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PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD STANDARD WATCH BOX
Circa 1911 (Replica)

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On the Pennsylvania Railroad, what we commonly call a "Crossing Shanty", was known as a "Watch Box". Watch Boxes were placed at grade crossings until automatic crossing gates became common toward the middle of the 20th Century. Crossing Watchmen operated the manual Crossing Gates and used a Stop Sign to control traffic at the crossing. Watchmen were also required to inspect passing trains for defects, report engineers who failed to properly sound the whistle or ring the bell at the crossing, and were expected to keep the crossing area clear of snow or other debris that might interfere with safe operation.

Watch Boxes were placed at grade crossings until automatic crossing gates became common toward the middle of the 20th Century.
Crossing Watchmen operated the manual Crossing Gates and used a Stop Sign to control traffic at the crossing. Watchmen were also required to inspect passing trains for defects, report engineers who failed to properly sound the whistle or ring the bell at the crossing, and were expected to keep the crossing area clear of snow or other debris that might interfere with safe operation.
This replica of a Pennsylvania R.R. Watch Box is based on a P.R.R. 1911 Standard Plan. It was built in 2003 by Whippany Railway Museum Trustee, Earle H. Gil, Sr.