Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by TheOneKEA
Why did the Penny install floodlights and other forms of track illumination at their interlockings on the Philadelphia to Washington Main Line route? I have always wondered why these areas are able to be floodlit (I haven't seen the lights switched on yet), and also wondered what the PRR regulations stipulated regarding their use. Does anyone have any information on these floodlights?
  by urrengr2003
Use of Floodlights at Interlocking Towers/Stations was almost universal on all roads in the north east. Their use was not confined to what we now refer to as 'the corrider."

Purpose was to allow Operators/Towermen to observe passing trains during the hours of darkness for defects: stuck brakes, dragging brake rigging, hot journal boxes/bearings and in general any condition that would endanger the continued movement of the train. Operators/Towermen were required by Operating Rule to observe passing trains for defects and rear-end crew members were alert to take a hand signal from this individual. No execptions to the train would result in a 'highball', while any other condition would make a 'stop signal' mandatory.

The loss of a caboose/cabin at the rear of a train did not eliminate the Operating Rule that requires employees at trackside to observe passing trains for defects. The correct protocal today would be to immediately communicate by radio to the passing train its condition past the tower. The transmission would typically sound like: "(train #ID) ok on ther east (west) side by (location)."
  by TheOneKEA
Excellent, thanks for the info. Do you know if the floodlights were always switched on at dusk and off at dawn, or were they only illuminated if the tower was open or manned? Like I said in the OP I have not yet seen these lights switched on so I don't know how powerful their illumination is.
  by JimBoylan
The lights at Morris (Pa.) tower are numerous and very bright, they may also be turned on for track work or track inspections. They are not lit every night.