Sunday, March 13, 2016

Porter Junction: PO Tower: NYC/LS&MS vs. Amtrak/NYC/MC+CSX/NYC/MC+C&O/PM+EJ&E

The other Porter Junction and how they relate.

(CRJTrack Diagram and Photo; Satellite)
NorthAmericanInterlockings(PO) photo photo interior photo photo photo photo
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

Jason Jordan posted
A little bit of past history if you all are interested. I know that we had discussed some photos taken on an earlier thread at Porter, IN. So on July 11, 1906, we are looking west on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rwy. at the interlocking with the Michigan Central Rwy. and the Pere Marquette Rwy. We are at Porter, IN. but it was also called Norwood at one time. Out of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rwy. collection.
Ken Durkel THis photo is one of a series of photos featured in the book Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, a book I happen to have a copy of. They have photos all across the line in Indiana. And notice these are so old, around 1910 or so, they were taken in the days of left-handed running on the LS&MS. This was shot from the back of a train.
Ken Durkel Full title is "The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway" by Dave McLellan and Bill Warrick.
Wayne Hudak The photos clearly, to me, were taken from atop a boxcar or caboose, scenes are high above the railbed. Since these are a series of photos, there may have been a boxcar fitted with a special platform for that reason with a locomotive pushing it. Train would stop for the photog to compose and shoot. I guarantee these were not running shots. Just My Humble Observation.
Ken Durkel I agree, they were planned shots, I have seen all of them in the book. But I do know from reading the book that the LS&MS was a left handed running railroad as the CNW was. When that changed, I would have to look in the book and see if I can find that. These were apparently taken around 1906-07.
Chad Quick A lot of rods coming out of that tower. It must have had a lot of levers at this time.
Tim JT White Don't know when it was started, but when we would take a train to Chicago, we used our arrival time at PO tower for our Final Terminal Delay. In plain English, it gave us our place on the call board in Chicago for our trip back home. I had many races down Otis Hill to try and beat a crew out for our FTD time. One spot could make a difference on how long you laid over in Chicago before you got called to go back home. It could mean you got to lay in Chicago for an extra eight hours. Operator at PO would hold the signal till the first train hit the bell. So, hit the bell first and you got the signal. And you may wind up on a worker and the crew you beat down the hill got the SV train or maybe a Deadhead. NYC called their Van trains Super Vans. Under PC it became TV trains. The PRR used to call theirs TT trains.

Craig Cloud Brass lettering on tower made it a MC same with 10th street in Michigan City. Now where did Pere Marquette regain own trackage after getting on LS&MS here? Was Curtis switch listed on ETT back then?
Tim JT White I think i would have been interlocking @ MP 496 if memory serves me.

CONRAIL in Indiana & Illinois posted
A little bit of past history if you all are interested. I know that we had discussed some photos taken on an earlier thread at Porter, IN. So on July 11, 1906, we are looking west on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rwy. at the interlocking with the Michigan Central Rwy. and the Pere Marquette Rwy. We are at Porter, IN. but it was also called Norwood at one time. Out of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rwy. collection.
Ken Durkel THis photo is one of a series of photos featured in the book Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, a book I happen to have a copy of. They have photos all across the line in Indiana. And notice these are so old, around 1910 or so, they were taken in the days of left-handed running on the LS&MS. This was shot from the back of a train.
Ken Durkel Full title is "The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway" by Dave McLellan and Bill Warrick.
Wayne Hudak The photos clearly, to me, were taken from atop a boxcar or caboose, scenes are high above the railbed. Since these are a series of photos, there may have been a boxcar fitted with a special platform for that reason with a locomotive pushing it. Train would stop for the photog to compose and shoot. I guarantee these were not running shots. Just My Humble Observation.
Ken Durkel I agree, they were planned shots, I have seen all of them in the book. But I do know from reading the book that the LS&MS was a left handed running railroad as the CNW was. When that changed, I would have to look in the book and see if I can find that. These were apparently taken around 1906-07.
Chad Quick A lot of rods coming out of that tower. It must have had a lot of levers at this time.
Tim JT White Don't know when it was started, but when we would take a train to Chicago, we used our arrival time at PO tower for our Final Terminal Delay. In plain English, it gave us our place on the call board in Chicago for our trip back home. I had many races down Otis Hill to try and beat a crew out for our FTD time. One spot could make a difference on how long you laid over in Chicago before you got called to go back home. It could mean you got to lay in Chicago for an extra eight hours. Operator at PO would hold the signal till the first train hit the bell. So, hit the bell first and you got the signal. And you may wind up on a worker and the crew you beat down the hill got the SV train or maybe a Deadhead. NYC called their Van trains Super Vans. Under PC it became TV trains. The PRR used to call theirs TT trains.

CONRAIL in Indiana & Illinois shared

Jason Jordan shared

Matt McClure commented on the post below
Looking west along the NYC. This view gives more of the layout from a 90 degree counterclockwise view.

Steve Lewandowski posted
Lawrence Smith this pic shows the then existing track whch crossed the water level route - taken out in the 60s i think. Used to carry MC pssgr trains from DET to Central Sta in CHI b/4 the MC trains swicthed over to LaSalle St Sta. You can see the track to the WLR in back of the tower.
Matt McClure Miss it and have missed access to the tower triangle between the old NYC, MC, and road. It is a $100 ticket sadly. Would love to see NS and Amtrak green-light a Rochelle-like platform.

Wayne Hudak commented on the above share
All of the track you see in the 1906 photo above basically exists in the same configuration to this day minus the diamonds with the Michigan Central. See the crossovers in the center of the 1906 photo? Just past the tower. Here they are as 2 Conrail GE's head toward them, photo from the tower 1984.

Steve Lewandowski posted
Porter Junction early 1970's
Rick La Fever I think that is when the Michigan Central could go straight across to access the Ivanhoe Branch which split at Lake Station to head for Joliet Illinois and the other line to Gibson Yard in Hammond.
Ron Hull Rick, you’re correct about straight across to access Gibson. The MC line to Joliet left the NYC main at Lake Station IN. You can still barely see the Joliet line right of way on map satellite views.
Bob Poortinga Love those C&O GP30s. They were used a lot on the PM. I worked there a number of times in the 73-74 time frame. I can recall only one train that ever crossed the diamond on the MC. That was a special wide load shipment on the NYC. The crew wanted to break for lunch (which at the time they were allowed to do). We did not want the train fouling the mains, so we tucked it away in the old MC yard east of the tower. We backed the train down the SE wye and then across the diamond to get there.

Wayne Hudak commented on a share
There was a wreck with 2 pax trains in 1921. An eastbound MC train ran the signal with a New York Central westbound running thru the MC train. Note photo below is the exact same location as my above photo. Taken from the very steps of the tower as the 1921 photo.



In Railroad Crossing War, I learned that Michigan Central and Lake Shore & Michigan Southern were some of the first railroads built towards Chicago, and they were fierce competitors. They crossed each other in Porter, IN. I added a red line to show how Michigan Central used to run through the crossing. The east/west route is the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern. Both of these routes were later purchased by the NYC. MC passenger trains were then diverted over the northern connector to take LS&MS route into Chicago to the LaSalle Street Station. MC used IC's Central Station when they were still independent.

Note the roof in the background of Mark's picture below. That is probably the Porter Junction Tower. The train would have taken the southern connecting track in the satellite photo.

Mark Hinsdale posted
Mark's comment:
A brace of Penn Central F's now working for Conrail brring a westbound merchandise train off the "Main Line Buffalo to Chicago" and onto the ex Michigan Central route, known by PC as the "Ivanhoe Branch" at Porter IN. The train will follow the ex MC and Indiana Harbor Belt path across south suburban Chicago. September, 1976 photo by Mark Hinsdale.
When Conrail was split, Norfolk Southern (NS) got the LS&MS. CSX got the MC south of this junction. Amtrak got MC north of this junction. CSX already had C&O/Pere Marquette, which is the track leaving the satellite photo at right-center. Note the position of the turnouts on the NS tracks. A CSX train arriving on the PM tracks cannot continue on the CSX/MC tracks, it has to use NS.

Update: just a couple of hours after I click Publish, I came across some more Porter Junction postings.

Joe Zeller posted with the comment "These are the only 2 Conrail shots I took in Porter. It's still a decent hang out even today. This was a beautiful Saturday afternoon back the fall of 1988."

1

2
Joe Zeller posted
Back in the fall of 1988, when I first discovered Porter Junction, I was amazed at all the different colors of power you could see. This UP train had 3 other engines with it from the C&NW, coming off the CSX's porter branch. West bound.
I don't know if the link will remain permanent, but it is to a copyrighted 1981 photo of the C&O 614 steam locomotive in about the same track position as the UP engines. But it is in a closed group, so this could be a bummer.

Joe Zeller posted with the comment: "Porter Junction, 1988. One west bound and another east bound. A great hot spot back then."

1

2
Joseph Stachler posted
More scans courtesy of the Westchester Township History Museum.
Joseph Stachler posted
More scans courtesy of the Westchester Township History Museum.
Wayne Hudak posted
April 1985 finds a Detroit-Chicago Amtrak train coming off the former Michigan Central at Porter Indiana. Within a week or 2, Porter Tower would be gone.
Bill Kalkman posted
Porter Tower as it looked in service under the Conrail flag. 10:30AM on 7/11/81 in Porter, IN.
Wayne Hudak posted
A fairly new set of Conrail SD50's eastbound at Porter Junction, Indiana. Track in center foreground is the connection to the Amtrak owned line to Kalamazoo Michigan on the old Michigan Central. Look at the photo that heads this page [see below], which is Porter Junction looking west and dates to about 1906... the train in this pic was just left of the tower.

Greg Bunce posted
Interlocking tower at Porter, Indiana in the Summer of 1973.
Daniel Gless: I've been past that one a few times in my day...."Did you want to go to the J the long way or the short way?"

Greg Bunce posted
Ben Higdon: Nice photo! I would’ve thought the MC crossing would’ve been removed by then.
John MacQueen: I remember spending a night there in 1974. Operator invited us up and we spent about 5 hours of 3rd trick with him. 2 or 3 on and off the C&O and a slew of PC some through and several on and off the Ivanhoe.

I saved the source photo for the Cover Photo since they sometimes get changed.
Cover Photo for Facebook Railroad History Group
Carl Venzke posted an uncropped version of the photo
Porter IN, LSMS crosses the MC
Peter Dudley I believe this view looks eastward, along the Lake Shore.
[Both the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and the Michigan Central were acquired by NYC.]

Wayne Hudak posted
End of the line at Porter Junction, Porter Indiana in April 1985. In short order, the tower and the cabooses would be gone.Joseph Stachler One thing I'd like to do...soon, before it's torn down...is see the switch 
tower in Kalamazoo, which is practically identical to Porter's.
Wayne Hudak posted
Don't remember if I posted this here before, it was requested. 
Porter Tower (Indiana) train order signals. Wished I had grabbed those when the tower was scheduled for demolition. A well known railroad author removed the "PORTER" sign off the tower.... I saw him do it.... LOL
Wayne Hudak posted four more pictures. I'm glad he captured the interlocking mechanisms on the first floor. Most interior shots are just the lever-and-people second floor.

Wayne Hudak Demolished April 1985. All my photos were taken a week before.

John Eagan The model board was saved and is on display at the Monon Connection.

1

2
Jon Roma Beautiful Style "A" interlocking machine.

3

4
Mark Hinsdale posted
Three Things of Interest...
Admittedly, this is a poor quality photograph. Softly focused, taken on a terribly hazy, hot August evening, it leaves a lot to be desired. But I thought some of you might be interested in 1) the SDP40F powered eastbound "Lake Shore Limited;" 2) the decent view of Porter "PO" Tower, continusouly attended and fully operational, and; 3) the operator's lemon custard yellow AMC Gremlin! August, 1977 photo by Mark Hinsdale
Deborah Laird Lamir 4) the locomotive is smiling.
Sam Carlson That "smile" is the chain designed to trip you when you try to exit the locomotive via that door. It works pretty good, too. You'll quickly learn to exit the cab on the right or left after trying to exit the front door and getting a face plant on the ballast!
Jim Potyraj http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/.../PorterRailroadsImage...
Matt Lasayko posted a request for a drawing older than 1858.
Kevin A Heggi commented on Matt's posting
[The model board]
Second photo posted by Mark Hinsdale
"Whoosh"
Amtrak's RTG "Turboliners," built by the French firm ANF, were initially placed in service between Chicago and St. Louis in the fall of 1973. Their success prompted Amtrak to acquire more Turboliner equipment for use in its Chicago to Milwaukee and Chicago-Detroit corridors. Ultimately, the fixed nature of the trainsets contributed to their demise, as demand outstripped supply on Amtrak's Chicago hub routes. They were withdrawn from service in 1981. When one of these passed at trackside, they sounded a bit like a jet engine, and left a distinct kerosene-like scent in the air. Here are some views. Photos by Mark Hinsdale
Wayne Hudak commented on Marks photo
stood in that same spot
Seth Lakin posted
Group I’m looking for a list and photos of Michigan Central interlocking towers that were built to the same general design as BO Tower in Kalamazoo Michigan an PO Tower in Porter Indiana. I know of 10th St, Michigan City, Indiana and Tower 1 in Kalamazoo that follow this design. Anyone know of others? These photos were googled for a example of the design I’m looking for.
Charles Newton Railroad Model Craftsman magazine did an article and plans of WX Tower located in Welland Ontario, where the MC split the mainline to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and diamond-ed the CNR. The drawings and tower were MC design as shown here.

Dave Arganbright posted
Train 353, the Lake Cities, exits the MC line at Porter inbound to CUS in 1984. My photo.

Wayne Hudak posted
Another scene of the French Turboliner, coming off the former Michigan Central at Porter Indiana, 1978.

Mark Hinsdale posted
"Amtrak @ Two Months" (#2)
A number of you seemed to enjoy the July, 1971 view of Englewood (Chicago) posted on Friday. Admittedly, this second image may not be as intriguing as the Englewood view, but here is another photo taken from the head end of Amtrak Train #360 between Chicago and Detroit. We are going through the crossovers on Penn Central's ex New York Central "Main Line Buffalo to Chicago" at "PO" Tower in Porter, Indiana, about to enter the connection to PC's "Main Line Buffalo to Chicago (via Canada)," the old Michigan Central route. My brief ride from Chicago Union Station to the station stop at Niles MI came about by a last minute platform request of the train's engineer to allow me a ride, who graciously granted me the special privilege. I had only a low end Kodak Instamatic 126 camera at that time, which could hardly be depended upon to render a decent image when things were standing still, much less one taken through the windshield of a moving locomotive! But nonetheless, I am thankful I tried to capture the scenes that I did during that ride back then. July, 1971 photo by Mark Hinsdale
Matt McClure Loved that old tower and the location was open for years. I was there Columbus Day 1988 and counted over 110 trains in 24 hours, including Amtrak. Years later some folks got too excited and ran all over the tracks killing the PO triangle as a place to hang and take photos. I wish NS would build a train-watching platform there.

George M Stupar posted
April 1978, Porter IN, Eastbound at Porter Junction on the Chicago Line.

George M Stupar posted
May 1977, Porter IN, The Amtrak turboliner will soon diverge from the Michigan Line to the Chicago Line, visible at right, on its westward journey.
Brian Michael The turbo liner wasn’t very successful.
Eric Zerkle That track looks like hell.

Wayne Hudak posted
Another scene of the French Turboliner, coming off the former Michigan Central at Porter Indiana, 1978.

Wayne Hudak posted five photos of the junction. The comments on the first photo explain the brick company whose smokestacks are in the background.

The second photo in railroadfan is a view of the south side of the tower from a former LS&MS branch. It looks like the fifth photo is of the north side. I spotted 3 more photos of the BO Tower in his Kalamazoo collection.

Bob Lalich Flickr 1983 Photo, e/b Contrail freight approaching the tower with coil cars as far as you can see.

1 comment:

  1. A significant wreck took place at this crossing of the Michigan Central, NYC, and Pere Marquette. Here's a story I wrote about it.

    http://www.porterhistory.org/2016/02/invitation-to-disaster-1921-porter.html

    ReplyDelete