New Rock Subdivision - Shades of the C&NW

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New Rock Subdivision - Shades of the C&NW

Postby spRocket » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:38 pm

One day, heading eastbound on US 6 east of Morris, IL, I glanced northeast as I crossed the bridge over the ex-Rock Island main, and was surprised to see lit signals. Last Saturday, I decided I wanted to get a better look. They're at either end of a siding west of Minooka, and there's a road close enough that I could get a shot of one:

P1000959.JPG


I was very surprised to see a horizontal color-light. One oddity that I noticed was that the red light is in the center. Do these signals convey any sort of block indication, or are they strictly take-siding signals?
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Re: New Rock Subdivision - Shades of the C&NW

Postby mmi16 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:47 pm

spRocket wrote:One day, heading eastbound on US 6 east of Morris, IL, I glanced northeast as I crossed the bridge over the ex-Rock Island main, and was surprised to see lit signals. Last Saturday, I decided I wanted to get a better look. They're at either end of a siding west of Minooka, and there's a road close enough that I could get a shot of one:

P1000959.JPG


I was very surprised to see a horizontal color-light. One oddity that I noticed was that the red light is in the center. Do these signals convey any sort of block indication, or are they strictly take-siding signals?


I suspect they are signals for radio operated switches for the siding. CSX has been installing radio operated switches that crews can operate in accordance with the authority track warrants from the Dispatcher provide the train. Radio switches are operated when crews initiate the appropriate tone from the locomotive's radio that is specified in the ETT. Radio switches eliminate the need for crewmen to dismount the locomotive to operate the switch and thus decrease the potential for injury, as well as permitting trains to enter and leave sidings without stopping. The signals display one indication when the switch is lined for the Main track and another indication when it is lined for the siding. It may display a 3rd indication when it malfunctions.

To my knowledge CSX does not have sufficient volume on the New Rock Sub to install automatic block signals.
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Re: New Rock Subdivision - Shades of the C&NW

Postby spRocket » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:19 pm

mmi16 wrote:Radio switches eliminate the need for crewmen to dismount the locomotive to operate the switch and thus decrease the potential for injury, as well as permitting trains to enter and leave sidings without stopping. The signals display one indication when the switch is lined for the Main track and another indication when it is lined for the siding. It may display a 3rd indication when it malfunctions.

To my knowledge CSX does not have sufficient volume on the New Rock Sub to install automatic block signals.


That makes sense, and generally there are one or two CSX movements per day on the Metra/Rock Island tracks east of Joliet (along with a couple of IAIS freights each way as well).

Over the years, CSX has quietly turned over (or, perhaps subleased) trackage to Iowa Interstate as well - it used to be CSX from Joliet all the way west to Bureau (plus the Peoria Branch to Henry), but now IAIS runs all of the Peoria Branch and as far east as Utica before it becomes CSX. While cycling a portion of the I&M Canal path, I saw a sign that indicated the change of jurisdiction.

Though this one isn't CSX's doing, I've noticed a brand-new operational signal at Bureau as well, complete with a PTC antenna mast. The one I saw is right by Illinois Rte. 29, and presumably the other wye entrances have their own signals as well. For decades there were (I'm assuming nonfunctional) Rock Island-era signals at Bureau, but those are gone.
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Re: New Rock Subdivision - Shades of the C&NW

Postby mmi16 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:36 pm

spRocket wrote:
mmi16 wrote:Radio switches eliminate the need for crewmen to dismount the locomotive to operate the switch and thus decrease the potential for injury, as well as permitting trains to enter and leave sidings without stopping. The signals display one indication when the switch is lined for the Main track and another indication when it is lined for the siding. It may display a 3rd indication when it malfunctions.

To my knowledge CSX does not have sufficient volume on the New Rock Sub to install automatic block signals.


That makes sense, and generally there are one or two CSX movements per day on the Metra/Rock Island tracks east of Joliet (along with a couple of IAIS freights each way as well).

Over the years, CSX has quietly turned over (or, perhaps subleased) trackage to Iowa Interstate as well - it used to be CSX from Joliet all the way west to Bureau (plus the Peoria Branch to Henry), but now IAIS runs all of the Peoria Branch and as far east as Utica before it becomes CSX. While cycling a portion of the I&M Canal path, I saw a sign that indicated the change of jurisdiction.

Though this one isn't CSX's doing, I've noticed a brand-new operational signal at Bureau as well, complete with a PTC antenna mast. The one I saw is right by Illinois Rte. 29, and presumably the other wye entrances have their own signals as well. For decades there were (I'm assuming nonfunctional) Rock Island-era signals at Bureau, but those are gone.


PTC can be applied to non-signaled track warrant territory as well as signaled territory.
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