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A rare look inside the West Toronto diamond interlocking tower in February 1964, not too long before it was demolished. A Saxby and Farmer interlocking machine dating from the 1900's was manually controlled by the tower's "leverman" to direct the movements of trains through "The Junction" area. The various coloured levers control track switches (blue), switch locks (black) and signals (red) through mechanical linkages of connecting rods and bell cranks that run out of the tower, along the railway lines, and to the switches and signals they control.  A large track panel display shows the various lines and routings, along with indicator lights (note the illuminated lights on the board corresponding with the CN train passing by outside). The tables of numbers on the display show the sequence of levers that must be pulled by the leverman to line specific routings.

Physically, the interlocking tower was located at the southeast corner of the West Toronto diamonds where CN's Brampton Sub (later Weston Sub) crossed CP's North Toronto Sub, and movements across both lines were directed by the tower. CP's Galt Sub (that passed by just to the west) had a connector track to the MacTier that ran northeast and bisected the diamonds. The former TG&B line (that had become an industrial spur) came off the CP MacTier Sub and ran south by the tower with its own set of diamonds, as shown on the track panel display. And, the tower also controlled movements to/from the MacTier Sub at Osler Ave. Lots of freight, passenger and local movements kept the leverman busy, along with transfer and yard movements of trains to/from CP's nearby Parkdale, Lambton, West Toronto and Agincourt Yards.

By this time, the CP-staffed and operated tower only had a few more months until modernization of the interlocking plant. According to Raymond Kennedy's Old Time Trains page, the tower was demolished in September 1964, and a shanty and switchtenders manually controlled movement over the tracks until CTC control came online in March 1965.

More at West Toronto diamond:
Exterior view of the tower and diamonds (also showing some of the control linkages): http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=16093
View of the area after demolition of the tower: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=15874
Copyright Notice: This image ©Bill Thomson all rights reserved.



Caption: A rare look inside the West Toronto diamond interlocking tower in February 1964, not too long before it was demolished. A Saxby and Farmer interlocking machine dating from the 1900's was manually controlled by the tower's "leverman" to direct the movements of trains through "The Junction" area. The various coloured levers control track switches (blue), switch locks (black) and signals (red) through mechanical linkages of connecting rods and bell cranks that run out of the tower, along the railway lines, and to the switches and signals they control. A large track panel display shows the various lines and routings, along with indicator lights (note the illuminated lights on the board corresponding with the CN train passing by outside). The tables of numbers on the display show the sequence of levers that must be pulled by the leverman to line specific routings.

Physically, the interlocking tower was located at the southeast corner of the West Toronto diamonds where CN's Brampton Sub (later Weston Sub) crossed CP's North Toronto Sub, and movements across both lines were directed by the tower. CP's Galt Sub (that passed by just to the west) had a connector track to the MacTier that ran northeast and bisected the diamonds. The former TG&B line (that had become an industrial spur) came off the CP MacTier Sub and ran south by the tower with its own set of diamonds, as shown on the track panel display. And, the tower also controlled movements to/from the MacTier Sub at Osler Ave. Lots of freight, passenger and local movements kept the leverman busy, along with transfer and yard movements of trains to/from CP's nearby Parkdale, Lambton, West Toronto and Agincourt Yards.

By this time, the CP-staffed and operated tower only had a few more months until modernization of the interlocking plant. According to Raymond Kennedy's Old Time Trains page, the tower was demolished in September 1964, and a shanty and switchtenders manually controlled movement over the tracks until CTC control came online in March 1965.

More at West Toronto diamond:
Exterior view of the tower and diamonds (also showing some of the control linkages): http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=16093
View of the area after demolition of the tower: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=15874

Photographer:
Bill Thomson [330] (more) (contact)
Date: February 1964 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: Not Provided
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: West Toronto Interlocking Tower - CP North Toronto Sub (search)
City/Town: Toronto (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=28698
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