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Re: PC: Tower

Dwilgus99 -AT- aol.com wrote:
> Anyone have information on the old control tower that stands in middle of
> what used to be the downtown rail yard in Bellefontaine,Ohio,ex-New York
> Central-PennCentral,now Conrail(i think).The tower appears to be
> unused.Also,does anyone have a map or photos of the rail yards in
> Bellefontaine?

D Wilgus

The tower you are refering to is known by two names.  It was originally 
called "High Tower" as it had another story on top of the two that 
remain standing.  It was also known as "BS" - Bellefontaine South, as BN 
was at the north end of the yard, thus - Bellefontaine North.  "BS" was 
closed in the mid-seventies, but I can not tell you exactly when.  At 
one time, the main line of the Big Four (Cleveland to Indianapolis) 
crossed the orignial railroad line in Ohio, The Mad River and Lake Erie 
which ran from Cincinnati to Sandusky via Springfield, Bellefontaine, 
Carey, etc.  If you stood at the north end of the tower, looking north, 
the Mad River line headed out of town to the north/north west.  This 
line was cut in the 70's as well between Bellefontaine and Kenton, but 
had not been used as a main line since 1959 when passenger service ended 
on the line and the CTC was cut.  North of Bellefontaine, the only 
remains of the line are at Carey, Ohio with 1.7 miles of track still in 
for use by the local stone quarries and serviced by Conrail (Via CSX 
from Upper Sandusky), CSX and the W&LE.  There may also be some track 
left in Sandusky, but finding under the streets and the very few places 
it is visible isn't easy.

There were also two crosssovers on the Big 4 in the curve to the west of 
the tower!  Knew one knows why in the curve, but trackmen hated them and 
they eventually caused enough headaches for Conrail that they pulled 
them out about 1990.  The transfer switch to the I&O (to the south) was 
in until about a year ago and was removed for the second time.  

BS was also an open order office and certainly built the legs of those 
operators who had to climb the stairs to hand on the orders.  I believe 
there used to be an operator/train director and several leverman during 
the hey day of Bellefontaine, but I can not remember on this one for 

I wish I could help you out on the maps, but I don't happen to have any 
although I wish I did.  

Dale A. DeVene Jr.

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