BO Tower Interlocking Machine Shut Down

 

Operators are still lining signals and switches at BO Tower in Kalamzoo, Mich., but not for much longer.

This past Tuesday the 44-level Saxby & Farmer interlocking machine inside of the tower was taken out of service. The tower remains open 24 hours a day with operators using a control panel to authorize movements.

But in the not too distant future an Amtrak train director in Chicago will be handed the responsibility to control the junction of Amtrak’s Michigan Line (former Michigan Central) and the Grand Elk Railroad.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is acquired the former MC line east of Kalamazoo from Norfolk Southern. NS will eventually relinquish to Amtrak the dispatching of the route.

The Michigan Railroad Commission approved the now decommissioned interlocking by New York Central affiliate MC in January 1915

BO tower once controlled lines affiliated with the Grand Trunk Western, NYC and Pennsylvania, along with interurban Michigan Railway

The ex-MC was divided between Amtrak and Conrail in 1976. Conrail also acquired the ex-PRR line.

Norfolk Southern got the two Conrail routes in 1999 and sold the ex-PRR line to the Grand Elk in 2009. The ex-MC east of Kalamazoo was sold to the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2013 with NS retaining freight rights.

Amtrak and the state of Michigan are rebuilding the Kalamazoo-Dearborn corridor for 110 mph speeds, which includes major track upgrades along with a complete replacement of the signal system to modern hardware that provides positive train control.

The route is used by the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service and the Chicago-Port Huron, Mich., Blue Water.

 

 

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