South Side equipment restrictions

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

TomNelligan
Posts: 3329
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: South Side equipment restrictions

Post by TomNelligan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:50 pm

The B&M cab signal territory extended from West Cambridge to East Deerfield. While my memory may be a little hazy after 50 years I want to say that it was discontinued in the late 1960s because that's when the two pairs of Fitchburg Division freights that used foreign runthrough power (the Bow coal trains and Boston-Chicago piggybackers PB-99 and PB-100) stopped being led by a B&M GP9 as had been required for cab signal purposes.

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2858
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: South Side equipment restrictions

Post by BandA » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:06 pm

I've told this story before of taking the Fitchburg-Gardner line in c. 1987 or 1988, the Moody St Waltham crossing tender told me that all the derelict equipment (depowered RDC's + old coaches that weren't RDCs but were Pullmans or Budds and old engines ) were segregated to the north side because Amtrak wouldn't allow it on the NEC (and possibly South Station). I think this was mostly for condition, but were cab signals required on the NEC? Conrail Framingham Line? Other lines?

diburning
Posts: 3062
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: Practicing safe CSX by using Three-Step Protection

Re: South Side equipment restrictions

Post by diburning » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:08 am

StefanW wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:51 pm
I didn't know the Fitchburg line had cab signals, and I'm even more surprised that they were a different type / system than south.

How did they differ?
Well, it was most likely an ancient system. The May 1928 issue of Railway Signaling and Communications mentions the B&M and it's experience with cab signals and how they were starting a program to replace wayside signals and were exploring options to install cab signals without waysides.

(Note: this book is free available on the internet in the link above, provided by a public library)

jbvb
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Rockingham Co., NH

Re: South Side equipment restrictions

Post by jbvb » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:34 pm

The B&M's cab signals had been installed on the Fitchburg DIvision to satisfy the ICC's 1922 and '24 orders requiring larger RRs to use them on one division. They probably saved some lives into the 1950s. But as passenger service wound down and segments were single-tracked, they were no longer needed. in 1966 Cab Indicators remained in service from West Cambridge to East Deerfield. By 1976 they'd been cut back to West Cambridge - Ayer.

Return to “Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)”