signals : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

In certain locations Seaboard used tri-light signals.Do not confuse these with the three light in-a-row types.These were in a triangle shape.I need to know the positions of the colors in these signals.

-- Joseph Oates (, May 02, 2000


To really add to the confusion, Hillsborough Street crosses under the joint trackage at roughly mile post 161. The word I heard on the removal of the bidirectional signals is that NS did not want to pay their share of the cost of installation. By the way CSX installed about 10 carloads of new crossties on the SAL main. Still has the jointed rail. There are signs at each end of the joint trackage indicating which is the #1 and #2 track. My friends at CSX tell me they went up after Fran after some crew started down the wrong track.

-- larry walter (, May 09, 2000.

Another part of the Boylan-Fetner mystery was the new intermediate signal installed several hundred yards to the north/east of the former Aeroglide signal. For a while, the new intermediate signal had aspects for bidirectional running -- that is, aspects for both tracks in both directions. However, there were hoods placed over the aspects for left-hand running. Some time later, those aspects disappeared entirely. To return someday? I suppose it has a lot to do with the Triangle Transit Authority's plan for commuter rail.

-- Chuck Till (, May 08, 2000.

It is indeed gratifying to note from Doug Riddell's comments that CSX and NS are conversing with each other regarding the train movements between Fetner and Boylan Avenue. It has been 39 years since I manipulated the levers at Boylan Tower, but I still remember the rules. Rule No.1 -- DO NOT talk to the SAL dispatcher. Likewise, the SAL dispatcher never talked to the operator-levermen at Boylan Tower. Maybe the SAL dispatchers were sore because there was no longer an SAL leverman there or maybe the haughty SAL dispatcher didn't choose to talk with the levermen from that wooden axle outfit (NS). Anyway, it sure made for some apprehensive times. The operator at Fetner had long since been removed. Boylan ultimately controlled the route for all northward (SAL) or eastward (SOU) trains, yet there was never any conversation as to what road's train it was bearing down on the Norfolk Southern diamond. There were quite a few tense moments when a headlight appeared at the Pullen Park overpass.

-- Harry Bundy (, May 07, 2000.

Confused. Let me add fuel to the fire about the Boylan (as it is officially called) to Fetner segment. Both interlockings are physically controlled from Jacksonville, although the NS dispatcher in Greenville, SC calls him and lines up a movement at Boylan. No. 1 track (Southward/Westward, the one closest to Hillsborough St. in front of the NC State Fairgrounds) is the former SAL main, the S-line, owned and maintained by CSX. It is jointed rail and the speed is 70 MPH. No. 2 track (Northward/Eastward, the other track) is the North Carolina Railroad, leased and maintained by Norfolk Southern. Its speed it 65 MPH. In both NS and CSX timetables it is noted that CSX rules govern and that the method of operation is rule D-251 (two tracks signaled for operation with the current of traffic in a specified direction--thus Northward/Eastward versus Southward/ Westward). Now, that given, in the even of signal failure, or in order to operate a train against the current of traffic, CSX rules provide for operation by DTC (Direct Traffic Control) blocks. The track between Fetner and Boylan is one DTC block, either track No. 1 or Track No. 2. Once the block for opposing movement has been secured from the CSX dispatcher, a train must then have a signal or the dispatcher's permission to enter and use the block--and must be prepared to stop at the next signal. The speed for such movements is 49 MPH for freight and 59 MPH for passenger except where the timetable dictates a lower speed. Yes, the signals for reverse running have been installed for some time. Why they have not been employed is not known.

-- Doug Riddell (, May 07, 2000.

I thought that the track closer to Hillsborough St (Old US 1) on the Cary end and farther from Hillsborough St on the Raleigh end is ex-Southern. It is welded rail, has an H series milepost alongside it, and is normally used by trains from Fetner to Raleigh. The other track, ex-SAL, is jointed rail and is normally used by trains from Raleigh to Fetner. I say "normally" because trains sometimes run against the current of traffic without benefit of block signals. When the signals were replaced after Hurricane Fran, the plan was to make both tracks bi-directional, but that was not implemented at the time.

-- Chuck Till (, May 04, 2000.

The distant signal for the Norfolk Southern crossing at Raleigh Tower (known as Boylan Tower on NS)was of the GRS G1 category. This was in the paired track arrange- ment Fetner to Raleigh Tower. As I recall, Southern leased and maintained the northward main track (eastward on Southern) and SAL owned and maintained the southward main track (west on Southern). This tri-color signal was on the north track near SAL mile post 157.

-- Harry Bundy (, May 03, 2000.

While we are on this subject, I believe the tri-lights were generally used at junctions or crossovers and the type D signals used elsewhere. What was the reason for SAL using two signal types?

-- Jim Coviello (, May 02, 2000.

The signal is a type GRS G1-three aspect is Upper Left-Green, Upper right Yellow, lower-red. Two aspect heads come in three varieties- Upper right yellow, lower red, upper left green, lower red and upper left green and lower yellow.

The signal with the lights stacked one on top of another in the GRS catalog was a type D, the center was always yellow, and the upper and lower could either be red or green. Four aspect heads had the lowest aspect a lunar white. Typically, most roads used the lower aspect as a red.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, May 02, 2000.

Sorry-that was looking from the back-Upper left is green, upper right is yellow and bottom is red. I will send you a catalog cut.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, May 02, 2000.

The GRS tri color signal head as I recall it had the green lens to the right, the yellow to the left and the red on the bottom.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, May 02, 2000.

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