Winston Salem District Signals

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Jul 20 06:15:45 EDT 2009

Before the WS line was converted to TC, what kind of signals were
there? I have a sneaking suspicion that they were Style S semaphores.
Am I close?

And, yes, at Henry the south end of the siding has automatic signals
where the home signals used to be. A lot of this makes sense now. I
just didn't know the particulars that created the situation.

Ben Blevins

On 7/16/09, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:



> Ben:

> Prior to TC installation, the W-S district had 19 passing sidings from

> Roanoke

> Terminal to North Winston which averaged 3574 feet in length.? There were

> 15 day telegraph offices plus Payne (24/7), so during the day, there was an

> operator every 7.4 miles.? After TC, nine sidings were removed or shortened,

> but seven passing sidings remained - Boone's Mill, Starkey, Henry, and

> others.? They became designated "storage tracks" in the timetable.? What's

> the significance of a storage track ?? I don't know.? Apparently N&W felt

> it wasn't necessary to provide power switches and signaling for these short

> sidings.? By 1972, the telegraph offices had been reduced from 15 to 9 and

> that's how N&W got the economic justification to install traffic control.


> As far as the signal at the north end of Henry being a controlled signal --

> remember -- a train can pass a stop-and-proceed (or restricting) signal and

> proceed at restricted speed.? North of the signal at Henry, there are?three

> back-to-back 10 degree curves and then the ruling grade (1.53%) to Ferrum.

> If you have a set of?pusher units returning light from Belews Creek with a

> one

> man crew and it's following a train grinding up the hill, it's not exactly

> the

> safest practice.? Remember the definition of restricted speed ?? "Able to?

> stop?short of? etc., etc. etc."? It's probably as quick to hold?a train at

> the

> bottom of Ferrum Hill than it is to allow it to follow at restricted speed.

> Safer too.


> Henry had been home to Blue Ridge Paints.? It was one of eight companies

> that

> supplied paint to N&W for hoppers.? After TC, apparently the signals at the

> south end remained, but weren't able to display a "STOP" indication.? A

> local doing "one-in, one-out" switching at Blue Ridge Paints would have had

> to follow the procedure for passing a "STOP" indication.? That's one

> person's

> interpretation.? I wish Henry Nase was still around.

> ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Harry Bundy

> ????

> ??


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