Friday, February 19, 2016

Beverly Junction Junction: PRR(Panhandle) vs. B&OCT (B&O Passenger Mainline)

(6/29/2017 This is a complete rewrite of the posting to better organize information obtained since the original writing.)
Also known by Pennsy as Tower B. (The tower south of here on the Panhandle was A.)
(no CRJ, SignalBox, Satellite, This area has changed a lot. Look at the 1938 aerial below. Note that the tower was significantly south of the actual junction.
NorthAmericanInterlockings: no entry
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers

Also, some of the photos that are looking north at the 91st Street Tower show this tower in the background.

Bill Molony posted
The Pennsylvania Railroad interlocking tower at Beverly Junction on the South Side of Chicago - August, 1960.
John LaRochelle Was fortunate to get up inside this tower. It controlled the switches and signals at Paulina Ave., for the B&OCT/C&O-PM to enter and leave the CRI&P suburban line as well as the B&OCT/C&O-PM crossing the PRR Panhandle. The signal shown controlled the PRR Panhandle crossing the B&OCT/C&O-PM looking Northwestward and could display two horizontal red (STOP), Three yellows on a diagonal to the left (CAUTION), three yellows on a diagonal to the right (RESTRICTING) and three yellows vertical (PROCEED).
[The view is looking North (timecard West). We can't see the diamonds of the B&OCT crossing because they are quite a ways to the north.]

Pennsy's track diagram

Scott Griffith posted
David Daruszka There is a whole series of views of various railroads around the country taken by John J. Barringer III. Many of the photos lack information, but many Flickr members have filled in the blanks on locations.
[The tower is in the middle of this photo whereas the diamonds are more to the left. We are looking southeastish (time card east) along the B&OCT. This was the passenger route for B&O, C&O, and PM when they used the Grand Central Station. The Pennsy's Panhandle tracks are the tracks that go straight by the tower. I looked through the referenced PRR Chicago album (twice) and the B&O album, but I could not find a Flickr link for this photo.]
Beverly Junction is in the upper-left corner of this aerial photo. Note that the tower is significantly southeast of the crossing as shown in the photo.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Bill Molony posted
In the foreground on the left is the Pennsylvania Railroad's Beverly Junction interlocking tower.
In the background is the Rock Island Railroad's 91st Street interlocking tower.
John LaRochelle Lucky to have gotten inside both these towers in 1965 and they were somewhat modernized sometime after this photo was taken. Everything that was pipe connected (derails and locks) at the 91st St. RI Tower had been removed. Same for Beverly Jct., except for the switches. The pipeline that is seen to the left in the picture went northwest to the PRR-BOCT/C&0-PM crossing, then changed direction to the southeast and east along the B&OCT-C&O-PM curve to the switches at Paulina Ave. that controlled movement to and from the RI suburban line. The crossbuck between the shed and the tower was 91st Place. My Grandparents lived on that street, 2nd bungalow from Paulina Ave., south side of the street. My Grandpa worked for the 'ROCK' 55 years,1909-1964. Started as a 'mud hopper' yard clerk at the RI-NYC interchange at 39th street. In his latter years he worked and retired as a freight claims agent in the General Office La Salle Street Station and rode the ROCK from 91st St.. to downtown Monday thru Friday.

Rocky Libby Sr. Worked that tower in the late 60 s, rock island manned then, also we controlled the xing gates .

John LaRochelle The PRR/RI diamonds were almost in 91st street, which precluded them from being track relay operated, so they were operated with a toggle switch by the RI towerman. I think, and may be mistaken, the signals for Hermitage Ave., on the PRR were track relay operated.

Rocky Libby Sr. Ur probably right on that, been a long time. It was a fun & quiet tower. Those PRR would move thru the plant, both 91st & 103rd st wash heights.

John LaRochelle Rocky Libby Sr. : Never got down to Washington Heights, But did get up in the tower north of Beverly Junction, which was Forrest Hill at 75th and Bell Ave, where a B&OCT towerman controlled the PRR and B&OCT-C&O-PM crossing the Wabash-N&W and Belt Railroad of Chicago.

Robert Daly posted

David Daruszka posted
A Penn Central light engine move rolls past Beverly Junction tower. The tower was one of two that controlled movements on the Pan Handle (Pennsy) and the Rock Island Beverly Branch. This tower controlled the connecting track between the Panhandle and the Rock Island. B&O passenger trains would use this route to Pullman Junction and the connection with their tracks.
David DaruszkaDavid is an administrator in this group. Homes replaced the B&O connecting track. The B&O used trackage rights over the Rock Island suburban line that ran to Gresham. The tracks left the suburban line and ran behind Gresham tower where it crossed the Rock main at grade to connect with the Rock tracks to Pullman. The line to Pullman from Gresham is still used by Rail Link.
Dennis DeBruler commented on David's posting
David Daruszka, your description that the tower controlled the connector, as opposed to the junction, answers one of the questions that has been on my mind --- what controlled the turnouts to the east where the B&O separated from the Rock Island (on the right of the 1938 aerial). This tower controlled not only the B&O/RI junction but the B&O crossing of the Panhandle junction (in the upper-left corner of the 1938 aerial). Which answers another question --- why was the tower so far away from the B&O+Panhandle crossing. It must have been located further south than normal so that the operator could see the B&O+RI action as well as the B&O+Panhandle action.

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