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Passenger Trains > Southwest Chief & Semaphores!


Date: 11/06/12 19:52
Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: trainboy03

My dad and I visited semaphore country in early September and had a good time chasing 3 & 4 between Springer, NM and Blanchard, NM for 2 and a half days. I took quite a few photos, but only remembered to take a couple videos with my lower-end Samsung video camera. Here's a runby of #3 at Wagon Mound, NM on September 4, 2012. Excuse the shutter noise in the background, its from my Canon 60D.

Erik

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Date: 11/07/12 06:19
RE: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: 4400horsepower

Well done, Erik! I plan to head back down there again in April or May next year..

Brian
Burlington, IA



Date: 11/07/12 06:23
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: DTrainshooter

Nice video Erik...why don't you just turn off the shutter "click"? Most digital cameras allow this and it is annoying to hear on videos. I know of no reason why any photographer would need to be hearing the shutter each time a still is being taken.



Date: 11/07/12 06:33
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: trainboy03

I can't turn off a mechanical sound since its the movement of the mirror inside my DSLR that is making the noise. I'm a photographer first and videographer second. My dad enjoys shooting video and I leave that up to him. I take videos as I see fit and don't get as worried about background noise.

Erik



Date: 11/07/12 06:52
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: GettingShort

Loved the way the horn tone changed as the train passed the camera.



Date: 11/07/12 08:47
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: BaltoJoey

I like the movement of the semaphores.



Date: 11/07/12 12:27
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: Evan_Werkema

I usually try to set up one composition with the video camera, then find a spot some distance away to take my still shots - 50-100 feet or so, preferably behind rather than beside the video camera (the microphones' directionality tends to be forward and to the side, so noises behind the camera are dampened). The 16:9 aspect ratio of hi-def video lends itself to a little wider perspective than a still camera's 3:2 or 4:3. I'm guessing your camera has a CCD sensor, but with a camera with a CMOS sensor, getting further from the tracks also lessens the rolling shutter wobble due to the train shaking the ground. It usually isn't a problem finding two angles that work. You have to be mindful of your surroundings, of course, but out in the boonies at Wagon Mound, it's probably safe enough to set up your video and walk a few paces away.

Thanks for the blades.



Date: 11/07/12 16:11
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: iliketrains

Why didn't the mainline show clear after the train passed, and just the siding?



Date: 11/08/12 03:47
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: sparky52t

I'm been a train fan for a number of years but I still find myself puzzling over signals. Why are there 3 semaphores and what do all the combinations of up and down signify? I appreciate any response.



Date: 11/08/12 09:24
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: KCCharlie

Erik; Great job. I too, liked the horn changing pitch as it passed. KCCharlie



Date: 11/08/12 09:56
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: AndyBrown

sparky52t Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm been a train fan for a number of years but I
> still find myself puzzling over signals. Why are
> there 3 semaphores and what do all the
> combinations of up and down signify? I appreciate
> any response.

The signal in the background governs trains coming toward the camera on the main line, the one in the middle is for trains leaving the siding (going away from the camera), and the one on the right is for trains on the main line going away from the camera. On semaphores like these, straight up is clear (green), 45 degree angle is approach (yellow), and horizontal is stop (red).

Nice video Erik!

Andy



Date: 11/08/12 12:26
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: Evan_Werkema

sparky52t Wrote:

> I'm been a train fan for a number of years but I
> still find myself puzzling over signals. Why are
> there 3 semaphores and what do all the
> combinations of up and down signify? I appreciate
> any response.

See this recent thread:
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,2892013,2892380#msg-2892380

and also: http://www.lundsten.dk/us_signaling/abs_atsf_flatpair/



Date: 11/08/12 16:32
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: bnsfengineer

I guess that I thought all of the semaphores were gone, but I was wrong. It sure does bring back memories.



Date: 11/11/12 04:09
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: P

iliketrains Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why didn't the mainline show clear after the train
> passed, and just the siding?


Yes, I would think the siding semaphore would only show clear track if the switch was lined for the siding. There is no way the switch was thrown for the siding this quickly after the train has passed.

Otherwise, thanks for posting this. Great video.



Date: 11/14/12 18:45
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: myrvhome

Perhaps this was not a siding, but rather a double track to single track junction or siding set up in a similar configuration, with a directional spring switch or normally aligned switch configuration?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/12 19:04 by myrvhome.



Date: 11/14/12 22:32
Re: Southwest Chief & Semaphores!
Author: Evan_Werkema

myrvhome Wrote:

> Perhaps this was not a siding, but rather a double
> track to single track junction or siding set up in
> a similar configuration, with a directional spring
> switch or normally aligned switch configuration?

Wagon Mound, NM is a siding on a single track main line with spring switches at both ends. Nearly all the sidings up and down this line were set up this way, with one signal governing facing point moves and two governing trailing point (one for the main and one for the siding). Have a look at the link I mentioned above:

http://www.lundsten.dk/us_signaling/abs_atsf_flatpair/

It explains in detail how Santa Fe's "flat pair ABS" worked. The signal logic is a little more complex than just showing occupancy in the two blocks ahead of a given signal.

In the situation shown in the video where a train is passing the end of a siding in the facing-point direction, only the siding signal goes to green once the train clears the switch. That way, an opposing train occupying the siding has a signal to depart (no need to line the switch since it's a spring switch) and is protected against a back-up move or something else happening on the main (only the facing-point signal has a numberplate so a train can stop-and-proceed; the pair of trailing-point signals are both "absolutes.") The main line signal starts to clear when the first train reaches the other end of the siding, assuming nothing has come out of the siding and occupied the block beyond in the meantime.



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