|Description:||1891 railroad interlocking tower|
At locations where railroads crossed each other at grade (i.e. at the same level), it was usually necessary to install an interlocking tower. This was a manned building, usually two stories tall for better visibility from the tower, where one or more “tower men” would operate the signals and switches governing train traffic through the crossing. This interlocking tower was located at Spaulding, a railroad stop on the east side of Elgin, IL, where the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific (the Milwaukee Road) crossed the Elgin Joliet & Eastern. Spaulding Tower was built by the EJ&E around 1891 and was enlarged to its current 12’x30′ footprint in 1909, when the Milwaukee Road double-tracked its main line through Spaulding. Around the 1980s the tower was made redundant by the installation of remote interlocking equipment and it was moved to IRM in several large pieces in August 1988. It has been restored to its 1909 appearance and is used regularly to control train movements on the museum’s demonstration railroad using a restored CTC (Centralized Traffic Control) machine located on the upper floor.