Signals and 
Signal Maintenance on the 
Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad

Part 4 -- Odds and Ends of Interest
(and those elusive Wig-Wags)


 
Part 1
Haulers and
Crossing Signals
Part 2
Sempaphores 
and Hi-Railing
Part 3
Semaphore
Replacements
Part 4
Odds & Ends
Wig-wags
 Part 5
Hugo to Glendale
Replacement Project

Click on thumbnails for larger images
 
This grade crossing near Roseburg is one of the newest ones on the system.  Here the predictor circuitry extends out 1800' so that motor vehicles on or near the crossing may be cleared by the traffic lights before the cross buck signals are activated.  Included in this $200,000 system are No Right (and Left) Turn signals activated by a passing train.  Also, notice the traffic islands near the grade crossing to discourage people from running around the gates.  Setups like this are paid for by state or local monies and then maintained by the railroad.
In this picture, Rick tests a Harmon Industries HXP-1 installation.   Similar to the Safetran 3000, this device also records warning times, train speed, dates and times of trains.  He's opened the cabinet containing the circuit boards.  Above are the usual relays that send current to the various warning devices.
Ever wonder what's inside those gray baggage cars along SP and former SP lines?  This is the inside of one of those 6600 and 6700 series "Economy Baggage Cars" which Rick calls his "hideaway".   On the test bench are the guts of a Safetran 300 -- not as sophisticated as the 3000, but still with predictors.  On an overhead rack are spare crossing gate sections.
No presentation of signals on the Siskiyou Line would be complete without a picture or two of Wig Wag signals.  This shot includes the entire setup: signal; electrical cabinet with batteries in the bottom and relays in the top; pole line with a drop to the electrical cabinet; and even a short length of rail to protect it all from errant motorists.  The Rogue River sets the backdrop.  Once ubiquitous on Southern Pacific lines, these antique Magnetic Signal Co. marvels have dwindled to just 7 on CORP. 
Here's a detailed picture of the base, mast and signal head.  And no, the picture is not tilted; the signal has developed a definite lean.  These warning devices date back to the era of semaphores, have no predictors or recorders and considered marginal at best for warning motorists of oncoming trains. 

Typically, they are relegated to the least traveled country byways -- this one protects a gravel road.  (Yet, amazingly, another of these Wig Wags soldiers on in downtown Medford, Oregon.)

Pictures of all 6 Wig Wags on the Siskiyou Line in Oregon are included in Alpha Rail Pages presentation of Amtak Talgo on CORP.

After spending most of the day with Rick  as he made his rounds, I had to ask him about how much longer the semaphores would survive.  He replied that some might be around for a long time.  One problem is finding the "slot coils" used in the mechanism.  They are no longer made and need to be scrounged from everywhere possible including rail fans who have purchased semaphores.  Another problem is the FRA does not consider semaphores as fail safe as colored lights.  However, I get the distinct impression that as long as there are dedicated signal maintainers like Rick Perry working for CORP, there will be at least a few of these grand old signals working  well into the next century.
While this signal is not in Rick's territory, it is an example of another type of signal, an H-2 searchlight, that the SP installed on the Siskiyou Line.  This signal, where the main line cuts through Bear Creek Corporation in Medford, was installed many years ago by the SP. Notice how the spur track and the building swing out away from the signal.
The signal pictured here has a similar head to the Electrocode, but it was installed by the SP before CORP took over the line.  It's in Ashland, Oregon and is the last  signal southbound crews will see as they head over the Siskiyous.  The SP pulled the signals from this point  south to Weed after they stopped running over the "Hill" in 1993.

All Photos Copyright 1999 by Larry Tuttle


Part 1
Haulers and
Crossing Signals
Part 2
Sempaphores 
and Hi-Railing
Part 3
Semaphore
Replacements
Part 4
Odds & Ends
Wig-wags
Part 5
Hugo to Glendale
Replacement Project

 
  Three Pines Road Wig-Wag Replacement 

Special thanks to Rick Perry and the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad

Some Links to other sites on Signals and Signalling

Xingman's Web Page A collection of tutorials, pictures, thoughts, and stories of a shortline signal maintainer on the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP).
"The Internet site dedicated to preserving our signal heritage."  This site includes a list of all active semaphores on the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad.  By Eric Schmelz
North American Signaling The purpose of this site is to explain how operational and safety rules interact with signaling systems to build an operational and safe railroad.  by Carsten Lundsten
This site is totally dedicated to the vanishing "Wigwag Flagman" signal. There aren't many left!  Here you can find out where they still serve on class 1 railroads, as well as those preserved in  museums.  by Dan Furtado

 
These pages on CORP's Signals and Signal Maintenance have been a special effort to present an aspect of railroading of which may fans are unaware.  I've also attempted to include a taste of the human side of modern railroading. 

I'd be very happy to receive your comments, corrections and suggestions for this and all parts of Alpha Rail Net.   Please email me at: ltuttle@cdsnet.net

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This page first built on March 4, 1999
And last classified on March 8, 2002