PL Dwarfs Get Color: 9/1/1964

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Sat Sep 9 20:51:03 EDT 2006

Attached is a scan of a document dated September 1, 1964, issued by
J. G. Karlet, Supt. Signals & Communications, captioned "Conversion
of Position Light Dwarf Signals to Color Position Light" and
"Supplement to Book of Rules."

It states that "Effective this date, train and engine crews may
expect to find either Position Light or Color Position Light aspects
displayed at Dwarf Signal locations until the work of conversion has
been completed."

Note the goofey shapes of the drawings. They resemble neither the
old nor the new style dwarfs. This is probably an early example of
"gender inclusive language," so that neither the old style signals
(male) nor the new style signals (female) would be offended ! The
unfortunate result is that in the future people may look at this
document and think that the N&W really had dwarf signals of such an
ugly shape. Mercy !

On August 20, 1964, each Division issued a Bulletin putting Karlet's
"Supplement" into effect. Those Bulletins read as
follows: "Effective 8:01A.M., Tuesday, September 1, 1964, be
governed by the attached "Supplement to Book of Rules" covering
conversion of position light dwarf signals to color position. You
will acknowledge receipt by signing form below and returning to this
office." (One wonders how many employees actually signed and
returned the receipts, what happened if they didn't send in a
receipt, and how many hours were wasted alphabetizing and filing the receipts?)

-- abram burnett,
Curmodgeonis Ordinis Secundam
(curmudgeon of the second order)
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