RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: Lincoln Sub. Question
I worked at Carleton tower from 1971 through 1974. At that time, this line was known at the Lincoln Branch of the Penn Central, and was operated by train order, backed up by an APB (absolute-permissive block) system with PRR position-light signals. Trains got running orders to "run extra Carleton to Penford" (and vice versa). At Carleton, the switch to the Lincoln Branch, and the switch to the south end of their siding were controlled from the tower. The north switch of their siding was hand throw. The signal system was set up so that when we lined north at Carleton, all opposing signals to Penford indicated STOP, and visa versa. By this time, the speed on the line was 30 MPH, but not used a lot. If they did run a train, it was usually a northbound. It seemed that southbound moves were few and far between. The name comes from the PRR yard that used to be in Lincoln Park, north of Penford tower. The PC dispatcher for this line was in the Michigan Central depot at Detroit, and they called us at Carleton on a special PC bell phone. Sometimes they would have road trains stop and switch Guardian Glass (known as "ASH" in the timetable), and sometimes they would have a job come down from Penford to handle it. Sometimes the PC dispatcher would give us a an order to give to this job over the phone to run back to Penford.
One night they had a northbound stop to switch Guardian Glass without notifying me, and the train was so long the caboose was south of Monroe St at Carleton and had both the C&O northbound and the DT&I blocked. It was about 2:30 in the morning when the tavern was closing and people went up to train and started pulling pins. I had to call the Carleton cops---it took the train forever to get out of town!!