Tower in Holly

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Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:56 pm

What function did the tower in Holly use to serve? Growing up there I never saw anyone ever go in or out of it.

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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:01 pm

It was an interlocking tower at one point. It had been long out-of-service by the time you came around.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:42 pm

SD80MAC wrote:It was an interlocking tower at one point. It had been long out-of-service by the time you came around.


What could it have possibly interlocked? All that's there now is a diamond. I'm not sure if there ever was an interchange track but it wouldn't surprise me. I'm assuming its automated and the automatic system is in the tower? Last time I inspected the tower up close it had security stickers on it, although I'm not sure if they are on there as a deterrent. My dad remembers being able to go in that tower as a kid in the 70's and 80's because people would always break the lock on it.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:45 pm

Um, the diamond and the interchange. In the days before automatic block signals, a lot of diamonds were controlled by towers.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:46 pm

SD80MAC wrote:Um, the diamond and the interchange. In the days before automatic block signals, a lot of diamonds were controlled by towers.

That tower has not been manned for a LONG time then... there was no interchange there when my dad was growing up. Looking at past photos has suggested the interchange was gone by the 60's. I know the remains of the interchange and station tracks were removed when CN/GT did a huge grade crossing project in Holly in the early 2000's. All of the crossings on their line were rebuilt with new signals and pavement and had their extra tracks removed.

Sorry if I came off a little harsh or rude I didn't think you needed these big towers to control one diamond and one interchange track. I thought they were only for places like Delray.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby Saturnalia » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:53 pm

Back in the day, if you had a diamond, you either had a station or a tower (sometimes both).

On busy mainlines, there were towers just for sets of crossovers sometimes.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:53 pm

In the old days, if you didn't want the train operating crews to have to stop and either throw switches, verify if a crossing track was clear, or both, you either had a station or a tower, and both were staffed with employees to ensure trains moved safely. Simple crossings may not have been interlocked - i.e. you could line two conflicting movements, but anything involving a mainline, and in reality even many branchline crossings, were interlocked - which prevented a conflicting move from being lined once a through route was set.

Holly surely would have warranted an interlocking tower - it was the crossing of two important mainlines, plus had an interchange track (SW quadrant), and may also have controlled some sidings as well (not sure). I think the building is very secure and the ground floor may contain relay equipment for signal control.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:30 pm

Holly has Michigan's oldest rail junction. You had at one point several freight houses, a small yard, watering facilities, Union Station and thevtower. Only 3 are left. The yard is basically abandoned. I have no idea when the last passenger train left Holly. Union Station is under restoration, the tower sits derelict. Any remaining traces of the boarding and interchange tracks like I said have been gone for 15 years or so. I bet that that tower controlled Holly siding as well. The building to the best of my knowledge is never tampered with, neither is the station. The station was built in the teens, but I'm not sure about the tower. I guess I need to think about this more.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MrRail » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:43 pm

I remember talking to someone (I think it was Dick Tomlinson), but as I recall this tower does still hold some signalling equipment out of the elements.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby J T » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:01 am

MQT1223 wrote:That tower has not been manned for a LONG time then... there was no interchange there when my dad was growing up.

Looking at past photos has suggested the interchange was gone by the 60's.

I know the remains of the interchange tracks were removed...in the early 2000's.


Wait, what?
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:45 am

J T wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:That tower has not been manned for a LONG time then... there was no interchange there when my dad was growing up.

Looking at past photos has suggested the interchange was gone by the 60's.

I know the remains of the interchange tracks were removed...in the early 2000's.


Wait, what?


The switch on the C&O main was gone yet the switch and track on the GT main was still in place when I was little. When I mean't the interchange was gone I mean't the ability to interchange cars. My mistake.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:45 am

J T wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:That tower has not been manned for a LONG time then... there was no interchange there when my dad was growing up.

Looking at past photos has suggested the interchange was gone by the 60's.

I know the remains of the interchange tracks were removed...in the early 2000's.


Wait, what?


The switch on the C&O main was gone yet the switch and track on the GT main was still in place when I was little. When I mean't the interchange was gone I mean't the ability to interchange cars. My mistake.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:11 pm

You may want to take a look at the website linked below to gain some knowledge of crossings in Michigan. While this site has a very good list, I am not sure the list is complete. Crossings were everywhere, and most of them had a person guarding them.

http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Interlockers/InterlockerMenu.htm

In the 19th and early 20th century, the guard or tower man tended to be located very close to the crossing. As technology changed, the ability to control the crossing by remote control eliminated the need for people to be nearby.

If you look carefully at old crossings, you can still find evidence of the tower decades after their removal.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:34 pm

Standard Railfan wrote:You may want to take a look at the website linked below to gain some knowledge of crossings in Michigan. While this site has a very good list, I am not sure the list is complete. Crossings were everywhere, and most of them had a person guarding them.

http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Interlockers/InterlockerMenu.htm

In the 19th and early 20th century, the guard or tower man tended to be located very close to the crossing. As technology changed, the ability to control the crossing by remote control eliminated the need for people to be nearby.

If you look carefully at old crossings, you can still find evidence of the tower decades after their removal.


I've checked out that site before its one of my favorites. Its helped me with so many things. :D
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:49 pm

MQT1223 wrote: I'm not sure if there ever was an interchange track but it wouldn't surprise me.


The PM and GTW interchanged about 3000 cars per year at Holly in the 1940s.
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Re: Tower in Holly

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:11 pm

Standard Railfan wrote:
MQT1223 wrote: I'm not sure if there ever was an interchange track but it wouldn't surprise me.


The PM and GTW interchanged about 3000 cars per year at Holly in the 1940s.


Oh I believe it! I've seen pictures of Holly back then and I agree, it was a very busy place! So many railroad related buildings lined the area around the station and Diamond. Its only for crossing now, no interchanging of any kind. Holly isn't even a shadow of its former self in terms of the importance it had with railroads back then.
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