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Mon Nov 22 04:48:20 EST 2004

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 15:39:21 EST 
To: nw-mailing-list at 
From: nw-mailing-list at
Subject:  Re: 1920 Rural Retreat Wreck Photos/ATC 

Service between Appomattox Station, Petersburg and
Broad Street Station, Richmond
involved three carriers -- ACL,  RF&P and Richmond
THE EASY PART -- Between Petersburg and Dunlop  (3.0
mi.) this was Centralized 
Traffic Control, automatic train control NOT in
service and speed restricted to 50 MPH.
Between Dunlop and the James River Viaduct (21.6
mil.),  Intermittent  Train Control
was in effect over ACL ownership. Speed for passenger
trains handled by steam
locomotives 70 MPH (ACL TT #1, 04/25/54).  From the
James River Viaduct to
Acca Wye,  2.83 mi., ownership was RF&P, but ACL's
intermittent Train Control was
in effect. Between Acca Wye and Richmond Terminal (1.2
mi), RF&P's Automatic Train
Control was in effect, speed not to exceed 20 MPH. 15
MPH between inbound and
outbound home signals, Broad Street Station.  
THE HARD PART - ICC Accident Investigations (#2733 for
one) identify the ACL
system as Automatic Train Stop - Intermittent
Inductive Type.  Special Instructions
in ACL Timetables identify the system as Automatic
Train Control.  RF&P
Instructions also indicate that their system was
Automatic Train Control, but
notes that acknowledgement of a change of cab
indicator from clear to a less
favorable indication must be made within six seconds
after whistle sounds to
prevent an automatic brake application. Frank Scheer,
where are you when I
need you ?
Other notes of interest:
1- ICC Directive No. 13413 ordered N&W to have in
service Automatic Train Control
    between Roanoke and Columbus by "the first day of
February, A.D., 1926".  Also
    on the Virginian between Norfolk and Roanoke.
2- The Automatic Train Control in service on the
Shenandoah Division was manufactured
    by Union; on the  ACL, it was General Railway
3- When "The Champion" was placed in service on
December 1, 1939, the ACL
    equipped Engs 500 and 501 (a.k.a. "The Galloping
Ghost of the Atlantic Coast")
    with both GRS (intermittent train control over
ACL) and Union 3-indication, 2-speed
    continuous train control (for operation over the
RF&P to Washington).
4- C&O used Union Signal Intermittent Induction Train
Control Orange to Clifton Forge,
    125 mi., but outfitted four locomotives with three
indication cab signals and two
    speed continuous control for operation on the
Shenandoah Division between
    Loch Laird and Glasgow.
5-  N&W had 100 locomotives equipped with cab signals
for service between
     Hagerstown and Roanoke in accordance with I.C.C.
Order #13413. This from
     "The Signal in the Cab", bulletin No. 144 by the
Union Switch & Signal Co.
6-  There are portions of the C&NW which were doubled
tracked with left-hand running.
     I believe this is Automatic Train Stop territory
WITH cab signals, but no intermediate
     wayside signals.
7-  RF&P Instructions indicate that enginemen were
required to make an outbound test
     in every instance before leaving the terminal. 
Broad Street Station has 8 (plus)
     tracks capable of making the test and so I've
been told, the Petersburg Engine
     Terminal also had a test track.
 Harry Bundy

November 22, 2004

Hello, Harry:

I've back copied James Foley, who knows much about
RF&P subjects.  He's on a RF&P yahoo groups list. 
Since one list can't communicate directly with another
except via a member of both, please send me your email
address and I'll check with Jim to see what he has to
say on this topic.

Best wishes,   

Dr. Frank R. Scheer, Curator
Railway Mail Service Library, Inc.
f_scheer at
(202) 268-2121 - weekday office
(540) 837-9090 - weekend afternoons 
in the former N&W station on VA rte 723 
117 East Main Street 
Boyce  VA  22620-9639

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