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Sunday, August 28, 2011

ALTO Tower to Close :-(

I guess I'm a little behind in the news, but as you might guess I don't try to seek this information out as it will only serve to depress me.  Anyway after seeing some more photos I discovered that the work at CP-WORKS is not isolated as I had thought and that is one part of a larger project to completely re-signal everything around ALTO tower.  This will mean the closure of ALTO tower after 100 years of service and the destruction of an amazing of pure PRR signaling.

I don't have a lot of photos to post, but as I know it ALTO, SLOPE and WORKS are all to be completely re-signaled.  There will be new track arrangements to facilitate movements in and through Altoona Yard as well as the application and removal of helper power.  The PC era beam signal gantry may be re-used in the new arrangement and some of the pneumatic switch machine might survive as well at WORKS and at ALTO.  There are plans to re-locate and preserve the tower itself at the Railroaders Museum across the street, but there were also plans to preserve MO tower which came to nought when the wooden structure fell apart. The current schedule has the new signals, which includes the 228 auto) being cut over in November so I might have to actually drive out there for this.

Fortunately this occurs at the point where I will be posting photos taken inside ALTO tower during a visit in 2005, but the new is still a disaster for the railroad signaling community as the last tower on the non-Amtrak PRR Main Line is about to close.  Fucking punch in the gut.

UPDATE:   Another day, another photo and more bad news.  Looks like HOMER is also on the chopping block with its PC era cantilever that juxtaposed an all amber automatic next to red eyes absolute signals.  At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if ANTIS and its two 3/4 track PRR signal gantries is in the mix as well.  Basically everything covered by ALTOs CTC machine.

Here are some photos.  More detailed ones are on the password protected, but I am sure there will be no shortage in the coming months.


  1. Are you going to do a follow up article? Would love to know what happens next.

    pneumatic switch

    1. I posted a couple up through its closing plus some pieces on my other blog.