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Slide Detector Fences

Mileposts Along the Soo Line

Slide Detector Fences, Mileposts 42.0 - 40.0

Between Mileposts 42.0 to 40.0 (Westward) slide detector fences were installed to prevent trains from running into fallen rocks from the sandstone bluffs along the St. Croix Valley.  Sometimes large chunks of sandstone will bust loose, landing on the tracks.  Trains coming around the curves through the bluffs would not have time to stop and then run into them causing derailments.

 
The Soo Line timetable stated the following concerning the slide detector fences:
 
"Slide Detector Fences are in service between MP 40 and MP 42 between Marine and Osceola.  If slide is detected, a radio will transmit an intermittent tone for five seconds to alert train crews.  Automatic Block Signals will also be caused to display Restricted Proceed Indications.  Trains proceeding on a Restricted Proceed Indication should advise Dispatcher if any unsafe condition is noted in the area."
Western Division Timetable #20, Effective January 1, 1984.
The following four photos were taken from the cab of Osceola & St. Croix Railway #559, painted in a Soo Line inspired maroon and gold paint scheme during the summer of 2005.  The following photos were taken by Gary Muehlius of Redmond, WA and used with his permission. 

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Heading west, the train approaches the slide detector fences on the left.

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Heading east now, the train approaches one of the ABS signal that alerts crew to problems.

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The slide detector fences looking from the engineers window.

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Scene of a recent slide. Note the debris on the tracks and the new panels on the fences.