Winslow Yard


In a strange set-up, two abnormally high signals are paired against a dwarf as the four main lines run through the Winslow yard. The nearest track (the one with no intermediate) is passenger main 1. The next track is the north track and is governed by dwarf signal 2851. The middle main is governed by signal 2853, and finally, the south main is governed by 2855. Why do the middle and south main warrant high signals while the north main must settle on a dwarf? The dwarf, by the way, confers equal authority to that of the high signals; unlike many eastern roads where dwarf signals are more restrictive than high signals. The only explanation is that the north main is predominately the eastward main, so signal 2851 sees westward trains infrequently. But here's proof, with a green-on-the-ground, that occasionally the dispatcher will line a westward train up the north track. The dispatcher also has lined a westward train up the middle main. Even though all three signals are automatic, they are also stick-controlled to the current of traffic. Signal 2855 is red not because there is a train in the next block; it's red because the dispatcher has the current of traffic set to the eastward direction.

Here also is a perfect example of Santa Fe's signal numbering system, where the last digit is not measured to the nearest tenth of a mile, but instead starts with 1 and continues counting odd for any successive signals within that mile; hence 2853 and then 2855. These signals are physically located at about 285.7, and notice that the numbering starts with the north track.