THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

MILLHAM
Pennsylvania Railroad

by Mike Brotzman

Track Plan

MILLHAM interlocking is a mere 1.9 miles from FAIR at the north end of the Trenton area freight yards and the junction of a small industrial spur known as the Millham Branch. MILLHAM was simply a full main line crossover that also compressed the 0 and 5 local freight tracks back into the four main line tracks. The Millham branch had a non-interlocked connection with the 5 track.

Millham tower
Photograph by Mike Brotzman, 2002

Built in 1940, MILLHAM was the prototype "Corridor" tower, with production examples being seen at GRUNDY, NASSAU and MIDWAY. MILLHAM differs from the later towers by the fact that it was built using a beige coloured brick. Like the other Corridor towers MILLHAM has corner windows instead of a bay and two central windows, each over a track illumination light and in-between two brick columns. It is evident that MILLHAM is no longer in possession of its original roof. While one might think that MILLHAM once possessed one of the peaked tile jobs seen on the other Corridor style towers, thick is not the case. When built, MILLHAM possessed a wonderful art-deco design with a completely flat, concrete slab roof. The high concrete base, white brick structure and flat concrete roof gave the tower the appearance of an opposing monolith with the slightly protruding center facade giving it that art-deco flare. The new roof and general griminess of the tower has since ruined this effect. MILLHAM contained a 23 lever US&S Model 14 electro-pneumatic interlocking machine with 21 active levers and 45 mph turnouts.

Millham tower
Photograph by Mike Brotzman, 2002

As I mentioned in the story of FAIR, MILLHAM interlocking's importance drastically reduced when the Trenton area freight yards dried up and being only 1.9 miles from FAIR, it was redundant as full crossover. Therefore MILLHAM interlocking was completely removed in the early 1980's and the tracks straight railed. The only evidence of of MILLHAM aside from the tower are the overhead wires that still follow the old turnouts and the home signal gantries. Despite the fact that it has been pretty much gutted, MILLHAM now serves as an MoW base with MoW equipment sometimes stored on the remnants of the 0 and 5 tracks. MILLHAM is also a radio repeater base as indicated by the antenna tower stand next to it. There might be radio equipment in the tower, but the presence of a relay hut makes this doubtful. For those of you who don't know, radio repeater bases receive local radio signals from trains and then send them via phone wires to the central dispatching center. They can also broadcast messages from the dispatcher to trains nearby.

About the photographs


Comments about this article should be addressed to Mike Brotzman