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From: "\"Jim G\" AT Graytrainpix" graytrainpix AT hotmail DOT com
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2015 22:01:08 -0500
Subject: Goshen Railroad Station
"GP_machine.jpg" - image/jpeg, 640x484 (256c)

Here's a footnote to the recent List discussion regarding the cover shot
on the December 1960 EL Magazine, of train 5 (the Lake Cities) stopped
on a snowy night along side the Goshen NY passenger station. I've seen
that shot before, it's one of my favorites. It's so "Erie" -- you could
hardly imagine a scene like that along the PRR or NYC or UP or SP or ACL
or IC, not even the NKP, Wabash, LV or DL&W. Even if you could find
something similar somewhere on those companies, it would be a sideline
operation, not what the railroad in question was "all about" along its
main line.

Anyway, the signal and interlocking specialists might notice that the
westbound signal at the station had two heads in that shot, whereas in
later shots from EL days you only see one head on top of the mast. In
1960, Goshen still had a controlled interlocking plant immediately west
of the station. Recall that Goshen was the junction point for the Pine
Island branch to the south and the Montgomery Branch to the north, and
that L&NE trains to and from Maybrook made the transit between the two
branches and crossed the Erie Main Line here. I've attached a small
photo that I obtained some years ago from a site which collected shots
of Union Switch and Signal panelized interlocking control machines (I
believe this site was discussed on the List, that's how I found it).
This was the control panel for Goshen Interlocking -- I believe that the
interlocking plant was called "GP", although the operator in the Goshen
station who controlled it answered to "GN". (I'm guessing that there
once was a "GP Tower" controlling the switches and signals before the
US&S panel machine was bought and placed inside the depot, possibly in
the 1940s -- the photo indicates a date of 9-12-49). According to an
employee's timetable, in 1960, there was an operator stationed at the
Goshen station around the clock, except for the Saturday and Sunday
overnight tricks.

You can see on the panel photo the Pine Island branch at the top right
and the Montgomery branch at the lower left, with a crossover between
the east and westbound mains allowing a direct move from one branch to
the other. The station was located directly between the westbound main
and the Montgomery Branch (with an adjacent platform for the Montgomery
Branch passenger locals of long ago). Thus the westbound signal for the
Main Line was at the east end of the station. I believe that the
interlocking plant was taken out of service and the powered switches
were converted to hand-throw shortly after the L&NE was abandoned in
October, 1961. An October 1962 timetable makes no mention of the
operator or interlocking (although a station agent who could issue train
orders for branch line moves was probably still assigned to the station
on weekdays during the mid-1960s). The lower "call on" head of the
signal would have then been removed, and a number plate was placed on
the mast indicating that this signal was now "automatic", and not an
interlocking home signal.

You could imagine that back when the Erie was running Port Jervis
passenger locals at least every 2 hours, along with a handful of
through-line trains mixed in, along with some local agricultural freight
business requiring various drill moves, an interlocking plant would come
in handy to avoid any delays to the first class runs, even if the L&NE
only came through once each way per day. I believe that even into the
early EL days, a through freight working the Main Line might
occasionally stop at Goshen and run up the Montgomery Branch to MQ and
possibly even into Maybrook, if any New Haven interchange cars were
mixed into its consist (or there were some cars from the NH ready at the
Brook or MQ and nothing was expected for a few hours on the Graham
Line). So Goshen probably had its busy moments when the advantages of
power switches and controlled signals kept things moving briskly.

Oh well, enough living in the past for now. Happy 2016! Jim Gerofsky


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