Signaling the split of a shared line?

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Signaling the split of a shared line?

Postby DAnconiaLead » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:40 pm

Between 1949 and 1988, Canadian National operated the 42-inch gauge Newfoundland Railway. According to the map of this railroad, it shared a section of track with the Newfoundland Light & Power Company which operated an electric trolley service in the city of St. John's that was powered by overhead wires, unlike the NfLD which operated diesels.

I've been adding CN's NfLD division to my S/Sn3/Sn42 (1:64th scale) model railroad and recently found a model trolley which I plan to use to create one of the Light & Power trolleys.

While I've just started work on the trolley itself, I'm thinking that it would be neat to build 2-blocks of St. John's and have the trolley share the (code 83) 'mainline' with the NfLD as one side of it's 'figure 8' route around the two city blocks which would employ much lighter (code 55) rail on the sections only intended for use by the trolley.

While the trolley itself would merely loose it's source of power if it left the shared track-section and attempted to proceeded down the NfLD, an NfLD G8 would damage the light trolley rails and derail at the first tight trolley curve if it went onto the trolley-only section. Therefore, there MUST have been some sign or signal at the points at which the shared line splits.

Unfortunately, while I have pictures of NfLD locomotives proceeding down the shared section, I was not able to find pictures of the points where the NfLD and Newfoundland Light & Power Company lines split/merge.

Would any of you have any idea what kind of sign or signal would be present at this split???

Until I can add this section of St. John's, I will simply operate the trolley throughout my NfLD line even though there will be no overhead wires to 'power' it (of course, it will be powered via track-power, with the overhead lines there for show)...
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Re: Signaling the split of a shared line?

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:41 pm

I've never been in Newfoundland, but since there haven't been any replies I'll venture a guess that there would have been nothing more elaborate than a standard switch target indicating the position of the switch. If the joint track was owned by the railway it would very likely have been the responsibility of the trolley conductor to line the switch, stand by while the trolley made the move, restore the switch afterward, and reboard the trolley. Standard railway procedure would very likely have required the trolley conductor to first phone the dispatcher to request permission to line the switch for the move and occupy the joint track, and on the return, after regaining the trolley-only track and restoring the switch, phone the dispatcher again to report clear. I would say one necessary feature on the layout would be a phone box on a pole next to the switch. (If there were only one or two train movements a day versus frequent trolley service, there might have been a local arrangement whereby the dispatcher would give the trolley conductor blanket authority to occupy the joint trackage until a specified time.) For what it's worth.
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