Home INTRODUCTION CREDITS OVERVIEW SITE NAVIGATION

8 August 2018
A starting point for mine, refer to St.Croix Tower,MN. Note in Bill Johnson and Carl's nice photos the lack of other structures,etc,and
the newer looking poles. In contrast to Jim Arnett's and Marty Bernard's fine ones. The aux buildings are intact,pre-1975. Thanksgiving night 1975 was the watershed for forced
remodeling. I had something to be thankful for alright. EB Milw 66 came into view around the curve with a car dragging. Moving into position for inspection,sparks were flying,then it hit the first turnout in the plant and side ways it went. Tore out all the track work west of the tower,switches,pole lines with showers of sparks, and all the aux
buildings. Since it was coming at the tower steps I was not running
toward it. Went up steps to ride it out and get to the radio as the loaded lumber box hit and made kindling out of the area. What was I going say on the radio any how? By now it parted and was piling up ahead of the crummy. To quote the Conductor(and Dan being a train service guy,will appreciate this) "OMG we're into the F------ tower!" Then dead silence.5 cars and the caboose were ok behind the pile. Here came the lanterns swinging up track. We all looked at each other,WOW! The only thing that stopped that loaded car was it cornered the trailing point switch at the tower and pulled it 10ft up in the air and stopped 1ft from the steps.All circuits down,except for the city phone.Calls were made Dispatchers Newport to the west and both Milw LaCrosse and BN Cicero, hold all trains, this Jct has cutoff St.Paul/Chicago service. Milw Supt. took 2 hrs drive from LaCrosse,took one look,turned to me and said,"you must live pretty clean". Thanksgiving alright. Now you just can't make this stuff up,but it gets better. Fast forward one week to next Thursday night almost to the hour. Here comes Milw 76. Guess what? Same exact scenario. Car dragging,sparks,hits turnout,tears out diamonds,poles,etc. This time parted further west and unbelievably the last car(a loaded covered hopper with trailing truck derailed) hits that same trailing point switch that saved my bacon, and just like a Lionel model train,re-rails itself! Damage was done,Jct out of service again. Dispatchers this time suggested a bad omen and maybe I should consider laying off next Thurs.I'm still here,by the grace of God.  Dan,this was in the "armstrong"portion of the plant in Carl's blueprint diagram shot. Just as a final thought for tower folks, in Carl's shot of the CTC Burlington side of the plant,notice among the taped over sections of center siding,wiped out in the 1965 flood, in the lower right corner, squint to see Date July 29th1927. If I'm not mistaken,makes it one of the first CTC installations only preceded by NYC in Ohio, also 1927. Names and location ok on this one, as it's all gone now.   Thanks for the forum.                 
Bob Anderson Opr/Disp retired.


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