A Southern Michigan Railroad passenger service, led by Plymouth locomotive O&M #57 and caboose NYC #21692 arrives at Brown Street in Tecumseh, Michigan on 06 June 1987.
To the right are vintage signs from the New York Central days, providing information to the engineer.
“RR CROSSING ONE MILE” is information that the line will cross another railroad line in one mile. In this case, the former-Jackson Branch will cross the former DT&M line at a diamond at Tecumseh Junction (Cummins Street). This was important information, as that crossing was not protected by any signal system. The train would have to stop before crossing the diamond.
“YARD LIMIT” indicates the train is entering the Tecumseh yard limits territory. Inside yard limits, any train could enter the main track, without permission from the dispatcher. This would have told an engineer to enter the territory at restricted speed, expecting to find the main track occupied by another train and prepared to stop. The yard limits in Tecumseh extended from Brown Street to about 1/2 mile south of Russell Road.
When the SMR purchased this line from Conrail, the signs were completely rusted. They were restored by member Craig Harris. The train crew this day consists of Ron Weyher (engineer) and Stanley Dobek (conductor/flagman).
A 2019 Google Streetview photo shows the Brown Street signs extant, but the rust has returned.