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Sunday, December 13, 2015

RIP Toledo Towers

2015 had not been a good year for out of service interlocking towers on the former Toledo Terminal railroad with three having demolished in the last 12 months.  I'm sure for some of you this is old news, but I figured I should publicize the story just in case anyone out there was looking take a road trip.

All three of the demolitions have come at the hand of CSX, which tool control of the route after the Conrail breakup.  The former PRR WALBRIDGE tower was located north of the CSX Walbridge Yard, which is the northern end of the old C&O route to the Great Lakes.  The tower and it's Model 14 interlocking machine, were retired in 2005 and in its later years was a bit of a strange duck since the PRR route from Toledo to Mansfield had been ripped out decades earlier.  Despite the lack of a PRR route, position lights and pneumatic switch machines were in service until the end.

Next up was the late, great STANLEY tower which was located at the junction of the TTR and the north end of the former NY Central Stanley Yard.  STANLEY was as much NYC as WALBRIDGE was PRR with a big GRS Model 2 pistol grip interlocking machine.  The complicated junction governed access to the dead end Stanley Yard, another creation of Conrail era cuts. This tower only closed in 2008.

Latest to fall was BATES tower,  located at the junction of the TTR and the B&O Toledo Branch.  Like the other towers this was built and manned by the name brand railroad and the B&O heritage was evident in the style.

Just goes to show that it's always best to take your pictures sooner rather than later because you never know when someone might call in the bulldozers.

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