JULY   1

Five towers from Henry Wilhelm, sent from John Garofalo. Have a wonderful 4th of July.....Late additions : Two diagrams of Arsenal from Geoff Hubbs.

Indiana...........................Boyd(X)  Clarksville    B&O

                                        Vance(MU)    Muncie     NYC

Ohio................................AC   Marion        Erie

                                        BS  Bellfontaine    NYC 

Pennsylvania...................Arsenal   diagram1  diagram2    PRR

Boyd is the crossing of Pennsylvania's Indianapolis to Louisville Line and the B&OSW. This stood for the Baltimore and Ohio SouthWest Lines (formerly the Ohio and Mississippi). The NYC had trackage rights from North Vernon IN to Louisville. As far as the PRR was concerned, trains terminated at Jeffersonville and any cars that needed to go to Louisville were taken via a transfer run. I made the Indy to Jeff run on rare occasion and remember going by the still opened tower. The B&O called Boyd "X". It used a National Style A machine with 28 levers, 16 used.

Vance had NYC's Indianapolis to Cleveland line crossing a branch of the PRR. The Nickel Plate figured into here too. Vance used a IS&F with a P-8 add on, 44 levers, 20 used?

I have written about AC and BS fairly recently so I did not want to be redundant about the information about them.

Well........Ask and you shall certainly receive. Geoff Hubbs sent me these two diagrams concerning Arsenal. Anybody wanting to add to this please feel free.

Arsenal, 2.5 miles south of ZOO,  controlled the junction of the West Chester branch, the High Line (elevated freight bypass around/over the 30th Street Station complex) and the Greenwich Yard line (Delaware Extension) with the Main Line (Northeast Corridor)......Geoff Hubbs

Arsenal :  As for Arsenal, it's just a shadow now of what it once was.  The West Philadelphia Elevated and Delaware Extension are all single tracked, the wye is remote controlled from somewhere-or-other, the long series of crossovers is all gone, SEPTA controls its pair of tracks and junction, and Amtrak glides through on its own pair of tracks without interruption.  All the fun now begins a little bit to the south......Rob Mandeville

JULY   3

Three towers, one of them new, from Steve Salamon. All in Maryland all B&O.

Maryland...........................BA  Baltimore    1   2 

                                         *HB   Baltimore   1   2   3

                                           JD  Hyattsville    1    2    3

BA : This tower was at the west end of Bayview Yard on the East End Subdivision between Baltimore and Philadelphia.

HB : HB stood for Hamburg Street. HB was built circa 1956, and replaced DX Tower at Lee Street, which used to stand at the end of the platforms for Camden Station.  HB was a couple of blocks south (west by timetable) of DX, at the point where the Baltimore Belt Line through the Howard Street Tunnel met the ground-level tracks from Camden Station.  I believe that the plant at HB also incorporated the interlocking at Bailey's Wye, about two blocks south of Hamburg St, where the Locust Point Subdivision met the Washington Subdivision.  Bailey's Wye used to be controlled by BY Tower, which stood inside the wye, on the south side of Ostend Street.  Nearby to HB Tower were team tracks, a freight station, a passenger car shop, and numerous warehouses.  Today, the area around the former site of HB Tower is occupied by parking lots for nearby M&T Bank Stadium, built in 1998-99, home of the Baltimore Ravens.  The Hamburg Street station for the Baltimore Light Rail system is adjacent to the site of the tower.

JD : JD Tower controlled the junction of the Alexandria Subdivision with the Washington Subdivision.  The Alexandria Subdivision to Potomac Yard is on the far right in this photo.  The double track main line to Washington DC and to Cumberland is to the left. 

The above notes are from Steve Salamon.

Miss Moneypenny, forget the usual repartee. 007's in hurry.

JULY    4

Happy fourth of July. New tower from Doug Leffler.

A special salute to Mark and Patricia McCloskey.

Michigan.............................*Jackson   1    2    3       NYC

 GTW detour freight through Jackson in March 1979, due to a wreck on the main line, and we were fortunate to see their red, white and blue bi-centennial locomotive.....Doug Leffler

The operator was indeed in the depot and he was a Conrail guy.  He controlled the 1 to 2 crossover switches and also the Lansing Branch switch off number 1 track.....Doug Leffler

JULY   5

Today I have five shots, taken by Steve Salamon. They are photos of  W in West Virginia. It was part of the East End Subdivision of the Cumberland Division. It appears Steve has taken a page from Wally Matte's playbook when he wrote the following about W. All kidding aside it is an interesting read.

W was five miles west of Martinsburg, WV, on the East End Subdivision of the Cumberland Division.  The closest community was Hedgesville, but to B&O this location was known as West Cumbo.

According to Charles Roberts in his book "East End, B&O's Neck of the Bottle", the tower was built around 1912.  It controlled the eastern junction of the Cherry Run & Potomac Low Grade line with the East End Subdivision main line.  The Cherry Run & Potomac line was 11.6 miles long, between Cherry Run and West Cumbo.  It was built to avoid the eastbound grades of almost 1.0% on the main line, a substantial impediment for heavy eastbound trains.  Although three miles longer than the main line, the eastbound grades on the CR&P Low Grade were only around 0.3%, and it was the preferred route for heavy eastbound trains, especially coal trains.  The Low Grade was signaled for eastbound moves, while westbound moves required train orders.  In the days prior to TCS, when right hand running was the normal pattern, eastbound trains had to cross over at Cherry Run and again at West Cumbo, since the CR&P line was to the north of the main line.  The western junction of the CR&P was controlled by R Tower at Cherry Run, WV. 

W Tower also controlled access to the West Cumbo yards, which once handled a substantial amount of traffic.  The yards were built in the early part of the Twentieth Century, when the Pennsylvania Railroad had control of the B&O.  At that time, George Gould controlled the Western Maryland, and was trying to assemble a transcontinental rail line.  The PRR saw that as a dire threat, and thus directed that coal traffic on the B&O that moved to the Western Maryland connection at Cherry Run, WV, be diverted to the PRR-affiliated Cumberland Valley (CV) Railroad at Martinsburg, WV.  The yards at West Cumbo were built because the B&O-CV connection at Martinsburg was totally inadequate to handle the volume of traffic.  A new connection was built from the West Cumbo yards to the CV main line, bypassing Martinsburg.  The junction with the CV main line was called East Cumbo, while the junction with the B&O main line at W Tower was called West Cumbo.  The name "Cumbo" was derived from the two railroads, CUM-berland Valley and BO.  The yard complex was made up of four yards, which altogether had capacity for over 1,600 cars.  There was a roundhouse and YMCA for train crews at the east end of the yard complex.
Into the late 1920's, a large volume of traffic, mostly coal, moved through the yards at West Cumbo.  But by that time, PRR had sold its stock interest in the B&O, and the B&O had since started acquiring stock in the Western Maryland.  So in the late 20's, B&O was cooperating with the WM on the Central States Despatch route, with B&O-WM-Reading-CNJ routing.  Consequently, much of the coal traffic that was moving through West Cumbo on a B&O-PRR or B&O-PRR-Reading route was diverted back to the Western Maryland.  West Cumbo remained an active interchange point between B&O and PRR into the 1960's, but traffic never again got close to the peak years of the 1920's.  After interchange ceased at West Cumbo, B&O continued to use the West Cumbo Yards until around 1980 for storage of coal trains and surplus equipment.  Today, nothing remains of the West Cumbo Yards.
It must have been quite a busy place during the 1920's. The tower remained in service into the late 1990's, and was dismantled in the year 2000. Above comments by Steve Salamon

FINALLY.......The tower !!!!

West Virginia........................W   1    2    3    4    5

This is hard to believe but there is MORE material about W.

Photo 1 : Looking East.... The closest track is the connection from the Low Grade to "B" Yard which curves to the left of the tower, toward the connection with the CV / PRR.  The track that diverges from that connection is the lead track for "A" Yard.  To the right of the tower is the CR&P Low Grade, and the double track main line of the East End Subdivision.  In the distance, there is just a glimpse of some freight cars in "C" Yard.....SS

Photo 2 : Looking West....The track closest to the tower is the CR&P Low Grade line, and the other two tracks are the main tracks of the East End Subdivision.  The crossover in front of the tower is the reverse position, a typical move for an eastbound train from the Low Grade to the main line.  The track going straight  through the switch becomes the lead track to "C" Yard.  The track diverging from the Low Grade beyond the tower is the connection to "B" Yard, to the right of the tower.  "A" Yard was in the open area to the right of the Low Grade, beyond the connection to "B"Yard.....SS

JULY    6

Two towers, including one new one. Both came via Dale from Alabama Martin. Diagram by Rob Mandeville

New Jersey...........................*MG  diagram  Trenton    PRR

Yes Virginia, there was a PRR tower named MG in New Jersey.
It was on the Belvidere Delaware Branch. It was 1.4 miles from Trenton. According to Penn Central TT #4 Eastern Region it was an interlocking along with it being a train order office and block station. Rob Mandeville or anyone....Can you you shed some much needed light on this?  I'd ask Steve Salamon but I didn't think any of us were ready for a ten page dissertation on MG !!!!!!!.......Just Kidding Steve.

MG : The telegraph mavens will proclaim that the MG is for Montgomery Street but I'd also check the signal superintendent's wife's initials.  The operator there controlled several Manual Block-Limit Stations up the branch......Rob Mandeville

MG : I wish I could do a ten page dissertation on that tower, but by the time I got there, MG was long gone and the only service left on the Bel-Del line was a tourist railroad.  The Bel-Del was once a busy railroad, with lots of freight to and from New England that used the Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad beyond Belvedere, NJ.  It also handled iron ore traffic for Bethlehem Steel at Bethlehem, PA. So the operator at MG once was fairly busy. All that business was re-routed during the late Penn Central and early Conrail days.....Steve Salamon

Pennsylvania.......................Wood  Homewood      PRR

Wood stood at mp 34.8 (from Pittsburgh) on Pennsylvania's  Pittsburgh to Chicago line. The Erie & Ashtabula Branch broke off here. Prior to 1958 it was known as Homewood Jct.

Added some information about Arsenal.....see above July 1

JULY   8

Four from Carl Wallenmeyer.

Illinois......................................VN  Mt. Vernon   1   2   3   4

The three players were C&EI, L&N and my beloved Southern.
Carl believes the tower was staffed by the C&EI.

VN was built in 1896 with a Johnson machine. In 1906 it was expanded to 30 levers. The three railroads paid 1/3 each of the operating expenses. L&N's line ran from Evansville IN to St. Louis. Southern's line ran from Louisville KY to St. Louis.
Wally Mattes 

JULY    9

I'll be doing a small East/West Conway PA. expose today. I hope that my friend and ex operator Mike Silvers will get a kick out of this update. Mike came really close to getting to work East Conway but for multiple reasons did not get to do so.

Credits are on the pictures. Photographers are Chip Syme, Dave Oroszi(some little known photographer) and Dan Maners (whoever the H he is) Chip did not take the black and whites; they are from his collection. Chip is an old guy but hes not THAT old !!!! Actually I detest Chip. He is a few years older then me, yet he doesn't have an ounce of fat on him, runs or walks everyday, has all his wits about him and, unlike me has all his teeth !!!!!!!!

Pennsylvania........................East  Conway  1   2   3   4   5   6

East Conway stood at mp 20.8 (from Pittsburgh) Photos 3 through 6 show how it used to look before Conway Yard was modernized and before the tower received  a small CTC panel. Photo one was taken by me while I was at Conway going through locomotive engineer training. Didn't learn much but I had free run of Conway Yard, photographically speaking.  East Conway's call letters were "BA". I'm not certain but I believe the tower got its "face lift" after the Penn Central Merger. According to Dave Oroszi, as of 2007, East Conway was the last open tower on the former PRR Main between Cleveland and Altoona.

                                       West Conway   1   2   

West Conway stood at mp 24.5 (from Pittsburgh) It controlled the west end of Conway Yard and the crossovers at Freedom (mp 23.9) The tower burned down in 1990 and by 1996 all its functions were turned over to East Conway. The tower's call sign was "WC".......Dave Oroszi

JULY   9

Two updates today. Five towers, three of them new and three diagrams. All from Geoff Hubbs and all Pennsy !!! I know this killed his soul to send all this PRR stuff with him being the staunch NYC guy that he is. It would be like me giving support to, oh never mind. I don't want them seeing this  and then coming here to burn my house down.

Diagrams :

Pennsylvania.........................AJ  Kiski  Jct.

Ohio.......................................Manhattan  Jct.    Toledo


I have no corresponding photo for AJ. AJ's full name is Kiskiminetas Jct.

Towers :


Maryland.................................Union Jct.   Baltimore   




Donaldson IN has been confirmed by Wally Mattes to be a block station, not an interlocking. I'll leave it here for awhile until I'm forced to take it down. It was on the Ft. Wayne Line.

Brady was at MP 64.6 on the Allegheny Branch; junction with the Low Grade Secondary.........Geoff Hubbs

Fassett was on the Elmira Branch, MP 68.1 one mile south of the NY border...it's not even a location in the TT I have......GH

Kips was in South Danville at MP 9.5 on the Wilkes-Barre Branch and controlled 2 passing sidings.....GH

Some additional information about VN tower (posted on July 8) has come to light. It came from the great Wally Mattes.

Every life ends in a dreadful execution George.

JULY  11

Six shots of Pana IL taken by Carl Wallenmeyer. I have added the diagram for convenience sake. It used New York Central operators but it was built by the C&EI.

Illinois................................Pana  1    2    3    4    5    6    diagram

                                NYC x C&EI x B&O x IC

 Late addition........A REAL diagram of Pana has been sent to me from Geoff  "Mr Diagram" Hubbs.

When the spotlight hit the boy, and the crowd began to cheer, He flew away.

JULY     11

Dear Boss

Kind of like what Jack the Ripper said in his letter; "double event this time". I too have a double event today but it won't be about Elizabeth Stride or Catherine Eddowes. Mine will be two tower updates in one day.....Yours truly, Dan Maners

Pennsylvania........................S  East Stroudsburg      DL&W

Rhode Island........................SS#141  Cranston       NH

 S was taken by Noah Caplin, ex operator from the EL. He says more is on the way.

 SS#141 was taken by Bob Hughes, ex NH/PC operator.

JULY   12

Either his camera broke or he developed a sudden debilitating illness while he visited Ramsey, because Multi Photo Wallenmeyer sent only SIX shots of the tower !!!!!!!!!

Illinois.....................................Ramsey   1   2   3   4   5   6

 IC's Main line crossed the NKP's Clover Leaf. This was an IC facility.

Added NKP system map under supplemental tower STUFF.

JULY   13

Ohio......................................Wall  Alliance       PRR

Wall stood at MP 83.6 (from Pittsburgh) on PRR's Pittsburgh to Chicago line. NYC's  Alliance branch crossed here. Wall used a 36 lever along with a 9 lever electrical machine. I'm assuming the electrical part was an S-8 machine. Wall was built and staffed by the Pennsylvania. Picture one shows how the NYC crossed most photos do not.

“WALL” stood for West Alliance to differentiate it from “Alliance” which was just east of the C&P / PFtW&C xg (for which you have a photo under “CP Alliance”.

This line was the Alliance Div. of the NYC, formerly the Lake Erie, Alliance & Wheeling RR. Never got to Wheeling, actually terminated a few miles north of the Ohio River at Dillonvale where it connected to the W&LE.

It served Ohio’s coal country and ran substantial tonnage north to Cleveland. The 2-6-6-2’s handled the tonnage without doubleheading and were easier on the track than heavy 2-8-2’s. They were cycled to Collinwood on the daily freights to Cleveland......Shel Lustig  NYCHS

The following has come to light about Wall..........I'm too stupid to properly understand it so I'm just going to paste it in and let the readers do with what they want. Reminds me of when John Lennon was having trouble getting the rest of the Beatles to get the vocals down pat for his beautiful song "Because". It required them several hours of making pass after pass till finally John said."I wish I hadn't written the bloody thing". All this info about Wall makes me wish I hadn't posted the darn thing !!!!!!!!!!!
Just Kidding......I'm glad the guys are out there making corrects to my ineptness.

The next tower 0.6 mile east is Alliance and you have one picture of it.  It was located in the southeast crotch of the C&P crossing at the west end of the main line station platform.  It went away a long time ago, maybe when the station was torn down (1952) or maybe when the highway bridge was put over that area. There are some good pictures of it on Dan West's Ohio Stations web site.

A block station named Alliance was located along the C&P just northwest of the crossing and it seems to have inherited some of the duties of that old tower; no picture readily available so I don't know what it looked like.  Well into the Penn Central era it controlled a bunch of signals on both the main line and the C&P but it was not an interlocking.  Train movements over the crossing were governed by a tilting board target signal which the block operator controlled.  Attached is a diagram for the block station at Alliance.  It's the same area but probably a different arrangement than what the Alliance tower controlled.

On the main line 0.2 mile east of this mess was CP tower which you have well documented. The second, unofficial diagram includes the Alliance block station area and gives it a telegraph call of AL.......Rob Mandeville

JULY      14

Pennsylvania............................SO  South Fork      PRR

                  1    2    3    4    5    7    8    9    10    11

Ten shots of  SO tower; all taken by retired PC/CR/NS engineer Chip Syme. Being an employee can open many a door to places and incidences that "civilians" do not have access. My CSX  ID  helped immeasurably when I went to Toledo, Detroit and Pittsburgh on my "tower blitzes". Chip is giving Multi Photo Wallenmeyer a darn good run for his money.  SO was on Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh to Philadelphia Main Line. The South Fork Branch started here. Anybody else wishing to chime in with any SO information; feel free to do so. Picture six turned out NOT to be SO so it was eliminated. There is nothing more pleasurable to a German than eliminating something !!!!!!

and her face is like a sail, speck of white so fair and pale.

JULY   15

Louisiana............................West Bridge  New Orleans   NOPB

Ohio....................................Alliance  diagram

Oklahoma.........................*Wagoner      MKT/MP

JULY   16

Washington DC.................QN   1    2         B&O

QN was on B&O's Metropolitan Subdivision, at Rhode Island Avenue in northeast Washington DC.  QN controlled the connection between the Washington and Metropolitan Subdivisions, the junctions with the Washington Terminal (operator of Washington Union Station), and the access into Eckington Yard, which was adjacent to the tower.  The operator at QN also controlled the junction with the Georgetown Branch....Steve Salamon

JULY     17

Today I have a  Mitchell IN update in two parts and it is a new tower too.

 Part one of Mitchell is dedicated to my very dear friend and tower mentor, Wally Mattes. Although  Mitchell is not his favorite tower (it is GS tower in Kingsland IN) the attention to the detail about Mitchell, the model board, the table top machine, the photos of the home signals on both the Monon and B&O will strike a chord with the detailed oriented Mr. Mattes.
Here's to you Wally...........Dan Maners

Indiana...........................*Mitchell      B&O

                                     PART  ONE

                           1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9

Photo one shows the Monon depot but the interlocking was housed in B&O's quaint limestone depot, pictured in photo three. The stations were approximately one block apart. Odd that a town no bigger than Mitchell needed two depots. The interlocking machine was installed in 1946. Until that time it was protected by a manned tilt target. As far as I know there never was a "stand alone" tower at this location. It used a GRS table machine, 5 levers, 5 used. Photo 9 shows what appears to be double track on the B&O; but it was a main with a long siding; 218 car lengths according to Chessie System TT #2, February 1977. I believe  Mitchell lasted until the mid 90's.        
 Wally Mattes/Dan Maners

Mitchell was 126.4 miles from Cincinnati and was on B&O's Cincy to St. Louis Main. The Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville (CI&L) (Monon) crossed here.

                                      PART  TWO

                                1    2    3    4    5    6    7

The above seven shots are Wally Mattes' study of Mitchell. They were taken with his wife's point and shoot camera.  At least the camera was made in Japan, right George???? They were taken last year and show B&O's depot, where the interlocking was housed. The depot was built with Bedford Indiana Limestone. Picture seven shows the machine and model board. It was taken in 1995 and shot in beautiful black and white.

JULY     17

Pennsylvania.........................S  East Stroudsburg  1    2    DL&W

The building is preserved as a museum today, but it was very much a working tower when I shot these photos in January 1970.
Noah Caplin

JULY    19

Well Carl did find more pictures of Tolleston so I deleted the July 17  update and will now give the complete Tolleston.

Indiana.............................Tolleston   1   2   3   4   5   6   7

Tolleston was on Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh to Chicago Main and was crossed by the NYC (former Michigan Central) The IHB ran over head close by. Tolleston was approximately 26 miles east of Chicago. The official location was MP 441.8 (from Pittsburgh)
It was in Gary Indiana. Very minor point.....PRR timetables from around 1923 added an "e" to the name, thus Tollestone.

It used a USS IS&F? machine......40? levers.  It was a Michigan Central (MC) tower and its call letters were "JI"

JULY  20

I'm dedicating the following twelve photos of Hartsdale IN to ex operator George Marx.

Indiana........................Hartsdale  Schereville      PRR

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

Hartsdale was on PRR's Cincinnati to Chicago line at MP 281.7 (from Cincy). The EJ&E and the Michigan Central (MC)'s Joliet Branch crossed here and NYC's Danville line crossed overhead. There was a connecting track between the Danville line and a small PRR/EJ&E industrial/transfer yard which sat at the bottom on the "hill"; on the same level as the tower and the three other railroads. When I was working on the Danville line in September of 1973 I remember making a set off in this yard for the "J". It was a dicey deal shoving down the hill at 2 am and using hand signals. I was totally unqualified in this area so the conductor walked up and provided assistance. According to  PRR ETT # 7 dated Oct. 29, 1967 Hartsdale also controlled Maynard MP 284.8 (GTW crossed), Airline MP 285.4(Monon crossed) and another interlocking at Bernice MP 287.8. It used a USS IS&F machine, 72 levers, 30 used. Hartsdale's call letters were "JG" which stood for "Joliet Grade".....George Marx/ Wally Mattes/ Dan Maners

Just for fun I would like for all ex operators to email me and tell me the very first tower you worked. Not as a student or even making the necessary qualifying "runs" but your first assignment under pay; solo. If possible give month and year this happened and railroad.

....takes a Brausch silencer with very little reduction in muzzle velocity.

Added a new listing.....I asked what was your first solo tower assignment and already one operator has responded. I'm calling it "My first Tower Assignment"......I'm not crazy about the title but I never was much of a word smith. If anyone has a better name write and tell me.

JULY   21

Six shots of Virginia Ave. in Washington DC. All were taken by a new contributor, Michael Brotzman. Lots more and believe me there  is LOTS more on the way from Michael. He makes Multi  Photo Wallenmeyer  look like a one shot wonder.

Washington DC.................Virginia Ave.  1   2   3   4   5   6   PRR

JULY    22

Pennsylvania.........................FO  Factoryville      DL&W

JULY     23

Nine photos of ND from Carl Wallenmeyer

Indiana..............................ND  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

ND stood at MP 7.2 (miles from Indiana Harbor) on NYC's Danville to Chicago Line. The C&O and the Erie crossed here. It had a USS IS&F machine, 52 levers, 24? used. In Conrail days it was known as Highland. Its call letters were "HI" and it was a New York Central facility.

Well, if the woman up there is Mrs. Bates, who's that woman buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?

JULY   23

Eight pics.........Two towers

New York.........................NJ  Newburgh Jct. 1   2   3   4   5   6

Newburgh Junction - NJ Tower.  Erie-Lackawanna (former Erie) Main Line just east of Harriman station in Orange County, NY.  Photos from September 1970.  Tower was closed less than a year after I shot these photos and interlocking was made remote from the Hoboken Dispatchers Office.......Noah Caplin

Wisconsin..............................DB  Milwaukee  1   2     CNW

JULY   24

Three diagrams and six towers (four of them new) and ALL NYC; courtesy of Geoff Hubbs.

Diagrams :

Ohio....................................F  Fostoria   1    2

                                            JD Dorset Jct.

                                             OD (Ore Dock)  Ashtabula

Towers  :

Ohio.....................................GN  Columbus

New York...........................*SS#63  Niagara Falls

                                             SS#101  Rensselaer

                                            *SS D  Seneca

                                            *SS F  Black Rock

                                            *SS JG  Syracuse

SS-63 was located at the Niagara Falls passenger station, about 1.5 miles from Suspension Bridge.

SS-D was located on the mainline at Seneca Yard @ MP-443.2 which was 2.6 miles east of Bay View. It also controlled the eastward connections with the Gardenville Branch.

SS-F was located in Black Rock at the east connections to the International Bridge @ MP 6.85 of the Niagara Branch.

SS-JG at Syracuse was located at the crosssing of the St. Lawrence Division with the Lake Line (which was the freight bypass around the north side of Syracuse and is now the mainline). JG met its end in a derailment and was remoted from “GS”.

Above information by Shel Lustig  NYCHS

JULY    24

New Jersey...........................SV  Hopewell     RDG

SV Tower, Hopewell NJ on the Reading Company.  Constructed in 1914, it had a Federal Style A mechanical machine that was expanded in 1918 to about 44 levers.  It was remote controlled from WX tower Weston Manville on 6/6/1952 but remained standing for many years after the interlocking was discontinued on 2/9/1965. Just a lonely CSX single track runs by there now..........Rob Mandeville

JULY     25

I have some items from the Johnson Railroad Company in Rahway NJ. dated 1894. They assembled and sold locking beds an among other things, plans for several different sizes of interlocking buildings (towers !!!) They are calling them Signal Towers. Keep in mind this is 1894. Carl Barneyback sent this stuff. You nuts and bolts guys will find it interesting.

                              Johnson interlocking bed 

               Plans for Signal Towers  Plan   A    B    K    M

JULY     26

John Garofalo ex New Haven/Penn Central operator emailed me late Saturday night to inform me that Bob Hughes had died. I barely knew Bob and the only contact I had with him was an occasional email. He has contributed a handful of tower pictures to my site. Mr Hughes was an ex operator for NH/PC. He was part of the WestConn Chapter of the  NRHS and was the "scanner" for them as he plowed through the vast collection of railroad pics by the late Henry Wilhelm.

Ten shots of Veedersburg via Carl Wallenmeyer.


                           1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Veedersburg was where the P&E (NYC) crossed the NKP and the C&AS (Chicago, Attica and Southern). The tower was long gone when I worked out there. It was at MP 64. 7 (from Indianapolis) It had a USS IS&F machine with 24? levers. It was a NYC tower and its call letters were "VG".  Here is an  article from 1967 about the tower closing.

The three railroads crossed in triangle fashion with the NKP and the C&AS running south from the tower. These two crossed each other not far from the tower. There was another tower that guarded this crossing, name unknown....Wally Mattes

One extra shot from Noah Caplin.

New York.............................MQ  Campbell Hall       Erie

Here's a photo of MQ Tower on the Erie Graham Line.  This line was freight only for many years but now has passenger service in the form of Metro-North's Port Jervis Line trains.  The tower stood just west of the site now occupied by the Campbell Hall station.  At one time there were diamonds between the tower and the point where I was standing.  This was the Erie Montgomery Branch crossing the Graham Line and the Lehigh and New England had trackage rights on the Montgomery Branch to reach Maybrook Freight Yard.  Lots of coal traffic back in the day. The photo was taken in November 1970 and the tower was closed and demolished less than a year later...........Noah Caplin

Another  extra shot via Dale Martin. And a new tower to boot !!

Indiana..................................*X   Knox      NKP

The New York, Chicago and St. Louis(NYC&STL) commonly called the Nickel Plate(NKP) Clover Leaf line crossed NYC's Kankakee Belt. 

JULY  27

Indiana................................Woods  Indianapolis      PRR

Pennsy's Indianapolis to ST. Louis Line crossed the IURY(Belt)
The Belt was once four tracks wide here. The tower stood at MP 1.6 (miles from Indianapolis) You can see downtown Indy in the background. Woods used a USS IS&F machine, 68 levers, 32? used. Thats the James Whitcomb Riley ("The Riley") rumbling by the tower. This photo was used in one of Steve's or Dave Oroszi's books.

It is important to note that Woods had two controls in it. The saxby lever machine controlled woods itself.

The US&S panel controlled the I&F branch on a relay CTC setup. CTC controlled was both hunts, Clermont, Burr siding near Lebanon and a CTC connection at Lebanon to the ex NYC I forget the name of. NYC helped foot the cost of this, but PC put in South Hunt.

I am not sure why the PRR put it here considering there were two closer towers. But to do this there were two sets of code lines from Davis to Woods. The south side code line was for the mainline. The north side code line was the CTC control for the I&F, this just simply turned and followed the I&F north at Davis.

Yes, Woods did have an IS&F [big lever] machine for the Belt Crossing and a TCS [TCS is the term used when someone other than the dispatcher operated a CTC] machine for the I&F. The I&F panel machine was later moved to IU Tower when Woods closed. Next to that panel was a new TCS panel for the once manned Woods interlocking. Barry took a very nice picture of the machines at IU. The connection to the NYC was at Lebanon south of the bridge over the NYC but I can't remember the name either. I took a picture of that junction and the only name is on a block limit board, "Boone". A second block limit board is visible on the NYC connection. It looks like it reads RE but is very pixilated so unreliable. My pictures from Davis from the '70's show only one code line south of the Vandalia. I think your contact could be correct but as always things change over time. You may have a PC timetable in your collection that could help with the junction name at Lebanon . My PRR timetable is from 1946 and does not show the TCS control points...........Wally Mattes

JULY     28

Two towers one of them new from Mike Brotzman.

New York...........................*CD  1   2   3   4   5      NYC

“CD” was at Croton Yard, 1st Tower west of Harmon (HM), located on the river side of the mainline.....Shel Lustig

Pennsylvania........................BO (Bird)  Birdsboro       RDG

                                          1   2   3   diagram

Regarding the first picture, Bird was the name applied to this old tower when the Reading Company, in its Pennsy envy, chose funny names for remote controlled interlockings. (They eschewed the obvious a few miles upriver when Klapperthal Jct. met its fate; they called it Titus instead.)  Bird diagram of 1961 attached with source duly noted.

BO Tower Birdsboro [PA] was an expansive project around 1925 to replace mechanical interlockings at Birdsboro and nearby W&N Junction.  It housed a 55 lever frame for an E-P interlocking that extended about two miles.  In 1961 both the plant and its name were slimmed down, and equipment was installed in the building for remote controlled from Oley Tower in Reading.  Norfolk Southern tore it down a few years ago.. .....Rob Mandeville

"Law-abiding citizens should not be required to prove they are in peril to receive the government's permission to exercise a constitutionally  protected right"

JULY    29

Addition information about Woods added today....See above to July 27.

Michigan............................Romulus  1   2   3   4    WAB x C&O

Pennsylvania.......................AJ  Kiski Jct.  1   2        PRR

West Virginia......................Q  Hardman      B&O

AJ : Why AJ and not KJ?  Allegheny Junction is a better name for the location, where the Kiskiminetas River flows into the Allegheny River, at Freeport, upstream from Pittsburgh.  Here the Allegheny Valley RR / Rwy, which ran up the east side of the Allegheny, crossed the West Penn Railroad, which became the PRR Conemaugh Division.  The AVRR from Pittsburgh to Kiski Junction became part of the Conemaugh Division in 1907, and the rest of the line up to Oil City became part of the Conemaugh Division in 1930............Gary Rauch

JULY    31

Toledo OH  Signal Chart  NKP/Wabash Toledo Terminal  1942

Illinois........................Tuscola(TY)   B&O x IC x C&EI    IC

Michigan...................*Plymouth  1   2        PM x PM

North Carolina...........*AY  Fayetteville    NS x SCL     SCL

Plymouth : C&O (Pere Marquette)  Toledo to Saginaw main  cross C&O (PM) Detroit to Grand Rapids Main.  Connections in all four quadrants.  Approximately 60 daily moves in 1971 when I soloed.  I ran 22 on my trick.  Plymouth was the hub of  the PM. The interlocking was controlled from a room in the nondescript circa 1950 brick building located (and still there) at the diamond, that also housed the yardmaster, trainmaster, and crew room.  It didn't command much photographic attention.  But here is what I could scrounge up so far photo wise. The operator's desk and model board were in the corner office where you see the window. The door to the building was under the awning....... Mark Hinsdale......Yes, THEE Mark Hinsdale !!!!!!!!

AY :  The original Norfolk Southern crossed the Seaboard Coast Line. Just for information...Map of original Norfolk Southern.

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