"Like the west side of the Cascades, NP installed semaphores in Eastern Washington from Spokane to Cle Elum during 1914.
Signaling the double track from Easton to Lester over Stampede Pass was completed in 1918.
The time I spent photographing the semaphores in Eastern Washington in the 1980's was very limited as BN ceased operations over Stampede Pass in 1983. The signal along Lake Easton used by NP in their 1964 calendar photo was the only one I would photograph from the 1918 project.
After the Stampede Pass line was shut down BN continued to operate a local to Ellensburg from Yakima. In October of 1986 Washington Central took over operation between Cle Elum and Pasco. I photographed very little of the semaphores in service between Ellensburg and Pasco and they were eventually all removed in the 1990's.
From Pasco to Providence Hill the ex-NP semaphores were still in service until 1987 when the SP&S line from Pasco to just west of Spokane was abandoned in favor of the NP route which was rebuilt with CTC to handle more traffic. In doing so the semaphores were removed. On my visits in the mid to late 1980's traffic on the ex-NP was all eastbound (westbounds used the SP&S line) making photography somewhat challenging due to the positioning of the sun during the day. Most photos tended to be backlit due to trains heading northeast towards Spokane from Pasco.
My one semaphore photograph east of Providence is a westbound at Ritzville, WA in 1981. BN had a hard time deciding which way to run their trains but on this day the direction was westbound to Pasco.
While there were many semaphores to be found in Eastern Washington duting the 1980's I spent very little time photographing any of them. I would make up for that in Idaho and Western Montana."
And now on to the Gallery....