CTC at Burbank Junction


In the last years of the old Burbank Tower, a Union Switch & Signal, CTC Machine replaced the mechanical levers and rods used to control the crossover switches. What you are looking at under the layout a new US&S Machine made up from parts of old CTC machines removed from service on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Rod Loder of Photo Electric builds these machines for model railroad layouts. The switch levers you see on this panel once controled thousands of prototype trains a year are still work just fine for my layout.

This new Track Plan Panel was made to look just like the origional used at Burbank Junction. The Panel Lights simulate train locations using a 24 hour Chart Clock using a 1964 timetable. Any part of a day can be used for the operating schedule. What this means, is that each light indicates a block is occupied by a train and the switch engine can not be on that main line track.

How is a Railroad Timetable built into a Clock? At one time this Foxboro Chart Recorder Clock was use to measure crude oil in a large storage tank for an oil pipe line pumping plant. The clock would turn the Paper Disk and a ink marking pin would mark the oil level of the tank for any hour of the day. I modified the Clock by removing the ink level parts and built a seven wire brass contact device. (close up photo below) When a hole in the turning paper disk comes under a contact wire, it touches the ground plate behind the paper disk, making an electrical circut. The paper disk show hours of the day, I punch a series of three holes for every East or Westbound Train shown to be at Burbank Junction for any year from LA Division Timetables.

Of the Seven contacts seen here, Six Contacts are for the Track Panel Lights and One Contact operates the One Ding Bell, this is so the operator would know a train is in the block. This CTC Machine and Clock work really well together and add a lot of operating intrust to my model railroad.