Southern Pacific Railroad History Center


Jack Fuller

Some corrections to Robert’s comments. The situation wasn’t an efficiency test, but what at first glance was a Stop signal failure. Crockett Rocket got by a Stop Signal at Costa. Upon interviewing the crew, all claimed that the signal in advance of the home signal at Costa was displaying a Yellow over Yellow — Approach Diverging. Turned out the next signal was Red over Red, not Red over Green. And they got by the signal.

After handling the crew, I went to Crockett to observe the signal, and having the DS not allow passage eastward beyond Costa. The signal displayed what appeared to be a Yellow over Yellow — except it appeared that the bottom Yellow was showing because of the sun shining upon it. That lower head could only display Yellow or Dark.

I had the DS advise the next eastward train – a Capitol Corridor – to stop just west of this signal. Entering the cab, I asked the Engr and Condr what they saw ahead of them. They agreed that it appeared to show Y|Y. I took their names, advising them that they might be witnesses in an investigation – for the accused.

The next day I returned to the location, with my Sweet Bride [an artist] and the Signal Maintainer in tow. We all agreed that the signal was showing Y|Y, where it should have shown Y|Dark. I called Supt. Carl Bradley and advised him of our findings. He said, “Put the Signal man on the phone.”. The Maintainer confirmed our findings, and returned the phone to me. Supt. Bradley said, “Return that crew to service.” End of story.

Well, almost. Turned out that the Foreman on the Rocket was Local Chairman David Corazza. He also was at Crocket, in the distance, observing and, no doubt, taking notes!

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop