Caretta Branch - Abandoned Signal

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Mar 7 15:26:17 EST 2014

Yes, this signal would have given some comfort to the crew that they were
not going to have to stop for a signal once they started down the hill with
a particularly heavy train.

Grant Carpenter

> Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014


> Could it have been that where the approach signal was located was a bad

> place to start a tonnage train? So rather than take put a crew in


> to have to start at an awkward place, they simply stopped the train at


> signal and when the whole route was clear, gave him the high green.


> EdKing

Thanks for catching that, Alex. Guess I had signals on the brain. I had
glanced at some daily load numbers of Olga No. 2, not averages, so that
should read "a large producer." The time period was within that of the
signal, not limited to 1976-79, but seems this signal dates back to at
least the 1940's.

Grant Carpenter

> Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014


> Grant,


> You have to specify a time period for your statement that Caretta was the

> largest producer on the Dry Fork..


> Between 1922 and 1936 there were three tipples on Caretta Branch. From


> into 1950 there were 2. After 1950 there was 1.


> Bishop No. 33/34/35 on Jacobs Fork was a larger producer than Olga No 2


> Caretta No. 5 on Caretta Branch from about 1945 through 1973. Once


> No. 5 shut down in 1950, Pond Creek No. 1 was a larger producer on the Dry

> Fork Branch from 1951 through 1961 than Olga No. 2 on the Caretta Branch.

> Olga No. 2 on Caretta Branch out produced Bishop from 1976 through 1979.


> was Bishop in 1980. Amonate No. 31 was the larger producer from 1981 into

> 1988.


> Alex Schust


> Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014


> The Caretta Branch was a slow-speed spur to a single tipple about 2 miles


> end of track and would not normally rate an approach signal except for


> crossings about 1/3 of a mile from the junction. Caretta was the largest

> producer on the Dry Fork and could deliver 150 loads a day. Third Dry Fork

> worked it daylight plus a night job when needed and could easily block the

> crossings if stopped at the junction waiting for a signal. Ready to start

> back to Auville and holding clear of the crossings, they would call the

> dispatcher (a phone was here and at the junction) and wait for a clear on

> this signal, knowing they would not have to stop at the junction.

> The entire spur was slow-speed with no register / second movements (barely

> room for one movement) and no need for track circuits or other

> aspects--simply a go/no go hold-out signal, in effect repeating the home

> signal, to protect the crossings.


> Grant Carpenter


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