Posts Tagged ‘PRR position light signals’

Things You Won’t See Anymore

September 20, 2019

There are three things three things in this image made in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, that are no more.

Amtrak’s material handling cars, Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signals and the Broadway Limited are all gone here.

Shown is eastbound No. 40 slowing for its station stop in July 1995.


No Longer Standing in Summerhill

July 30, 2019

Earlier this summer workers removed the venerable Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals at Summerhill, Pennsylvania, on the Pittsburgh Line of Norfolk Southern.

But in October 2017, the signals were still alive and well although their future even then was in doubt.

The eastbound Pennsylvanian rushes through Summerhill en route to its next station stop in Altoona and its way to New York City.

Dashing Through the Snow at Lilly

June 11, 2019

Norfolk Southern is removing position light signals from its Pittsburgh Line in Pennsylvania with crews working their way west.

Of late they have been in the central part of the state, removing signals from such long-favored photo locations as Lilly, Cresson and Summerhill.

Snow was still on the ground when this scene was made of the eastbound Pennsylvanian dashing through Lilly and beneath the signal bridge put up decades ago by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Photograph by Todd Dilllon

Rapidly Vanishing Scene

June 5, 2019

Workers have been steadily removing the venerable Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals from the Norfolk Southern mainline between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Photographer Edward Ribinskas traveled to Altoona and vicinity last month to catch the eastbound Pennsylvanian passing the signal bridge in Summerhill.

If you look in the distance you’ll see an eastbound NS freight coming on the near track. Fortunately for Ed, his timing turned out to be just right in getting this scene.

Two PRR Icons in Lewistown

May 2, 2019

The news that former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals are now gone between Harrisburg and Altoona, Pennsylvania, got me digging into my archives.

I remembered having made a photograph of another Pennsy icon passing position light signals in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on the original PRR mainline between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The image above shows No. 40 arriving in Lewistown on July 2, 1995.

The eastbound Broadway Limited had the standard consist for that era of a pair of F40PH locomotives, material handling cars and a mixture of Heritage fleet and Amfleet equipment.

There remain some of the iconic PRR signals between Altoona and Pittsburgh, but the last of those is expected to come down this summer.

So there is still time to photograph Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian splitting position light signals.

This go me wondering where else Amtrak might operate where there remain position light signals.

The most obvious answer is the Northeast Corridor, but what about beyond there?

Amtrak’s Capitol Limited continues to use ex-PRR tracks between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but as far as I know all of the position light signals either have been removed or are about to fall on that route.

Several Amtrak trains use ex-PRR tracks in Chicago and northwest Indiana and work has been underway for some time to replace the position light signals there.

There are likely to remain some secondary routes with PRR position light signals, particularly if they are operated by short line or regional railroads that do not handle passenger trains and aren’t covered by the PTC mandate.

As the adage goes, get them while you can.

PRR Signals Falling Fast on NS Pittsburgh Line

May 1, 2019

If you are hoping to get one last photograph of Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian splitting a pair of former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals you better act fast.

The iconic Pennsy signals are falling quickly with Norfolk Southern having removed last weekend the last of those signals on a 131 mile-stretch between Harrisburg and Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Some position light signals remain in place between Altoona and Pittsburgh, but the railroad plans to remove them this summer.

The signals are being removed as NS continues to install positive train control. Many of the signals being removed are intermediate signals.

Wayside signals will remain at interlocking points, but they will be Safetran four-color hooded signals.

In the meantime, NS and Amtrak trains continue to use cab signals between interlockings to show signal indications.

Some of the PRR position light signals had been removed in past years by Penn Central, Conrail and NS, but most of the wayside signals on the 248-mile Pittsburgh Line had been position lights.

Much of the signal work is being conducted on Sundays to minimize its effect on traffic.

The Pittsburgh Line sees between 50 to 60 freight trains a day plus the Pennsylvanian.

Coming and Going in Trenton

December 23, 2018

A northbound Amtrak train has a signal to depart the Trenton, New Jersey, station while a southbound is entering the station during a busy moment in May 2016.

Aside from serving dozens of Amtrak trains, Trenton is also a terminus for trains of New Jersey Transit and SEPTA.

I made a connection here between an NJT train I had boarded at the Newark Liberty Airport station and a SEPTA train bound for Phildelphia’s 30th Street Station.

I found it interesting that decades after installation by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the position light signals continue to be used.