Saturday, June 24, 2017

KO Tower: (Acutally, Tower KO) C&NW vs. C&NW

(Satellite, Flickr)
Zachary C. Gillihan posted
All, I am looking for more information on this board, thinking Chicago area and possibly Lake Forest? Anyone have any photos of it in service?
Jon Roma As best as I can tell, the tower was built by the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee interurban when they built their Skokie Valley bypass route circa 1925.This explains the peculiar appearance compared to the typical C&NW interlocking tower. I believe it was built by CNS&M but that C&NW exercised their prerogative as senior railroad to man the tower.

The interurban abandoned in 1963, and the plant was simplified accordingly.

Incidentally, C&NW parlance was Tower "KO", not "KO" Tower. 

I do not have a closing date for "KO", but I believe its end came around 1986 after C&NW had dropped timetable and train order operation, replacing it with Direct Traffic Control.

Zachary commented on his posting
Looks like a hell of place at one time!!
Obviously the CSN&M is now the Skokie Valley Bike Path in this area.

Russ Fierce commented on the posting
Here's a picture I found. Looks like much more recent.
Dennis Stanczak posted
Handing up the orders at KO Tower, Lake Forest IL on the C&NW New Line. This was from 1978 or 1979 and remains one of my favorite photos from my youth.

You can see the tower near the bottom of this aerial.
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

1 comment:

  1. I worked Tower KO off and on from 1974-1978. It was very busy in those days. KO, Waukegan, Bain, and St. Francis were the only offices open 24 hours, or almost 24 hours--Bain was not--on that portion of the Wisconsin Division, by then. The old North Shore right-of-way was quite evident; it was remarkable to consider what KO was like when it was even *busier*.