About This File
Interlocking towers are seen at many rail junctions across the US.Their main function is to control the assortment of turnouts (switches,in railroad terms) at the junction. Because they are seen in so manylocations across the country, they tend to evoke the feeling and styleof the area. One in New Jersey might be small, blocky andinstitutional, one in upstate New York might be an elaborate Victorian,and one in the Midwest might be Prairie style. Sadly, these uniquetestaments to the power of rail are being decommissioned slowly andtorn down, to be replaced by national facilities. Inside a tower is amachine called an interlocking press, an assembly of levers thatcontrol the switches. The operator receives messages from thedispatcher, who then manipulates the switches to allow trains to passthrough correctly.
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