Pennsylvania Railroad

by John Hinson

Beverley Junction tower
Photograph 8/60, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

A view of Beverley Junction, looking along the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks. The running lines are mostly right-hand running in the USA, as seen here, and two "position light" colour light signals can be seen protecting the flat crossing with the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. The B&O swings round to run parallel with the Pennsylvania tracks on the left side in this picture.

The geography here is complex. The line behind the cameraman crosses the Rock Island railroad (CRI&P) a short distance away at Beverley Hills, and this and the B&O join to the right of this view to proceed towards Chicago. This junction is remotely controlled by Beverley Junction.

Position light signal at Beverley Junction
Photograph 8/60, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Zooming in on the above picture shows some more detail of the signal, albeit in poor focus. The US "position light" signals use a range of lamps in a cluster to display speed signalling indications; a block signal generally uses seven or eight lamps and a home signal typically has fourteen. The lights emulate the equivalent indications of the arms of three-position signals.

This particular signal has less lamps owing to the simplicity of its function. As there is only one route from here, leading to an unsignalled area, the signal will only show Absolute Stop and Clear. The indications for these are just like semaphore signals - three horizontal lights or three vertical lights.

If there was Automatic Signalling ahead, the signal would have seven lights and be able to show a third aspect - a diagonal row of lights indication Caution.If there was a diverging or converging turnout ahead, there would be another signal head below, capable of showing a range of indications. Greater details of these will hopefully be explained in a future article.

About the photographs

Additional notes by Mike Brotzman.

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson