THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

FORD
Pennsylvania Railroad

by Mike Brotzman

Track Plan

Named for FrankFORD Jct (get it?), FORD interlocking was 0.9 miles from SHORE and generally SHORE's compliment. SHORE only offered a facing point crossover and access to the Delair Branch. FORD offered a trailing point crossover and access into Frankford Yard. When you put the two together you get a full crossover. I don't have any photos of FORD simply because it isn't there any more and hasn't been there for some time. I am guessing that sometime around or before 1950, FORD's functions were remoted to SHORE in a perfectly logical cost cutting move.

FORD has been one of three surviving manual "Armstrong" towers in the Philly Terminal Division, the other two being NORRIS (Norristown) and BRILL (south of Philly on the main line). When shore took over remote control of FORD its points were switched to pneumatic operation.

Today FORD has almost been completely obliterated. By 1992, FORD had been reduced to a couple of yard switches and an interlocked switch onto the number 1 track from the 0 freight track with FORD interlocking being converted into a "ghost" interlocking. This means that it is only protected by semi-automatic block signals on the 1 track that can display a full stop if needed. I have a sneaking suspicion that the switch onto the main No1 track is now manually operated. The only evidence of what FORD used to be is up in the catenary as the old PRR fixed support catenary system is so complex in interlockings that Amtrak decided to just leave things as they were and not incur the expense of removing the harmless crossover segments or the expense of replacing the wire if the interlocking was ever needed again.

About the photographs


Comments about this article should be addressed to Mike Brotzman