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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

NYCTA Union Turnpike Tower Closes and Warwick CPL's Fall

Double shot of bad news today, although none of it was unexpected.  At 5am on Monday, February 20th, 2018, the UNION TURNPIKE tower on the NYCTA Queens Boulevard Line closed.  The tower had entered service on 12/1/1936 and contained a 43-lever US&S Model 14 machine.  It was replaced by the new Forest Hills Master Tower that also closed  Roosevelt Avenue Tower (60-lever GRS Model 5) on 7/11/2016 and Continental Avenue Tower (83-lever US&S Model 14) on 9/11/2017.  As I reported earlier in the year, the Northern Boulevard tower (12-lever GRS Model 5), remains open on the local alignment, but will also be closed at some point.  The Model 14 towers at Parsons and Jamaica Yard are not currently scheduled for replacement.

In other news, the replacement signals covering the CTC island at Warwick, OH (south of Akron) have been cut over.  These have some significance for me as I recall that back around 2000 I was taking my first real long distance Amtrak journey via the old Three Rivers.  After being delayed by over 4 hours between Pittsburgh and Akron due to freight congestion, I awoke in my coach seat to see all sorts of strange sites out the window.  At Warwick, the RoW opened up with yard tracks in the middle.  Emerging from the morning fog I saw B&O CPL signals in their native habitat.  It wasn't the first ones I had seen in person of course, but just seeing them when so much of the trip was to be filled with darth vaders on the rebuilt Chicago main line was an amazing experience.

So long and farewell old friends.

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