Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Signal Station 199

The Interlocking Tower at Berkshire Junction

The interlocking tower, signal station 199, at Berkshire was erected in 1924. This was the second tower structure that once stood at this junction replacing the original that had been demolished by a Boston to Maybrook NY freight that derailed at the junction. This tower was manned 24/7 until 1960 when movements at the junction were then controlled by a CTC dispatcher located in New Haven CT, the structure was razed the following year.

The low height of this structure in relation to the track provided the tower operators an eye level view of the passing trains making it appear to be a single story tower in most photographs taken at the junction. The photo below of the west and track side of the tower is an example of this. The smaller structure just to the west of the tower in this photo is believed to be a storage shed for coal to heat the tower.

These two rare photos of the rear of the tower show the actual height of this structure as it was built into the side of the track grade embankment. The west and rear sides below.

The east and rear sides below.

The rear of the tower is the side that will face the operators isle in the layout room. Building a model of this tower to any degree of accuracy would be impossible without these photos of the rear of the structure. A sincere thank you to J. W. Swanberg for graciously sharing the three photos above from his collection!

The photo below is the east side of the tower.

Modeling signal station 199

Researching this tower provided no elevation plans or dimensions, therefore sizing a model from these photographs is speculative. Windows and doors that "looked about right" from Tichy Train Group are used, the model will be sized from these components comparing their size in relation to the proportions of the prototype structure in photos.

Below the Tichy windows and doors are fitted into the four sides made from .040" styrene clapboard siding sheets and various sized strips.

The roof is held square while gluing between a straightedge and two combination square heads, the roof panels are made with plan .040" styrene.

Fitting the sides together with flooring and a foundation.

The rear and west sides below. The stair stringers are from Central Valley #1602 steps & ladder package .

Rear and east sides.

The west and track sides below. The track side will be unseen once the tower is placed into the layout.

Below is the coal shed under construction.

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