Posted with permission of the photographer, Mike Brotzman. These photos were taken in January 2003.
As promised here are a selection of the pictures I took during my tour of STATE tower:
Here is a close-up of the indicator pallen on the big old US&S Machine. The ones marked SW are for switches, the ones w/ two indications are for signals. The black knob with the US&S logo is for giving RESTRICTING signals.
Here is a good view of the STATE machine. You operate them by flipping the thumb latch and then moving the lever in an arc. The up pointing levers are for switches, the down pointing ones for signals. The red things are Blocking Devices, mostly for Rusty Rails, that block operation of levers that require special actions.
Here is the Blockline device that provides circut telephone connections to all the towers between here and Philly as well as the Paper Dispatcher who is located in 30th St. station. In the provious image you will notice a second, out of service, device like this one. That Blockline connected with HARRIS, the large Relay Yard and lines west of Harrisburg back in the PRR days.
Here is the machine that replaced HARRIS tower sometime in the early 90's. HARRIS had a machine of similar size, but once Conrail diverted its freight off the PRR and power changes stopped being preformed here, its usefulness could be consolidated into this small relay machine. Note the STATE toilet.
Ok, last image. Here is Operator STATE, posing so that I could get an action shot of an increasingly rare action on American Railroads (a tower OP answering a block phone). He encouraged my photography and had no problems w/ my using the images in future publication. I thank him for giving me a wonderful tour and letting me capture something that might not be around for that much longer. ChuchuBob, if you know who this is (is recently moved in from Lindenwold and is a tower/rail buff) please e-mail me.
Please feel free to post any questions or comments. I have a few more phots if you want to see something else.
Additional Photos Supplied January 28, 2003
Additional Photos Supplied February 10, 2003