LIRR Interlocking Towers & Cabins

interlockingboardPondTower3-5-1978.jpg (24936 bytes)
Interlocking board at Pond Tower 3/05/1978

Manhattan-Crossing-East-New-York_Manhattan-Beach-Branch-crossed-Atlantic-Branch_Tower-63-later-NO_Keller.jpg (72513 bytes)
Manhattan Crossing, East New York Manhattan Beach Branch crossed the Atlantic Branch - Tower 63, later "NO" Archive: Art Huneke

Tower-SP-SpfdJct-1923 (Osborne-Keller).jpg (48532 bytes)
1923 shot of SP interlocking tower, built on a signal bridge, controlling Springfield Junction, the start of the Springfield branch just west of Rosedale (Osborne-Keller)

Tower-CN-ChestnutStJct-1923.jpg (44200 bytes)
Chestnut St. Junction CN Tower 1923
Archive: Dave Keller

chestnut-st.-junction_CN-Tower_6-13-12_Keller.jpg (119127 bytes)
Chestnut St. Junction CN Tower 6/13/12
Archive: Dave Keller

Tower-92_later-LR_south-of-Liberty-Ave-Rockaway-Beach-Branch_Keller.jpg (77700 bytes)
Tower 92 later LR Tower south of Liberty Ave - Rockaway Beach Branch
Archive: Art Huneke

LR-Tower_Liberty-Ave-1904_Keller.jpg (90450 bytes)
LR Tower Liberty Ave 1904 
Archive: Art Huneke

babylon_joegregory.jpg (88646 bytes)
Babylon  Photo: Joe Gregory
BtowerTr4250_011979JimGillin.jpg (71364 bytes)
B tower TR #4250 eastbound 1/1979 Photo: Jim Gillin
bptowershell_jegregory.jpg (68197 bytes)
B Tower Bethpage 2007
Photo: Joe Gregory
Tower-B-Interlocking Machine-Bethpage Jct-3-18-79.jpg (64526 bytes)
Bethpage Jct. Tower B interlocking 03/18/79
Bliss-Tower-G5s-35-Final-Run-LIC-10-16-55.jpg (41828 bytes)
LIRR Block operator Rosario Zambuto stands on the landing outside the old “BLISS” Tower at Blissville, L. I. City, NY as G5s #35, seen at the right, makes it last run as a railfan extra on October 16, 1955. Note the spiral staircase to access the upper portion of the tower! View is looking east. Art Huneke photo, Dave Keller archive
interlockingboardBlissTower12-29-1977.jpg (88752 bytes)
Table machine BLISS cabin 12/29/77
Cabin-BLISS-12-25-70.jpg (83063 bytes)
BLISS cabin 12/25/1970
Dave Keller photo and archive
CP-Cabin-East-Central-Islip-1916.jpg (105951 bytes)
CP Cabin view E Central Islip 1916 George G. Ayling photo / Dave Keller archive


Tower-PORT-Temp Sta-Freeport-View SE-1959 (Keller).jpg (77677 bytes)
Freeport "PORT" Tower in 1959 View SE. Original tracks in foreground.  Temporary tracks beyond the tower and temporary station facilities to the left of the old tower, between the two sets of tracks.  Archive: Dave Keller
Dunton-Tower_1967_Keller.jpg (89746 bytes)
DUNTON Tower view NW 1967 Photo/Archive: Dave Keller
DUNTON-4 sthurmovik 03-30-2000.jpg (125518 bytes)
Dunton  03-30-2000
Photo: S. Thurmovik
DuntonTower-DMorrisson.jpg (132578 bytes)
Dunton remodeled  c.3/ 2005-11/2006
Archive: Dave Morrison
DUNTON+Duckunder sthurmovik 03-30-2000.jpg (115536 bytes)
Dunton Duck under  03-30-2000
Photo: S. Thurmovik
DUNTON and DD1 360 1947 RZ.jpeg (115913 bytes)
DUNTON Tower - DD1 #360 1947 (Ziel-Boland)
PARK 1947 RZ.jpeg (110073 bytes)
PARK Tower 1947 (Ziel-Boland)
Tower-PARK-Floral Park-Semaphore-PL Signals-View SW-10-12-51 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (115283 bytes)
PARK Tower, at Floral Park Semaphore and Position Light signals View SW 10/12/51 (Faxon-Keller)
lirr101LICitynearFtower1978AJDaly.jpg (89512 bytes)
LIRR #101 at  LI City F Tower 1978 Photo: A. J. Daly

pondtower05-68davekeller.jpg (69013 bytes)
Fresh Pond Tower May, 1968

That was the month/year that I photographed the tower and it had been newly renovated, removing most of the upper windows and adding a new roof and new siding. Archive: Dave Keller

pondtower.jpg (205786 bytes)
Fresh Pond Tower c. June, 1968+

After the tower renovation of  05/1968, this photo was perhaps taken sometime between Summer/1968 and Spring/1970 or 1971, judging by the jackets worn and the trees appearing to begin showing leaves.  All the RS3 units were repainted by 1971, though. Historical Info: Dave Keller

NYA-Tower- POND_Fresh-Pond_06-17-2000_Lynch-Keller.jpg (169271 bytes)
POND Tower 6/17/2000 Photo: Steven Lynch Archive: Dave Keller
Pond20198120levers.jpg (71544 bytes)
Pond Tower interlocking levers c.1981
JAY 5_26_71 D. Milone.jpeg (123616 bytes)
JAY 5/26/71(Milone-Boland)
JAY Tower 6_51 RZ.jpeg (129353 bytes)
JAY Tower  interior 6/1951 1947 (Ziel-Boland)
Tower-JAY-Operator at Interlocking Machine & Model Board-Jamaica, NY - c. 1937 (Keller).jpg (103143 bytes)
JAY Tower operator at Interlocking Machine Model Board, Jamaica c.1937Archive: Dave Keller
HAROLD-int+tower sthurmovik 2005 gone.jpg (200217 bytes)
Harold  Interlocking 2005 gone Photo: S. Thurmovik
Hicksville-DivideTower-viewSE-1953.jpg (129702 bytes)
Hicksville Divide Tower view SE 1953
Tower-Divide (Old Tower)-Model Board and Levers - 03-62 (Keller).jpg (108119 bytes)
DIVIDE Tower interlocking levers and 
model board 3/1962 Archive: Dave Keller
Tower-DIVIDE-Hicksville-View SE-1962 (Keller).JPG (123090 bytes)
DIVIDE Tower - Hicksville view SE 1962 Archive: Dave Keller

LI-Railroader_11-19-44_Divide-Tower-levers.jpg (78522 bytes)
LI Railroader 11/19/44 Divide Tower levers Archive: Al Castelli

dividebackside_joegregory.jpg (62990 bytes)
Hicksville rear view of "DIVIDE" tower after grade elimination project 
Photo: Joe Gregory
Station-IS-Tower-Hollis-7-1-36.jpg (77044 bytes)
Looking northwest on 7/1/36, we see the depot, high-level concrete platforms and “IS” tower at Hollis. The building at the right is the section shanty. Visible in the center of the tracks are the crossover switches to allow trains to enter and leave Holban Yard which is located just west of the station and to the left out of the range of the photo.  A year later the tower would be renamed “HOLLIS.”  
Archive: Dave Keller
JTower-JamaicaValuationPhoto-04021921.jpg (117406 bytes)
LIRR valuation photo “J” (later “JAY”) tower west of new Jamaica station. View looking west. Appears windows are being washed . . . perhaps for the first and last time! 4/2/21
Archive: Dave Keller

jaytowerjamaica1974davekeller.jpg (55894 bytes)
Jay Tower - Jamaica 1975
Photo: Dave Keller

ROW-Jay Tower.jpg (115034 bytes)
Jay Tower view E towards 
Hall Tower c. 1963

JAY-7 sthurmovik 03-30-2000.jpg (137245 bytes)
Jay  03/30/2000
Photo: S. Thurmovik

JAY-tower_ New-Car-Car-Modernization-Sign_View NE_02-12-57.jpg (112010 bytes)

JAY-tower_ New-Car-Car-Modernization-Sign_View NE_02-12-57_Close-Up.jpg (149296 bytes)
JAY Tower New Car and Car Modernization Sign view NE 02/12/57 (Faxon-Keller)


Hall_to_JayInterlocking1970.jpg (108544 bytes)
Hall Tower to Jay Tower Interlocking 1970
Hall_Tower-viewE-postrenovation.jpg (60480 bytes)
Hall Tower view E post renovation
HALL Tower and 2 MB62's 1_64 RZ.jpeg (76239 bytes)
HALL Tower - MB62s 1/1964 (Ziel-Boland)
Harold-Tower_GP38-267_4-25-1988_EdwardHand.jpg (134011 bytes)
Harold Tower - GP38 #267 View SE 4/25/1988  Photo: Edward Hand
Tower-PT-Lynbrook- Post-1907_Keller.jpg (73925 bytes)
PT Tower Lynbrook Post-1907 
Archive: Dave Keller
Tower-Locust-LocustValley-1966.jpg (64394 bytes)
Locust Tower 1966
Photo: Dave Keller
locusttower2-88johnfusto.jpg (248862 bytes)
Locust Tower 02/1988 
Photo: John Fusto
locust tower 2005.jpg (153528 bytes)
Locust Tower 2005
lirrFA-601-firstdayofservice_push-pull_EastboundtoPJEff_5-25-71RichardGlueck.jpg (33201 bytes)
Nassau Tower LIRR  FA #601 eastbound to Port Jefferson view SW First day of service for push-pull trains 05/25/1971 Photo: Richard Glueck
nassautower05171979SteveRothaug.jpg (43651 bytes)
Nassau Tower 05/17/1979 
Photo: Steve Rothaug
P4857-Mineola.jpg (62784 bytes)
Nassau Tower P4857 view E
nassautower-interlockinglevers(2)05171979SteveRothaug.jpg (51448 bytes)
Nassau Tower interlocking levers  05/17/1979 Photo: Steve Rothaug

nassautower-interlockinglevers05171979SteveRothaug.jpg (48778 bytes)
Nassau Tower interlocking 
levers 05/17/79 Photo: Steve Rothaug

Tower-Nasau-Model Board - 12-75 (Madden-Keller).jpg (70687 bytes)
Nassau Tower Model Board 12/1975 (Madden-Keller)

Tower-Nasau-Model Board-Opr at Levers_c.1945_Keller.jpg (71376 bytes)
Nassau Tower  Operator at Model Board 
c.1945 Archive: Dave Keller

nassautower-interlockingrods05171979SteveRothaug.jpg (57953 bytes)
Nassau Tower interlocking rods view W 05/17/79 Photo: Steve Rothaug

nassautower-interlockingrods05171979SteveRothaug-closeup.jpg (60708 bytes)
Nassau Tower interlocking rods close-up 05/17/79 Steve Rothaug 

Tower-Nassau-Interlocking Rods-Baldwin Loco-Frt-on-Hempstead Spur-Mineola-3-20-54 (2) (Keller).jpg (145141 bytes)
Nassau Tower interlocking rods Baldwin with freight on Hempstead Spur 3/20/54 Archive: Dave Keller

Tower-Olivet-8-1-44_Keller.jpg (105241 bytes)
"OLIVET" Tower 8/01/1944
Archive: Dave Keller
Tower-OLIVET-Maspeth -Interior-1948 (Keller).jpg (80918 bytes)
"OLIVET" Tower Interior 1948
Archive: Dave Keller

 OLIVET Interlocking 1/23/1941
Archive: Stephen McEvoy

The interior shot shows what appears to be the signal maintainer sitting at the block operator's desk and the photo shot by the block operator. I was told by a former signal maintainer that this was a nasty, drafty tower and was full of rats. The interior condition certainly looks conducive to both. Dave Keller


Tower-Olivet-H10s-113-1946DaveKeller.jpg (47988 bytes)
H10s (2-8-0) #113 pulling eastbound freight upgrade past "OLIVET" Tower, Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY 8/30/46 Archive: Dave Keller

Tower-FW-Far Rockaway-6-6-33.jpg (62979 bytes)
“FW” tower at the east end of Far Rockaway station (Mott Ave). View is looking east.  “FW” call letters in Keystone.  6/06/1933. Archive: Dave Keller

When service was ended over Jamaica Bay , and Far Rockaway was turned over to the NYCTA and the tracks severed, this was torn up and end of track relocated east to Nameoke Ave. where the depot and end of track is today.  The tower was no longer needed so was demolished along with the very large depot building and trackage which was elevated through there in the early 1940s.

Tower-MP-West-Morris Park Shops - 11-9-1911.jpg (87561 bytes)
The 1st “MP” tower – Morris Park Shops - looking west towards the shops. The original Dunton station was a distance behind the photographer.  Date is 11/9/1911
Photographer unknown, Dave Keller archive  
Tower-MP-Dunton-1925.jpg (34770 bytes)
The second “MP” tower (later “DUNTON”) looking west towards the shops from the western-most end of Dunton station platform.  Dunton station was moved further west over the years. James V. Osborne 1925  photo, Dave Keller archive  
New-VA_TOWER_Valley-Stream_6-28-1933.jpg (138979 bytes)
VA Tower No.2 In service: 6/27/33 after VA Tower: 1 razed with 1933 grade elimination. Renamed “VALLEY”: 4/30/37 Data: Dave Keller
Tower-Valley-ValleyStream-1967.jpg (21572 bytes)
Tower "VALLEY" Valley Stream 1967
Archive: Dave Keller
Valley.jpg (91250 bytes)
Valley 2007
Tower-PD-Patchogue-3-18-30.jpg (69387 bytes)
PD Tower Camelback Westbound 03/18/1930
Archive: Dave Keller
pdtower.jpg (45445 bytes)
PD View E  2001 Photo: Steve Lynch
PD 2006.jpg (54716 bytes)
PD View E  2006
PD - Levers - 1971.jpg (75333 bytes)
PD Tower interlocking levers 1971 Archive: Dave Keller
PD - OPR AT LEVERS - 1971.jpg (78285 bytes)
PD Tower operator at levers 1971
Archive: Dave Keller
QUEENS-4 09-May-2003 sthurmovik.jpg (136275 bytes)
QUEENS  Tower 5/09/2003
Photo: S. Thurmovik
queenstower_joegregory.jpg (85867 bytes)
QUEENS Tower  Photo: Joe Gregory
win8-65.jpg (62778 bytes)
Win Tower, Winfield Junction  -  View SW 8/65
WIN-Tower_viewNW-1968_ArtHuneke.jpg (96915 bytes)
WIN Tower  View NW 1968 
Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

LIRR active towers 2008 (not counting PSCC and West Side Yard):


Harold is only opened in the event that PSCC goes down. Right now it's a lounge for signalmen and trackworkers.

CTC is in the inevitable future, but not all towers have computer controls yet. Jay, Hall and Dunton still have their Model 14s. Up until recently, Queens did too, but with the interlocking work, they've switched over to computers. Haven't been up in Valley for some time. They may have a few levers left, don't know. PD tower is gone - it's now 261, automatic block from PD to SK controlled by Babylon Tower. 

What I've heard is that they would like to centralize the operation, much like Metro North has done, with one control center in Jamaica (Air Train bldg). How long this takes, who knows. Get your pictures and visit the towers while they're still around. Passed Hall tower today in the wee hours of the morning with the whole interlocking aglow from switch heaters. What a sight 

Jay is located at the west end of Jamaica station
Hall is at the east end
Queens is just north of the Belmont wye (near Belmont racetrack)
Nassau is at the east end of Mineola station
Divide is at the east end of Hicksville station, where the Mainline and Port Jeff branches split
Valley is at the east end of Valley Stream station
Lead is atop a drawbridge which connects Island Park and Long Beach
Brook is at the east end of Flatbush Avenue station, south of track two
Dunton is at the throat of the yard to Morris Park

Port Washington yard and Wood, Shea, Bay and Neck Interlockings are all controlled by Section A   Author: RogerOverOutRR