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RUDYARD-KIPLING  April 2018

RUDYARD-KIPLING April 2018

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Subject:

Re: From Tideway to Tideway - Letter 7

From:

Alastair <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Alastair <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:05:40 -0500

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (157 lines)

Again, very many thanks to you and to Andrew - that diagram is 
virtually the same as British practice, except that we never 
adopted the useful American three-position semaphore, which is 
illustrated in the diagram.  It represents the signalling used by 
eastern railroads, where there was a lot of double (or quadruple) 
trackage, and my guess it is the type of signalling used, for 
example, by the Boston and Maine RR at Brattleboro, and 
possibly/probably by the CPR at the eastern end of its 
trans-continental route in Upper Canada, and in the approaches to 
its eastern terminus at Montreal.  What I'm after is detail of he 
control and signalling (if any) out in the prairie and mountain 
divisions.
     Yours,
     Alastair
PS, my apologies to other members of the mailbase, for whom this 
is probably so much gobbledygook -  but it s the kindd of esoteic 
detail in which RK himself would have rejoiced, I believe.

--


On Thu Apr 26 14:13:49 CDT 2018, William James 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From Bill James in Guelph.
> 
> Andrew Foster sent the attached illustration which may be 
> helpful?
> Very basic North American signalling illustration attached. I 
> think this represents US practice and is probably close to most 
> Canadian, though some UK railway usage is found in Canada, e.g. 
> 'van' for 'caboose'..  It's from The Railroad, What it is, What 
> it does, John H. Armstrong, 3rd ed., Simmons Boardman 1990. It's 
> a very pleasant book to browse, as all the drawing are hand made; 
> not a single electronically generated illustration in the whole 
> book!  -Andrew
> 
> From: To exchange information and views on the life and work of 
> Rudyard Kipling [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf 
> Of David Gunther
> Sent: April 26, 2018 11:15 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: From Tideway to Tideway - Letter 7
> 
> Alastair Wilson,
> 
> You did pretty well on the railroad speak.  Railway Age's 
> Comprehensive Railroad Dictionary's definition of a Distant 
> Signal is a s follows:  A fixed signal used to govern the 
> approach to an interlocking signal.  An interlocking, from the 
> Standard Code of Operating Rules:  An arrangement of signals and 
> signal appliances so interconnected that their movements must 
> succeed each other in proper sequence and for which interlocking 
> rules are in effect.  It may be operated manually or 
> automatically.
> 
> The Standard Code of Operating Rules 1928 edition (the earliest I 
> have), Distant Signal:  A fixed signal used in connection with 
> one or more signals to govern the approach thereto.
> 
> "Santa Fe"  RULES AND REGULATIONS.  Operating Department, 
> November 1901:  Distant Block Signal:  A Distant Block Signal 
> consists of a post having a movable arm with a forked end.  The 
> arm is painted green with a forked white stripe on the front 
> side.  The arm extended at right angles to the post, or the 
> display of a green light, indicates "CAUTION", prepare to stop 
> for the HOME SIGNAL.  Inclined downward at an angle of 45 
> degrees, or less, to the post, or the display of a white light, 
> indicates "CLEAR", HOME SIGNAL is clear, PROCEED.
> 
> I spent 37 years in the Operating Department of the Santa Fe 
> Railway and later BNSF Railway.
> 
> David Gunther
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alastair Wilson 
> <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
> Sent: Apr 25, 2018 3:08 PM
> To: 
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: From Tideway to Tideway - Letter 7
> 
> 
> We have been asked by a correspondent in Italy about an 
> apparently missing annotation in our notes on Letter 7 of From 
> Tideway to Tideway, which has the rather confusing title of 
> ?Captains Courageous? (it has nothing to do directly with the 
> ?Captains Courageous, novel of 1896).
> The missing annotation will be found (or rather, won?t be) at 
> page 80, line 28, and is part of Kipling?s impressions of life on 
> a transcontinental train of the Canadian Pacific Railway, a 
> journey he made, in this case west-to-east, on his way back from 
> his and Carrie's aborted honeymoon in Japan, in July 1892.
> I did the original annotation, and anyway, I seem to be the 
> Society?s (self-appointed) railway expert, so I have been asked 
> to fill in the missing annotation.  The quote to be annotated is 
> ?the dry roar of the engine at the distance signal."  Now, I 
> think I know what Kipling is getting at.  When a train is stopped 
> out of course by a signal, the engine will indicate its presence 
> to the signalman by whistling, but also it will announce its 
> presence by  the safety valves lifting ? and when they lifted, 
> they did indeed do so with a roar.  When an engine is stopped out 
> of course, one moment the fireman will have a white-hot fire, 
> producing steam at the maximum rate for the locomotive to use, 
> and the next, it will have suddenly stopped, with a boiler full 
> of steam, which is suddenly not needed and the fire producing 
> more steam every second ? so it will inevitably blow off.  So 
> far, so good.  But it is the ?at the distance signal? which 
> bothers me and I wonder if Kipling isn?t being a bit too clever.  
> Such railway expertise as Kipling possessed at this time was of 
> English or Indian practice (and at that time Indian = English).  
> English railways were signalled, at that time, on a system 
> referred to as ?absolute block?, in which a railway was divided 
> into ?block sections?, each usually from one station to the next, 
> controlled by a signalman in a signal box.  Each section had a 
> ?Home? signal which marked the end of one block section, and 
> admitted the train into the station limits which marked the end 
> of one section and the start of the next.  And there was a 
> ?distant? signal which gave warning of the indication, ?clear? or 
> ?danger? of the home signal (so that he engine didn?t suddenly 
> come round a curve, say, to suddenly find the ?home? signal at 
> danger, and be unable to stop in time, with possibly adverse 
> consequences).  But a distant signal, which had two positions, 
> ?clear? or ?caution?, did not require the engine and train to 
> stop if it was indicating ?caution? ? the driver was authorised 
> to pass it, at a reduced speed, being ready to stop at short 
> notice, usually whistling as he passed the ?distant? at 
> ?caution?.
> That, as I say, was English practice at that time (and in some 
> the remoter parts of Network Rail it still is ? just.  Mostly all 
> signalling is now concentrated in a small number of central 
> control centres, though the absolute block principle still 
> applies.)  But Kipling was writing about the Canadian Pacific 
> when it was no more than seven years old ? about 98% of its 
> mileage was single track, controlled by a train order system, 
> which utilised the telegraph to pass orders for a train?s 
> movements, which was the same as American practice.  There were 
> no fixed signals every few miles along the track, as in Britain ? 
> there might be a single signal at a depot, but there were no 
> ?distance?, or ?distant? signals ? the train proceeded under the 
> authority of its ?orders?, passed to it by the ?dispatcher?, 
> which gave it clearance to proceed to the next depot where orders 
> for the next section would be received.  Some readers may 
> remember the railroad ballad about ?Casey Jones? who ?mounted to 
> his cab with his orders in his hand?.  And Kipling later learned 
> a great deal more of American railroad practice, as it applied to 
> the eastern railroads, from the depot agent at Brattleboro, Dave 
> Carey, on which he based his tale .007.
> However, I do not know the details of American and Canadian 
> railroad practice in the 1890s, and I am hoping that somewhere 
> among our readership we have a railroad buff, probably in the USA 
> or Canada, who can set me straight before I write the 
> annotation.to answer our Italian correspondent.
> Help!
> 

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