THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

HOFFMAN AVENUE
Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul & Pacific Railroad

by John Hinson

Hoffman Avenue tower
Photograph 11/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

This tower surely merits the title of the ugliest signal box in the world! Amazingly, this all-concrete, virtually windowless structure was erected in 1890. It wasituated a short distance south of St Paul on the Milwaukee company's main line to Chicago. The tracks were also used by trains of the Burlington (CB&Q) and Rock Island (CRI&P) companies.

Interior of Hoffman Avenue tower
Photograph 11/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Inside the tower, we see a National frame dating from the opening of the box in 1890. This type of lever frame was very similar in looks to the US&S type based on Saxby & farmer's rocker design, but as can clearly be seen here, this example lacks the rockers that drove the interlocking mechanism.

About the photographs


Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson