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 Post subject: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
I'm just wondering if there is any interest in obtaining and preserving an old RDG branch signal, that is located near where this particular branch joined the main line, about a 1000 feet away around a curve. We are talking in Philadelphia PA here.

This branch has been abandoned since the late 1980s following the loss of the last big customer, a former warehouse and distribution center. The rails, ties and any bridges associated with the line crossing various roads have been removed since the 90s and most of the line is either back filled in, covered over or submerged in a total gully swamp now.

I never even knew this signal existed, despite living in the area my entire life until a couple weeks ago when I was walking home one day and noticed it sticking up there (it's a full mast signal) within the overgrowth of trees, which are bare now of course....But in the summer is a complete jungle.

It is VERY close to the only roadway overpass on this line , so there is fairly easy access to it but who owns the ROW and the signal now is anyone's guess.

I'm just throwing it out there. If there is an interested party, pm me and we can discuss the location. I'd hate to see it just rust away if it is in fact still salvageable. I'd also hate to see it stolen by an non preservationist.

If there is no interest, the so be it.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Semaphore, searchlight, three-light, Hall banjo?

Specifics would help magnificently.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 452
Location: B'more Maryland
Didn't this same signal come up here a few years ago?


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Since I cannot get down into the area the signal faces due it to being an overgrown swampy trash filled mess, I can't tell for sure but it appears to be two light....Left - right alignment.

I doubt this signal came up in question before. Had it, I'm quite sure I'd have looked for and noticed it much sooner.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:57 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3719
Location: Maine
Is there even a picture of what is being talked about?

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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 pm
Posts: 19
My best guess (with no knowledge of the particular signal in question) would either be a trilight or a searchlight. Trilights were common in later years on the Reading, with some still (as of about a month ago) on locations in and around Reading (although new PTC signals stand next to them). Hall Banjos were long gone by the 80's with the final ones taken out in the 30's IIRC, with the only two examples I've seen with my own eyes being in Port Clinton, PA put up by RBMN. Semaphores also would have been gone by then, most being out by the mid to late 60's.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
I'm guessing searchlight, as trilight I'd safely assume is three lights and this appears to only have two, horizontal lights.

I did contact Colebrookedale RR and they're interested in preserving it and using it if it can be gotten to them.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 pm
Posts: 19
Ok, to clarify, is it only one signal head with two lights on it, or is it two separate signal heads with one light each. A searchlight is always one light on each head with multiple heads usually vertical. A trilight has 3 lights on a head, the top two horizontal right next to each other, and the third right below forming a triangle of sorts. Is it possible that you couldn't see the bottom light of a trilight? Could a few more details be given as to the location such as which branch, what streets, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Sorry it took so long to get these photos.


Attachments:
Signal 1 (4).jpg
Signal 1 (4).jpg [ 307.39 KiB | Viewed 1527 times ]
Signal 1 (1).jpg
Signal 1 (1).jpg [ 200.08 KiB | Viewed 1528 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
.....


Attachments:
Signal 1 (8).jpg
Signal 1 (8).jpg [ 232.43 KiB | Viewed 1527 times ]
Signal 1 (7).jpg
Signal 1 (7).jpg [ 285.07 KiB | Viewed 1527 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:24 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2072
some digging looks like a 2 light Reading horizontal oval head, usually found around control points.

Any nearby railroads for probable connections, crossings, towers?


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:43 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 pm
Posts: 19
junior wrote:
I'm just wondering if there is any interest in obtaining and preserving an old RDG branch signal, that is located near where this particular branch joined the main line, about a 1000 feet away around a curve. We are talking in Philadelphia PA here.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:23 am
Posts: 128
Location: willow grove pa
is it OK to guess the location?


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2072
That is making sense to me, a low level dwarf absolute signal, horizontal 2 light for clearance to the main. Apparently Reading used some horizontal heads, the umbrella in the pic threw me off expecting a bigger signal. Its not a target signal. I would say its a rare breed signal worth the preservation and recovery.


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 Post subject: Re: An old Reading Railroad branch signal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:40 pm 

Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 9:52 am
Posts: 83
That’s not a dwarf.

The umbrella hanging in the tree is much closer to the camera than the wayside and not a true indication of scale.

Mast diameter is likely 5 1/2 inches. As the mast appears out of plumb, damage to the mast or base is suspected. An open RACO junction box is fastened to the base about 3 feet above grade. These boxes run about 50-75 pounds depending on size and absence of door. If the lid is gone, its cast iron hinges may be broken. Assessment of the head is tough with photos provided. It seems distorted and likely weighs 150-175 pounds. It hangs about 13-15 feet above grade. Wayside heads can’t be unbolted and hand carried down a ladder. The site is overgrown, not conducive to access, and liability issues abound. It looks like an accident waiting to happen. There is a lot more work needs to be done with questionable return.

I collected a beautiful Reading GRS SA wayside few years ago. I had a stable base and mask to work with. Still it took two days with good site access, plenty of swing room, 12-foot scaffolding with 500-pound capacity and outriggers, and plenty of BP blaster. Platform, cage, and ladder removal improves head access. The head can be chained, secured and eventually lowered with come-along attached to top of mast or 4x4 spanning top of scaffolding. Once the mast is clear, the mast can be secure to the scaffolding while mounting bolts are removed from the base. Use of a 1-ton chain block and proper chain location allows slow, controlled lowering of the mast. Outriggers provide stability during work activities. Whatever the case, need to be careful.

Hope this helps,
Jim K


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