• Searchlight signals on New York Central near Rochester

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by R&ERRY
Can anyone tell me when the New York Central replaced semaphore signals with searchlight signals on the mainline between Rochester and East Rochester?
  by ctclark1
Not exact dates from me, but I believe the searchlights came with CTC which was a Perlman initiative, so early to mid 60's? Perhaps even very late '50s? Conversion to CTC was also when the freight mains (tracks 3 & 4 on the north side of the ROW) were removed along the majority of the main line, so that may help in your search as well.
  by FarmallBob
I have several GRS signal mechanisms salvaged during the signal upgrade thru Rochester. All show build dates in the late 40's. So I'm guessing the NYC retired their semaphores closer to 1950.

Also......my earliest recollection of NYC signals as a young child (mid-1950's) is searchlights were in place then. As a kid it puzzled me why the NYC used searchlights while the nearby B&O and Erie both had semaphores.
  by BR&P
Been going in 7 directions at once, but maybe I can make a contribution here. Received this pic a while back. I don't have any date or other info but I think the sender got it from Facebook so maybe there's something there on it.

Anyway, publicity shot, 2 F units westbound on Track 3 with a string of brand new boxcars from East Rochester on the head pin. It's by GRS / Pfaudlers, you can see the footbridge and the stack from RG&E Station 9 in the background. And you can also see that the semaphores were still in place.

Hope this helps.
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  by ctclark1
According to this Twitter post, the engines were new in this photo as well, in October 1947.

NYC 1615 would appear to be part of an order of F3's, If they were numbered in the order built then 1947 fits that for a build date.
  by jr
The Water Level Route by Charles Knoll, published by Rochester Chapter in 1984, has a photo of the signal bridge at 381. It shows the signals in the process of being converted from semaphore to searchlight. The date of the photo is September 17, 1949.
  by BR&P
I was contacted off-forum with the information that the pic I posted - in a larger, uncropped format - appears in Volume 1 of Ed Nowak's 3-volume set of NYC pictures. That larger photo does show trees in fall color and gives the date as October 16, 1947. So I will withdraw my doubts on the date and agree to what was posted above. :-D