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  • Writer's pictureKen Murdock

Moving a railroad signal

The photo below shows our Plant City interlocking signal in service on CSX. It is the one on the left behind the signal shanty for the interlocking equipment. The CSX train approaching is on the old Seaboard Air Line main line from Bone Valley. The track bearing off to the right is the SAL main line to Tampa Union Station and their phosphate port on Seddon Island. The track crossing in the foreground is the old Atlantic Coast Line main line to Lakeland, to the left, and to Tampa, to the right. The Plant City Union Station, now a museum, is to the immediate right out of the photo. When CSX double-tracked the former SAL line, new signals were required.

Wes Coscia happened to be at Plant City when a signal gang was removing the old signals. There were three of them. He asked what they were going to do with the signals and they said he could have them. Being a contractor with a front-end-loader tractor, he quickly picked them up and took them home. During our group’s visit to Wes Coscia’s home near Dade City in 2010 he offered one of them to us. He even offered to let us take his trailer to haul it. So, it came to our museum where it lay on its side for five years. Finally, I had an engineer friend design a footing and three of us dug a 2’ x 2’ x 5’ deep hole, inserted reinforcing steel and anchor bolts in the hole and filled it with concrete.

The above work was done first by obtaining a building permit from the city and having it inspected before pouring the concrete. Once the concrete had cured, we called Florida

Metal Craft on Dillard Street and they sent their crane over, at no cost, to lift the signal into place. In just a few minutes, their men tightened the one-inch bolts and the heavy

lifting was done. Former member Jayson Turcyn, having had signal experience with Florida

Central, aligned the signal heads and connected the wiring and we had a new display.

The signal stands at the east end of the museum along Tremaine Street.

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