04/11/2006 Progress Report
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TCS Installation Extended Through Ridgemont

As mentioned in the 12/11/2005 Progress Report and the 01/16/2006 Progress Report, CSX signal maintainers have been installing a Traffic Control System (TCS) on the Shenandoah Division.

From March 22 through April 2, 2006, the switch motors and signals were installed at both the south end (SE) of and the north end (NE) of Ridgemont. As a result, TCS now extends from MC Cabin at the north end of the Salem Terminal to the OS section at NE Ridgemont. Currently, DTC rules will still apply from NE Ridgemont to Alleghany Junction (north of Covington and off the visible railroad). Yard limit rules continue to be in effect from MC Cabin south through the Salem Terminal. Yard limits will likely remain here until the construction in the Salem Terminal is finished.

After the signal maintainers finished their field work, the chief signal engineer then defined the switch motor and signal addresses for both SE Ridgemont and NE Ridgemont in the configuration file for the CATS dispatcher panel, and ran some functional tests of the newly installed OS sections for the TCS system.

Let There Be (Lower Level) Light

For quite some time, I've had some low profile fluorescent lighting fixtures on hand for improving the lighting of the lower level of the railroad. With many higher priority projects always competing for my time and wanting to finish the installation of TCS on the upper level, I simply had not installed these fixtures. On April 8, 2006, I finally decided to install the lights. With Cherie's assistance, we installed fourteen fixtures on the lower level. There are eleven lights from the south end of the Catawba Creek Viaduct to the south portal of Catawba Tunnel (north of Catawba). Three fixtures were installed between the north portal of Catawba Tunnel and the south portal of Chimney Rock Tunnel at Catawba, Va. Additional fixtures will be installed in the future to light other portions of the lower level.



Photos of Progress as of April 10, 2006

TCS signal and switch motor installation at the south end (SE) of Ridgemont.


TCS signal and switch motor installation at the north end (NE) of Ridgemont. As noted by the roadway signs, NE Ridgemont is the current northern limit of TCS on the Shenandoah Division.


The second SE8C is located under MC Cabin. This board currently controls signals and switch motors for three OS sections: MC Cabin, SE Ridgemont, and NE Ridgemont. Eventually, this board will control portions of the Salem Terminal as well. A third SE8C will be needed to control the intermediate signals at Carpenter, the OS sections at both ends of Covington, and the remainder of the Salem Terminal.


Overall view of the "Catawba aisle" after the lower level lighting fixtures have been installed to the bottom of the upper level. All of the lower level lights are off in this view.


What a difference a little bit of light makes!  The lighting difference is even more dramatic in person. This picture shows the "Catawba aisle" with all of the lower level lights on. The north end of Catawba is on the left, with the south end of the Catawba Creek Viaduct on the right.


Overall view of Abbott, Va. showing the three new light fixtures turned off.


And here's Abbott with the lights turned on.


This page was last updated on 01/01/11.


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