SAL Sav-Mont signals : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I've been told that the SAL Sav-Mont line (now the Georgia Central and the Heart Of GA) was once signaled. There is still a old inoperative signal at Helena, GA, near the current HOG-NS grade crossing. When was this line signaled and when were they removed? Was there really enough traffic to signal it?

-- Ashley James (, October 12, 2004


The former SAL did have Approach signal lights for the GS&F/AB&C interlockings in Cordele, GA, in addtion to the punch buttons (which were later changed to dwarf "Home signals").

Interestingly enough, the westbound Approach signal light with a semaphore arm in Cordele, GA is still standing (with the yellow light still brightly blazing away!). Both the the east and west "Home" signal dwarf lights also are also working, although the HOG crews radio the dispatcher for clearance through the CSX and NS interlockings instead of punching the buttons, or using the radiotelephone located on the west side of the interlockings.

A similar set of Approach semaphore lights (inoperative) are still standing on the former ACL line in Ocala, FL.

It's really good to see some of the "old time" equipment still in working order!

Aaron Dowling

-- Aaron Dowling (, October 18, 2004.

The ex-SAL Savannah-Montgomery line never had any type of signal system (emphasis on the word system); however, it did have signal lights in several locations to provide indications at automatic interlockings and spring switches. The following signals (circa 1970) come to mind (Savannah-west) (1) interlocking signal light located just west of Telfair Road crossing for approach indication to Savannah Yard -- interlocking with ex-SAL passenger connection, which had been installed when new SAL-ACL station built 1962; (2) spring switch indication signal light east end of Vidalia Yard (similar to the signal installed at Tarrytown spring switch on the former MD&S); and (3) "Southern Railway"-style approach signal lights governing approaches and crossing of the automatic interlocking with the former SR Macon-Brunswick line in Helena (one of which, as you mentioned, remains, but is inactive as the crossing is now manually operated). Although the SAL was not the junior road at the GS&F-AB&C-SAL crossing in Cordele, by the time of the automatic interlocking was installed SAL had far less traffic than either the Southern or the ACL and probably did not want to go to the expense of installing a "first on the circuit" system for its trains; thus, the SAL trains were required to stop and and then "push the button" to clear the interlocking, and clearance was indicated via the home signals on either side of the crossing. Incidentially, the Albany & Northern used the SAL to cross the other two roads for trains or engines moving between the SAL/ACL/SR interchanges in downtown Cordele and the connection from the SAL to the A&N west of the interlocking. Others may, but I do not, recall any interlocking or other-type signal lights between Cordele and Clisby Park Yard in Montgomery. As you may know, in Richland, SAL/SCL had that interesting manual semaphore contraption that governed the crossing of the Columbus- Tallahassee/Savannah-Montgomery lines.

-- Sherrod G. Patterson (, October 13, 2004.

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