• railroad "artifacts" still in use in the U.S.

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by judgesmails
I'm interested in photographing old and unusual railroad equipment / facilites which are still in use in the U.S. For example, the semaphores on the old Monon line and the concrete arches on the former DT&I in Detroit. I'm also planning to photograph the old coal tower located in DeKalb, IL.

Can anyone else recommend out-of-the-ordinary structures that still see trains pass by on a regular basis? Unusual signals, structures that are clearly of a much earlier era, etc. Thanks for any recommendations!
  by Ocala Mike
I don't know if these qualify or not as "artifacts":

1. There is a railroad bridge over FL40 in Dunnellon, FL that still carries the legend (although badly weathered and faded), "Atlantic Coast Line". The rail line is now owned by the Florida Northern and is still active. No need (or money) to repaint the bridge lettering, I guess.

2. At the Palatka Amtrak station, I noticed that the flower "planters" that adorn the station bear the inscription "Atlantic Coast Line" as well.

Looking for some old "Seaboard" stuff at the Ocala ex-Amtrak station, but so far no luck.
  by CarterB
Some real "oldies" still in use:
Milwaukee St. wigwag crossing signals, Plymouth, WI http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew-tur ... 118337011/ Wig Wag at California & Van Ness in Fresno http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaLrQdy6Jj8

Highball Signal
Delmar, DE
In the 19th century, a red ball was pulled high on a pole as a signal that the train engineer should stop. Located beside the 1929 Delmar Caboose.
Bi-State Blvd.
Delmar, DE 19940

Another Ball Signal still exists in Whitefield, NJ

Banjo signals at the IRM in Union IL, Orange Empire in Perris CA, and the Railroad Museum of PA, in Strasburg.

Interlocking tower: Waltham, Massachusetts, on the B&M/MBTA Fitchburg line, and it's a traditional-looking gem complete with a semaphore train order board.

Train order semaphore http://www.nilesdepot.org/centerville/semaphore.html

Coaling towers:

Pen Argyl, PA.....not sure what all is still left but the L&NE had "Their diesel shop, roundhouse, and several other buildings remain in industrial use. The transfer table has been filled in, but the turntable and pit remain. All it needs is track! The yard site is intact, and features scattered buildings. A freight station is believed to remain in town" source: http://www.northeast.railfan.net/aott2_1.html (somewhat dated info)

Old PRR roundhouse and coaling tower, West Seneca, NY http://www.bing.com/maps/#JnE9LmdlbWNvc ... U2NDM2Mg==
  by eddiebehr
Oakfield, ME, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, ex-BAR. Coaling tower converted to Yard Office.

Canton Jct., MA 1835 Canton Viaduct built by Boston & Providence, later NYNH & H, now MBTA, also used by Amtrak and CSX for freight. Most major modification is the electrification.

This is a bit of a stretch; Providence, RI RIPTA transit tunnel. Current use buses, but originally used by city trolleys and later trackless trolleys. And it crossed (can't remember if it is over or under) a currently unused railroad tunnel, NYNH & H.

Twin State Line, MA-NY tunnels on CSX Boston line. One built 1840s, other is newer. One is unused, but they are close by each other.

1907-1914 catenary structures from New Haven towards NY City. Metro North also used by Amtrak.

Osgood Bradley Building, Grafton St., Worcester, MA. Close by Worcester Union Station.

Hoosac Tunnel 1875, Florida, MA. Built by Commonwealth of Mass. Current owner/user Pan Am Railways.

Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Pan Am Rys. (B & M) used also by Amtrak. Main line track beside Grand Ave. and ocean sands (and condos) and the sea right there.
  by ExCon90
You can't get a train in the shot, but the east front of Suburban Station in Philadelphia has the original large red sign above the entrance doors with gold letters saying PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD SUBURBAN STATION. The developer who acquired it as an office building calls it One Penn Center at Suburban Station, and polished all the brass and restored the sign; it looks better than it did in the last days of the PRR. It faces an open square, so you can back off and get a pretty good view of it.
  by Watchman318
eddiebehr wrote:Hoosac Tunnel 1875, Florida, MA. Built by Commonwealth of Mass. Current owner/user Pan Am Railways.
I figured the fastest way to find out if the tunnel is still in use was to search this forum, and I was right. ;-)

I suppose I could look for photos of the portals, and then look for signs in the area, but is it a good assumption that people like this are trespassing?
Heck, they may as well have done some "tagging" in there, and then posted that on the 'Net, too. {shakes head} Idjits.
  by trackwelder
everyone forget the tunkhannock viaduct in nicholson, pa, 2575 feet long x 240 feet tall reinforced multi span concrete arch, still proudly displaying "lackawanna railroad"?
  by RussNelson
There's a water stand in Norfolk, NY that the engines pass by on their way to the engine house, the middle track of which has rail dated 1887. It's so old it doesn't even say what its weight is! Looks to be about 60 pound rail, though.