Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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amessmann
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by amessmann »

I suppose this is as good a place as any to ask this:

For Brighton Siding, the two 'outer' signals are three-head, the inner mainline signals have two, and the siding gets a dwarf on either end.
In Howell and Ann Pere, the inner signals on the siding are three-head and the mainline signals are two. I haven't seen the WAS for Ann Pere, but IIRC the EAS for Howell is a two-head.

According to my buddy that's because Howell has that third track on the west end, but could someone shed some more light (no pun intended) on why things are setup that way?

Not to mention the ABSes at CH 49 and 51 have dual-heads facing towards WE Brighton and Ann Pere respectively, and single heads in the other directions, I'd guess because those signals are the distants to the sidings so need to display more than only a red, green or yellow?

Edit: I've added a diagram of the current signal setup between Howell and EE Brighton, albeit with some optimistic colors.
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Saturnalia
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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The siding exits are all medium speed signals IIRC, so you need three heads to display the required aspects for a mast signal, but a single dwarf head will do also. A flashing green dwarf is a medium clear. In the Rulebook in use on the Plymouth Sub, a dwarf displays a clear indication by being green over green. I don’t think there are any of those left, however. Your three heads on the mast comes into play for the medium approach, in cases where you’re leaving the siding but only have the first block clear. Same goes for the siding entrance signals, where you get a medium approach into the hole, assuming that you’ve got a stop on the other end.

You are correct about the intermediate signals approaching sidings being two heads - they need both to show additional aspects for if you are going into siding, primarily yellow over green which is your approach medium.

Meanwhile, the signals on the main exiting sidings are two heads because CSX and predecessors have long believed in the idea that all absolute mast signals should have at least two heads no matter what. The idea is that if one of the heads burns out, you still have the other marking the location of the signal: it makes it much more rare to get a fully dark absolute when approaching it, which is much more dangerous than if it were an intermediate, generally speaking. Also, if the location is equipped with the ability to give a “call-on” restricting indication, then it needs the lower head for the yellow light in the red over yellow aspect. That’s for the “Chessie” rules, whereas in the now-standard “Seaboard” rules they do a white and red light on the lower head for your restricting at all siding-departure main track signals, if that makes sense.

I’m not sure to what degree the PM and C&O installed call-on ability on the east end back in the day - that functionality made the old codeline and relay stuff much more expensive, so it was typically only done where they thought it would make a material difference in improving operations - otherwise they’d just talk trains by. Today, CSX makes pretty much all of their absolutes capable of showing a restricting, as the additional cost of adding aspects is pretty much just limited to the extra lamp, as all of the logic and control equipment really doesn’t get much more complicated on today’s solid-state, intranet-driven systems.
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SD80MAC
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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None of the signals on the Plymouth sub east of Lake Odessa are capable of displaying a restricting. The dispatcher will talk trains by the red signals if they are running around their train, for example.

What Alex said is correct, the signals on the main have 3 heads so that indications like "Medium Approach" can be displayed for trains taking the siding. Way back when, you could actually do medium speed (30 mph) into the sidings, but today they're all 10 mph (other than Trowbridge and South Lyon, which are 20 mph). Fox, Elmdale and I think Lake Odessa are all "slow" sidings (slow approach, slow clear etc).

Here are the C&O rules that are still in effect from WAS EE Lake Odessa to Beck Road: https://railroadsignals.us/rulebooks/co69/index.htm
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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SD80MAC wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 11:02 am
Fox, Elmdale and I think Lake Odessa are all "slow" sidings (slow approach, slow clear etc).
That is correct...you can also add Michigan City, on the west end, which is also setup for slow speed aspects only. Everything else on the Grand Rapids Sub is signalled for medium speed, but of course most of the sidings are just 10 so that ultimately governs.
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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Over on the Saginaw side, all of the signaling was set up for medium speeds (crossovers or entering sidings) between McGrew and Plymouth, except Novi was slow speed and both sidings at Lincoln were restricting only. I believe S. Pass Wayne was also slow speed. North end Plymouth (now called Middle River) was just restricting entering yard. Mt. Morris to S. Hoyt as well as entire Ludington Sub were just restricting into a siding. I believe Hoyt siding was slow indication. The only "calling on" restricting signal I recall was N. Lincoln going back onto train on main track.

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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I want to say East Saugatuck is also slow speed, not medium.
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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SD80MAC wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 7:04 pm
I want to say East Saugatuck is also slow speed, not medium.
Nope, it's medium. Two-heads out of the siding for Medium Clears, and the two approach signals at Boyd and New Richmond are both dual-headed heading towards the siding.
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by G-Root Liska »

So I guess I'm really confused on this thread. Most of the chat and what not was from 2013 saying the signals would be removed but I still see signals along the Plymouth Sub.

So I guess I'm just asking what exactly happened and what is going on now 8 years later? Is CSX expecting traffic to increase on the Plymouth Sub?

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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G-Root Liska wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:19 am
So I guess I'm really confused on this thread. Most of the chat and what not was from 2013 saying the signals would be removed but I still see signals along the Plymouth Sub.

So I guess I'm just asking what exactly happened and what is going on now 8 years later? Is CSX expecting traffic to increase on the Plymouth Sub?
Traffic is up on the Plymouth sub. It’s car loads however and not the number of trains so it’s less visible to us. Biz was up in 2020 on the Plymouth Sub and as a whole in MI and is up same week to week in 2021 versus 2020. Again, this is car loads not trens.

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by G-Root Liska »

LansingRailFan wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:31 am
G-Root Liska wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:19 am
So I guess I'm really confused on this thread. Most of the chat and what not was from 2013 saying the signals would be removed but I still see signals along the Plymouth Sub.

So I guess I'm just asking what exactly happened and what is going on now 8 years later? Is CSX expecting traffic to increase on the Plymouth Sub?
Traffic is up on the Plymouth sub. It’s car loads however and not the number of trains so it’s less visible to us. Biz was up in 2020 on the Plymouth Sub and as a whole in MI and is up same week to week in 2021 versus 2020. Again, this is car loads not trens.
With CSX CEO being about bigger trains in the recent years I'm not surprised to not see more train traffic. Instead bigger trains. Prime example is last Friday I watched CSX Q327 go through Grandville and well they had a DPU right in the middle with 100+ cars.

I guess the question does remain then. What exactly was the outcome of the signals on Plymouth Sub?

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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G-Root Liska wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:19 am
So I guess I'm really confused on this thread. Most of the chat and what not was from 2013 saying the signals would be removed but I still see signals along the Plymouth Sub.

So I guess I'm just asking what exactly happened and what is going on now 8 years later? Is CSX expecting traffic to increase on the Plymouth Sub?
Was it related to being the old Search Light type signals were to be replaced by Color Light type signals? CSX has also been replacing their Color Position type signals to the Color Light types as they had done on the Grand Rapids sub-division (I've seen that had been done in the Baltimore area of Maryland a few years ago).

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by G-Root Liska »

Tom49801 wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:53 am
G-Root Liska wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:19 am
So I guess I'm really confused on this thread. Most of the chat and what not was from 2013 saying the signals would be removed but I still see signals along the Plymouth Sub.

So I guess I'm just asking what exactly happened and what is going on now 8 years later? Is CSX expecting traffic to increase on the Plymouth Sub?
Was it related to being the old Search Light type signals were to be replaced by Color Light type signals? CSX has also been replacing their Color Position type signals to the Color Light types as they had done on the Grand Rapids sub-division (I've seen that had been done in the Baltimore area of Maryland a few years ago).
Yeah it would seem from what I was reading in this past thread it's about the search lights. But the chatter was confusing for me. I couldn't tell if it was just search lights being removed or all track signals. So I was confused by that. Only because I see signals all over the place on the Plymouth Sub.

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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CSX was denied permission to remove the signals on the Plymouth sub. The searchlights from Lake Odessa to Ensel and from Trowbridge to Beck Rd remain for now, but will likely be replaced sometime in the near future.
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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SD80MAC wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:15 am
CSX was denied permission to remove the signals on the Plymouth sub. The searchlights from Lake Odessa to Ensel and from Trowbridge to Beck Rd remain for now, but will likely be replaced sometime in the near future.
Do you mean that sub-division's Signals Dept was denied by Management to replace the Search Light signals due to budget reasons?

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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Tom49801 wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 12:26 pm
SD80MAC wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:15 am
CSX was denied permission to remove the signals on the Plymouth sub. The searchlights from Lake Odessa to Ensel and from Trowbridge to Beck Rd remain for now, but will likely be replaced sometime in the near future.
Do you mean that sub-division's Signals Dept was denied by Management to replace the Search Light signals due to budget reasons?
CSX filed with the STB to discontinue the use of signals entirely on the Plymouth Sub. The STB denied that application on the bounds that there was too much traffic to allow for the discontinuance. Basically you better be operating almost nothing and definitely no hazmat, or else you'll be required to keep the lights burning.

It's ultimately up to CSX then to continue maintaining the existing system or replace it.
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by amessmann »

Sorry for not getting around to a reply until now, thanks everyone for the information!

Here's something I've not seen until tonight, the middle aspect on the EAS at WE Brighton seems to have burnt out.
Just thought I'd share, I'll bet it's fixed if I go back out there when I wake up.
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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

Under the operating rules I worked with, that was known as "a signal imperfectly displayed." I suppose they use the same terminology today.

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:25 am
Under the operating rules I worked with, that was known as "a signal imperfectly displayed." I suppose they use the same terminology today.
We used that same term on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor & the signal would be treated as the worst signal it could display. Also, If the Cab Signals didn't conform with a wayside signal, the train was governed by the "worst" signal of the 2 seen (cab vs. wayside). Amtrak's NEC is in the process of removing all of their wayside Automatic (Intermediate) signals & just run with Cab Signals & PTC. The interlockings will keep their Absolute signals (we call those "Home Signals").

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Red over Dark over Dark may be valid in their rule book (STOP unless there is a number plate making the signal an intermediate.)

Most railroads will have at least two reds at absolutes (just in case a head burns out) but a single red at the top is a valid aspect in most of the rule books I have read.

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Re: Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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justalurker66 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:40 am
Red over Dark over Dark may be valid in their rule book (STOP unless there is a number plate making the signal an intermediate.)

Most railroads will have at least two reds at absolutes (just in case a head burns out) but a single red at the top is a valid aspect in most of the rule books I have read.
To throw another kink into the discussion, I will note that most (if not all) railroads have moved away from dark heads on new installations. Many would darken the third head as a power-saving measure, but would keep the two for the aforementioned reason. I haven't seen anywhere that this is still done. And many railroads are also leaving their absolutes constant-lit too, a further departure from the save electricity and bulbs days of yore.
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