THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

LA SALLE STREET TOWER, CHICAGO
Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad

by John Hinson

La Salle Street tower controlled the Chicago terminus station of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, which was merged into the New York Central RR in 1914. Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific trains also used the station.

General view of La Salle Street terminus
Photograph from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

This picture shows a general view of the terminus, with the tower visible on the left, at the end of the long shed. In the centre of the view, a ladder crossing runs right across the layout - notice the power operated shunting signals. The station itself lurks in shadow beneath the large overall roof. Two steam locomotives are shunting.

Inside La Salle Street tower
Photograph from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Inside the Tower was an impressive looking GRS power interlocking machine (frame), under control by two distinctly dubious-looking characters, both wearing sleeve protectors and hats! The tappet interlocking is completely exposed at the front. The track plan is dwarfed by two large charts, which are probably locking tables. Unlike British examples of power frames, there is no block shelf of signalling equipment, allowing a better view of the area of control.

Both of these photographs are thought to have been taken in the early 1900's. The interior view was the subject of a caption competition for the November 2001 Quiz.

Additional notes by Bill Gustason

About the photographs


Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson