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Home / Miami County / 21-55 Pennsylvania Railroad "BF" Tower [3]

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  • 21-55 The actual 'BF' Tower 21-55 The actual 'BF' Tower
  • 21-55 Track Switching Mechanism 21-55 Track Switching Mechanism
Title, side A
Pennsylvania Railroad "BF" Tower
Text, side A
The Bradford or "BF" Tower was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad circa 1929, at the important site of Bradford Junction. It replaced an earlier wooden tower that stood to its west. From this building, operators controlled the movement of every train, aligned track switches, set the track side signals, and relayed messages to the crews in the locomotive and caboose of passing trains. The tower originally housed a desk, telegraph equipment, and the all-important railroad clock. Its core housed many steel throw-arms, known as Armstrong levers. These were hand thrown, connecting track switches and signals via pipes throughout the junction area. The operator telegraphed other outlying towers and dispatching centers in Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis and Logansport, Indiana. Railroad telephones appeared during the late 1920s and radios just after World War II. The tower was closed January 3, 1984. This is an example of the once common railroad interlocking tower that dotted railroads throughout Ohio and the United States.
Address
501 E Main Street
Bradford, OH 45308
Location
BF Tower, 501 E Main Street