"Towers" at Roanoke and "West Roanoke"

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Jun 25 16:28:17 EDT 2017

I have previously posted to the List (and sent a copy to the N&W Archives)
a PDF reproducing the N&W's "Statement of Block Signals in Use on the Road,
September 1896."  And I will attach it again, for the benefit of anyone who
missed it several years ago.

Notice page 6, which shows a "tower" at "E. End D.T. Roanoke Tower," and
another tower designated as "West Roanoke Tower."

1896 was probably a bit early for the N&W to have been using interlocking,
so my guess is that the facility designated as "E. End D.T. Roanoke Tower"
existed only to block trains by the "Telegraph Block System," and handled
no interlocking.  It was probably somewhere around Randolph Street.  Notice
that its signal (whether singular or plural is not specified) is/are shown
as having two arms and being equipped to show Permissive Block.  This
facility probably only blocked eastward trains, as the main line west of
that point was probably governed by Rule 93 (Yard Limits on Main Track.)

Now to the questions...

1.  Where was "Roanoke Tower"?  Was it on the same spot as the two
succeeding iterations of "Randolph Street" Tower?  When was mechanical
interlocking first installed at this junction?  What was the Telegraph Call
for the the "Roanoke Tower" shown in 1896?

2.  Where was "West Roanoke Tower"?  (Remember, we are talking an era when
the yard did not extend west of what is now known as "Shaffers Crossing.")

-- abram burnett
                  Sent to You from my Telegraph Key
Successor to the MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH LINE of 1844
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