ACL/SAL Headlight arrangement and use for ACL/C&WC F7s & Geeps

Delmarvarailfan Jun 18, 2013

  1. Delmarvarailfan

    Delmarvarailfan New Member

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    I am searching for info on how the ACL and subsidiary Charleston & Western Carolina used their headlights. The arrangement in my photos and research shows two sets of lights for F7s and GP7s. In the F7 door light and lower housing of the GP7 is the standard hi/lo headlights.

    The upper housing (F7 nose/GP7 both ends) above the headlights has a red Gyralight with another light above it in the same housing. Can anyone explain how the red Gyralight was used (reverse running, grade crossings, etc)? What was the color and function of the light above the Gyra?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

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    Delmararailfan: It sounds as 'tho you're getting real time specific. As you're probably aware, accessories on a locomotive can vary considerably over time and I'd definitely classify headlights as accessories. The presence or lack of same could vary for many reasons.

    I'll give you my best recollections and looking at thousands of photos of ACL engines. I will also yield to anyone who has photos or better recollections. For 18 years I lived in my parent's house that butted up on the ACL's Croghans branch, later called the Ashley Spur by the SCL. From about 1952 - 67 this spur was served by two of their GP-7s. To the best of my knowledge always two and always GP-7s. IIRC the upper headlight was two red lights (lenses) altho' I seem to have memories of some having a white lense in the upper position of the upper headlight housing - out of stock for red lenses?

    Don't know of any way after the merger 'tho I read (and saw photos) that said "some" of the ex-C&WC units had smaller than normal ACL heralds to fit inside of rather than overlap the stripes on the "black maria" (black & yellow scheme). Again, "some" not all.

    On the F units (and ACL had FTs, F2s, F3s - not to ignore the E3a, 6s. 7s and E8s) from photos and IIRC, over time they appear to have had just about every variation of lights possible. At least that's what I remember and a lot of photos. As for differentiation between ACL and merged C&WC units, you'd have needed to have a roster with you for the numbers although I know they occupied the six number slots above ACL's F7s.

    As for Mars or Gyra-lites every one I ever saw was white - never red.

    The red lights? I seem to remember at least one time table referring to them as "warning" lights - again IIRC!

    For the most part unless you're modeling a very specific time period I (and I do model a specific time - over 10 years) wouldn't worry about it.
     
  3. rch

    rch TrainBoard Member

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    I believe the single white lens was the oscillating light and the red lens was illuminated in the case of an emergency brake application.
     
  4. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree at least on the F units. If a GP had a white lense, don't think the mechanism for a Mars/Gyralite would have fit.
     
  5. Delmarvarailfan

    Delmarvarailfan New Member

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    Dave and RCH,

    Thanks for your reply, and you're both right. I tried to find info on this but came up empty. Once I saw the term "warning light", I Googled the phrase and found the same answer you guys provided. I found this on trainweb.org/gyra/mars.htm:

    SB-WR-2- 200 "figure 8" Mars Light light was marketed in both a cased as well as an internal mounted versions It seems that this light was marketed as a both a Clear-Red as well as a dual-Clear unit. The red lens as well as the relay was removed (2 clear lenses used) to run both lamps energized for single track operation by some RRs (Green Mt. RR)....

    As to the two clear vs. red/clear, I think this was a function of the railroad's operations. The purpose of the red was to serve as a warning whenever a train went into emergency on double track. An opposing train would see this and could take action to prevent collision with derailed equipment. I think that the red could also be manually operated. If a railroad was predominately single track, there would be little use for a red lens.

    Users of the Mars 200 Light as white-red included:

    • Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
    • Atlantic Coast Line
    • Charleston & Western Carolina
    • Chicago Great Western
    • Florida East Coast
    • Louisville & Nashville
    • Union Pacific
    • Wabash

    There is a picture of the unit in a case in exact same form as used externally on ACL/C&WC Geeps. Thanks to you guys, I now know the model used and the way it was operated. Many thanks!

    BTW Dave: I consider Charleston my hometown, although I did live in the Upstate for a while.
     
  6. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

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    Delmarvafan: You found something I didn't. All that I did was recollections to the best of my memory, and you know how that goes..... !
     

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