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DECEMBER    1

A word about Todd Miller :

Todd Miller and Paul Geiger started Clear Block productions and Todd kept it going after Paul died. I don't know who owns Green Frog but as far as I know , Todd did not have any connection to it......Phil Albano

Mr. Miller died of a massive heart attack while on his way to do a railroadiana show several years ago. He was mainly interested in structures, mainly depots and towers. He did a short stint for Conrail as an operator. Mark Demaline who was an officer for CSX has Todd's slide collection. As Mark digitizes and catalogues Todd's stuff, he is sending them my way to be posted. Thanks Mark for sharing these photos with us. More to come.

Illinois.........................26th St   Chicago      PRR

                                     Starnes  Springfield     IC

Starnes : Starne Tower was on the IC's line to Saint Louis, not the GM&O.  The lines that crossed IC were the Wabash main from Decatur to Moberly, MO, and the Illinois Terminal's line to Peoria. Starnes was an IC tower.  The photo is looking north on the IC, and the track crossing the IC in front of the tower is the Wabash.  The photographer is standing about where the Illinois Terminal crossed the IC.  The IT crossed the Wabash to the left of the tower.  I believe the IT had been removed by the time of this photo.  B&O was not part of the interlocking here, it was further south.  Another note here is that I've also seen this location identified as Starnes.  The topo maps call it Starne, and it was also shown in the Wabash employee timetables as Starne.  But the IT called it Starnes.  I would say either is correct.......Steve Salamon

Ohio.................................Joyce  Avenue   Columbus   N&W

As for Joyce Avenue, according to Rick Tipton's book "The PRR in Columbus, OH", this was an N&W tower, but PRR did much of the maintenance, as there were many more PRR moves through the interlocking.  Also per that book, this tower was built in 1950, replacing an older brick tower.  It was at the north end (by timetable) of N&W's Joyce Avenue Yard (but geographically west end).  The N&W had a connection to the PRR's CA&C line for passenger trains to Columbus Union Station.  N&W crews going to their downtown freight station had to use a series of crossovers over the PRR to reach the N&W line to the freight station.  The connection was also used by PRR crews that pulled coal trains out of Joyce Avenue to go west on the Bradford Line.  There was a diamond north of the tower, where the CA&C crossed the PRR's running track to Pennor Yard, where N&W and PRR exchanged coal trains for Sandusky.  Pennor was a separate yard along the north side of Joyce Avenue Yard....Steve Salamon 

Pennsylvania............................Bryn  Mawr        PRR

DECEMBER     2

Pennsylvania........................SA  Sand Patch       B&O

Sand Patch PA - B&O Main Line between Cumberland and Pittsburgh.  Summit of the Alleghenies. Along with Alto, probably one of the most photographed towers in America.

DECEMBER  4

Today I have six towers, four of them new, and one diagram. All of them are New Haven. I hope Dale Martin and John Garofalo will be satisfied. All came via Geoff Hubbs. SS stands for Signal Station not Schutzstaffel. HAER stands for Historic American Engineering Record.

Connecticut...................*SS 52   Sagatuck Draw

                                         SS 108  Niantic River Bridge

                                        *SS 122  Mystic Draw  1    2    3

Massachusetts.................*SS M-333  Jackson St  Worcester

New York..........................SS 196  Hopewell Jct  1    2

Rhode Island....................*SS 154 Woodlawn  Providence  1    2       

DECEMBER     6

Today we have Mike Brotzman's study of UD tower. Photo nine is an excellent interior shot. Mike is giving Wally Mattes a run for his money as he has provided me with three paragraphs of information. And, like Wally's comments, Mike's are extremely interesting and informative. Speaking of Wally; this week via snail mail, I'll be receiving more non Indiana Wally stuff to post.

Illinois....................................UD   Joliet     Rock Island

                      1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9

UD Tower in Joliet, Illinois is located at the diamond crossing of the former ATSF (Santa Fe) and the Chicago and Alton main lines and the former Rock Island main line. Of course none of their original railroads exist so today the Rock Island line is owned by the Chicago commuter rail authority METRA to the east and the Iowa Interstate, the line ATSF morphed into BNSF and the Alton was bought by the Gulf Mobile and Ohio, which merged with the Illinois Central which spun off the portion south of Joliet to the Southern Pacific which was then merged into the Union Pacific and with the part north of the city getting folded into Canadian National after the CNIC merger. Finally, both METRA and Amtrak use the former Alton main as guest railroads.........Mike Brotzman

The layout is fairly simple. The ATSF and Alton lines run roughly north-south through the City of Joliet and come together in to an elevated 4-track corridor that then cross the former Rock Island main running east-west at a diamond crossing. This elevated diamond crossing and rail corridor was part of a 1912 project to construct a new Union Station at Joliet serving all three of the major railroads in grade separated splendor. Along with this station came a new interlocking tower to control it which was UD which I assume stands for Union Diamonds or something like that. Like the other Chicago area towers diamonds were the name of the game and in its heyday UD featured a 4x4 grid of diamonds where the two main lines met. However today that has been reduced to a 4x1 as the Rock Island really took it on the chin, eventually going bankrupt and nearly being abandoned........MB

Even though the three main lines were separate UD contained ample crossover facilities between the lines that were used to varying degrees. People might know UD from old pictures usually involving the Southwest Chief and the large signal gantries spanning the parallel main lines covered in semaphore signals. Today the semaphores are long gone, but some of the crossovers do still exist even if they aren't all used much. Today UD sees freight service on all of its lines, but primarily the BNSF route which is a major double stack intermodal route into the BNSF Corwith yard complex. The former Alton line does see some through freight, but it is largely a passenger route with a peak period METRA Heritage service from here to Chicago Union Station , but also Amtrak "Lincoln Service" to St Louis along with the Texas Eagle long distance train. This line is being upgraded to a high speed corridor with 110mph operation. The crossing route sees all day METRA service as part of their Rock Island district so Joliet serves as the terminal of two independent Metra services........MB

.......And remember kids, use your secret decoder ring and fire those blasters !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DECEMBER  7    Pearl Harbor Day

Carl Barneyback sent me these items. One is a hand drawn track chart and the other has something to do with the levers. Both are about MC tower in Chicago Heights. The Michigan Central(MC) (NYC) crossed the CE&I. I do not have a picture of the tower. Hint Hint.......

Illinois....................MC  Chicago Heights  diagram  lever chart

DECEMBER     8

The following five are my monthly Wilhelm allotment.

Illinois................................Union Ave.  Chicago     CB&Q

South Carolina..................*Cheraw        SAL

                                            RA  Florence   ACL

                                          *SY  Charleston     ACL

Virginia...............................HN  Doswell     RF&P

Cheraw : ACL Florence to Wadesboro Branch crossed the SAL mainline.

Doswell(HN) :  C&O's Newport to Charlottesville Line crossed the RF&P.

DECEMBER   9

Illinois.................................91st ST     Chicago

91st St was where Rock Island's (CRIP or RI) Suburban Line crossed PRR's Cincinnati to Chicago Main. It was at MP 300.1
(distance from Columbus) According to Pennsy ETT #7 dated 1967 it was shown as "Rock Island Crossing". It was only one tenth of a mile from Beverly Jct. This was where the above mentioned Pennsy line crossed the Rock Island and the BOCT. This photo shows this situation very well. 91st ST was a Rock Island tower; Beverly Jct was Pennsylvania.

Here is part of a timetable page from 1934 as additional information about Beverly Jct and 91st ST.....George Marx

ADDED information : Wally said there were three towers here. I've added a track diagram to help sort this out. I won't even start to go into how the third tower figured into this mess an it does NOT show on the diagram. Looking at the diagram Tower A was 91st ST. Again, PRR called it Rock Island Crossing and on the chart it is called Beverly Hills. Tower B was Beverly Jct. The two towers were only about 600 feet from each other but since timetables only go as low as tenth of a mile increments it shows Beverly Jct at 300.1 and 91st St at 300.2 I threw in the timetable page from 1967 showing from Bernice to Chicago Union Station(CUS) Amazing how many manned interlockings there were on this stretch of track.

George Marx or Carl Barnyback; is there is anything else that needs to added/corrected ?  I'm being sincere not my usual smart ass self. It is hard to read inflections on a computer screen. 

This nice photo came from, surprisingly, Dale Martin !!!! Just Kidding Dale.....Great Shot

KISLEV  24  5781

Tonight at 6pm starts the 10 day "Festival of Lights"(Hanukkah)
Be sure to eat plenty of latkes and sufganiyots....LOL

Carl Wallenmeyer found another unpublished set of photos. I present to you Nichols Tower.

Michigan.................Nichols  Battle Creek   1    2    3    4    NYC

Nichols presided over the double tracked Michigan Central (NYC) main line(Buffalo to Chicago via Canada) crossing of the also double tracked GTW main. It was staffed by NYC (PC, then CR) operators until it was automated in the very early 1980's.  The location became the east end of a major re-alignment and rail corridor consolidation project through Battle Creek.  The NYC main through downtown was abandoned, and Conrail/Amtrak trains swung on or off the GTW through a new connection here.  They both shared GTW's main and right of way for about two miles, to the west side of Battle Creek, where the two mains were proximate and parallel for a short distance.  Another connection built here put CR/Amtrak trains back on the original NYC main line toward Kalamazoo.  That arrangement remains in place today, with GTW (CN) controlling both the east and west connections to their main line.  Additionally, the NYC depot in Battle Creek became a Clara's restaurant after no longer being needed as a passenger station, and a brand new transportation center  was constructed on the GTW to serve Amtrak's Detroit to Chicago trains, along with Indian Trails, Greyhound and Battle Creek city bus services.....Mark Hinsdale

Shoot Low, Boys – They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies

DECEMBER    11   2:30 am   EST

Now that Multi Photo Wallenmeyer is recovering from bypass surgery and wisely staying away from people because of  "The Virus" he has all this time to rummage through his slides and negatives. He is finding stuff that he has forgotten about, like Nichols above. Carl already has hundreds of pictures on here. A few more would not hurt. This is his latest "find".

Missouri..............Ustick  Kansas City  1   2   3   4   5   6   KCT

Officer: “Sir, we clocked you going 90 in a 40.”
Me: “I was listening to Radar Love.”
Officer: “Sorry to bother you, have a good night.”

DECEMBER    12

A little bit of this and that.

Wally Mattes, tower guru for Indiana, sent me a large handful of non Indiana towers to post. Good stuff too. As I plow through them and get them processed I will post. Dean is from Wally, CF from Noah Caplin and Griffith by Doug Leffler.

Illinois.........................Dean  Bloomington   1    2    3     IC

The IC crossed the P&E then the NKP but those two did not cross each other; kind of in a lazy "H" pattern. This 1958 P&E map explains it better. Dean's call letters were "KG"

Hand drawn map of Dean from Wally Mattes.

Indiana.........................Griffith               EJ&E

EJ&E x GTW x Erie x MC(NYC) x C&O. It's call letters were "GF"

Pennsylvania.................CF  Confluence         B&O

DECEMBER  13

I know its early but here is a scan of the Christmas card I sent this year. I took this shot in Springfield IL, Feb 1988. This CMNW train is on former GM&O tracks and crossing the CIM at Ridgely Tower. After UP took ownership of the line Ridgely became the last manned interlocking on the entire system. With that being said....Here is my Christmas Card from me to you my faithful viewers. The card quality was good but the scan here is not so good.....Sorry

DECEMBER      15

Twelve shots of a new tower from Carl Wallenmeyer.

Missouri...............................*Broadway   Kansas City   MoPac


             1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12


DECEMBER      15

Fourteen with one being new. All photos by Rob Mandeville.

Canada...............................*WX  Welland Draw  Ontario  NYC

Illinois.................................Calumet  Park      PRR

Indiana.................................Glen  Richmond    PRR

                                             Hartsdale  Schereville     PRR

                                             Kouts   PRR

                                             LaCrosse     PRR

                                             North Judson     PRR

Ohio....................................Clare  Cincinnati      PRR

                                             High Street  Columbus   PRR

                                             Olentangy    NYC

                                             Scioto  Columbus     C&O?

                                             Tower A  Cincinnati   1   2  

                                              US  Columbus     B&O?

West Virginia.......................D  Grafton    B&O

WX :  NYC's Buffalo to Chicago via Canada Line crossed the CN. WX was at MP 16.9 from Buffalo. Tower Out Of Service effective April 1 1973 per Penn Central  Northern Region General Order # 612...Shel Lustig

Calumet Park : PRR x IHB x BOCT x MC(NYC) MP 5.5 miles from Colehour Jct.

Glen : East end of Richmond Yard MP 117.4 From Columbus. Cols to Indianapolis line. Call letters "JC"

I have had fairly extensive write ups over the last few months for the four following towers. Rather then be be redundant I'll give a brief overview. And to be honest I'd filed it but it is lost somewhere on my computer under an unknown document. Another reason why you kids should not take drugs !!!!!!!!
I'll just let George Marx or Carl Barneyback write and as we used to say on the railroad, give my a** a good tearin'

More on below four........ALL were on Pennsy's Cincinnati to Chicago Line and all MP are reckoned from Cincinnati

Hartsdale : EJ&E x PRR MP 280.1 Call letters were "HD" I believe the NYC which ran overhead(Danville Line) and had a connection track down to the "JAY" interchange yard, called it "JG". (I'll be getting another email from George now) Maybe all this typing has put him to sleep.

Kouts : Erie x PRR  MP 253.1 Call letters "DN"

LaCrosse : Monon x PRR MP 246.6 C&AS figured in here too "in the day".

North Judson : PRR x Erie x C&O x NYC(Kankakee Belt)
MP 237.3 Call letters were "AH". In the photo you see a few private residences. Imagine what it was like to live there in the 40's,50's,60's with an endless parade of trains from four Class 1 railroads.

US : US was listed as a block station on the joint B&O/PRR C&N Division MP 190.4 just east of Columbus Union Depot.
Geoff Hubbs

Yeah Yeah....I know US is NOT a tower but here it is anyway.

Clare : N&W x PRR

Olentangy :  NYC x PRR x C&O. If I'm correct the tower was a  Big Four building. Call letters were "HV"..Hocking Valley the predecessor to the C&O.

Olentangy was staffed by the NYC......Geoff Hubbs

Scioto : C&O x NYC. Call letters "LM" MP 0.1 from Columbus

Tower A : I'm not sure who owned or staffed...again help needed Since it controlled in an out of Cincinnati's Union Station I'm assuming it was a "terminal railroad" job.

Hallelujah, Noel, be it Heaven or Hell; The Christmas we get we deserve.

DECEMBER   16

Illinois.................................Edgewood   1    2    3       IC

Illinois Central crossed the Baltimore and Ohio. The original tower was built in 1918. It was replaced by the structure in the pictures in 1955. It had a GRS S&F 24 lever machine. It's call letters were "WO"........Wally Mattes

DECEMBER   16

Here is another small batch of the "Mattes stuff". This group of five b&w's are top notch, in humble opinion. I'll be posting some of his hand drawn diagrams of the interlockings too. Wally said, looking at them 40 plus years after he drew them, that there are mistakes and some misspellings. When we talked Sunday night he was a little reluctant to have me post these. To me at least they serve a purpose. His or anyone else's, show things that the "official track charts" do not show and vice versa. Plus the railroad issued diagrams are full of technical and railroad jargon that most lay people do not understand. Whenever possible I'll be providing both types of diagrams/charts.

Illinois.............................Delmar   1   2   diagram     

Delmar is where the Milwaukee crossed NYC's Kankakee Belt.
It was at MP 86.9 from South Bend IN. It was a Milwaukee tower and its call letters were "DA"

Ohio...............................Estry   Van Wert   1    2    3  

I already have a write up about Estry. This will spare me having to retype all the tower information.

DECEMBER  18

1934 ETT page added to December 9 regarding 91st ST and Beverly Jct.

Vandalia shots by Wally Mattes; Mattes St. were taken by Barry Lennon.

Illinois..........................Vandalia   1    2         PRR

IC crossed Pennsylvania's Indianapolis to St. Louis Line. Was at MP 172.0 (from Indy) My 1967 ETT shows Vandalia remoted from Smithboro.(MP 186.4)

Pennsylvania................Mattes St. Scranton   1    2    3   DL&W

Hand drawn map of Dean added to December  12 above.

DECEMBER     21

Three shots  and 2 diagrams from Wally; and one from Dick Baldwin.

Illinois...............................BN   Bloomington   photo    diagram

BN : P&E x NKP x GM&O

                                           Effingham  PRR x IC       IC

After the tower closed they moved the interlocking into the passenger station. PRR's Indianapolis to St. Louis Line crossed the IC. On the Pennsy side it was at MP 140.6 from Indy.

                                            Pekin    photo    diagram    P&PU

It was a mess here. Look at the diagram or buy a P&PU or P&E timetable to figure it out. Its call letters were "WN"

Indiana...............................Clarks Hill      NYC

Clarks Hill :  NKP's "Clover Leaf" crossed NYC's Indianapolis to Kankakee Line. It was at MP 157.5 from Cincinnati. I have "CH" as its call sign but my 1957 timetable says "W". It wasn't unusual for the same tower to have different call letters or names depending on what the crossing railroad called it. "CH" may have been the call letters for the NKP. Clarks Hill was a mechanical plant using a USS  IS&F machine 28 levers, 24 used.
A side note.....Clarks Hill had NYC operators on first and third, NKP operators on second and the relief job.

May your days be merry and bright and may all of your Christmas's be white !!!

DECEMBER    21

These just arrived so they will serve as a supplement to Dec 18th and today's updates. Four b&w's from Dave Oroszi.

Illinois...................................Effingham

                                               Vandalia    1    2    3

DECEMBER      22

More Wally stuff.

Illinois...................................KX   Kankakee    photo   diagram  

NYC's Indianapolis to Kankakee Line and NYC's Kankakee Belt crossed the IC. (See diagram) KX was an IC tower with IC operators. In addition to the interlocking machine there was a CTC panel with controlled the IC from Kankakee to Gilman. The tower was at MP 101.0 from South Bend IN. As a side non tower item. For Chicago bound NYC passenger trains the engineers and fireman got relived at Kankakee. The ground crew stayed on to Chicago with an Illinois Central engine crew. 

                                               Neilson   photo   diagram    CE&I

The CB&Q connected to the CE&I (see diagram)

                                               Pickneyville    inside   diagram  IC

The interlocking was in the depot. MoPac crossed the IC.

                                                RA  Reddick    photo   diagram

The Kankakee Belt crossed the Wabash. It stood at MP 121.1 from South Bend IN. It was a Wabash Tower.

DECEMBER    23

Illinois...............................Gibson City   1    2    3    Wabash

                                    NKP x IC x WAB

Kids eating Tide Pods......Adults not knowing what gender they are........Ayanna Pressley wants to give the Covid 19 vaccine to prisoners before the elderly!!!!.......Believe me; guns are not the problem. 

DECEMBER    24   Christmas Eve

Here is Dave Oroszi's study of Alexis tower. These six shots are my Christmas gift to my friend and ex operator Mike Silvers. While not his favorite tower he has told me stories of working there. Hopefully these great shots will engender good remembrances. My stripper girlfriend told me to use those words. I have no idea what they mean. I told her that her Rhodes Scholar degree was finally paying off !!!!!!!!!

Ohio.......................................Alexis   1    2    3    4    5    6

Alexis was a mechanical plant with an S-8 add on. The NYC,  Pere Marquette(PM) later C&O, Michigan Central(MC) later NYC and the Ann Arbor were the players here. It was 50 miles from Detroit. It was a NYC tower with the call letter "N". Alexis remotely controlled an interlocking called "K" about 1 mile south of the tower. This is where the Toledo Terminal(TT) crossed.  Note the operators chair; it was from a locomotive.

IIRC, the PRR was a tenant that went from the AA to the PM there for its Detroit traffic. I’m not sure just how far the PRR’s own tracks extended north from its Summit St. Station, but the PRR did have (way back when) 3 passenger trains and a couple of through freights each way Toledo / Detroit using their own line from Carlton into Detroit.......Shel Lustig NYCHS



DECEMBER    25    Christmas

denn euch ist heute der Heiland geboren, welcher ist Christus, der HERR, in der Stadt Davids.

Frohliche Weihnachten to everyone. I hope you are having a nice Christmas which involves looking at my wonderful site on this holiday !!!!!......Yeah, right

Today I have nine towers for you with four of them being new. This batch came from Geoff Hubbs.

Canada...........................WX  Welland Ontario   NYC

Information on WX was posted on December 15 if you're not too lazy to scroll up and read it !!!

Illinois.........................*Roodhouse  CB&Q x GM&O  GM&O ?

Michigan.....................*Bay City Jct.  Detroit    NYC

Bay City Jct at 0.83 miles west of Detroit is where the Mackinaw Branch departed the Detroit-Chicago Main. It was camera shy and for whatever reason was not listed in NYC Employee TT's as an interlocking.....Geoff Hubbs

My 1972  Northern Region Penn Central ETT has Bay City Jct listed as CP Bay City Jct but at this time it was remoted from West Detroit Tower.........Dan Maners

New Jersey......................QR(Lorraine)   Roselle    CNJ

Tower obviously converted to a private residence. The tower closed in 1949.

New York........................RJ   Riverside Jct.      BR&P(B&O)

The BR&P(Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh) became part of the B&O in 1932.

                                        *SS#1  West St.  Syracuse    NYC
It was at West Street, about a mile west of the new 1936 station where the newer SS1 was housed in the station. This was on a new elevated alignment to eliminate street running and this passenger line only lasted 26 years, replaced with an interstate.
Geoff Hubbs



Pennsylvania...................BE(Birds)  Birdsboro        PRR

BE was at MP 49.2 (distance from Suburban Station, Philadelphia n PRR's Schuylkill Branch. The Reading(RDG) crossed here too.

                                       *Q  Quarryville       PRR ?

Virginia.........................*Charlottesville     Southern ?

 Chesapeake and Ohio(C&O) crossed my beloved Southern. This is my personal favorite of this batch of towers...What a shot

And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, "To hell with the kids I'm going home and get tight"

DECEMBER     27

Three odds an ends from Dominic Morrone. For not doing this for a living Dominic is a great photographer. I had known "Dom" since he was a teenager.

Illinois...............................Brighton Park   Chicago

I had George Marx's write up about Brighton Park a few months ago so I see no sense in re posting all that stuff again so soon.  I still have it along with most of the other write ups and comments, on a Word document. I hope someday I can make ALL this info accessible to you guys.

                                           North Yard  Danville    CE&I

Same as Brighton Park, Wally Mattes provided a short tome for this one.

                                           Tuscola     IC

Illinios Central's Main crossed MoPac's line that went from Chicago down through Villa Grove. B&O's line from Indianapolis to Decatur IL crossed here too. Tuscola was an IC tower. Larry Graham and I made several trips to Villa Grove and Tuscola to take photos of the MoPac before the UP take over, and we went to Tuscola to catch some IC action. The operator on first was at times very hostile and other times friendly. Of course I wasn't into towers in those days so I took no inside shots which I regret bitterly now !!!!..........Dan Maners

Note about "K" added to Alexis information (Dec 24) see above.

Here is a map of the Toledo area from a PC ETT dated 1972. I've added this map to my "Supplemental" list too.

DECEMBER    28

Steve Salamon is back on board. Here is his latest contribution. Steve provided the 3 paragraph comments as well.

Washington  DC.........................*A Tower   photo   model

The operator at A Tower controlled the tracks on the east side of Washington Union Station that were used by passenger trains of the C&O, RF&P and Southern.  These were through tracks, while the tracks used by B&O and PRR trains were stub tracks.  A Tower was at the north end of the First Street Tunnel, 4,033 feet long, which followed a path underneath First Street, a block east of the U.S. Capitol building.  The double track line through the tunnel met the PRR freight tracks to Potomac Yard at Virginia Avenue Tower, a mile or so to the south of Union Station.  The operators at A Tower coordinated moves through the tunnel with the PRR/PC/Conrail operators at Virginia Avenue.  In the vicinity of the tower, the double track line from the tunnel went underneath the main station building and concourse, and widened to twelve platform tracks.  The tower stood just north of the passenger concourse.  The interlocking at the north end of the platform tracks was controlled by operators at K Tower.  Passengers using C&O, RF&P and Southern trains had to use staircases or elevators to reach the platforms, which were on a descending grade, north to south.  (The stub tracks for B&O and PRR trains remained at the same level as the concourse)..........SS

The operators at A Tower were employees of the Washington Terminal Company, established by the B&O and PRR to provide switching and terminal services for trains using Washington Union Station, opened in 1907.  I believe the B&O and PRR had joint ownership of the Washington Terminal Company, and the other railroads were tenants.  There were at least four towers, possibly more, that once controlled the entire complex.  By 1975, A Tower and K Tower were the only towers still active.  Control of all the other interlockings on Washington Terminal property had been consolidated at K Tower.  At the time of the first photo of April 2, 1975, work was already in progress to consolidate A Tower operations into K Tower, and the tower would close within a year or so, and then was demolished....SS

The second photo is of the board from A Tower.  The board shows only eight station tracks, not the twelve originally built.  Appears there may have been four more tracks at the bottom of the board that must have been taken out of service, probably a result of the various construction projects at Washington Union Station.  At the time I took that photo, in December 1977, the board was in the possession of a model railroad club in Silver Spring, Maryland.  That club no longer exists, and I don't know the current disposition of the board......SS 

DECEMBER    28

Like Jack the Ripper said "double event today"

Maryland...........................*KG   Point of Rocks    B&O

Going east this is where B&O's main from Chicago split, with one line going to Baltimore the other to Washington DC

Ohio..................................Wheeling   Bellevue    PRR(N&W)

Jeff Gast has contributed a handful of photos to this site. He is my quasi N&W, mainly NKP go-to guy. When I asked about Wheeling(or later called Bellevue) I was not expecting such a thorough and very informative  reply. Mr. Gast is a clerk for the INRD (Indiana Railroad) Like me knowing Dominic; I have known Jeff for upwards of 25 years. PS.....I'll never ask Jeff another question again.....Just Kidding Jeff

You actually had four different railroads all crossing there at one time.  

1)  The PRR line was the Sandusky Branch from Columbus to Sandusky, mostly coal through Bellevue, but the line handled some mixed merchandise further south on a Columbus-Toledo routing.  In earlier PRR days it was all train orders without signals.  When PRR abandoned a segment of its Mansfield Jct.-Toledo line between Mansfield Jct. and Tiro, they rerouted through Toledo traffic via Bucyrus, so installed CTC over the Sandusky Branch between Bucyrus and the Toledo crossing at Carrothers.

When N&W merged with the NKP, Wabash, P&WV, and AC&Y in 1964, PRR sold the Sandusky Branch to the N&W as that was the only way at the time for the N&W to connect with its merger partners.  (PRR kept trackage rights over much of the line.)  N&W proceeded to install CTC on the Sandusky Branch, as well as upgrade it where needed.

2)  The NKP main line from Chicago to Buffalo came through there as well, and it paralleled the PRR Sandusky Branch through Bellevue.  I think that the two lines crossed each other using crossovers, rather than diamonds.  (Whereas the tower was on the near southeast side of Bellevue, the big NKP yard is on the northeast side.)  

3)  Crossing the PRR and NKP routes on diamonds were two other railroads.  NKP had taken over the Wheeling & Lake Erie, leasing it in 1949.  W&LE's route from Toledo to Brewster crossed at the tower.  

4)  Lastly, New York Central's original main line between Millbury and Elyria (don't quote me on that second station) paralleled the W&LE through Bellevue.  I'm not sure if NYC called that line the Norwalk Branch or the Old Road - I think the "Old Road" designation was used for the former main lines between Toledo and Elkhart.  Not sure if it was NYC or Lakeshore & Michigan Southern that built the current main that runs through Vermillion and Port Clinton, but at any rate, that replaced the older line that ran through Bellevue.  Most of the time, the branch saw only local freights and a local passenger train (daily except Sunday); but it was kept in decent enough shape, just in case there was a derailment on the big main.  Donald Krofta once wrote an article for Trains Magazine about one day back in the late 40s or early 50s when NYC had an incident on the big main and detoured something like 22 trains over the Norwalk Branch, many of them in daylight.

Wheeling used a USS Model 14 electro-mechanical machine. 31 levers with 29? being used. On first and third shifts those operator's jobs were Wheeling and Lake Erie(W&LE) while second and the relief job went to the Pennsy. Arrangements like these where the work was divided up between railroads were fairly common......Henry McCarty

                                       Worthington        PRR

This is where PRR's Sandusky to Columbus line crossed NYC's
Cleveland to Columbus line. Its call letter was "C". This was a PRR tower and was staffed by the Pennsy. This photo was taken by Alvin Schultze. He was Dave Oroszi's mentor and is responsible for Dave's love of trains. (for better or worse)

Pete White a retired N&W/EL/CR operator was the last man to work Worthington before it closed, a few days before Thanksgiving of 1968. Pete also said that the photo I have posted is the second version of the tower.

With all this talk and arguing over the gun control issue.....That debate was settled in 1791 !!!!!!

DECEMBER   30

Four more of Dave O's photos.

Ohio.................DB  Draw Sandusky Bay  1    2    3    4    NYC

DB was at MP 247.0 (from Buffalo) on NYC's hot "Water Level Route" from Buffalo to Chicago. The Central also had another DB, again a movable bridge, that was in Cleveland. Pictures of it will be posted sometime down the line. Naturally it was a NYC interlocking.

Interesting fact :
Most people assume that because of its call letters are DB that they stood for DrawBridge. Makes sense but it actually stood for DanBury the small town that was close by the tower.
Mike Silvers

The operator in picture 3 is Pete White. Pete started out as an operator for the N&W. Then he went to work for the EL and finished his colorful career under Conrail.

The following four pics plus commentary are from Ross Jack.

Pennsylvania....................MU(Eidenau)   1    2    3    4   B&O

I'm not sure if MU was a full blown interlocking or not but.... Here it is !!!!!

Eidenau was situated on the P&W SD at MP 30.5. and was east of UN which was west of it at 52.3. It was at the Southern Base of the Butler SD.  It sat one the east side of a WYE.  East Leg from Pgh., and West Leg from New Castle side.  Trains from the east at Glenwood (Pgh) and from the west at New Castle destined to Butler and points north such as Punxsutawney, Dubois, Brockway, Johnsonburg, Bradford and East Salamanca via the 1st SD and 2nd SD left the P&W SD here.  The 1st SD was from WS Tower (Butler Area) to DuBois, the 2nd from Dubois to East Salamanca.  North of East Salamanca the line formed a Y at Ashford NY the 3rd SD went left to Buffalo and also (straight) or right to the 4th SD to Rochester.  Back to WS Tower.  The Northern SD also the old P&W Branched off to Mt Jewett where it met back up with the 2nd SD.  The northern SD was formerly Narrow Gage and owned by the Pitts. & Western. B&O took it over in the late 1800's almost at the turn of the century.  The Buffalo Rochester & Pgh.  was taken over in 1932.  Prior to 32'  there were 2 different RR's at WS AKA Wadsworth PA.  The P&W and the BR&P.  This turned into a combined Eidenau and WS Tower Wadsworth report....Ross Jack



DECEMBER   31   New Years Eve

I'm closing out the year with these four items from Geoff Hubbs and a new tower submitted by Dale from Alabama Martin. I wish you all a Happy New Year. I have literally hundreds of yet-
to-be-posted photos waiting in the wings. Still continue to send more TOWER photos (I already have too many pics of your wives and girlfriends) along with your corrections, "write ups" and comments.

New Jersey..............................RU(Port)   Elizabethport    CNJ


RU or PORT Tower in Elizabethport (NJ).  RU Elizabeth was the crossing of the CNJ Mainline by the Newark & Elizabeth Branch as well as controlling the east end of Elizabethport Yard.  It was featured prominently in US&S ads because it was their first UR (Union Route) entrance-exit installation in 1933.......Geoff Hubbs

Interesting ad from USS. We always called them an entrance/exit machine. The operator presses a button on what track the movement is coming in(A) and presses a button on what track he wants the movement will leave the plant(B) The machine makes up its "mind" on what the best routing would be between those two points then lines it up automatically.

Wyoming...........................*Borie   Union Pacific

Towers from out west, especially in Wyoming are rare commodity's on here.  

DECEMBER    31   New Years Eve

These came in at the last minute and I couldn't resist posting them. Photos and one of the comments came via Rob Mandeville

Pennsylvania...........................*Orchard   1    2           PRR

At Orchard tower, just south of Leesport PA, a spur from the Reading Main Line crossed the river and then the Pennsylvania Railroad's Schuylkill Division main.  The PRR's adjacent spur, and the source of the tower's name, is obvious from the Dallin Aerial photo......Rob Mandeville

At Zoo tower MP3.2 from Philly, you had a million branches breaking off. At Valley MP 4.0 this is where the Schuylkill Br. started. (I'll be posting some shots of Valley soon.) Orchard was at MP 58.3. According to my 1969 PC ETT, Orchard by this time was only a block limit station; you know one of those deals with a post in the ground and a name plate affixed to it. Thanks Rob for sending these pics of Orchard in better days.


Dan Maners  [email protected]                                    



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