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CP 5507, 4707 west; 95 cars and van 434573. The train is passing over Waterloo St. at Pall Mall St., just to the west of the Quebec St. yard. It was amazing to find an old Watchman's Tower still standing in 1978, for these now-rare structures are relics of the steam age. A cabin, built on stilts, gave the watchman a view up and down the line, and he controlled the crossing gates on approach of a train. The bell you can see on the front in the photo clanged to warn pedestrians of the train's presence. A metal chimney for the oil heater sprouts up top. I would imagine not a single example of one of these links to the past is still standing today. Unless, of course, a museum has captured one.
Copyright Notice: This image ©A.W. Mooney all rights reserved.



Caption: CP 5507, 4707 west; 95 cars and van 434573. The train is passing over Waterloo St. at Pall Mall St., just to the west of the Quebec St. yard. It was amazing to find an old Watchman's Tower still standing in 1978, for these now-rare structures are relics of the steam age. A cabin, built on stilts, gave the watchman a view up and down the line, and he controlled the crossing gates on approach of a train. The bell you can see on the front in the photo clanged to warn pedestrians of the train's presence. A metal chimney for the oil heater sprouts up top. I would imagine not a single example of one of these links to the past is still standing today. Unless, of course, a museum has captured one.

Photographer:
A.W. Mooney [1281] (more) (contact)
Date: 03/01/1978 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 5507 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CP Windsor Sub. (search)
City/Town: London (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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8 Comments
  1. I doubt they were busted out by snow. Chances are unlikely that both were completely missing. Usually when snow damaged them, remnants of the bulbs remained. Like I sad in th post, it was quite common at this date to have the casings installed and not the bulbs.

  2. The ditch light bulbs were probably busted out by snow in the grade crossings!

  3. Great story Ronald, thank you.

  4. A few things of interest. The unit has ditchlights installed, but no bulbs placed in them yet. They were just coming into use at this time.
    The train is on the former eastbound track. Around 1975,there was still doublke track from Adelaide Street to Richmond St. CP planned to remove the switchtender and gatemen at Adelaide, Waterloo/Pall Mall, and Richmond streets, and replace them with automated gates. Those gateman jobs were normally filled by men that were partially disabled on the job, Adelaide st. was running trades guys (yard and road) and the other two were sectionmen. Adelaide Street was a ground level shanty, not a raised tower.

    To test feasibilty of single track, all trains were run on the south or eastward track in both directions. Shortly after this photo was taken track was re-aligned and the extra track was removed. The crossing at Adelaide was automated, but they kept a switchtender fo a couple of years before eliminating that job. After that, disabled employees were pensioned or another office or supervisory role was found for them.

  5. ***Nah. Just open up and wizz on the pedestrians, Ron. :o )

  6. Very nice shot Arnold. I wonder if that is a outhouse under the stairs?

  7. Another excellent shot Mr. M. The watchman’s tower makes it special.

  8. Great shot Arnold, love the setting!

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