Monday, November 28, 2016

C&NW Lake Street Tower for their Chicago train station

Chicago & North Western Historical Society posted
This is a C&NW company photograph of the approach to the "Chicago passenger terminal" taken some time in the late 1940s. The west end of the boiler house for the station can be seen at the far left of the photo. It still stands and is used as office space today. Busy times on the railroad! Se the photo below this one to see the interlocking board in the Lake Street tower which controls these tracks. Where is the rapid transit bridge over the tracks?
Mark Ratzer The CTA bridge is behind the photographer - Lake Street tower is just north of the bridge, and appears to be the vantage point for this north-northwestward facing view.

Chicago & North Western Historical Society posted
This is a C&NW company photo of the interior of the Lake Street interlocking plant which controls (even today) the switches leading into the - now - Ogilvie Transportation Center. See the photo above to see how busy the operators were.
Given Mark's answer, I was able to locate Lake Tower. Zoom out and look at the tracks. The number of double-slip turnouts in that throat to the train station must be a maintenance nightmare.

C&NW Historical Society posted
This is what the inside of the Lake Street "tower" looked like in 1948 on this C&NW company publicity photo held by the C&NW Historical Society. The tower controls the "throat" of the tracks into the old Madison Street Station - now the "Ogilvie Transportation Center." I am told that it still looks like that today!
Carl Venzke posted
C&NW's Lake Street Tower, Chicago - The diagram in the Lake Street interlocking tower for C&NW's North Western Terminal in Chicago

Carl Venzke posted
Chicago & North Western commuter trains led by 4-6-2 steam locomotives on the big curve just north of the the North Western Terminal in Chicago in the 1950s.
Center for Railroad Photography & Art also posted
View by Wally Abbey of Chicago & North Western commuter trains in Chicago in 1952.
Bob Lalich The bridge on the left was Milwaukee Road's swing bridge to their Kingsbury Branch, which originally was intended to continue to Evanston. The northern portion of the line was acquired by a predecessor of the CTA. There is a good explanation of the line here:
Chicago & North Western Historical Society posted
This Christmas Eve 1951 Chicago and North Western company publicity photo shows the Chicago terminal "throat" with kerosene heaters being used to keep the switches thawed. The heaters are now natural gas fed.
See Clinton Street Tower for more information on the location of this tower.

A 1:42 video of tower operations (source link).  Joel Kirchner 16 tracks funnel into 6 leads and you can go from every track into every lead. Just a couple hundred movements a day!

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