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22 ABS Signals
By Verryl V Fosnight Jr
Oct 26, 2020
Large Photo View
Verryl V Fosnight Jr
22 ABS Signals
Oct 26, 2020
Large Photo View
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
Wyoming Division HO Operation Layout
22 ABS Signals
P1000613 PP Crop
Looking east under the signal bridge over the 4 tracks entering the Cheyenne yard. The fifth track on the right goes to the stock yard. The others from left to right are (1) west bound main, Track #1, (2) east bound main #2, (3) the bi-directional Harriman Cutoff Track #3, the , (4) a stock yard siding, and (5) the stock yard main track. Only the two east bound tracks are signaled, normally red. This is a focus stacked image made in my new Lumix G9 camera from a 1 second video of about 30 exposures. With the click of 3 buttons on the camera screen, the G9 assembles the sharply focus parts of the multiple images into a single image. Note how the tracks just 6 inches in front of the camera are in focus, as each part of the pictures all the way out to the UP drawing of the Ogden yard hung on the wall about 45 feet away. I describe this technique in an article in the Sept 2020 issue of "Model Railroad Hobbyist's," Running Extra section, or in my website http://www.wyomingdivision.org/articles/
P1000714 PP crop D&B
This is the east Cheyenne signal bridge looking west from the yard. Only the two east bound tracks are signaled, the eastbound #1 and #3. The buildings to the left are the Wycon Chemical Plant just south-west of Cheyenne. The opening iin the bench is the "mole hole" for the 13 industries served by SP on the lower level in Downtown Ogden. Cheyenne and Ogden are respectively the eastern and western limits of the layout (except for staging and the hidden track of the OSL to an auxiliary staging yard in "Portland." As such Cheyenne is the eastern end of the layout on the upper level visible here, and about 1,000 feet of HO track away is Ogden on the lower level directly below this scene. The middle of the layout is joined by the main helix about 500 feet of HO track away.
P1000812 PP AdvSR2 Erase5spots
This is the Oregon Short Line (OSL) Junction on the lower level, about 1/3 of the lower level from the main helix (i.e., 2/3 of the way from helix to Ogden). There are four signals here, 3 on masts and one on the fascia in the extreme lower left corner of this image. The signals on masts are left to right, the east bound main Track #1, the west bound main #2,, and a signal for east bound trains from Portland leaving the OSL and merging with the #1 after first crossing over #2 to continue on toward Cheyenne. There is no route available on the layout for a train from Ogden (far to the left on #1, the track nearer to the bench edge) to go to Portland, or from Portland to Ogden. The prototype UP has a wye to make this connection, but its builders had a whole lot of prairie available. We had no space free with our 34" radius curve standard.
P1000816 Crop PP AdvSR BS1 C&S
Here is the fascia "signal" to detect and warn of any train on the near end of the OSL just through the "mouse hole" through the backdrop. Operators intending to go across the junction onto the OSL are expected to check this fascia signal for the presence of any opposing train coming toward the junction from Portland, because, not only is the OSL a bi-directional single track, it is hidden from operator view from this side of the bench for about 9 feet. (see the next photo).
Scenery 060817 03 PP C&S Crop
This is the view just east of the previous photo, that is to the left of that scene. Here the rapidly descending "hidden" OSL has left the OSL Junction of the previous picture and gone across and under the end cap of the bench, emerged through another mouse hole onto the (hidden) ledge and is wrapped around this ledge to enter a third opening (mouse hole) into the wire tray which has been appropriated for the remainder of its 186 foot run to Portland. Please be clear that a Portland bound train first travels right to left with respect to this photo, then reverses direction in a wide hidden loop of track to come out on the ledge, then continues on around, now left to right, and back toward Portland. This maneuver is necessary to reach our hidden Portland staging which is on a third level down (below the one here) and two benches to the right , that is, behind the camera.
Scenery and the signals on a mast for Track #1 for west bound trains. This cluster of signal heads is immediately before the eastern-most crossover that a west bound train must use to change from Track #1 to Track #2. The current of running is reversed (left hand running) on the western slope of Sherman Hill to take advantage of the more gentle up-slope of #2, the newer 1905 track. These signals are controlled by the electrical slide switches on the fascia switch panel that also control each of the Tortoise turnout machines. That fascia panel is shown in the next photo. So in effect the train operators are the Dispatcher that controls the CTC panel in Cheyenne.
P1000823 PP C&S sky
This is the Dale Junction water tank just to the west of the Sherman Hill summit. The tall "3 wire fence" is CTC wires for the dispatcher in Cheyenne to control the 7 turnouts at Dale. The silver boxes are junction boxes. Locomotives usually had to stop for water every 50 miles or so. On the long and steep Sherman grades, stops for water were often necessary near the summit or near the top.
P1000701 CROP see sheet 01202020 C&S
This is the switch panel at Dale. (A "switch" is an electrical device that starts or stops current to another device. A "turnout" is a one track to another track connection. It is confusing to call a "turnout" a "switch." The panel is an abbreviated track map with slide switches mounted inside 1" diameter holes. The swtches control Tortoise switch machines . The recessed switches cannot be bumped by an operator hip or other wise accidentally thrown. Note that for certain routes one electrical switch controls two turnouts. This wiring is used wherever resetting one of a pair of turnouts requires the other to be likewise reset to prevent a derailment. Since the turnouts are so far away from the aisle (about 3 to 6 feet) their points are hard to see. Therefore, miniature LEDs are set in the panel to show how the turnout is set. Each of the pairs of crossover turnouts are wired to a single switch.
P1000827 PP Adv SR_BS3
Dale Junction here shows the 3 sets of Dale Junction signals, each on its own mast. The closest mast with 5 heads is for the east bound trains which approach the signals on the left hand track up the west slope of Sherman Hill. From there two possible routes to Cheyenne are available. The 1st is to cross over either crossover left to right and down the eastern slope into Cheyenne via the right hand Track #2, which is the right hand on of the far pair of tracks (#1 and #2). The 2nd route is to take the first crossover and then immediately peel off onto the Harriman Cutoff (Track #3) that immediately starts its descent down the longer alternate route. Track #3 eventually goes over the Speer Wye (about 55 feet away on the model), and off the wye there are two possible exits: the first goes directly into Cheyenne, and the second bypasses Cheyenne and goes directly to Denver (staging) south of Cheyenne via the smaller helix to staging. The other two masts with multiple heads are just beyond the water tank.
P1000839 Foc Stk Look PP
This is a view of Dale from the west from a bit higher elevation. The 3 signal heads of Dale are easier to see in this view, and the yellow glow from the Track #3 siding signal can be see near the edge of this wide bench, about across the white wall phone to the dispatcher in the aisle. Just beyond that signal over on Tracks #1 and #2 is the tiny yellow point of light of the signal bridge at UP's Granite Quarry that supplies road bed gravel to the railroad. This elevated view also shows the sheds and cabinets connected by the cables running along the tracks.
P1000841 PP per sheet_LOOK as is
The Harriman Siding, east end at Wamsutter, Wyoming. The signal shows red, because the local train in the next picture is just slightly into the signal block it controls. Thus the signal shows the block occupied. In other words, I took this photo too early when the local train was approaching the scene, before Allen and I had the scene set up with the unseen train approaching the scene.
P1000843 PP per 2nd Sheet
See previous picture. Now that the train has proceeded into the photo and onto the Harriman Siding from the bottom of the scene, the signal shows green, that is, the west bound block on the right is unoccupied. The signal at the next block, the west bound block at the far end of the siding, also shows that far block to be unoccupied, i.e., the far signal is also green. The east bound through freight is about to enter the block at the siding, so for simplicity the local train on the siding is holding, even though it could safely and by the ABS rule (251D), proceed with its work of spotting the tank car at the end of the stub track beside the dirt road over the crossings. The tank car carries fuel oil for the local distributor in the rusty roofed building at the lower right. The tank car was loaded at the Sinclair Refiner in Rawlings, WY.
P1000845 PP 2nd Sheet
Here the local switcher has moved from the siding, the center track, and is in the process of crossing over the westbound main (it is on that track) to see-saw over to the far right stub track to leave the tank car at the end of the stub track near the Conoco oil distributor in the rusty-roof building. Meanwhile the through freight is moving toward Wamsutter on the left hand (eastbound main).
P1000847 per sheet 2
Another exposure of the local pushing the tank car until its tender clears the turnout.
P1000849 per sheeet 2
With the turnout to the outside siding thrown to leave the main, the engine backs toward the siding.
P1000851 per sheet 2
Oops. Sharon walked past the camera. This shows her motion while walking down the aisle. I left it in this batch to illustrate how my Panasonic Lumix G9 camera works to make a focus stacked image. With the camera set to "Post Focus" it takes a 1 second video of about 30 frames while the autofocus mechanism focused on the extreme foreground and then progressively out to the farthest reaches of the image. Then I recall the video and after it runs its 1 second playback, I press in turn 3 touch sensitive "buttons" on the back screen that causes the camera to examine each frame of the 30 frame video to save the in-focus parts to aggregate them into a final JPG image. "Ghost" images of parts of Sharon can be seen as she passes up the aisle. Her motion is obvious in the swinging of her right arm. Each image of her arm, and presumably the black blotches, are in focus as she moves through space and time (as a physicist-couldn't resist using that phrase).
P1000853 per sheet 2
Here the tank car has been spotted, and the switch engine has retreated to the center siding to await the through train's passing. As the through train approached, the switch engine continued its work, moving from the other main back to the siding, and coupled to the two box cars bound for the freight house within the depot. But now it sits in place until it the through train passes, and it is safe to proceed to the FH via the same main now being used by the through train.
P1000858 per sheet 2
Here the through train has passed and the local switch engine has reached the freight house to spot the end box car to be partially unloaded ten loaded with more LCL freight for the local train (Cheyenne to Green River Local turn). The second box car just behind the tender probably goes to one of the businesses on the other side of the tracks, or perhaps it was just used as a "handle" for switching the smaller box car.
P1000876 from 854mp4 per sheet 2
The through train on the east bound main passes the local holding on the center siding. The local has coupled to the two box cars and separated them from the local train, and when the through train passes, it will move the end box car over the east bound main and on to the freight house. The larger box car next to the local's tender is just a handle to move the smaller box car. The "handle' will be zig zagged from the freight house across both mains and the center siding to one of industry sport on the extreme right of the image.
P1000862 per sheet 2
This eastern slope of Sherman Hill shows the signal at the eastern end of the Harriman Cutoff. The dual head signal shows a yellow (center bulb) on the upper head over a red (lower bulb) on the lower head. These aspects are for these unoccupied blocks--the right hand track (a complete block) and the single track ahead (the next block beyond the double track). These aspects indicate that the turnout at this end of the double track block right hand track, or block, I have to check this at the layout to get it correct.
P1000879 per sheet 2 Adj G D&B12%
Looking up the west end of the Harriman Cutoff in an elevated view that shows Tracks #1 and #2 in the distance. Notable for the signals are the 3 head signal mast facing Track #1 and the 2 head mast for the Cutoff for trains about to traverse Dale Junction. Here #3 must junction to #2, which is the left hand track, the track used west of Dale into Laramie, i.e., changing from west bound on the bidirectional Harriman Cutoff to the west bound left hand running Track #2. In other words, from Dale down the western slope into Laramie is left hand running. This left hand track from Dale down into Laramie is the original 1860's route (with heavier 1957 track rails), which was steeper than the newer 1905 Track #2 which is from 1905 is also left hand running east bound. The change of running to left hand between Dale and Laramie west bound, or from Laramie east bound to Dale takes advantage of the newer more gentle grade up the west slope.
P1000867CROP PP per sht 2
The signal bridge at the east yard limit of Green River, Wyoming. Green River and Laramie have "mother-may-I" signals near both the east and west yard limits. A pair of single head masts would have done at these locations, but to emphasize how important these yard are to operations, signal bridges were used. Cheyenne was also so honored on its east yard limit, but not the west end which borders on staging. Ogden, while important also has only signals on a mast at it's eastern limit; the western limit borders the other end of staging. The "mother-may-I" signals at these six locations are for YM convenience. The aspect to a train entering one of those limits can only be changed from red to a yellow (proceed with caution) aspect by asking the YM there for permission to enter, and to do so the train must stop. When the YM can accommodate the train, he presses a button on his fascia which changes the signal from red to yellow. After 30 seconds the signal turns back to red automatically.
P1000936 PP per sheet 2 LEDs
Signal at west end of Green River. This is one of the 4 major yards (not counting Staging which is "off" the layout), so it is a mother-may-I signal that is normally red. It can be changed to yellow (proceed with caution) only after the engineer asks the YM for permission to enter "his" yard, and when the YM is ready to accommodate the train, he can press a momentary electrical switch which changes the signal to yellow. After 30 seconds it reverts to red again automatically, so the YM does not have to change it back to red. There is no scenery here or on most of the lower level yet. The double main tracks will have a bridge over the Green River shown here on the photo backdrop. The two track siding on the right is part of the Westvaco trona (soda) mine at just wesst of Green River. Here covered hoppers are loaded for shipment to Wycon Chemical, a large fertilizer plant just southwest of Cheyenne, and to other locations east of Cheyenne and west of Ogden, i.e., off the layout (staging).
P1000870Crop&Rot per Sht 2
This is the signal bridge near the east yard limits of Laramie. From Dale Junction on Sherman hill down the western slope to Laramie is left hand running, so the signal head is over the left hand (west bound) track. The east bound signal head (that blends into the creosoted ties stacked in the tie treating plant) is likewise over the other track, which is for left hand running from Laramie up to Dale. All trains, left and right running, switch tracks at the non-prototypical double crossover shown here. This signal is automatically set to normally red. The upper unlit signal is yellow. It is selected by the YM manually when he is ready to receive the train into his yard, after he has cleared the tracks for the train to use. After 30 seconds of yellow the red signal automatically changes back to red. These "mother-may-I" signals are all controlled by the respective YM's at Cheyenne Laramie, Green River, and Ogden as explained in the last image; they are not automatically controlled by train occupancy.
P1000873 C&R per sht 2
The east end of Laramie signal bridge.The visible lighted green signal is normally green, because it is an automatic block signal (ABS) that shows green if the next block (beyond the signal) is unoccupied. The Laramie YM has no manual control of this signal exiting his yard. This shows all of the Laramie Tie Treating Plant. the grey nearest building houses the 3 creosote retorts that treats the ties. The far building is the saw mill which saws timber into ties and other construction poles. Some untreated ties and poles are stacked around the mill. The smaller building with the upper story windows houses the office (2nd floor) above the fire house on the ground level. The engine house is the brown structure. All the plant tracks are narrow gauge. The ties and poles are carried into the retorts on narrow gauge cars with open sides and ends, sort of flat cars with vertical side rails.
P1000893 Sht 3 LookTRNP
"Mother May I" signals at west Laramie Yard Limits. It would have been more consistent to have had a signal bridge here, but I neglected to plan for it. Red shows normally for all trains entering Laramie from this direction. the must stop and call (holler) to the Laramie Yardmaster (YM) to get permission to enter his yard. This is normal model railroad operating practice for all busy yards with a permanent YM. this practice gives the YM time to inquire about yard requirements from that engineer, then he can plan, and set yard turnouts for a smooth and efficient entry. On the Wyoming Division, the YM has an electrical switch that instantanly changes the aspect to yellow. After about 30 seconds, the circuit times out and the aspect returns to red, so the YM does not have to attend to it; he is nearly always too busy and harried to wait for a train to enter just to reset a signal.
Ops 121419 16_9 (26) PPper sht2
Here in a photo taken by Paul Saumure during the January 2020 operating session Danny Lawson brings Challenger 3985 and a manifest freight into Ogden under the signal bridge. He is calling the dispatcher to report his position and time. The white Ogden Yard Limits sign is on the fascia just beyond the telephone to the dispatcher. This is another "mother-may-I" signal into Ogden. Danny stopped and notified the Ogden YM he was at the yard limits and proceeded under the bridge only after the YM changed the signal from its normally red to a proceed with caution yellow. The lower level of the mushroom layout design has very little scenery. That is Bob Burke standing on a stool in the Downtown Ogden "mole hole" to gain access to the Wycon Chemical tracks. Downtown Ogden on the lower level is a 13 industry "switching puzzle". It is SP territory, and receives UP cars from the 3 track interchange yard to the left of the Challenger.
P1000889 Sht 3 TRNP Look
This is the brick Tower A just inside the Cheyenne west yard limits. It is a brass model Allen and I got when I bought a large collection of brass locos and other models from Wayne Hammer, a retired USAF sargent/UP brass model collector, who put in most of his 20 years in the orient. Lenny has painted and detailed it inside and out after extensive research as to the colors, even down to the interior details.
P1000885 Per sht 3 LOOK TRNP
Tower A just inside the Cheyenne west yard limits. The signal bridge has 2 greens showing for west bound tracks. The left green is over the 4th from the right track leaving Cheyenne. It serves Wycon Chemical, and on to the Speer Wye, finally connecting to the Harriman Cutoff (Track #3). These are out of view. The 5th track at the left edge is a siding for the Cheyenne stock yard. The corner of its building is just barely showing. On the backdrop is the Indian Village Motor Lodge, which mom and dad owned. It was the original motel to have a teepee which was the office. It was a 38 unit motel in 5 buildings in a U shape with the teepee/office at the front center. I spent the years of age 10-12 there. These tracks were visible from the motel. Dad was a pipefitter at the Cheyenne Frontier Refinery, which we also model on the layout on the other end of Cheyenne (east). Dad was on the crew that built Frontier at the beginning of WW II to make hi test aviation fuel where Japan could not bomb it.
P1000904 Look TRNP Sheet 3
Another view of Tower A, the interlocking tower near the west yard limits of Cheyenne. Notice that this brass model, that Lenny Wyatt detailed and painted, has a basement. The basement windows can be seen on the side of the building, with their lower half below ground level in window wells. Window wells are required by current building codes for finished basements to provide a safe means of egress in case of fire or disaster. Basements were nearly always part of any building in Cheyenne. Without a basement a building risked being blown away by the wind that often blew 60 mph steady 24 hours a day for days or even 2 weeks at a time. The track and model of Tower A sit on 1/4" thick unsceniced flooring underlayment which we used for cork roadbeds or over all of each yard. It cam in 4 foot wide by 50 foot rolls, and we cut it with a fixture I built. It is shown in an early picture in the model railroad master folder on this site.
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Verryl V Fosnight Jr
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