I can’t speak for the Toledo Branch or the West Division, but I know they were in use between Detroit and Niles. My general understanding is that they were most often placed for use with “head in” signals mounted on automatic block signals to instruct an approaching freight train to “take siding” at the next passing track or a passenger train to call the dispatcher for instructions. The head-in signals were turned on and off by the train dispatcher by his selector buttons. They were a very helpful device to move trains, especially during night hours when there were few operators on duty to report movements.
The OS signals were on the track circuit approaching the signal with the “head in” signal. As long as a train was on this circuit, the OS sounded. Between Jackson and Niles, to my memory, the OS signals:
Parma (westbound only), Albion (eastbound only), Marshall (both directions), Rumley Yard (eastbound only), Augusta (both), Botsford (westbound only), Miller (both), Lawton (both), Glenwood (both), and Dowagiac (both). Augusta westbound had a westbound OS approaching the siding and another leaving the coal chutes. I used to remember what morse was sent for each, but memory fails me except for Augusta (eastbound was GSE, westbound was GS, and leaving coal chutes GSW) and Botsford (BO).
The OSs were an unusual device, and I never heard of them installed anywhere except on the MC main line.
The open phones were in use on the Saginaw Branch at Underwood and Chesaning, and on the Mackinaw Branch at Sterling, Hodgeman, Beaver Lake, Horrigan, Vanderbilt, and Wolverine. The dispatcher could turn on and turn off the phones by his selectors I can’t speak to the Bay City Branch and I don’t remember that the Grand Rapids Branch had any.
« Back to index