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Museum wigwags/Washington State
Washington State
Railroads Historical Society Museum

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
Photos and info by Camron Settlemier (2/00)

Here are two photos of a wigwag in the back of the
Washington State Railroads Historical Society Museum
located at 122 North Tacoma Ave. Pasco, Washington. We
now have new information, thanks to Jody Moore, that this
signal comes from Whistran, Wa on the NP (now BNSF). More info below...

click to enlarge
Whistran, Wa (1992) Photo by Jody Moore

Jody Writes:

"Some further information regarding the wig-wag owned by the Washington State Railroads Historical Society and stored in Pasco, WA. As an almost life-long Tri-Cities resident, I am reasonably familiar with it.

The wig-wag came originally protected Rothrock Road in Whitstran, outside of Prosser, WA on the NP line between Gibbon and Granger. (That line originally connected with the main again at Parker, but was shortened long before my time.)

The installation was unusual (to me at least) as the signal actually sat on the wrong side of the tracks for the side of the road that it was on.

During my time as a brakeman with the Washington Central, I worked that line. At the time, the signal wasn't working, and we had to stop and protect the crossing. When dismounting the locomotive, I would usually give the target an enthusiastic shove just to see the it moving.

At the time, the WCRC eventually planned to remove it. As I heard it, the signal had been promised to the folks that lived on the southeast corner of the crossing. When BNSF took over the line, all bets were off.

The last time I saw the signal in place, BNSF had returned it to service, adding a solar power panel and other amenities. It was wig-wagging away heartily as an MOW hyrail moved through. Never saw it activate for a train. Unfortunately, on a train chasing expedition a few months later, I was surprised to see that it had been removed and replaced with a set of flashers. That was about 1998.

This signal was unusual to the area. I knew of at least three other wig-wags on the NP lines. One, at Kiona, protected the main, and was removed promptly by the BNSF forces after the takeover. I have no idea what became of it. Also, a double set protected Sunnyside Road in Granger, on the Gibbon-Granger branch. That set was more recently removed.

If you are interested, I have photos of the Whitstran signal in place. I've scanned one, which as I remember was taken about 1992. Sorry, I don't have more accurate information."

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