Pre-Amtrak maximum allowable passenger train speed : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

On main line track without posted speed limits or slow orders, what was the maximum speed allowable for SAL passenger trains between Raleigh and Hamlet?

-- Richard T. Lasater (, January 02, 2001


Per a December 1939 ETT of the SAL's Northern District-Virginia Division, maximum speed on Diesel trains was 70 mph, with significant portions of the line restricted to 60-65 mph. Steam locomotives were usually 5 mph less, except for 60 mph territory, where the speed was equal for both steam and diesel.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, January 08, 2001.

Since the SAL did not have an automatic train stop, train control or cab signal system and therefore, by ICC order, the maximum allowable speed was limited to 79 mph. Where theSAL ran in dark, i.e. unsignaled territory, the ICC limited train speeds to 59 mph.

I have heard that SAL did try to put in a cab signal system and only equip its passenger locomotives, but ICC turned it down. It wanted all locomotives to be equipped. ACL had an intermittent automatic train stop system and therefore, its speed limits between Richmond and Waycross(not including the Folkston cutoff) were greater than 79 mph. Most of the time in the 1950's/1960's their speed limit was 90, but for a brief period in time in the mid 1950's, they had a 100 mph speed limit.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, January 03, 2001.

A December 1955 ETT says all passenger trains pulled by locomotives in the 3000 or 3100 series were limited to 79 MPH.Believe it or not!

-- Joseph Oates (, January 03, 2001.

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