Grants Pass to Hugo, Oregon Electrocode Project
Signals involved in this project:
|Signal Numbers||Signals Removed||Signals Installed||Notes||Location|
|4864/4865||Double/Single Semaphores||none||S. of Three Pines Rd.|
|4826/4827||Tri-colors||none||N. End Merlin Siding|
|4822/4823||none||none||Tri-colors retained||S. End Merlin Siding|
|4809/4810||Double/Single Semaphores||none||Along Merlin Rd.|
As usual, click on the thumbnails for larger images
|The northern-most set of Semaphores that came out were nearly at the top of Merlin Grade and visible from Three Pines Road. This "roster shot" of the blades was taken in February, 2000 while accompanying Rick Perry on his monthly inspections.|
|The next set that fell were just visible through the trees along Merlin-Galice
Road near milepost 481 south of Merlin. In this picture Rick
(aka Xingman) poses for photographer Steve Crise to take a shot that would
eventually show up on Xingman's
|A mile and a half farther south near Camp Joy Road these blades protected Siskiyou Line traffic. Steve is concentrating his efforts on the unusual effect pictured below while Rick drops the blades for this photograph.|
|I've only seen this happen once with a Semaphore and it begs to become
the subject of a quiz:
What's happening in this picture?
A. An un-named maintainer jokingly installed a red lens in the lamp fixture.
B. The photographer used a digital trick to make the light appear red.
C. Red lenses are a standard safety feature in the event a colored roundel gets broken or shot out, a restricting aspect would be displayed.
D. The sun just happened to be at the correct angle to shine through a red roundel and illuminate the lens in the light housing.
Correct answer is at the bottom of the page.
|On an overcast Autumn day, CORP crews descend on the signal project. Already 110V power has been installed where needed, track wires have been dug in and the bases set. Shown on the goose neck trailer are two complete sets of "Flowerpot" signals, with upright bungalows at the front and masts laying on their sides towards the rear.|
|One of the prefabricated bases that has been set with wires dug in to it as well. It's ready for the Flowerpot installation.|
|The new case, masts and signal heads have been installed and are ready to be hooked up. Notice that the heads are pointed away from the tracks to indicate that these signals are not yet in service. Once the 110V commercial power and track wires have been connected, the computer will be programmed by an outside contractor. Finally, when all the Electrocode installations between Grants Pass and Hugo are ready, they will be cutover in a single day. During cutover, the heads on the new signals will be turned and aimed while the semaphore blades will be wrapped to indicate they are no longer in service.|
|A few days after cutover the Flowerpot shown above produces a clear indication as Rick performs some tests on it. Notice how this signal pair is not connected to the pole line on which the Semaphores relied. These Electrocode installations "communicate" with each other using electrical pulses through the rails.|
|Not all Electrocodes are Flowerpots, however. Witness the E-code equipment in the top of an old Style B case at the south end of Merlin. Southern Pacific had replaced the Semaphores at this location with the Tri-color lights shown here on shortened masts. Rick is testing the new controls.|
|Following cutover, the log train was used to remove the old signals between Hugo and Grants Pass. Here the slain Semaphores lie on log cars like so much timber. These cars spent a couple days in the old Miller Redwood spur at Merlin before being picked up by the Glendale Hauler and taken to Roseburg for disposal. Some of the blades were damaged, unfortunately, but most signals will find new homes with collectors and railfans.|
|In an uncharacteristic show of emotion, Rick displays his sentiments
about the slaughter of these silent sentinels of the Siskiyou.
(Yeah, this shot was staged, but Rick and your web master were not in a very joyful mood that day in Merlin.)
If you answered "D" to the quiz about the red light in the picture above, give yourself an "A" for the day. The sun lined up just perfectly to produce this effect, further enhanced with a polarizing filter which turned the sky a dark blue.
All pictures and text Copyright (C) 2000 by Larry Tuttle
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