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Re: PC: [PRR] MO tower is gone (fwd)
- Subject: Re: PC: [PRR] MO tower is gone (fwd)
- From: NYC4600@xxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 22:24:45 EST
Well "MO" fans, welcome to the club. March 26 of this year is when Tower "NW"
in North White Plains, New York was torn down. I'm not sure how many know
about it, but, as I'm sure "MO" was, "NW" was there for many years. It was
located at a point on NYC's Harlem Division where steam and later diesels were
swapped for electric locomotives on eastbound runs into Grand Central
Terminal, and the opposite for westbounds (geographically northbounds, but in
What gets me is how those who tear the towers down, have no idea what they are
doing. I mean it in a sense that they don't realize that such a structure
could mean so much to a railfan. That was the case in "NW", and I'm sure was
the case in "MO" (not to be confused with NY's NYCentral Tower "MO" in the
south Bronx). When I happened to see "NW" being dismantled, I asked the crew
doing the destruction what was up. The guy in charge plainly said, "Oh yeah,
we're tearin' it down. All's controlled from Metro-North's main CTC board
now. We don't need the tower anymore."
And that was it. The subject of so many railfan conversations and photographs
for so many years, gone in a matter of 4 horrible days. I know it is those
peoples jobs to do that, but how one can be involved in such work kills me.
In my mind it's pure vandalism, in the same category as graffiti and smashed
I guess that's the bland (increasingly bland) railroad age we're living in
today. To keep up with modernizing times, steam was dropped in favor of
diesel. Then stations were closed sold and or torn/burnt down. Then service
got poorer. Then entire lines were abandoned. Throughout all those grueling
years, the towers were some of the few items of old time railroading to
survive. But now, as the railroads prosper once again, it is sadly the towers
turn to go. One by one they'll go. By the time we all know it, a book will
be published on the last remaining towers. I'm sure back in the late 1940s,
early 1950s, the last thing any railfan ever imagined was this. The last days
of steam was the big thing, and a tower was just a tower. There were millions
of them! After all, back then it must have seemed that until railroads no
longer exisited, there'd be towers! This was just as it had seemed to someone
in the 1920s regarding steam. Without steam engines, you couldn't run a
railroad, so steam would have to be around forever - right?
So much for that. It just goes to show you, that what may seem forever
lasting (or at least lasting for many more years), could be gone tomorrow.
PRR Tower "MO", NYC Tower "NW", and all the rest of those great towers will
always be remembered. They have symbolized railroading for years, and can
and will never be forgotten. At this point, lets all just hope there are
railfans in 50 years. From the way things are going, it seems there is less
and less about trains that can fascinate little kids. What makes railfans
aren't only the trains, but the mystique. In that mystique are rural depots,
towers, big shops, big terminals, powerful engines, and proud train crews.
The smell of creosote on the ties helps too, and with concrete ties, that's
going too. Someday, all that will be left will be the trains and the rails,
and by then, who knows who will be left taking train photos and standing
trackside along the rails that built America, and symbolized transportation
across the nation.
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