Browsing Tag: CSX signals

    CSX Signal & Railroad Crossing Storage with Spur Florida
    Articles, Blog

    CSX Signal & Railroad Crossing Storage with Spur Florida

    September 1, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m over here at Riviera Beach right next to Highway 710 Florida And I just saw, aside from this spur over here, This is a storage for CSX. I’m going to show you now where they store all their crossing gates and signal boxes. That’s where I was earlier. Over there, on the other side of the fence. Standing right over there and here we go. A CSX no trespassing sign. Signal boxes here. Foundations and bases for crossings gates. Oh Opa Locka, look at that! signal boxes and then over here we get to the nitty gritty. crossing gates and cross bucks. See some crossing gates there. oh look signals! The Darth Vaders. See inside the bases there. see all the connections. It’s like finding buried treasure huh? This one is resting in peace over here. Rolls of wire there. OK ladies and gentlemen, Please subscribe like, or share! And I thank you very much for viewing. take care, bye bye

    Railroad Signals, reading and meanings, part 1: The basic three light system
    Articles, Blog

    Railroad Signals, reading and meanings, part 1: The basic three light system

    August 12, 2019


    Being a bit of a railfan before
    I actually became a railroader, I’d always been
    curious about the signals used on the railroads to
    control trains. I actually learned how to read
    them before I became a railway conductor, and I know a
    lot of railfans have always been curious as
    well, and of course, model railroaders wanting to put
    in functioning signals onto their layout. So I thought I’d put together
    this crash course on reading railway signals. Now –
    the signals I’m going to be showing are Canadian
    railway signals. A lot of railways in the US use
    these same signals, or similar, or the same concept
    of signals, but with different methods of
    display. We use coloured lights here in
    Canada, but the Raton subdivision in New Mexico
    still has semaphores. The Pennsylvania railroad, and
    Baltimore and Ohio Railroad use a cross between
    coloured signals and semaphores – the lights are
    coloured, and show the semaphore position of
    horizontal, 45 degrees, or vertical. The most common signals are the
    searchlight signals. These are a single
    light which gets focused through two lenses and
    then the light passes through a coloured glass
    to make it either red, yellow or green. You can
    see the three coloured glasses in this picture
    of the internal workings of a searchlight
    railroad signal. The holder gets pushed to the right
    or to the left by an electromagnet to put the
    yellow or green glass in front of the light. Notice that the middle glass is
    red – this is a fail safe. If the electromagnet
    fails, then the light reverts to red. More and more we are seeing LED
    signals, nicknamed Darth Vader signals because of
    the large sun hood. The principles are the same as
    what I’m going to show you here, only previously,
    a single light could display three different
    colours through the use of different coloured glass
    that would be moved in front of the light. The LED
    signals just have three different coloured LED
    lights under the sun shield, but you just simply read
    the signal as this bank of lights represents one
    signal: it’s either red, yellow or green. The signals use the colours
    you’ve grown accustomed to with traffic signals: Red,
    green and yellow. There are some signals coming
    out that are “lunar” – which is a bluish-white
    colour, mostly seen in the US but is being seen in
    Canada. Trains are slow to accelerate
    and slow to stop. I’d been in one emergency stop
    situation where our train was only seven cars and
    two locomotives, and only going 25 miles an hour. It
    was incredible how much space it took to stop that
    train with the brakes in full emergency –
    probably took about thousand feet to stop. Some heavy freight trains can
    book along at 75 miles an hour – it can take them
    over a mile, or two kilometers, to come to a
    stop in full emergency brake. The reason for this is
    the same reason trains are the second most
    efficient means of transportation. The contact area
    of steel wheels on steel rails is about the size of
    a dime. So literally, an entire train’s
    contact with the rails can be the equivelent surface
    area of a coffee table. That means very little
    friction, very easy and efficient moving of
    incredible amounts of weight. But the downside of very
    little friction and surface area is stopping
    that train. So we need to know what we need
    to do with the train MILES in advance so we can
    take appropriate action to control the train. It
    can take two miles or more to bring a freight train
    to a gentle, controlled stop – what we call a
    “service stop” so we need to know well in advance
    what’s happening up ahead. So there are basically two train
    control systems in Canada: OCS which is the
    Occupational Control System, or CTC which is the
    Centralized Traffic Control System. Up here in
    Northern Alberta where I work, it is all OCS which means
    that, just like air traffic control of aircraft, we
    get clearance from Rail Traffic Control to be on
    the rails. They give us the rails and assure that no
    one else is on OUR track, and we are controlled by
    Rail Traffic Control via the radio. Rail
    Traffic Control is known as RTC. CTC is the most efficient type
    of rail traffic control, and that’s where the
    signals come in. It’s controlled by RTC, but RTC gives
    instructions to the trains via these signals.
    The distance between the signals varies. On the CP
    line behind my house in Ontario, they had signals
    every two miles for instance, but in heavier traffic
    corridors the signals can be closer together. The base CTC signal is three
    lights on a mast. This signal, green over red over red,
    believe it or not, is “clear signal” – it means go
    full bore – whatever your speed limit is,
    you are permitted to go full speed ahead, the track
    is clear ahead of you. You might wonder why on earth do
    they have the red lights then? There are actually multiple
    reasons for this. First of all, understand that is it
    the COMBINATION of lights that communicate what to
    do. The combination of three lights, each of which
    could be either red, yellow or green. Secondly, these
    are mechanical devices – the light bulbs can
    blow out, the mechanics inside that change the
    colour of the light can break. Using three
    lights, we can get an indication of what we need to do
    as much as three signals in advance. So at two
    mile spacings, we could know six miles in advance
    if we have to slow down or stop. But – if the two lower lights
    aren’t lit up, then we’d have to guess what the
    signal combination is! We can’t do that – our lives,
    and the lives of others are on the line here,
    there’s no guessing allowed. So consider the two red
    lights as “placeholders.” They’re lit, so
    we know that they are functioning, but they are
    showing red which effectively means we can ignore
    them as they are below the green signal. The three signal heads each
    represent three different speeds: The top light
    is for high speed – basically whatever the maximum
    speed for that track is. The second head is medium
    speed. The bottom head is for slow speed. Medium
    speed is an actual speed – it is designated as 30
    mph. Slow speed is also an actual speed – 15 mph. So if this signal means track
    speed, then what does this signal mean? You might have
    guessed – it means medium speed. So you should not
    be going any faster than 30 mph when you pass this
    signal. This signal would mean? You guessed it –
    slow speed, or 15 mph. You should not be going any
    faster than 15 mph when you pass this signal. If all three are red, you could
    probably guess what that means. Yup, it means stop. This is slightly simplified for
    instructional purposes, but there you have it:
    your first four signals, and the basics of the
    CTC signal system. But remember – we’re a train,
    and we need to know MILES in advance of what’s ahead
    of us. We need to know long in advance what we’re
    going to need to do. So we’re trucking along at
    track speed, and we come to this signal: Remembering that the uppermost
    non-red light is the one we always want to pay
    attention to, and we ignore the other red lights as
    placeholders. Basically this signal means
    we’re okay to pass this signal at track speed, but it’s
    yellow – warning us that the next signal is going to
    be a stop signal. This signal is called “clear to
    stop,” because we are clear to proceed past this
    signal at track speed, but we need to prepare to
    stop at the next signal. We were just given two
    miles warning of what the next signal is
    displaying, and simultaneously told what we can
    do at THIS signal. Knowing what you now know, you
    might just be able to figure out what this signal
    means. You guessed it: Medium to stop.
    So if you’re driving the train, you must pass
    this signal going no faster than medium speed, or
    30 mph, and expecting the next signal to be
    a stop signal, so you’ll be preparing to stop. Now there is one small catch to
    this next signal: The slow speed light is flashing
    yellow. There’s a reason for that which we’ll get
    to in a minute, but let me just tell you that the
    slow speed head flashing yellow means slow, and
    because it’s yellow, that means the next
    signal will be a stop signal. So this signal is “slow
    to stop.” You can pass this signal going no more
    than 15 miles and hour, preparing to stop at the
    next signal. While we’re on this signal, I’m
    going to explain one of the weird signals. Let’s
    say the yellow light was solid yellow, not
    flashing. This is very similar to the slow signal, but
    with a further RESTRICTION. This signal is
    called restricting signal for restricted speed. You
    cannot go faster than slow speed – 15 mph, but
    the further restriction is that you must be
    on the lookout for a switch lined against you,
    broken rails, and able to stop within half the distance
    of vision. Heres why: If I can only see 1,000
    feet ahead of me, because of a curve with trees on
    the embankment for instance, I have to drive the
    train at a slow enough speed so that when I see
    something on the tracks, I can stop in 500 feet –
    HALF of the distance that I could see. Why
    is this? It’s because that something on the
    tracks may be another train – moving in the other
    direction! So if he is also driving at a speed in which
    he can stop in half the distance he can see,
    then we both stop in half the distance of sight,
    meaning we meet in the middle and don’t collide. Now again, remember – this
    system is built up on a mechanical system. Mechanical
    systems can fail. So let’s take a look at our slow to
    stop signal. It’s a flashing yellow signal on the
    slow speed head. There’s a little relay inside
    the control box that flashes that light. Let’s say
    that relay burns out, and the light no longer flashes.
    It is now a solid yellow. What has just happened?
    It is a fail safe system – we HAD a less
    restricting signal – we were just limited to a maximum of 15
    miles an hour. But now because it’s a solid yellow,
    it’s now a restricting signal which is more
    restrictive than a slow signal: we have to slow
    down to whatever speed the terrain demands. We need to
    be extra cautious and be able to stop within half
    the distance of vision. So those are the two
    reasons why the flashing yellow light means slow
    speed. you’ll notice this very
    carefully thought out trend as we start to get into flashing
    lights on the signals: If the flashing fails,
    the signal simply reverts to a more restrictive
    signal. A flashing yellow light on the
    top now tells us what’s going on TWO signals
    ahead of us. It’s yellow and on the top head,
    meaning we can blow by this signal at full speed ahead
    – but it’s yellow, warning us that up ahead is a
    stop signal. It’s flashing, telling us that the
    stop signal is TWO signals ahead. So this signal
    will be a flashing yellow, meaning advance clear to
    stop. We have now been given advance warning that
    in FOUR miles we’re going to have to stop. The next
    signal will be solid yellow on the high speed
    head, meaning clear to stop. We can blow by that
    signal at track speed if we want, preparing to stop at
    the next signal. Now let’s say that the flashing
    relay melts down in the control box again, and our
    light now stays a solid yellow. What has happened? It’s a fail safe system: It’s
    the wrong signal, because we would read it as
    clear to stop – we would pass this light thinking
    we had to stop in two miles, not four miles. We
    would get to the next signal, expecting it to be a
    stop signal, but it would turn out to be a clear to
    stop signal as well. No bigee – we carry on at
    track speed to the next signal, prepared to stop. So now that we’ve seen how the
    signals can indicate both what to do NOW, and what to
    expect at the next signal, let’s go back to our
    first three signals again: This one is a clear signal.
    Proceed at track speed. This one as we discussed is a
    medium signal, but it is green – indicating that the
    next signal is a clear signal. We must slow down
    and pass our ENTIRE train by this signal going no
    faster than medium speed, then we can speed up to
    track speed. The reason for the medium speed
    will no doubt be because at that signal, the
    train will pass through a switch. You can’t just go
    blazing through those switches at high speed! You’ll
    take the train right off the rails because it can’t
    take the corner at high speed. But this switch is
    designed to be transited at 30 mph or less. So,
    you pass this signal at medium speed,
    indicated by the medium speed head. The light is green
    which tells us that the next signal we encounter
    will be a clear signal. It’s the same thing if we
    encounter a green light on the slow speed head. The
    switch will have an even harsher curve to it,
    designed for a train going 15 mph or slower. However,
    the light is green, telling us that the next
    signal will be a clear signal. So once our entire
    train has gone through the switch, we can now
    accelerate to track speed, knowing that the next
    signal is a clear signal. This three head signal system is
    the foundation for all of the other signals I’m
    going to show you in this series of videos. Just keep
    this three head system in mind as you learn the
    other indications – high speed on the top, medium
    speed in the middle, slow speed on the bottom. In the next video, we’ll discuss
    two headed and single headed signals, the
    reasoning behind them and how to read them.

    Abandoned Railroad Near Downtown Miami
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Near Downtown Miami

    August 9, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen today. We have another abandoned railroad here where just a block north of North West 20th Street on Northwest 12th Avenue here, we see the Metro rail there we see facing West at the track leads into that produce place and It’s are no longer active you can see the cars parking on it. You can see the crossing and then here We see the actual spur Or what’s left of it? This is an old CSX spur. Perhaps dating back to the SCL days Where the cars used to load the old wooden cross ties over here how beautiful Yep over there. We see some guys planting some trees So we’re walking East right now, and yeah, I got with the bulldozer right there. There’s no more rails there there’s oh That’s where they end. Here it’s barely noticeable. So yeah, and then let me give you a walk West from where we originally began filming See if we can see a date on the rail. 1924 there it is. I don’t know if you guys can see it? Backlight 1924 the rail says 1924 on it. Wow! See the Tie plate you can’t see a date on it Yeah, this is a old, this is SAL it not even a SCL. Seaboard Airline. Alright guys and we’re back. This is the spot I originally began filming Do not stop on Tracks very important, please subscribe or like. Thank you very much for viewing.

    Part 3: Railroad Signals, reading and meanings. Diverging and Limited speeds, to and at signals
    Articles, Blog

    Part 3: Railroad Signals, reading and meanings. Diverging and Limited speeds, to and at signals

    August 8, 2019


    In the previous videos, we
    introduced you to the basic, 3 head railroad signal
    and the three speeds it indicates: High speed, which
    is maximum track speed limited by the type of
    track and its geometries, which for some
    trains in Canada can be as high as 100 miles an hour. Then medium speed which is 30
    mph, and slow speed which is 15 mph. Now, most switches can only be
    traversed at 15 mph – they are quite sharp curves. Okay – so time is money. The
    railroads want their trains going as fast as
    possible, as much as possible. Slowing down your multi
    million dollar train to 15 mph just to go
    through a switch is annoying – the train waiting for
    you has to wait while you sloooowly get your
    entire train – which could be two miles long –
    through the switch. At 15 miles an hour! So the railroads
    designed high speed switches which have very long,
    gentle curves, enabling the train to transit
    the switch going 25 miles an hour. This speed is
    given its own name – “diverging speed.” That’s faster
    than slow speed, but track speed might be, say,
    75 miles an hour. So how do you tell the train
    operators to slow down to 25 miles an hour through the
    switch? They did this with a very cheap, very simple
    solution which simply modified the signals
    which have already existed for some 100 years: You
    can add a sign to a slow signal. By putting a DV plate on a
    signal, you upgrade that signal’s slow indication to a
    diverging speed indication. Notice for instance
    that the slow to clear signal and diverging to
    clear signal are identical – it’s just a DV plate
    put on the signal. The diverging to stop signal is
    identical to the slow to stop signal, but the
    slow to stop has been upgraded to a diverging to stop
    signal. Again, notice the fail-safe
    incorporated into the system: if the DV plate gets
    covered over with snow, or some foamer steals it,
    the signal reverts to the 15 mile per hour slow
    speed instead of 25 mile per hour. So the train
    would wind up transiting the switch at 10 mile
    an hour slower than the speed the switch was
    designed for. But let’s up the speed a little
    more: let’s make switches with really long curves
    and turnouts, designed to be taken at 45 miles
    an hour. Again, this is new speed with its own
    new name: Limited speed. So you might be able to
    guess what the designers did to show the train
    operators they can take the switch at 45 mile an
    hour. That’s right – they upgrade a
    pre-existing signal. There’s really only one speed
    they could upgrade, and that would be medium speed. So if we take the medium head
    and flash it green, that is an “upgraded” medium
    speed signal – it has been upgraded to limited speed.
    If the flasher fails, it just means the train
    will wind up going through the switch at a slower,
    safer 30 miles an hour instead of 45. Another way
    to upgrade the medium signal is to put a sign
    under the lights – an L plate. If the L plate
    happens to fall off, or gets covered in snow so you
    don’t see it, no big deal – it’s a fail safe system:
    the train will simply go through the switch at
    30 miles an hour instead of 45. So if we have a solid medium
    speed green light it means medium to clear. If it’s
    flashing or has an L plate and it’s green it means
    limited to clear – you can cruise through the
    switch at limited speed – 45 miles an hour, and once
    your entire train is through that switch, you know
    you can crank it up to track speed even if you can’t
    see the next signal, because you were just told what
    the next signal will be – a clear signal. The
    limited signals are read exactly as the medium
    signals are, but the speed is upgraded to limited
    speed instead of medium speed. A medium to stop
    signal is upgraded to a limited to stop signal. A
    medium to clear signal is upgraded to a limited
    to clear signal. One quick note before I move on:
    Notice that the plate add-ons have distinctive
    shapes. This is to aid in identification at a
    distance. The DV plate is rectangular. The R plate is
    square. The A plate is round. The L plate is
    triangular. Alright – so we’ve gone through
    these basics of the speeds and how they’re shown on
    the signals: slow speed, diverging speed, medium
    speed, limited speed and high or track speed. Now
    it’s going to get a little more complicated, but
    you’ll see the method to the madness here hopefully. Remember that these signals show
    us not just what to do HERE and NOW, but also
    what we’re going to do as much as two signals in
    advance. This applies to ALL of the various speeds. If we can carry on at track
    speed and the signal is warning us of a slower speed up
    ahead, then the top head will be yellow – indicating
    we can pass this signal at track speed, but
    there’s a restriction up ahead. The next head down will
    be an indication of the speed restriction we’re
    going to encounter. For instance, medium speed. If the
    medium speed is TWO signals ahead, then we flash the
    top head – just like before that is an
    “Advanced” warning, in this case, advance clear to medium.
    We pass by this signal at track speed, expecting
    a medium signal two signals ahead. Now don’t forget, we can upgrade
    that medium signal by flashing it, or putting an L
    plate on it. So this would be advance clear to
    limited. This would be clear to limited. This would be an advance clear
    to slow signal. This would be a clear to slow signal.
    We can upgrade the slow signal to a diverging
    signal with a DV plate. This would be a clear to
    diverging signal – it’s the exact same as the clear to
    slow signal, but the slow signal has been upgraded to
    diverging speed. So we come up to a switch and
    we’re going to enter the siding. Obviously if we have
    to limit the speed of the train passing a signal to
    something slower than track speed, we’re not
    going to use the top head. We’ll make it red as a
    placeholder, indicating we cannot go track
    speed. We’ll make use of the lower two heads to
    indicate what’s going to happen now, and at the next
    signal. But let’s say we’re going to go
    right through the entire siding, which has medium
    speed switches at both ends. The opposing train is
    sitting there on the main track, and we’re going
    to go around him using the siding. We get up to
    the siding and we see this signal. The top signal is red and is
    just a placeholder – we cannot go track speed past
    this signal. The middle head is green, indicating
    medium speed at this signal. If the next signal
    was for track speed, it would just be the
    middle light as green, indicating medium to clear,
    right? But we can’t go through the next switch at track
    speed, so again we use the next signal down to
    indicate what the NEXT signal will be. In this case, it
    is medium speed. So this signal would be medium
    TO medium. Pass this signal and through the switch at
    medium speed, approaching the next signal at
    medium speed. If the next switch was a slow
    speed switch, then the signal would look like this:
    Medium to slow. We are passing by a medium signal,
    with the next head indicating what the next signal
    will be, which is a slow signal. Things get a touch more
    complicated from here on in. Let’s say that the switch
    we’re passing through now is a slow speed switch, but
    the next switch is a medium speed switch? How would
    you indicate it? We need to show slow speed which
    is usually shown by the bottom head – but we need
    the lowest head to indicate what the NEXT signal
    will be. This is where things get more specific
    and rules-driven. We have the Canadian Rail Operating
    rules where the agreed upon signal configuration
    and meaning is laid out. What was decided was
    that this signal would mean slow to medium. We can’t use the top head
    because that indicates track speed. So we use the
    middle head with a flashing yellow to indicate SLOW
    speed here and now, at this signal. The next
    signal is represented by the bottom head. Obviously
    the next signal will not be track speed, or else we’d
    just stick a green light on the bottom head, called
    it a slow to clear and go home. The next signal is
    not a stop signal, otherwise we’d just make the
    middle head yellow, call it a medium to stop signal
    and pass by at medium speed, stopping at the
    next signal. So that narrows down the meaning of the
    green on the bottom head: It represents what the
    next signal will be, and It has to be a medium speed
    signal. So we pass by the slow to medium
    signal at slow speed, and once our train has
    entirely gone through the switch and past the light,
    we can accelerate to 30 miles per hour, or medium
    speed, because we know that the next signal will be
    medium speed. You can now start to see the
    patterns emerge as you actually read the signals
    instead of just using brute force memorization: This signal is slow to limited.
    Pass this signal at slow speed, expecting to pass
    the next signal at limited speed. It’s the exact
    same signal we just saw, but next, medium signal
    indication has been upgraded to limited speed. This signal is limited to
    limited. Pass this signal at limited speed, expecting the
    next signal to be limited speed. Take a guess before I tell this
    next one, see if you get it right. I’m guessing you probably got
    it: This is a Limited to slow signal. Pass this signal
    at limited speed, the next signal will be a slow
    signal. There’s some minor points to be
    made where the signals were somewhat arbitrary.
    For example, clear to medium can indicate the next
    signal on either the middle or bottom head. But,
    if it uses the bottom head, it was decided to
    make the track speed head green. So this is a clear
    to medium signal. This is a clear to limited
    signal. You’ll also remember that if
    it’s a two-head signal, all they’ve done is
    ditch the bottom head to save on cost. So just imagine
    that bottom head is there, and it’s a red
    placeholder. This is advance clear to medium. This is
    clear to limited. I’ll also just briefly mention
    flashing red lights. This is something that CN does
    not use at all, though they are in the Canadian
    Rail Operating Rules. So basically a flashing
    red light does one of two things: If it’s
    indicating a signal up ahead, it’s warning of a
    RESTRICTING SIGNAL. For example: This is Clear to
    restricting. You can pass this signal at track speed, the
    next signal will be a restricting signal. This is Limited to restricting –
    pass this signal at limited speed, expecting the
    next signal to be a restricting signal. You can
    figure out the various combinations you can get –
    basically they’ve upgraded the placeholder to
    represent a restricting signal up ahead. If they are ALL red, and the
    bottom one is flashing, that means take or
    leave the siding or other track. If we’re taking a
    switch on to a branch line, or into a siding,
    that signal just simply means the switch is lined
    for that other track, you’re going to take it.
    CN uses the flashing arrow in advance to
    indicate if we’re going to take the siding, and
    then we get our speed indication at the siding signal
    itself. Alright, that was a lot to take
    in. In the final segment we’re going to cover how
    to read dwarf signals, which are the short or
    low-mast signals you mostly see in railyards.
    Thanks for watching.