THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

STATE LINE
Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad

by John Hinson

State Line tower
Photograph 10/6/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

State Line tower controlled a huge number of different railroad companies' tracks which all seemed to want to intersect with each other here. This view of the tower is looking towards Chicago along the Erie Railroad, with a Indiana Harbour Belt Railroad trains crossing in the background.

General view of State Line tower
Photograph 10/6/58, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

A more distant view of the tower, looking towards Chicago along the Erie RR lines, with the Baltimore & Ohio tracks crossing in the foreground.

The layout at State Line Crossing

This sketch shows how the different lines crossed each other at this incredibly complex location, which was signalled entirely by semaphores.

Interior of State Line tower
Photograph 1959, by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Inside the tower, we see the 224 lever National Company frame which was installed in 1897. This was the largest mechanical interlocking plant in North America. Despite the complexity of the layout, by the time of this photograph there were 80 spare levers and 17 spaces.

State Line tower survived until relatively recently, closing on 5th August 2000.

About the photographs

Additional notes by Bill Gustason
Closure date sourced from John Roma's list of surviving towers


Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson