For the uninformed, or the inquisitive, the word "line" was used to refer to any passenger train movements by the train crews and block operators. Lines were given priority over all other movement on the railroads. You couldn't send a another train behind a line within the same block and you always made sure you had the railroad setup and signals pulled in advance of any line movement. It was a bad thing(really bad,as in called up on the carpet bad) if for some reason you messed up and "hung a line" . At Brown there was many different kinds of move you had to contend with, especially on second trick, as it was the busiest trick on the railroad. 19-A, the yard drill for Bulson Street would frequently request to come out on the main on No.2 track to make a reverse move with a long cut of cars. You would also be bringing WY-34 home with a heavy sand train and they alwqys appreciated a good move thru the interlocking to get up the the hill into Pavonia. CM-90 would be coming up the Clementon Branch with a big train and wanted the railroad for the same reason. In addition,23-A would be wanting to make a move against the current of traffic from the Gloucester Industrial track to Bulson Street which would require train orders from the dispatcher. At the same time the Pennsgrove branch trains would be ready to head out from Pavonia and wanted attention too. It was a lot of fun sometimes, and was alot like being an air traffic controller,talking to the train dispatcher on the horn,lettting Woodbury,Winslow and Cooper know what's going on,hanging on train orders with a hoop,talking on the radio setting up moves,being on the horn with the yard master at Bulson Street with the yard drill's problems. I miss it all and am glad I was a 5th generation railroad man for a bit as well as a railfan.
Steam professional since 1974
Former Block Operator- PRSL