Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad

by John Hinson

45th Street tower, Chicago
Photograph 7/59, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Whilst most "towers" in the United States seem to be anything but a tower to a student of British signalling, 45th Street is a little closer to that definition than most.

45th Street was to be found on the four-tracked section of line between Lasalle Street and 61st Street (near Englewood) in Chicago. The two tracks nearest the tower belong to the Rock Island company, but the lines on the right (on one of which a switcher is working) belonged to the New York Central railroad.

Interior of 45th Street tower
Photograph 7/59, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Inside the tower, a Union Switch & Signal Co. interlocking machine dating from 1908 worked the signalling electrically.

Notice the mouthpiece suspended from the ceiling for easy communication whilst working the handles. To the right of this, an oversize pocket watch is hung up. The crank-handle device on the right-hand end of the interlocking plant is, ummmmm, a pencil sharpener.

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson