Tuesday, March 8, 2011
VIRGINIAN Ry Clearance Post - "100 - Car Post"
Virginian had "Clearance Posts" also known as "100 - Car Posts" located 4580 feet beyond the ends of passing sidings. The purpose was to inform an engineer of when a 100 car length train was clear the switch of a passing track so the train could be operated at mainline speed according to rules. They were located between nine to twelve feet from the center of the track on the right side, the engineer's side, for right hand running. Generally, passing sidings were on the north side of the east - west railroad and eastbound trains had priority. In early years the posts were made of Chestnut but as that wood became scarce in the 1930's, concrete became the material of choice. They were 6 inches square with the corners having a 1" by 1" chamfer. The top featured a point made by 30 degree angles. The posts were six and a half feet long with four feet being out of the ground. Although company drawings called for the lower two feet above ground to be painted black and the remaining top to be painted white, the paint soon wore off and the posts were left looking a natural concrete color. - Information Source: Virginian Company drawing D-18, 10/10/27, revised 7/20/45