16th Street, CHICAGO
New York Central

by John Hinson

16th Street tower, Chicago
Photograph 10/6/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

A view of the junctions at 16th Street, taken from the Illinois Central tracks, looking west. 16th Street tower is on the right, with the New York Central and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific lines passing in front and crossing the IC on the level.

On the left is the block hut belonging to the IC railroad, whilst in the background two lift bridges can be seen. These carry the Illinois Central and the Baltimore & Ohio across the Chicago river.

Interior of 16th Street tower
Photograph 10/6/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

A 152-lever GRS Model 2 interlocking machine, installed in 1901, controls the layout. An additional 48-lever machine was added in 1929 to control crossovers between the NYC and the Rock island tracks at 22nd Street.

Rotary train describer at 16th Street
Photograph 10/6/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

This rotary train describer, operated by clockwork and electric pulses, identified trains between here and La Salle Street, the Chicago terminus used by the NYC and CRI&P. Descriptions shown, starting at "1 o'clock", can be deciphered as follows:

RI SUB Rock Island Suburban
SPL RI Rock Island Special
L.EN RI Rock Island Light Engine
SUB L Suburban (to where?)
NKP Nickel Plate
NY Error New York Error
EXP Express
L.EN 2 Light Engine (to where?)
? ?
NYC WSH New York Central Washington
NYC THR New York Central (through)
THR RI Rock Island (through)

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson