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Nostalgia & History > SP semaphores and Tower 118


Date: 07/20/21 07:30
SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: gcm

Nov 81
This was Belt Jct at Tower 118 in the SE part of Dallas.
The SP Houston line came in from the south, then Belt trackage went north and to downtown and Union Station.

The tower began service in the 20's and was closed in 1994.
Protected by searchlight and semaphore signals.
Just to the right can be seen part of the footbridge that the operators used to take trainorders to the other track.
This is looking north.




Date: 07/20/21 07:31
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: gcm

One of the semaphore signals. This one protected the connection off the Belt Line from the north to the line that went to downtown and the station.
The track to the left is the Houston line.

 








Date: 07/20/21 07:32
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: gcm

Downtown can be seen in the distance.
The signal in the previous images is the one further away.
Here is another one on the Houston line.
The tower is a ways off to the right along the far connecting track.

Gary

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/21 07:34 by gcm.




Date: 07/20/21 08:25
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: refarkas

Well done - You captured so much.
Bob



Date: 07/20/21 09:34
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: BoilingMan

The red blades are a curiosity- what do the signify?
Simply that they're Absolute?
SR
 



Date: 07/20/21 12:17
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: cewherry

BoilingMan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The red blades are a curiosity- what do the
> signify?

The red blades signify they're "Home" signals. The "A's" indicate they're "Absolute" signals.

Charlie
 



Date: 07/20/21 12:35
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: BoilingMan

Mmmmmmm…. I’m not so sure.
A “normal” Home would have a white stripe on a red blade, but these lack the stripe, which wouldn’t be by accident.
SR



Date: 07/20/21 14:48
Re: SP semaphores
Author: timz

Don't recall whether the interlocking semaphores
at Oakland 16th St had white stripes --
probably not? Anyone seen a pic of an SP
interlocking signal with a stripe?

Out west, interlocking signals never had "A"s?
(Anyone seen pics of the ones on Tehachapi
before CTC?) Why isn't the lack of a number
plate considered sufficient in Texas?



Date: 07/20/21 15:51
Re: SP semaphores
Author: cewherry

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't recall whether the interlocking semaphores
> at Oakland 16th St had white stripes --
> probably not? Anyone seen a pic of an SP
> interlocking signal with a stripe?
>
> Out west, interlocking signals never had "A"s?
> (Anyone seen pics of the ones on Tehachapi
> before CTC?) Why isn't the lack of a number
> plate considered sufficient in Texas?

From what I see in the photos posted by GCM, these are all Absolute signals, not interlocking signals, and are properly 
identified as such by the presence of the "A" markers. 
 



Date: 07/20/21 17:51
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: gcm

Thanks Rantoul for the maps.
Gary



Date: 07/20/21 19:09
Re: SP semaphores
Author: timz

> these are all Absolute signals, not interlocking signals,

Meaning the tower doesn't control them?



Date: 07/20/21 20:50
Re: SP semaphores
Author: cewherry

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > these are all Absolute signals, not
> interlocking signals,
>
> Meaning the tower doesn't control them?

Well, yes and no.  According to SP's San Antonio Div. ETT issued 10/20/1977, there was a portion within the Ennis Subdivision
named "Miller Yard Limits" that was accorded subdivision status. It was presented in the timetable just like any other subdivision
with information regarding yard limits, interlockings, speeds for other than main tracks, CTC limits, etc.

In the Rule 760--Centralized Traffic Control entry for "Mlller Yard Limits" CTC is shown to extend from "T&P Junction" , 2.8 miles
west--(compass north) of Belt Junction, eastward (compass south) through Belt Junction to "Miller", 2.2 miles beyond.  It is in
this Centralized Traffic Control limits section of "Miller Yard Limits" that the wording:
"Signals controlled by operator, Belt Junction, acting upon authority of train dispatcher..." (emphasis mine) appears and
this is why all the signals at Belt Junction have the mandatory "A" on them. Yes, the operator was the one lining the switches
but always under a train dispatcher's authority using CTC rules and it explains why the Rule 6-A symbol "I", indicating an 
Interlocking exists at that location, does not appear at Belt Junction in the station column of the Ennis Sub. 

Granted, my 1977 source is four years prior to Gary's photos but I'll wager not much changed between then and 1981. Certainly, the
"A" signals were still there and SP most likely didn't change anything by the time the tower was closed in 1994.  But then again....

Charlie







 

 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/21 21:12 by cewherry.



Date: 07/20/21 21:35
Re: SP semaphores
Author: jgilmore

Great stuff Gary, visited the tower many times starting in the mid-80s but the semaphores were all gone. Anyone know when they left?

JG

Posted from Android



Date: 07/20/21 21:40
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: UP951West

Gary, thanks for posting these slides.
I looked down on  Belt Jct. many times growing up when we traveled north to Dallas on US 75 . Liked those red blade semaphores ! 
When were the semaphores replaced ? 



Date: 07/22/21 08:16
Re: SP semaphores and Tower 118
Author: Conch

This is a great series.  Never realized the Rock Island originally came in this way.  When did that change?



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