NKP Lapped Sidings

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

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Notch 8
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NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Notch 8 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:58 am

Came across this the other day and thought that I might throw it out for input and some input on how these sidings work and do any class 1's install anything like this today ? How many of these types of sidings are located of the former NKP today ? Were any of these on the line from Lima to Marion ?

Here is the caption that Matthew had on his photo.


"Lapped Sidings at North Findlay


One of the cool features of the old Nickel Plate were their "lapped sidings". The two sidings overlap just enough to allow the train dispatcher to use both sidings together as a short stretch of double track for non-stop meets, or to use both sidings individually for train meets and/or passes. The neat part of the arrangement is that it only uses two siding switches to achieve all this flexibility"
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Lapped Sidings at North Findlay.jpg
Photo by Matthew Harrell

Wayne Gest
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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Wayne Gest » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:38 pm

There is another one at Continental, where the Eastward Siding is on the west side of town and the Westward Siding is on the east side of town. It became that way because of the Cloverleaf and all the interchange work done there, so I was told.

I think there were others on the NKP but I don't know where. I don't think there are any on today's Chicago District but believe there are a couple east of Bellevue. I could be wrong.

No, nothing like that on the old LE&W side west of Lima. I'm sure you meant to say Muncie and not Marion. The Cloverleaf went through Marion. Nothing like that between Muncie and Frankfort, either.

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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by cjberndt » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:24 pm

Neat find Mike. I never thought about this. There were, however, four switches because the trains had to get back to the mainline at the far ends of each siding.

How many times would they have precisely timed meets of two trains ? If they didn't have precisely timed meets, one train still had to sit in a siding and wait for the other to clear the switch. Does anyone know if it was a good system? Better than a long double track?

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Wayne Gest
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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Wayne Gest » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:28 pm

Occasionally, they would get it right and no one would stop but that was a rarity. Perhaps it was different in NKP day. I recall some stories about lapped meets where the engineer might push his luck. All I can say is that things were different then.

What happens frequently is that the dispatcher will set up a lapped meet and one train will get there and be in the clear in enough time ahead of the opposing train that the dispatcher could have simply waited and lined the other train for main line movement, negating the requirements to slow the train to enter the pass, additional delay, etc.

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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Wayne Gest » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:53 am

I specifically remember a story a brakeman told me about being on a train in Nickel Plate days, making a lapped siding meet, at North Findlay. He was riding the second unit, they were going west, the engineer never backed off of them, the opposing train cleared, the switch and signal lined up right about the time they got to the signal, said it scared him badly. He didn't know if the engineer was crazy, had a world of faith in the dispatcher, or just lost. He told me that was about the one scariest moment he ever had in his railroad career.

Again, it was a different world but I don't think too many were that crazy.

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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by CIOR » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:18 pm

Was told the siding at Campbellstown on the New Castle District was a lapped siding until the N&W purchase and it was redone to make straight track through it and jogged it over. Wayne, do you know the truth? Its certainly set up that way.

Had a old head comment that he believed ZA siding was done that way long before he ever worked out there and when the east end of the yard at Tipton was redone, the siding east of the middle (current east end ZA switch) was turned into the switching lead. the then east end ZA switch was further east of the diamond. Could never confirm it though, but it could have been.
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Wayne Gest
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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Wayne Gest » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:16 pm

Yes, Campbellstown was lapped and that is why it jogs, and there were lapped sidings on the same line at the sidings known as Mosler, in Hamilton, OH. Mosler was located essentially between the bridge over Erie Avenue down to about Bobmeyer Road, through the east side of Hamilton. Today, of course, the absolute holdout signal on east near Gilmore Road is known as Mosler. The Mosler Safe Company was located in that area.

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Notch 8
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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Notch 8 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:51 am

Not a lapped siding but definite NKP Fashion... single track and Fast !
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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Hotbox » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:34 pm

Wayne Gest wrote:Yes, Campbellstown was lapped and that is why it jogs, and there were lapped sidings on the same line at the sidings known as Mosler, in Hamilton, OH.

Would the former NKP line in Hobart, west from the junction near County Line road, be considered a lapped siding?

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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Jim » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:12 am

Not a lapped siding, but in the summer of 1973, I worked on the local N&W section gang that covered the Wabash in Allen county, and we spent 1 week with the next section gang west putting in crossover switches about 1 mile west of Mardenis connecting the Huntington passing track to the main. Most of the time was spent raising the siding by hand tamping. The crossover switches are long gone, I don't think it lasted long, but as you drive down Hosler Road, you can still see where the siding rises where the crossover was.

Speaking of the track jogging, it looks like there is a jog in the main line at New Haven Pass. Was there some type of lapped siding there in the past?

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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Wayne Gest » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:12 pm

I don't believe that New Haven was ever lapped but doesn't mean that it wasn't. If so, it was changed before 1972.

As for Mardenis, in those days, the entire passing track was known as Mardenis and not Huntington, like it is today. It was the only place I ever recall that there was a intermediate westbound signal on the main about midway. Was this where the crossovers were going to be. I really can't remember these crossovers but Mardenis was certainly long enough to make it that adaptable.

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Re: NKP Lapped Sidings

Post by Jim » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:05 pm

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for your reply. The crossover was between the road crossing at Mardenis and the next one west which put it east of the intermediate. I remember asking why they were putting a crossover there and the foreman said he did not know why.

As a side note, my dad had an aunt and uncle in Huntington, and a couple times after we visited, we would go downtown in Huntington and if the Wabash Cannonball was due soon would watch it arrive and then we would head for home. The Cannonball would pass us long before we reached Roanoke. Back then the speed limit on US24 was 65mph.

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