of-way in the above locations. They didn't have running water or a toilet, but most had 120V power (borrowed from the Signal Dept) and a railroad phone so each TBS operator could pick up a phone and talk to the Train Dispatcher.  The block operators all carried phones with them and plugged them into a phone jack as if anything was left in a TBS location while it was not occupied, it was soon stolen.  In many cases the wooden TBS buildings were burned to the ground by vandals, so the New Haven B&B built them and kept several in stock at all times.

I suggest that anyone modeling the Hartford Line utilize track maps, films, and other historic data from the mid 1970's to around 1985 or so as this period reflects considerable freight and passenger operation prior to the mess made in the 1990's to single track the line. This period also still includes 3-track operation from Newington Jct to Hartford before the New Britain Secondary (3rd) track that paralleled the 2 Main Line tracks was removed for the New Britain to Hartford Busway Project. 

Hope the above is helpful.

Al Goff
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