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Sunday, October 12, 2008

08-10-12 PHOTOS: E180th St Woodside

So on my way back from the NY Capitol Region for a fall foilage fest I decided to do a little signal documentation at two vulnerable locations in the city. The first was E 180TH interlocking in the Bronx and its associated Dyre Ave Line, which are the last remaining segments of un-resignaled IRT on the NYCS, The second was WOOD intelrocking at the Woodside LIRR station which was undergoing an "upgrade" which included the use of cheesy colour light signals.

Due to the lack of a railfan view on the IRT I could only get side shots on the Dyre line which really killed the quality. Not much more to say here so I'll just cover most things in the photo descriptions.

The full set of photos can be viewed here. I urge you all to go take a look at them.

First I rode through E180th interlocking to Bronx Parkway on the (2) Train. There I took pics of some of the E180th approach signals before getting on a southbound 2 train back to the E180th station.

Anyway, here is the 38L signal showing a Clear signal. 

Note the Green over Red and red number plate indicating these are signals displaying aspects in the old IRT system in which each route a train could take was given its own independent signal head with red being used as a placeholder in a similar style to full size Railroads. For example a clear signal on the main route would be G/R or G/R/R. An caution signal on the second slower speed route would be R/Y or R/Y/R.

In the case of the 38L signal you just saw it only had one route therefore its second head only had a red placeholder lamp (with a call-on light below that). The 40L signal slightly down the tracks has a route into the yard so its lower head gets an additional yellow light for that route.

Of course E180TH intelrocking is most well known for its unique tri-headed IRT signals, which resemble some sort of strange black cast iron cactus. The IND/BMT style signals do not allow for more than two main-line routes in this fashion and therefore intelrockings have to engineered to always give trains a simple diverging or straight message. At E180TH they could just add an extra head.

E180TH interlocking is also cool for having this double slip switch.

All of this is controlled from the big US&S Model 14 interlocking machine inside E180TH tower, which is the last major electro-mechanical tower on the mainline IRT.

Here's a video I took from the side of the (2) train as I returned from Bronx Parkway.

E180TH tower also has CTC control over the Dyre Ave Line. The Dyre Line signals are also in the IRT pattern and are numbered in a unified style consistent with a US&S toggle board CTC machine.

The line is also fully equipped with US&S Model A-10 pneumatic point machines.

From the Bronx I traveled to the Woodside LIRR station. As part of the ESA project new turnouts were installed east of the Woodside station. Due to the replacement of railroaders with MBA's in several LIRR departments, they decided to install color light signals instead of the superior PRR amber position lights. Here we can see the PRR PL's at the west end of the old WOOD interlocking, which was actually more of a control point as it lacked any interlocking appliances.

The replacements were Safetran scallop shell modular units arranged in circular target instead of the more common traffic light pattern. This arrangement used to be popular with Union Pacific before they went the way of traffic lights. Why the LIRR did this instead of getting a single case 3-lamp housing is unknown (well, its probably because an MBA is calling the shots).

The new signal gantry also had two colour light signals in a compact arrangement due to the clearance issues of the Woodside station. This gantry did not replace any existing position lights. Also notice how well focused the old WOOD PL's were.

Fortunately untouched was the famous Woodside 6-track position light gantry #31. Here a train of M-3 cars trailed by #9780 passes under the gantry on Main Track 3.

It was a good day for M-3's with 9879 inbound on the Port Wash...

...and 9935 on track 3.

Yeah, there were M-7's as well. Here's a train on track 4. You can see the platform bridges are out for the impending interlocking cut-over work.

I took the 7 back from Woodside. Here are two trains of R62's at 69Th St interlocking.

I finally got a railfan window on the reverse 7 and got these pictures of classic signals at the entrance to Queensboro Plaza.

Here is an opposite direction 7 train as we round the final elevated curve at F Interlocking on the adjacent Amtrak line.

Amtrak Q tower as seen from the Flushing crossing over the Sunnyside Yard complex.

 Well, that's it for this round. I'm the signal critic, I photograph it so you don't have to. XD

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