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Thread: Railroad rule books

  1. #1
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    Default Railroad rule books

    I was looking for the origins / history of the grade crossing warning signal required by trains and came across this interesting site with railroad rule books dating back to 1897.
    And FYI, the current grade crossing signal became standard in the Consolidated Rule book in 1937 with the addition of the final long sound across the crossing. It was then up to the individual railroads to adopt it.
    Exerpt from a site with this information...
    'The road crossing signal two long two short was adopted as Rule 49 on April 14, 1887 by the General Time Convention. On April 12 1899 the same signal became Rule 14(l) in the completed Standard Code of Operating Rules that was adopted by the General Time Convention. It remained that way until November 1938, when it was changed to two long a short and a long, prolonged or repeated until the crossing is reached.'

    http://wx4.org/to/foam/maps/1rule/book.html
    Cheers,

    Russ

    CEO of Devil's Gate Mining Co.



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    Good find, Mossy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mosslake View Post
    'The road crossing signal two long two short was adopted as Rule 49 on April 14, 1887 by the General Time Convention. On April 12 1899 the same signal became Rule 14(l) in the completed Standard Code of Operating Rules that was adopted by the General Time Convention. It remained that way until November 1938, when it was changed to two long a short and a long, prolonged or repeated until the crossing is reached.'
    I'm fairly certain it was Lucius Beebe who started a myth of the crossing whistle (sounding like Q in Morse code) being an abbreviation for "Here comes the QUEEN" I remember reading it in some railroad folklore book. And an old volunteer giving a tour at some railroad museum I've visited once told me that whistle signals are Morse code. I knew even then that that is crap, but I assumed he read the same folklore I had read at some point. Fast forward a few years, and I saw an old Southern Ry whistle post offered on Ebay that had 2 bars and 2 dots instead of the usual 2 bars, a dot, and a bar. Nice to finally nail down a date when the whistle changed, and the facts necessary to debunk the Morse code myth for good.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

    "People saw wood and say nothing, but railroad men saw trains and say things that are better left unprinted."--Charles De Lano Hine

    Down with UP

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