|Semaphore Signal 7061 & 7062|
As detailed in this photograph the Santa Fe in the Canadian River's valley between Las Vegas and Raton New Mexico is a hogback railroad. We're looking west (geographically south) with Wagon Mound in the distance. The train, an empty Phoenix to Kansas City vehicle movement, has just departed the east end of Colmor. In fact, the eastward setbacks are visible at the 6th autorack. A spot of welded rail intended for the curve lays along the ballast ready for installation.
|Next in the sequence, extra 538 east rolls at 45 m.p.h. One hour away from Raton, extra 538 will get a fresh crew and a helper for the climb over Raton Pass.|
Currently the eastern most (geographically north) semaphore on the Santa Fe. Not more than 5 years ago semaphores stretched deep into Kansas. The final Kansas semaphore came down in June of 1999 while the last Colorado semaphore was deactivated in late 2000. At last count there are 90 AT&SF T-2 semaphores still in operation - all of them in New Mexico, however, plans are under way to remove the stretch between 7601 and Watrous. The last chapter of the Santa Fe semaphore signal is about to be written.
Signals 7601 and 7602, paired APB automatics and the east approach signals to Colmor, start a wonderful run of semaphores to Wagon Mound that is easily accessible from the frontage road of I-25. In fact the frontage road is old highway US 85.
In the other direction of semaphore 7601&2 and along the highway is searchlight 7041&2. Then MP 705, sight of Robinson siding (removed 1962) and where the deadly wreck between the Chief and the Fast Mail occurred in September of 1956, resulting in the lose of 23 lives. Next are searchlight 7011&2, and finally the west end of Springer and the beginning of CTC. CTC extends from Springer over Raton Pass and into Trinidad, Colorado.
When the blade of 7601 drops to yellow, a train is approaching from the west and has departed the siding at Levy, which is one siding west of Colmor. When the blade of 7602 drops to red, a train has departed the west end of Springer. Why does 7601 drop to yellow while 7602 drops to red? Because 7601 is an approach to signal to Colmor siding, whose blades have tumble to red as a result of an eastward train departing the next siding of Levy. Whereas signal 7602 is a standard intermediate whose limits extend only to the west end of Springer