PL Dwarfs Get Color: 9/1/1964

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Sat Sep 9 21:26:19 EDT 2006


The "genderless" dwarf signal drawings remained through the 1970's (at
least) as the rulebooks I have up this time show these obtuse

The NS rule book I have from 1990 reverts back to the classic look of
the PL dwarfs. Guess someone figure out what they looked like.

Does anyone know if N&W ever published a signal and communications
standards book? I have one for the PRR, B&O, C&O and ultimately CSX.
These books were typically full of technical drawings and dimensions
of signals and signal appliances and other track side items that dealt
with signalling and communication.



On 9/9/06, nw-mailing-list at <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:

> 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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