• LIRR Switch/Signal Indications

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by RearOfSignal
From my understanding the LIRR does not use limited speed in its signaling, outside of Zone A which is under NORAC. I spoke with some one from the signals dept, and they said that there aren't any flahsing aspects in the LIRR system.

That being the case, does this mean that there aren't any 45 mph switches in the LIRR. If there are how would that signal aspect be displayed? I know that there are 60 mph highspeed switches in some areas but IIRC, the signal would show Clear but the cab would drop to 60 mph thus telling the eningeer he's taking a diverging route.

If there are no flahsing aspects does that mean that aspects like Advance Approach, Limited Approach, Limted Clear, and Medium Approach can't be displayed? Even though there's a 45(or 40) mph cab speed indication? Can someone explain.


  by LIengineerBob
The LIRR does indeed use flashing aspects in it's own signal system, but not for "ordinary" aspects signal like NORAC has. Most flashing signals on the LIRR are used for malfunctions of the ASC equiptment that will still let trains operate under certain restrictions entering 410 (no wayside signals) territory. Signals such as Absolute clear, absolute medium clear, flashing slow clear and flashing slow approach are all "flashing" signals. Unless the train is a speed control failure you will not see them.
The lone color light signal is Hall interlocking also uses a flashing aspect for slow approach.
There are probably a few I left out, but I just woke up from bed....somebody else can add them!! :P

  by RearOfSignal
Yes, I forgot the guy that I spoke to did say that they had flahsing aspects but only when the ASC fails.

What about limited speed, are there 45 mph switches in the system? If so how are the wayside and cab signal displayed when approaching one?

Is there anywhere I could find the current LIRR aspects and indications, not just the old PRR PL ones?

  by Jersey_Mike
I believe your observation is correct in that the LIRR does not utilize LIMITED speed turnouts. However this is not a very big deal in that trains will approach the interlocking at 40 or 45 mph as per the ASC and then only have to slow down for the short length of the interlocking. Most of the large LIRR junctions are located before or after station stops where the delays are further minimized or where the turnouts are 15mph. Intermediate crossovers are not used in the regular service patterns and again it is not a big deal.

I also believe that the LIRR operates some 60mph high-speed turnouts and in these cases the engineers receive a CLEAR wayside indication and a 60mph ASC cab signal.

  by timz
Jersey_Mike wrote:I believe your observation is correct in that the LIRR does not utilize LIMITED speed turnouts.
How about the junction at B (or whatever they call it now)?

I've never tried to confirm it, but likely the x-overs toward the east end of the north side at Harold are all 45 mph? Many/most/all of these date from the circa-1990 realignment, don't they?

Oh yes-- probably the newer x-overs east of Hall (west of Hillside) are 45 mph?

  by Jersey_Mike
HAROLD is in NORAC Zone A and uses 45mph turnouts with flashing limited speed indications. I don't know about the other interlockings, but I believe when I went through B once crom the Central Branch it was at 30,

Incidently, the LIRR could easily implemet LIMITED speed turnouts with something that costs no more than $5. They could simply bolt on the yellow triangle speed modifiers that the PRR came up with to implement LIMITED speed. There aren't many of these left, the ones at COUNTY on the NEC just came down and you can see them at BRYN MAWR on the Main Line, but they aren't anything the LIRR couldn't easily implement.

Here's a picture of the ones at COUNTY before the interlocking was rebuilt.

http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics ... Gantry.jpg

  by LIengineerBob
Jersey_Mike wrote:HAROLD is in NORAC Zone A and uses 45mph turnouts with flashing limited speed indications.
The LIRR ASC system in the cab cannot display a 45 mph aspect, only a 40 mph aspect, so the most any LIRR train can go over any switch is 40mph when set for a diverging movement, even with a NORAC Limited Clear signal displayed. Granted, the difference between 40 and 45 is not hardly noticable.

  by Jersey_Mike
40 mph is a form of LIMITED speed, which railroads have some flexibility in defining. Also, the computers on the M-7s could be changed to up the speed from 40 to 45mph.

  by UN Block
Jersey Mike,

Two of those "high-speed" locations are at Nassau 1 (either side of Denton Av, west of Merillon Av) and Nassau 3 (either side of the Meadowbook Pky west of Carle Place). It's kind of odd to get a clear aspect displayed while crossing over but if the speed is only dropping from 80 to 60.....
  by rail10
Can you please tell me which areas of the LIRR diesel or electric running trains uses cab and which areas uses block signals?
  by RetiredLIRRConductor
This is the way it was when I retired in Nov 2006 I am not up on any Changes.
Suffice it to say most of electrified territory is speed controlled with cab signals used in conjunction with Interlocking signals. Some railroads call interlockings CP's or controll points.
An example of this would be the Mainline, no fixed automatic block signals, just interlocking signals at various interlockings.. Queens, nassau, divide, etc.
From Harold to NY, There are fixed automatic block signals in conjunction with the speed controll, ditto from Harold to Jamaica on the mainline.
There were fixed automatic signals in conjunction with speed controll from Jamaica to Flatbush ave, I dont know if they took those automatics out... I dont remember... :wink:
In Diesel territory, The Port Jeff Branch east of huntington is speed controll with interlocking signals
The oyster bay Branch is fixed automatic block signals with no speed controll.
The Mainline east of Ronkonkoma is Block signals, and manual Block signals with no speed controll.
The Block limit signals are designated YA MR AH LD R K SD GY .
The Montauk Branch from Babylon to Y Interlocking (just east of sayville) was fixed automatic block signals with no speed controll, then from Y tp Sk (Speonk) Its speed controll with Interlocking signals.
Then from speonk to Montauk, its Manual block with no speed controll.
Block limits on the montauk.. WH ND SN BH AG MY
used to be BO MO PT SK WH ND SN BH AG MY, but they put in speed Control and interlockings in between Y and SK.

Me and Mr. S The day PD Closed..
The lower Montauk from Long Island City to Jamaica was automatic block signals with no speed controll.
  by Doc Emmet Brown
Those machines were still being used when I retired in 2006 for Engineer and Conductor and brakemen classes. They were still at hillside, used along with other media devices. I suppose they are still there.
As Time went on they had a few sets of them, there were at least 4 sets in hillside, in various classrooms, and the signal room. I could be wrong, but I think they were built in house by the signal dept. Maybe tool knows.
During my time on the RR, those machines were first in Jamaica,then upstairs in the training car in D yard, then the car was moved to Johnson ave, then trailers out in Babylon, then Back to Jamaica to the Cassidy building, now finally in hillside. They have been around the railroad as they moved the classrooms to various locations over the years.
They were used less as the years went on, now they generaly use a computer and display the signals on a screen, but the machines were still used as of 2006. Played around with them a few times on lunch breaks while taking the 3 year book, while waiting for the rules examiner to return.
One year, the examiner came in and found me displaying them, he said well Mr A, since you have such an interest in signals you will get to be examined on them first.
Did not reallly matter, they went around the room anyway, just had to go first. Only difference was those who went first usually got 1 more signal then those who went towards the end, because once aroud the room they would start from number 1 again.
One of the Position Light ones would make a nice collectable.
  by Teutobergerwald
What line does the signal in the above photo control? Cool picture!
  by LongIslandTool
The signal machines you remember were not the ones shown on the cover of the Long Island Railroader magazine. I don't know what happened to those though I suspect several were taken as souvenirs over the years.

The two sets still in hillside were constructed for Rules Examiner Greer by a locomotive engineer around 1976. He made them out of soldered copper plumbing tubing and plywood. They replaced the last set that was constructed by a signal maintainer around 1965. Those were pretty beat up by that time. As they wore out a transportation supervisor adopted them and kept them in working order.

These days the Rules Examiners use a little computer program to display signals on a monitor. The program was written by one of the former Training Specialists around 2002.

The old ones are still here and from time to time a class plays with them.