Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

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Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:53 pm

I'm looking for photos or any information about Amtrak's Drawbridge Tower in Michigan City, on the Amtrak Michigan District. I had heard at one point that the operation of the Michigan City swing bridge has been remoted from Chicago, but I also heard that this structure still maintains an operator for this reason.

I also heard once upon a time that Amtrak requested that BO Tower remain open and maintained Drawbridge Tower so it could have real people near or at each end of it's owned segment of the Michigan Line.

Did/does Drawbridge Tower have any other functions other than lining up the bridge? What's it like on the inside? It looks like a fairly modern building, newer than the bridge it accompanies...did it replace a previous bridge tower?

Any help would be GREEEEAT!

(funny how the tower is called DRAWBRIDGE, but yet the actual bridge at this location is a Swing Bridge!)
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Re: Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

Unread postby rsinoms » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:54 am

Last I knew, the bridge in Michigan City is remotely operated from Chicago's 14th Street tower. I personally saw where the control the yards, New Orleans Transportaion Center, and Michigan City bridge on a Tour of the facilities in OCT. 2007.
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Re: Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

Unread postby thomas » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:25 pm

i was in that tower once back in the mid 90's, and i seem to remember the operator had a small board that controled the three oaks siding along with the bridge and the west side of michigan city...
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Re: Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

Unread postby RailCanon » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:53 pm

Hey Nathan...
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Re: Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

Unread postby csxt4617 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:26 am

A friend gave me a photo he took when they were still finishing it back in the 70's. They had a CTC panel that controlled the whole line from Porter to CP 147. I believe this was replaced with computer screens (a modern CTC panel :mrgreen: ) before it was closed. I have no idea when that happened though (replacing the old CTC panel, that is)
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Re: Drawbridge Tower, Michigan City

Unread postby Todd Cline » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:39 am

For what it's worth, I knew Bill Pontius, he was an operator at BO tower at Kzoo, until he got "bumped". He ended up with the Drawbridge job in Michigan City. At that time, (1987-1989) the tower at "Drawbridge" controlled the entire line from Porter, to Kalamazoo. I think that was an "NYC" installation, Circa 1957, when the NYC consolidated the Michigan traffic into the Elkhart yards. At that time, the double track between Porter and Kalamazoo was reduced to single track. Fast-forward to 1983, the "Air Line", between Three Rivers, and Jackson, is now redundant after they sunk millions into it. The rails were lifted. Oh well.. Nice bike trail, huh?

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