Engineer Spike wrote:On one of the posts, Chief Troll was talking about the three main tracks in Oneonta. It stated that one lead to the Central. Today I was running north. Near Emmons, I noticed that there were two additional bridges beside the present single track. Was Emmons the end of 3 mains, and was this the spring switch mentioned? If it was powered, was it controlled by FA?
Track 4 north of Oneonta started at FA Tower. The south end was not part of FA interlocking - it just started as a main track within yard limits north of the interlocking limits with automatic block signals. I believe the first signal was at Main Street, which at the time was MX Tower, before the office call of MX was assigned to Mohawk. (At the time, Mohawk Yard train order office was GE.) . Track 4 was ABS northward from FA to N Tower, at the south end of the wye at Cooperstown Jct. The 1930 time table carried a special instruction that Track 4 was to be used by northward freight trains unless otherwise instructed, and Track 2 was to be used by northward first class trains. The object appears to have been to allow drag freights to get a roll on their trains before they entered Track 2 at N Tower.
Sometime well before I began roaming around Oneonta, ca 1956, Track 4 was cut back from N Tower to CM Cabin, south of the connection to the New York Central Catskill Mountain Branch (from whence came "CM," I believe). The NYC connection was actually on Track 2, north of CM.
When Tracks 1, 2 (and 4) at Oneonta were ABS territory, Track 2 was signaled northward. CM Cabin was a spring switch, which allowed northward trains to trail through from either Track 2 (normal) or Track 4 (forcing the points over). CM had a spring switch indicator for southward movements against the current of traffic, which indicated that the points were closed and locked for a movement from Track 2 to Track 2. To enter Track 4 southward the train had to stop and manually line the switch. I believe northward signals on both tracks, 2 and 4, were automatics which indicated the condition of the blocks to the north.
When TCS was installed between Schenevus (WN) and Oneonta, single track extended between MU Cabin at Colliers, south of Cooperstown Jct, and WN Cabin at Schenevus. Tracks 1 and 2 from MU through Oneonta to RB were then signaled for operation in both directions. CM became a controlled point, with home signals governing movement in both directions controlled by FA Tower. The spring switch remained as it was, and Track 4 was still signaled with ABS for northward moves from FA to CM.