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New Haven's SHELL Tower, NEC Fascinating History

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  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 13,087 posts
New Haven's SHELL Tower, NEC Fascinating History
Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 1, 2013 11:43 PM

Hi, All

Recently, I was reminiscing about a trip I made to New Rochelle, NY, back in 1971 and one of best locations I found there was SHELL Tower where the junction of the New Haven Main Line and the Harlem River Branch Line (The Hell Gate Line) is located. Basically, every train from GCT or Penn Station to the north-east had to pass through here.

What a parade I saw in the few hours I had to spend there, GG-1s, Silverliners, The Turbotrain, old Pennsy MP-54s, E-44s, a pair of U boats still in N-H paint, even a pair of EP-5s!

So I did a search to see what the status of my old Shell Tower is today and, sadly, it's pretty rough but still there. I guess there's a project in the wind (probably cancelled due to funding) to build a fly-over there necessatating the removal of the tower.

BUT what I did find was this neat pdf file from the Historic American Engineering Record that documents the history, construction and operation of the tower through the years. It even includes some NY, NH & H prints of the tower. I thought this would be of great interest to modelers interested in signaling, operations, track diagrams, interlocking or scratchbuilding since there's enough detail here to make a pretty fair model!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmemory.loc.gov%2Fpnp%2Fhabshaer%2Fny%2Fny1700%2Fny1783%2Fdata%2Fny1783data.pdf&ei=j2BaUZi4Ieq10QGslIHwBw&usg=AFQjCNGxCBBndhwq1GMmloHbFow6gLcGiQ&sig2=1p4Lok5yRoQitOT87Pkq3g

I hope the link works, should open a pdf file. Very interesting information about a busy junction and how it operates.

Also, LOC has a picture file with lots of details here.

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=shell%20interlocking%20tower&sg=true

Have Fun, ED

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