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The following is a resume covering the Northern Pacific Signal Department from its origin to the pres= ent time.
This Department w= as formally organized in 1909. = Prior to this time, the little signaling that was in existence was under the con= trol of the Maintenance-of-Way Department and consisted mainly of interlocking plants at crossings of the Northern Pacific and other railroads. These plants were principally of = the old mechanical type of rather primitive construction. In m= ost instances, each plant was built and owned by the junior road. These early plants were mostly isolated installations, built principally for protectio= n of the crossing,
In addition to th=
mentioned interlocking plants, there were two short installations of autom=
block signals between
In 1909 an all-el=
interlocking plant was installed at
the Mississippi Street Yard in
In 1909 it was pr=
to construct an interlocking plant to protect our double track main line a=
the Hinckley Branch of the Great Northern at =
To protect the si=
track gauntlet bridge over the
In 1910, automati=
signals of the "Hall K" top post type were installed on the doub=
In 1910, the doub=
track line between Northtown and
In 1910, General =
Signal Company Style 2A top of mast signals were installed on the double t=
between Garrison and
In 1910, the doub= le track line from Staples to near Dilworth was likewise signaled with the sa= me type of signal, i.e. the General Railway Signal Company Style 2A top of ma= st signal.
In 1910, <=
style=3D'mso-bidi-font-weight:bold'>a few signals were installed on=
At this same time=
first signals on single track were installed between Laurel and Livingston,
using the over-lap system of control. This system had the disadvantage tha=
same distance had to be maintained between following trains in the same
direction as had to be maintained for opposing trains, but protection was
provided, however, thus making a start for signaling on single track. =
It should be ment=
at this point that the signal programs, just previously enumerated, caused
changes at a number of foreign owned interlocking plants; due to the fact =
the Northern Pacific desired to have continuous automatic signal protection
through these plants. These changes consisted primarily of the substitutio=
the mechanical top arms of the main line home signals by electrically oper=
Also, the approach signals, either of the fixed or wire connected type,
Pacific an undivided part ownership in many of the plants originally insta= lled by the junior road. This will be elaborated on later -when the subject of Valuation is discussed.
Changes were made=
following plants: Coon Creek, Elk River, Wadena,
In 1911, the doub= le track line between Kalama and Vancouver was signaled using the General Railway Signal Company top post signals.
During 1912, the =
track line from Tenino to Kalama was
signaled, using the new type of General Railway Signal Company 2A base of =
signals. This completed the signal installation on the double track from T=
Included in the 1=
program was the
installation of signals on the double track between
Also during 1912,= a short stretch of single track between Sand Point and Athol, also the single track between Hauser and the end of double track at V= elox was installed using the new General Railway Signal Company circuits called= the "A.P. B." system, or the "Absol= ute Permissive Block" system, which includes positive head-on protection between opposing stations, but allows trains to follow one another usually= only one block apart. The success= of this single track system gave the impetus for later installations on single track.
W. RR. & N. crossing at Marshall
The double track =
In 1913, the sing=
track line between White Bear Lake and West Duluth was signaled with the n=
ew A.P.B. circuits and using the new 2A. base
of mast signals. A short pie=
double track between
The line between = Carlton and Superior, which is part double and part single track, was signaled at = this time in a like manner, as noted before, electric circuits were carried thr= ough the interlocking plant at Hinckley and to the plant at Carlton.= span>
The 1913 program, included more single track signaling toward the western part of the road, = such as the signaling installed this year between Alfalfa and Cle Elum, and another stretch of single track between Le= ster and East Auburn connecting with the signals earlier installed between Seat= tle and Tacoma.
In 1913, a mechan=
interlocking plant was installed at Staples, controlling the junction of t=
During 1914, anot=
extensive signal program was undertaken. This included the installation of
signals using the A.P.B, single track type of
To obviate constr=
of a pole line, a rather unusual type
of polarized motor track relay was used.&= nbsp; This piece of track has since been removed.
Also during 1914<=
double track signals were installed west from Livingston to the end of dou=
As indicated in t= he proceeding paragraph, there is double track on each side of Bozeman Tunnel= with single track through the tunnel. = span>An early type of low voltage switch machine was installed at the ends of doub= le track switches at each end of the tunnel.
During 1914, the =
track line between
An interesting li=
signal installation west of
When the Puget So=
Willapa Harbor Railroad (the Milwaukee} was bu=
created two grade crossings with our South Bend Branch at Dryad and Chehal=
the Milwaukee, being the junior road, built two mechanical interlocking pl=
and paid for then on the generally recognized basis that the junior road w=
obligated to interlock. Abou=
One of the origin=
isolated mechanical interlocking plants mentioned previously had been inst=
at Fargo at the Milwaukee crossing by the Northern Pacific in spite of the=
the Milwaukee was the junior road.
On January 15, 1915, the old wood tower was destroyed by fire. A new
brick tower was built, replacing the old one. In July 1927, the old mechanical =
was replaced by an automatic plant.
Certain changes in ownership and maintenance obligations were made =
this time. The years 1915 and 1916 were very quiet as far as new signal wo=
was concerned. A small installation was made in 1916 at the junction of the
main line and the Mandan North Line at
A short explanati= on probably will be in order. The following will deal with signal work, altho= ugh other departments were similarly involved. The valuation date for the Nort= hern Pacific was set as of June 30, 1917.
The railroad was = divided into valuation sections, according to the seven states through which the r= oad operates. The limits of these sections were usually located at some well defined point, such as head block, end of bridge, etc. Several field parti= es, usually comprising of two men were organized, Mr. S. W. Law, and Mr. Bert = Basford worked as one party. Mr. E. J. Ralph, and Mr. Paul Amann comprised a second party and later Mr. Bert Basford= span>, and Mr. A. C. Eastman, a third party. Each party was assigned a motor car.= It was the duty of each to travel over a designated portion of the line and m= ake written notes and pencil sketches of all signal apparatus, including all t= ypes of signals, counting and listing all different types of relays, battery, terminals, and all associated items, including rubber covered wire of vari= ous types and sizes, line wire, bonding, switch boxes and all other apparatus,= and including various types of highway protection, but not the mechanically operated crossing gates.
It was a physical
impossibility to do all this work by June 30, 1917, but attempts were made=
include only such work as was in place as of the above date. This work was=
Herculean task, between fighting adverse weather conditions, both cold and
heat, trains, motor cars of other departments and many=
handicaps. At this time the road was not completely signaled, however, the=
a sizeable amount of signal apparatus involved, including many of the old
original interlocking plants. Usually the owner of the plant, which includ=
apparatus on both roads, inventoried the plant. This work included branch =
as well as main lines.
All the above dat=
collected in the Office of the Valuation Engineer, in
Before it was pos=
to formulate all this information, the U. S. Government provided a man, to=
a similar inventory. The Northern Pacific furnished a pilot and motor car =
his use. Mr. Basford of one of the original fi=
parties acted as pilot and met this man, Mr. J. F. Alexander, in
At this point the onerous task began of making comparisons between the two inventories. Our inventory was called the "Pre-Inventory". Notes were made listin= g any discrepancies found. Both omissions and overages were found in comparison = with the Government’s notes, but the proper notes were honestly made by t= he Northern Pacific.
The headquarters =
Government, comprising the Western District which included the Northern Pa=
were located in
The whole compari=
that had been made in
After the compari=
were concluded in
It was mentioned previously in a number of instances that automatic circuits were installed through a number of interlocking plants wholly owned by another railroad, = this work being installed and paid for by the Northern Pacific. In each such ca= se a percentage of ownership for each company involved was arrived at by determ= ining the amount contributed by the Northern Pacific against the cost expended b= y the road that originally built the plant. The percentages were set forth on a = form known as "Form P-72", and signed by an official of each company involved. These percentages of ownership were used by the Government in its computations. Also, these percentages are used as a basis of cost division whenever work is performed by either road regardless of what point in the = plant the work is performed.
The Government sh=
its notes and papers from
The making of com= pletion reports for signal projects was transferred from the Signal Department to = the Valuation Department about this time.
The Government fi= nally compiled what is known as the Engineering Report which comprised a summati= on of all accounts. The Signal Accounts, 15 and 27, as included in the Engineering Report, were accepted by the Northern P= acific.
The compilation o=
f a new
form, known as "Form 588" was demanded by the Government. <=
This form was to = cover all new A. F. E. work performed in the ten and one-half year period subseq= uent to the date of Valuation, June 30, 1917, to and including December 31, 192= 7. Approximately about this time, the Government proposed a new method of reporting Signal Completion Reports, using the so-called "Adjustment Units" Two trips to Washington, D«C» were made by Mr. C. = A. Christofferson and Mr. A. C. Eastman in connection with various phases of= the Signal Valuation Program. An= other trip was made by Mr. A. C= . Terrell, Valuation Engineer, and Mr. A. C, Eastman. It was on this last trip that Mr. A. C. Eastman remained and with the collaboration of one of the men, Mr. Hudson,= in Mr. W. M. O'Loughlin's office, the entire inventory of the Northern Pacific signal sy= stem made by the Government was recast into "Adjustment Units", both = as to quantities and prices. It was on this trip that Mr. A. C. Eastman was affo= rded the opportunity to make copies of the Government's pricing sheets. Mr. W. = M. O’Loughlin, mentioned above, was appointed Sig= nal Supervisor of the Eastern District of the Northern Pacific, about 1913. He later resigned and went with the Interstate Commerce Commission with headquarters in Washington, D. C. Later, he was appointed Chief of the Sig= nal Valuation Branch of the Interstate Commerce Commission. His warm feeling f= or the Northern Pacific helped immensely in courtesies extended. Incidentally= , Mr. W, M. O'Loughlin and Mr. F. M. O’Loughlin, who later became Assistant Signal Engineer of the Western District, were brothers.= p>
.Later on, the Fo= rm 588 was extended to inclu= de the three year period from January 1, 1928, to January 1, 1930» From the= re on it is being made on an annual basis.
Now we will retra=
steps to the years subsequent to the dull period, during 1915 and 1916,
In 1917, automati=
signals were installed between
In the above two installations, circuits were arranged so that the leaving signal would not clear until the tail end of the first train had cleared the fouling point.=
In 1917 one of th= e old interlocking plants known as Eustis Avenue on Line A between St. Paul and Minneapolis was removed from service.
In 1918, the signal system was ma=
continuous from the vicinity of West Duluth Jet, through the following
interlocking plants: the
In 1918, signals =
More work in 1918
included connecting the end of the installation made in 1914 from Toston to
More single track
signaling was installed from
By this time the = old end of double track at Rice had been extended west to Gregory. In 1918 signals= were installed on this double track to Little Falls, There is double track betw= een Easton and Martin at the east portal of Stampede Tunnel, single track thro= ugh the two mile long tunnel, then double track from the west portal to Lester. In 1918, when the operation. This was done to allow a passenger train to be operated uphill against the current of traffic, but with signal protection around a slow m= oving uphill freight train.
In 1915 the double track uphill s= ignals were re-arranged and additional signals added to allow single track operat= ion with signal protection on both tracks on both sides of the tunnel.
In 1919, another la= rge signal program was started, consisting of installation of the usual single track A. P. B. circuits between Glendive and Forsyth, and between Forsyth = and Huntley, approximately 212 miles of signaling. It might be well to note th= at with the exception of connecting in the train order signals, and tying in = at Huntley, in the whole 212 miles there was only one crossing bell to interconnect into the new work.
It might be wall = to cite an occurrence that happened before the completion of the work between Glen= dive and Huntley, just previously mentioned; -
One night about 1= 0:30, our Train Mo, 3, at that time, a heavy train to the Coast, was stopped by = a red signal at the west end of Myers. The track between layers and Rancher is v= ery crooked.
The Dispatcher wo= uld not give No. 3 orders = to proceed and the Engineer refused to go until the section men were alerted = and went ahead of No. 3 with their car. Between the two stations mentioned, th= ey found a large boulder about half the size of a box car which was lodged on= the track. When it rolled down to the track, it had torn down the pole line, causing the red signals. This was an instance where the cost of the whole signal installation paid for itself before the job was entirely completed.=
About this time M=
r. Christofferson conceived the idea of the gallon font=
for use on the 1st and 2nd subdivisions of the
There was not much
signal work done in 1920 and 1921. In 1922, another ambitious program again
started. This consisted of t=
the end of the old 1910 installation at Dilworth and installing double tra=
signals from that point to the end of double track at
Another link in s=
track territory was likewise included in this year's program, the installa=
of the A.P.B., system of single track signals
connecting the end of the signaling at Cheney and extending to the bridge =
the Columbia River at
In 1922, we under=
the relocation of our Line A which passed through the University Campus wh=
the Stadium is now located and then crossed the Mississippi River just nor=
A new electric
interlocking plant at l8th Avenue S.E. was built at this time giving acces=
the Great Northern tracks, and including switches serving the
About 1922, =
b>we began to experience trouble =
our D. C. track circuits between Garrison and Missoula
There remained a =
piece of track, partly single and partly double, between Little Falls and
Staples. Signaling of this track was undertaken in 1924, on the completion=
this work, a gala celebration was instigated at Little Falls,
Mr. Christofferson, then Signal Engineer, was given the honor of attaching the next to last bl= ade, with Mr. C. L. Nichols, General Manager, attaching the last blade, this ta= king place on September 1, 1924.
In 1922, an order=
issued by the Government ordering all railroads of certain classes to inst=
"Automatic Train Control" on at least one engine operating divis=
The Northern Pacific selected the territory between
permanent and electromagnet which was placed between the rails at signal locations. When the signal was clear, and th= e track relay in advance was de-energized on the approach of a train, the electro-magnet was energized, thus neutralizing the effect of the permanent magnet. A receiver was placed on the locomotive ahead of the front wheels.= If the signal was at approach, the electro- magnet was not energized and the permanent magnet became effectiv= e, thus opening the stick relay circuit through the receiver on the locomotiv= e, and automatically applying the air brakes. The track magnet was made effective at the approach signal; so that= the train would be brought to a stop before it reached the stop signal. The re= set feature was placed on the locomotive in such a position that it could not = be reset until the train came to a complete stop; a forestalling device was installed on the locomotive so that if the engineer was alert, he could forestall a brake application.
The electro-magne= ts required such a heavy current that it was necessary to install storage batteries. As no charging= line was available, the ex= isting primary battery was used for charging the storage battery. The Government = was very strict concerning the circuits used and the way the circuits were installed.
On August 12, 193= 2, the Northern Pacific was allowed to discontinue operation of the train control system.
Also about 1924, =
of the old mechanical interlocking plants were replaced with a newly devis=
type of automatic interlocking. While this form of interlocking is primari=
intended for a straight crossing of two railroads, some rather elaborate
circuits were devi=
such complicated layouts as at
The Northern Paci= fic has been very successful in the installation of low voltage automatic switch machines at a number of ends of double track as follows; - West Duluth Jct= ., Gregory, Philbrook, Bloom, Eldridge, Park City, Montana, and Irvin.
In 1927, color li=
signals, using a form of the old overlap system were installed on the sing=
track line from
In 1927 the insta=
of the same type of signals and circuits as used on the Butte Line were
installed on the single track High Line, or the Evaro=
Hill Line, between DeSmet and
In 1930, the old
mechanical interlocking plant serving the junction of the
In 1930 the signal
In 1929, in conne=
with a line change at
About 1931, throu= gh a study of the contract covering Marshall Interlocking Plant, it was discove= red that this plant should have been installed and paid for by the S.P. & S Railway, account it being the junior road. After various conferen= ces between the two roads, a ruling was made by President Donnelly of the Nort= hern Pacific that due to the fact that certain switches were included in the pl= ant serving our Paloose Line, that the Northern Pa= cific would assume a proportionate cost. Retroactive billing for maintenance bac= k to the origin of the plant was made against the S.P.&S. Railway, which was paid by that road.= An A.F.E. was initiated to cover the change in proportion of ownership and billing the <= span class=3DSpellE>S.P.& S. Railway for = its proportion of the original installation cost.
In 1936, the
In 1937, the same=
of color light signals and circuits as were installed between
In 1939, due to an
unfortunate occurrence at Ainsworth Jct., where an operator opened the jun=
switch in the face of a train and sent it down the wrong track where an
opposing train was waiting, an electric lock was installed on this switch.=
long after, the lock was replaced with a switch machine controlled from
One of the old mechanical interlocking plants, known as St. Anthony Park Tower was locate= d at the junction of Lines A and Bo The arrangement of switches and signals was= very elaborate, including interlocked switches forming the wye between Lines A and B. On a very cold night early in 1941, a fire started = in the tower, which was destroyed. A new plant was built, eliminating some of= the interlocked switches, the new tower being built somewhat east of the old t= ower, and placed in service late in 1941.
In 1945 the North= ern Pacific adopted the system known as "Speed Signaling", replacing= the older "Route Signaling", this system conveys the necessary information to the engineer= as to the speed he may use in handling his train. This necessitated the rearrangement of the signal arms or lights at many interlocking plants and other places.
Over a period of = years, we have installed and experimented with various types of snow melters or switch heaters, electric, natural gas, pr= opane gas, and oil.
studies have been made concerning the installation of Centralized Traffic
Control between Gregory, and Staples,
In 1916 we instal=
led an NX (1) interlocking plant at <=
[(1) NX =3D entrance / exit= style of interlocker – Simplified statement - a button is pressed on the track diagram where the train will enter the interlocked section, where it shoul= d exit; and the machine’s logic sets up the route. Jcd]
When the automati=
signals were originally installed under various programs, with the excepti=
the yard at Paradise, it was not the practice to make the signaling comple=
through the yard, the signals being terminated at each end. During the period about 1950, wit=
exception of two short gaps at
Since about 194O,= a large number of highway crossing protection installations have been made, including many automatic short arm gates on double tracks. Some of the cro= ssing protections are rather involved account high and low speed trains, also ac= count switching moves.
A large number of= spring switch installations have been made. At sidings, the usual layout is to us= e the key switch method for clearing the dwarf signal to proceed out from the siding. At yards, the usual = method is that all signals stand normally at stop and clear on approach of a trai= n.
In 1949, the old =
signals originally installed in 1910 between Seattle and Tacoma
A program was sta= rted in December of 1937 relocating signal facilities, Mr. Law and Mr. Eastman did a gre= at deal of planning for the rearrangement and respacing of signals between Minneapolis and the West Coast to provide more adequate stopping distances. This also involved changes in the lengths of the operating circuits for the various highway protections. Some sidings were lengthened, others were eliminated.= Later the same rearrangements wer= e made on the Lake Superior Division.
Over a long perio= d of years, a great, many miles of rock slide fences have been installed in pla= ces where there is danger of slides and falling rocks. These fences have been very effec= tive.
As an added safety feature, when welded rail was placed in the Stampede Tunnel, a coded track circuit was installed, giving continuou= s track circuit protection through the length of the tunnel, approximately two mil= es long.
During 1954 due t=
construction of the McNary Dam by the Federal
Government, it became necessary for the Northern Pacific to make extensive
changes in the bridge and drawbridge over the Columbia River between
Elaborate signali= ng was necessary not only in connection with the bridge but to protect the S.P.&S. Railway connection at the west end of the bridge and connections at the east end of the bridge.
In 1955 the first=
car retarder system on the Northern Pacific was installe=
put in operation at
A later developme= nt of the separate line circuit was the use of reversed polarity on the line, i.= e., with all signals standing clear the positive side of the west bound line batteries were connected to line common and the negative side to the opera= ting side of the circuit, and the negative side of the eastbound line batteries= were connected to line common, with the positive side connected in the conventi= onal manner.
In 1919, another innovation was instigated, the low voltage hold clear coils. With this arrangement, but two coils are used in= the hold clear device. For picki= ng up the hold clear armature, the full sixteen cells of operating battery plus = the two additional cells are used, then the sixteen cells are disconnected and= the two cells serve the hold clear device. This same method is used in the 1922 installations, to which was added for the first time, approach lighting. A modified method of separate hold clear has been devised for the older sign= als, to save discarding the old sets of hold clear coils. This is accomplished = by running a separate wire to the middle of the sixteen cells of operating battery, picking up on the full sixteen cells and holding on eight cells. =
16 Cells for Operating and Line and
- West Duluth
paradise - Sand Point
Sand Point - Cheney
Pasco - Ellensburg
Ellensburg - CleElum
16 Cells for Oper=
DeSmet - paradise via St. Regis
16 Cells for Oper=
ating Only, 2 Cells for Hold Clear and Separate Line Battery: with Reversed .Line. (1919 Series) =
Battery: with Reversed .Line. (1919 Series) =
Glendive - Huntle= y
16 Cells for Operating, 2 Cells for Hold Clear, Separate Line
Little Falls - St=
During the early existence of the Signal Department, the Office of the Signal Engineer was located upstairs over the Local Freight House, located at Fourth and John Streets, St. Paul, This location was about three blocks from the old Gener= al Office Building.
Early in 1916, on=
completion of the present
A few words might=
said here in connection with the organization of the Signal Department: -<=
style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> The Signal Engineer's Offic=
jurisdiction of the entire signal system between
It might be of in= terest to mention the names of different men who have served as Signal Engineer -=
Mr. C. A. Christofferson, the 1st Signal Engineer= span>
Mr. S. W. Law, th= e 2nd Signal Engineer
Mr. A. J. Hendry,= the present Signal Engineer
Others who have s= erved in the past; -
Mr. Alf Munthe, Mr. James H. Cormick, Mr.
E. J. Ralph, Mr. Wilfred Kearton, Mr. Dick
Jones, Mr. B. A. =
Grinde, Mr. Fred Scherfenberg=
Mr. E. A. Alien, Mr. W. H. Lindeman, Mr. P. C.=
Mr. Adolph Rudeen, Mr. B. W. Larsen, Mr=
Slayter, Mr. W. E. Page, Mr. Bert Basford, Mr. Ralph Thurston=
Paul Amann, Mr. Paul R
Those who are sti= ll serving: - Mr. Evan Wilson, Mr. L. M. Johnson, Mr. S. N. Roden, Mr. J. V. Ci= hlar, Mr. C. H. Dunn, Mr. D. E. Peterso= n, Mr. Stanley C. Anderson, Mr. J. J. Morrissey, Mr. W. A. Class, Mr. D. A. Harrington, Mr. B. A. Bjorkman, Mr. E. 0. Anderberg, = span>Mr. F. V. Sloop, Mr. M. B. Walker, Mr. Floyd C. Harrington, Mr. J. L. Doroff, Mr. W. B. Olson, Mr. Dwight L. Johnson, Mr. = J. T. Groth, Mr. A. D. Fennell, Mr. R. J. Hagen, Mr. J. R.= Norrbohm, Mr. M. C. Mercer, Mr. A. H. Ohm, Mr. A. J.= Schrumpf, Mr. A. T. Brumfield, Mr. S. C. Sworder, Mr. V. L. Guthrie, Mr. V. G. Jacobson, Mr. = R. W. Larsen, Mr. C. W. Schultz, Mr.= J. L. Elpel, Mr. D. A. Dietrich, Mr. D. B. Sage, Mr. G. L. Flagen, Mr. E. L. Wagnar, J. T. Keoug= h, Mr.W. C. Wygant, M= r. M. L. Keough, Mr. Theo. McKenney, Mr. A. D. Macdonald, Mr. E. H. Kleinschmidt, Mr. H= . A. Roloff and Mr. A. C. Eastman.
The above history= of the Signal Department of the Northern Pacific Railway Company was written as of June 30, 1956.
Alden C. Eastm= an =
Alden C. Eastman