Tuesday 29 November 2011

White River Junction Yard Office Signs

CV roundhouse view between 1963-1967.
Yard Office signs...CV and B&M yards

If your modelling the WRJ yards, you might be thinking of including the yard office buildings of the Central Vermont or Boston and Maine. The CV roundhouse housed  the yard office and posted a sign as seen to the left. This was after the old wooden two floor yard office was closed in the early 1960's. It was located beside the roundhouse and originally was a home. The operator was also stationed in the old yard office until it was closed. The operator was then transferred to the second floor of the roundhouse yard office and later moved to the ground floor.

This fall I stopped by White River Junction and took a look around inside the station. At the north end is the tourist information area. The door was open to the area that once housed the RR museum. The only artifact found inside of interest was the old WRJ yard office sign as seen below in this post. I had not seen this sign at the museum when I last visited and was still open. This was a good time to take a few photos as my record. Once I left I thought it would have been nice to know the dimensions of the sign if used on a model structure at a later date. I stopped by again on my way home and found the room locked. I was in luck, Chris McKinley, known locally as the WRJ yardmaster was track side and has a key. Chris helped me take a few measurements while we visited. I had not seen Chris since the CVRHS convention a year ago. Chris is a true Central Vermont fan...thanks again Chris for your help.

The sign is all wood with a flat weathered black finish. The lettering when looked closely at is actually white although it has a darker dirty silver or very light gold look to it from years of weathering. The sign is two 9 inch boards that are 10ft. 2inch long. There is a 3/4" wooden trim all the way around the sign. Lettering is 6" high with 2" spacing between lines and top and bottom. The W is 6" wide, I is 1" and E is 5" wide.

The Central Vermont yard office sign used on the original wooden yard office building until the early 1960's and now housed in the WRJ station.
Bill Brigham filled me in on how the sign  found a home inside the WRJ station. "The yard office sign was saved by Dexter Cheney when he was a student at VTC in Randolph, Vermont. Dexter took the sign home to New Haven, Ct. after graduation. About three years ago with the Museum still open at the White River Jct. station it seemed appropriate to have the sign in WRJ once again." Today the sign is the only artifact remaining from the museum display.

Well when I started this post I ran into some confusion as it appeared that this sign might have been used on the roundhouse as Bill stated. When I looked at all the photos I could of the old yard office and photos of the roundhouse with an attached sign it seemed that the white sign was the only sign used on the roundhouse and the black sign with white lettering found at the station appeared to have been used only on the CV wooden yard office.

I exchanged e-mails with Jim Murphy who was a CV operator working many of the area stations. He reports never seeing this sign and suggested it may have been used on the Mountain St. B&M yard office south of the station. Well my research took me through photos and books with photos of the B&M yard office at WRJ and the only sign I found was a white one as seen in this post. I included Bill Brigham, CVRHS president in on my search and it was agreed that as far as I know this sign was a CV sign and only used on the old yard office. I do have a letter out to Dexter and if there is any changes in my findings I will let you know. If you are a CVRHS member you will find an updated feature on the yard office with sign drawings and  wooden yard office plans shorty.

B&M Mountain St. two story yard office south of the White River Jct. station. This building is still standing today but in very poor condition and is next to the NECR main line.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another classic blog giving the image how it was then. It is changed completely now.

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