Northfork Branch signals
NW Mailing List
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Tue Aug 27 07:56:49 EDT 2013
Thanks very much for the great information about Northfork junction. Was
that signal with two reds and a lunar just a short mast with three marker
type lights in a stack, or some other arrangement? You seem to have some
quite intimate knowledge of the operations in this area, could I impose
upon you to share some more with me/us? My grandfather worked at Crumpler
and I plan to model this area, so I am keenly interested in operations at
Byrd yard and Eckmann as well as the mine runs to all the tipples.
On Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM, NW Mailing List
<nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>wrote:
> There were junction signals prior to the mid-50's in the form of a stand
> signal on the branch and a control signal on the main. The North Fork
> Branch main track swung west thru downtown parallel to the WB main and into
> Byrd Yard allowing use as a yard lead and for branch movements without
> interfering with the main. Alex Schust's "Billion Dollar Coalfield"
> (highly recommended) has a terrific photo of the tracks thru town. Instead
> of venturing onto the main to access the station, even the North Fork
> passenger run stayed on the branch track to board passengers in front of
> North Fork Drug. Note the baggage cart.
> When a branch job was ready to come out on the main, the brakeman would
> call Eckman or the dispatcher(?) for permission and he would respond with a
> signal. The stand signal was near a double crossover that connected the
> parallel branch and WB main. It stood about 3-4 feet high with two red and
> a lunar lamp on top. Normally red, the signal went to lunar, the brakeman
> threw the appropriate switches which then knocked the signal back down to
> red, and they proceeded onto the main.
> The stand signal was interlocked with the control signal (#106L) located
> east of the junction on the WB main near the road crossing, allowing WB
> movements to stop short of the crossing. The EB counterpart #106R, also
> east of the junction, was apparently used only as the approach signal to
> the west end of Powhatan. The short middle track (called North Fork
> Middle) between these two signals was not directly related in that it was
> dark and the turnouts, one off each main like a long crossover, were
> hand-thrown with electric locks. In fact, all of the turnouts on both
> mains thru North Fork were hand-thrown including crossovers just west of
> the station and on the west end of Byrd Yard at the pullout. The middle
> track was used to get electric helpers in the clear while waiting on #4 and
> #16. Usually at night, 2nd 84 would set off refrigerator cars of meat here
> for the night job to switch the packing houses nearby.
> Grant Carpenter
> > Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013
> > According to my notes, in the mid-1950's the switch to Northfork Branch
> > of the electric-lock, hand-throw type. There were no signals to govern
> > train movements off or on the branch. With permission from the
> > the switch could be thrown by hand if there were no conflicting movements
> > the main line.
> > Louis Newton
> > > Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2013
> > >
> > > The Northfork branch was dark (with a register to sign for access if I
> > > remember reading correctly). Does anyone know the signal configuration
> > > the main relating to the branch? Was there a signal controlling
> > > coming off the branch onto the main?
> > > Jim Cochran
> > >
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