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Interlocking Tower 17 Countdown To The End


LAST DAY TOWER 17 Feb 9, 2004


Update November 2005 finds Tower 17 at Rosenberg Railroad Museum but not open to the public on this day. It will take years apparently to get reassembled inside.

Thanks for the nice write-up on this, but I need to emphasize that RRM has
NOT raised enough money to fully pay for the relocation of Tower 17,
despite our active efforts for several months.

It will cost $20 thousand
dollars for the move and the "segmentation and re-assembly" of this
building.  That figure does not include any restoration once it is on RRM

We have enough for the down payment to the mover, but we could
certainly use everyone's help to get Tower 17 secured.  Any amount is
welcome, just earmark it for "Tower 17".

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 607
Rosenberg, TX   77471-0607

Thank you.

Ken E. Stavinoha

chopperbill wrote on

Date:    Sun, Nov 9, 2003, 5:36pm

Subject:    RS: It Has Finally Happened - Tower 17 Is Going Away

I went to UP Tower 17 (Rosenberg, TX) today, and what we have long feared has happened. UP signal crews are now installing a new interlocker control building that will replace Tower 17, the last remaining operating tower in Texas. The small metal control building is in, a microwave link is set-up, and they are working quickly running wires, etc.

According to a UP official I spoke with about this, he stated the tentative date for the changeover is the first week of January, 2004.

The signal guys are going to have to replace all switches (and possibly the signals as well) that are controlled by the manned tower because they are not compatible with the current computer control system.

The tower will come under the direct control of UP's Glidden Sub Dispatcher based in Spring. We are not sure how the BNSF will have any control of their line crossing UP at this tower, but I know their dispatcher sits very close to the UP dispatcher in the Spring Dispatch Center, so I'm sure it will be easily coordinated.

The good news out of all this is the fact that the tower will NOT be torn down! In fact, UP will be moving it a few blocks east to the Rosenberg
Railroad Museum, where they have already measured for the concrete base, etc.

I've heard different accounts about how old this tower is and how long it has been in service...anywhere from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. It still uses the original equipment to control the switches and signals (manually pulled levers by the operator on duty).

We all knew this was coming for many years, but reality has hit in the fact that it will happen very soon. I hope everyone has their pictures of
this last operating tower in Texas, it's surely a classic, and it will be sorely missed.

It's the end of an era.

Bill Waldrop
Houston, TX

December 2003 Tower Visit

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Locomotive: EMD SD70MAC » BNSF#9735 Former BN Cream &
Green Past the Tower

CSX Transportation (CSXT) Locomotive: EMD SD70MAC » Awesome CSXT#788 former Conrail, new paint leads UP train I ATCI ( I call it the orange juice train) Past Tower 17

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Locomotive: EMD SD70MAC » BNSF#9807 DPU Former BN Cream & Green past Tower 17

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Locomotive: GE C44-9W (Dash 9-44CW) » Warbonnet BNSF#784 Past Tower 17. Signal cabinet in forground is new Tower. It is powered with signals in place. (But Turned)

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Locomotive: GE C44-9W (Dash 9-44CW) »BNSF#4862 past Tower 17

Southern Pacific Railroad Locomotive: None »Lever cabinet in the Tower

Southern Pacific Railroad Locomotive: None » Instructions on Lever Sequence

Southern Pacific Railroad Locomotive: None » Track Layout controled by Tower

Updated September 7 , 2014

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