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Thread: Highball?

  1. #1
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    Default Highball?

    I've heard the term several times but never realy understood what it means. Can someone please tell me what it does mean.
    Thanks.

    /Jonatan

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Highball?

    It means get moving to destination as fast as you can. In other words--"Haul Ass"--"Full Throttle or "Notch 8" immediately

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Highball?

    something I learned from all those history channel things:

    A picture showed an old-time-ey station (pre-US Civel War), the signal indication was given by a silver ball on a pole (set up like the New York new years one). When the ball was at the base it indicated stop, when the ball was raised 'high' it indicated procede, go, all clear, ect... high - ball.


    Matt
    [Link Expired]

  4. #4
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    Default RE: Highball?

    Thanks.

    Cuberjim,
    I had a small hunch that it meant to go fast.

    >It means get moving to destination as fast as you can. In other words--"Haul Ass"--"Full Throttle or "Notch 8" immediately.

    Hmmm. Sounds to me that "Highballing" is done naturaly when I'm driving my trains when you put it that way. Especialy when I'm late for a station. :)

    MLJriak,
    I didn't even had the slightest idea of the silver ball thing.

    Well thanks for the input.

    /Jonatan

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Highball?

    For many RR signals today, the green, or clear indication is the top indication, therefore it is the "highest" and since it's round, it's a "ball." So a green/clear indication is a "high ball" which got transformed into the verb "highball." If you applied this logic to cars, to "highball" would mean "to stop" while "lowball" would mean "go fast." :)

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Highball?



    >If you applied this logic to cars, to "highball" would mean
    >"to stop" while "lowball" would mean "go fast." :)

    Except in Texas where a lot of the traffic signals are hung horizontal!!!

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Highball?

    more to the word than there seems.

    Once, many years ago, railroads used a pretty complicated system of red balls on strings (things about the size of a basketball) to signal trains.
    I think there were four balls, with four main settings. High, medium Low and ground.
    If I remember correctly, the signals were:

    2 High: Procede with caution:
    1 High, 1 low: Slow, prepare to stop:
    1 High, 2 low: Stop at this station.
    2 low. :Stop procede with caution
    3 low: Stop and wait for instructions.
    4 low: STOP
    1 high : Track clear, procede at best speed.


    unless otherwise stated, signal balls are believed to be grounded (lowest point)

  8. #8

  9. #9
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    Default RE: Highball?

    Surprisingly, this term means literally what it says. I don't know how popular they ever were but there was a type of signal where a ball was raised to different heights. A high ball meant "go!".

    From my vast photo archive, here's a picture of an actual highball signal, in front of the North Conway depot on the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire:

    https://www.trainsim.com/gallery/conway/highball2.jpg


  10. #10
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    Default RE: Highball?

    wow, those ball singals sound complicated, thank goodness we have the light singals that we have today.

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