[N&W] Re: Signal aspects

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 6 23:26:26 EDT 2004

[Ben Blevins asked:]
 >The signal for the diverging route at Abingdon (the creeper) was set up
 >to give the aspects of Stop, Diverging Approach, Diverging Clear, and
 >Restricting.  (I know because the signal now stands in my front yard)
 >Why would this signal need to give a Restricting?  The signal for the
 >trains leaving the east leg of the Glade Spring wye had the same
 >aspects.  They could not give a clear or approach.
Ben -

These signals gave restricting indications to head a train onto their
respective branches.  The Saltville and Abingdon branches were unsignalled
tracks, and therefore restricting was the best you could get.

It isn't even in the rule books and I wouldn't have known until the
rule instructor told me but -- the last signal a train receives when
leaving signalled territory is a restricting signal.  EXAMPLE: on the
former NKP (N&W's Muncie Div.)  there was a 10-mile section of
automatic block signals.  Near Sorento, the ABS ended and the
main line went back to "dark territory".  You could pass the restricting
signal at 49 MPH and still be within rule compliance.  The restrciting
signal is no more than a reminder that you're leaving signalled

Why not a CLEAR or an APPROACH to proceed onto the Abingdon
or Saltville Branch (both non-signalled) ?  Because these two signal
indications imply that the road ahead is signalled--APPROACH -- proceed
prepared to stop at next signal. CLEAR -- proceed (turnouts are lined for
main track movement, there is no train in the block ahead, no broken
rails, and the slide fences haven't been activated, a CLEAR signal will
indicate all those conditions).  The NKP folks had an indication for
the RESTRICTING aspect -- "you're on your own now, brother!"
                                           Harry Bundy

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