Engine Terminal

Engine Terminal
CX 351 westbound at Summit Springs. August 1976

Saturday, May 4, 2019

CTC Complete!

This past week, I finished the last signal bridge on the North Pierce Subdivision. With the installation of the signals controlling the west end of North Pierce, the railroad is now fully under CTC control. 

Oddly enough, the first signals ever placed on the railroad were located here. The photo below shows the original signal bridge.

Yep- that's a kitbashed Bachman bridge. Unfortunately, I built it long before I learned about the prototype practices of the C&O. As a result, the LED's were in the wrong positions in the targets. There were several other aspects of the bridge that I never liked, so I vowed to replace it at some point.

The new bridge is an Oregon Rail Supply kit that was modified to fit the location. There are still some final details to be added and scenery to touch up, but the basic bridge is in place and operational. 

It's been a long, long journey to get to this point, but the CTC project is finally complete. And operating the railroad with the dispatcher's panel is everything I had ever hoped it would be. A dream come true indeed!


  1. Mr. Patterson, As a railfan and model railfan, I am fascinated by the inner workings of the imaginary companies modeled by the artist. Much like the Virginian & Ohio and the many incantations it went through over its life, I am left wondering what/who is Central Belt. Is this a partner railroad, parent company, merger partner, family line, owned subsidiary? I've seen CWE cars lettered for Central Belt, observed Central Belt painted on the nose of CWE marked locomotives and seen yellow and gray Central Belt locomotives mixed in with CWE lash ups. How does Central Belt figure into the CWE?

  2. The official corporate entity is the Chesapeake, Wheeling & Erie Railroad. The original reporting marks were "CW&E" and these can still be seen on rolling stock painted prior to 1966. The "Central Belt" herald came about in the mid-1950's as a marketing slogan. Originally "The Central Belt", the slogan is a reference to the railroad's geographic location across the east central part of the United States. In the late 1950's, the word "The" was dropped and the herald became simply "Central Belt". In 1966, the railroad adopted a more modern paint scheme in which "CWE" became the reporting marks in much the same fashion as the N&W adopted "NW". All rolling stock painted after 1966 bears the large "CWE" along with the "Central Belt" herald. The only exceptions to this are cabooses which have only the large CWE.

  3. Hi Tom,

    And a massive congratulations on your achievement! Knowing how much planning, time and effort goes into installing detection and signal systems, it is a monumental instalment for a layout.

    Well done and look forward to seeing the video of all operating...! Jas.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Jas. Here's to running both of our railroad with signals and CTC!


  4. Kudos Tom got it completed that's a historic milestone.

    Can't wait to get mine that far.