Helton Drive, Lawrenceburg, TN

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Helton Drive, Lawrenceburg, TN

Postby freebrickproductions » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:41 am

*originally recorded on 8-16-18*

Signal on the left: 2 pairs of General Signals 12x20 inch lights with General Signals MAX LEDs, a WCH gate mechanism, and RECO LED gate lights.
Signal on the right: 2.5 pairs of General Signals 12x20 inch lights with General Signals MAX LEDs, a Safetran 12x24 inch light with a Dialight Ball LED, a WCH Type 1.5 electronic bell, a WCH gate mechanism, and Alstom LED gate lights.

This crossing is certainly a bit of a weird one. Back in 2013, this was an almost-pure L&N gated install, complete with a set of lantern gate lights on the near signal. However, by the time I got up to this crossing in 2016, the TSRR had already replaced the gate arms, so the crossing had all new gate lights though was otherwise unchanged. It appears that later in 2016 the TSRR upgraded the crossing to the current signals, apparently with the far signal being replaced before the near one, according to Google Maps satellite view. Originally, both of the newer signals would've had all General Signals lights and RSI "STOP" LED gate lights, though it appears that by the time I got back up to this crossing in February of 2015, the closer signal had gotten side-swiped by a car or truck, so the gate arm and one pair of lights were replaced. The replacement lights at the time were both re-used, one being a Federal Signal 8 inch light from the old set-up while the other was a Safetran 12x24 inch light with a Dialight Ball LED (which is still used, as you can see). The gate arm was replaced, though the new gate arm had Alstom LED gate lights installed. When I finally returned to this crossing recently, the TSRR had once again made a few changes, such as replacing the RSI gate lights on the far signal and replacing the 8 inch light on the near signal with another General Signals light, likely originally from this signal (having been repaired). For some reason, the newer right-hand signal has never had a 2 tracks sign installed on it, despite there being plenty of room for one on the mast above the lights, and both the newer signal on the far side and both of the signals on the old set-up having them.
The crossing is still a bit of a unique set-up as well. For starters, the bell is set start ringing shortly after the gates start to lower, and then shuts off shortly before the gates are all the way back up. Despite the signals being controlled by the same relay case, this was not how the bell had been set-up, which was set to operate the way the L&N did their bells (ringing from start-up to when the gates lowered), as seen at 2:33 in the video below:

On top of that, this crossing is one of the few I'm aware of to feature General Signals MAX LEDs, which the TSRR used for a while in 2016. It appears that they aren't very good LEDs, as these are already full of dead spots in them despite being not even two years old yet. These LEDs also look pretty much exactly like WCH 2nd Generation LEDs, except for the fact that they don't stick out from the light-heads like WCH 2nd Generation LEDs.
I'm also not sure what type the WCH bell is, as it doesn't seem to match any other tone of WCH bell I've found online, not even the WCH "Type 4" that TommyBNSF found in Chillicothe, IL. However, the tone most closely matches a WCH Type 3, IMHO, so I'm going with that. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. This bell also features a pause after the first ring, which is something that some of these newer WCH e-bells feature for some reason, despite that going away after the change from the first generation boards to the second generation ones. WCH sure needs to up their quality controls on these e-bells...

http://www.rxrsignals.com/Tennessee/Law ... rg/Helton/
There should be a legal limit as to how humid it can be on any given day during the summer here in the South...

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