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Re: PC: [PRR] MO tower is gone (fwd)

> From:          NYC4600 -AT- aol.com
> Date:          Tue, 8 Dec 1998 22:24:45 EST
> To:            penn-central -AT- smellycat.com
> Subject:       Re: PC: [PRR] MO tower is gone (fwd)
> Reply-to:      penn-central -AT- smellycat.com
Being a working railroader I have had the stations that I worked in 
closed down, was the last one to work the final shift and locked the 
door behind me for the final time. After you have done this for so 
long you are just de-sensitized. It is just part of the job. As for 
the MofW crews taring down the tower, they do not feel anything. It 
was just part of there job. You have to remember that most people on 
the railroad are they because they where looking for a job and found 
a good job and come to work and do what they do for the good pay 
check. One day the the operator was handing you up train orders the 
next you you begun to copy track warrents, well I guess I will miss 
the operator, thowing water on him while he was standing there 
holding the order hoop. But I still have my job. Too bad they are 
going to bull doze down the station, it was sort of neat looking, 
well I still have my job. When I first started on the railroad 26 
years ago I did take photos. Now I really have not done any serious 
railfaning or photo taking for aleast the pat 10 years. There are 
many days that I come home from work and do not care to even see a 
train. Why because I have just spent anywhere from the last 8 to 12 
hrs fighting trying to keep things running, get trains out 
of the yard and listening to trainmen wine. You just want to get 
away. That is hard for railfans to understand. I knew I was going to 
be a railroader by the time I was in the 1st grade. I love what I do, 
do not get me wrong. I miss the old depots, I was a towerman and yes 
I have seen photos of the burned out old DLW tower I worked in, it 
makes me sad but I have very good memories of thetowermen I worked 
with. They where all good people. 
The railroads going by the tower will miss it but we have all seen 
so much change so fast and so much stuff has been toren up or toren 
down that I has just become the way things are. Also a lot of the new 
modern ways are not efficent as the old ways, they just require less 
people. Welcome to the world of modern in efficent railroading. 
Remember that the next time you are happy you cought 5 trains backed 
up on the main waiting to get itno the yard so you could get photos. 
There are people sitting in the hot sun on those trains with no 
condiditioning who just want to go home.
 Bob  Stafford

> 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
> RR westbounds).
> 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
> windows.
> 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. 
> John W.

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