Of course you must replace things to create new things. That is a given, it is very hard to do it any other way. Say you have a grade crossing with just crossbucks, and multiple people have been killed there. Well, the upgrades would involve new signals, thus ripping down the old signs. Simple. Yet, I feel a touch of waste is involved. I think those new signals do not need to come with new crossbucks; just use the ones removed from the old signs, assuming they are still good and undamaged. That is easily said, and harder done. I'm no stranger to the work behind being signal maintainer - knowledge wise that is. Strangely, I find it hard to believe you absolutely need brand new signs if you had good ones and if you need brand new signals if you already had some. My beef seems to be directed to the recent PTC upgrades, but don't let it be. I'm actually focusing on how these upgrades are being performed. I enjoy seeing the world change, and feel honored to be able to document it; given I am able to see all the old signals and train signs before they are gone. Now, a prime example of what I wish to talk about is what I recently put on the front page - the signal replacement in Otto, Illinois. Now those gantries were rusty and a little shabby if you ask me. Some proper love and care may have changed that, but I think the railroad intended to let to the signals go and just have the benefits of the new systems on its march to PTC. I completely understand that, and have no problem with it... but I hope they held onto those Safetran LED headed signals on the southern gantry. Because those signal heads were in excellent condition. When I see things like those thrown away like garbage, that is where I get a little peeved. Seriously, if you have a nice signal with usable parts and pieces, use them! Do not just let the railroad spend money on all new systems even if it's already willing to pay for it. I doubt, knowing the CN maintainers, that this happened... but it does in other places. I know that much. Lazy maintenance is a big reason for it, it sometimes is easier to replace then to maintain, but why is that? Is the money that easily flowing from a railroad? Perhaps, but I'm thinking it's a way to ease PTC into the system faster. Maybe the signalmen are slacking on purpose so that they won't be wasting time on signals that will be replaced anyway for immanent PTC upgrades. I doubt this in many areas, but I can definitely see it happening. Is PTC really that good? I don't know. Evidence shows yes, and then you have accidents like the CTA Forest Park, Illinois head-on wreck. A wreck which involved trains with all the bells and whistles of safety equipment installed - including PTC. What I do know, is that it definitely brings about incentive to slack on early retirements for signaling equipment otherwise primed for a few more years of service. The only reason I cannot land good local accusations on the CN guys is because I know they hold onto parts and do keep up the signals like I hope they would. Speaking of which, did you know the US&S Tri-Light signal in Kankakee, Illinois has parts of the US&S Tri-Lights that were once on one of the Gilman, Illinois gantries on it? Yep, the CN signalmen kept the parts and gave them to the Kankakee Model Railroad Club to fill up the empty US&S Tri-Light they have. So perhaps innovation can mean waste, but there's plenty of room for a little recycling on the sign.