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Re: PC: SLOPE tower

Gary Farmer wrote:

Hi list,
Does anyone know when the PRR closed SLOPE tower in Altoona? I saw a picture from 1965, in which the tower was still open. I think PC just had it as an interlocking, even in 1968.

Gary and listers

Unfortunately, I do not have the book in front of me but Charles Roberts "Triumph I Altoona to Pittsburgh 1846-1996." Baltimore, MD: Barnard, Roberts and Co., 1997 is the place to find your answer.  The book is a very in depth look at the line as it evolved over time with extensive coverage of every tower including SLOPE and KN formerly located at horseshoe curve.  I have read the book and recommend it to any student of railroad history, engineering, and architecture.  Very well documented with photos (including some from the 19th century) and diagrams, lively text with some first hand accounts, and good coverage of track changes (with diagrams) and tower closures during PC and Conrail.  I will look up the answer to your question over the weekend and send it out Monday provided no one else answers first.

BTW - Roberts is working on a series of books similar to Triumph I.  Triumph II covers the electrified lines east of Harrisburg including the Port Road, Atglen & Susquehanna (A&S), P&T, Columbia Branch, Enola Branch, Harrisburg Main Line (through Lancaster), and Trenton Cutoff with lesser coverage of associated branch lines, for instance the Quarryville Branch.  Triumph III covers Philadelphia Terminal operations with a good discussion of Philadelphia area stations including Broad Street and 30th Street.  Volume IV (may not be available yet) will cover the Middle Division.  Although much of the discussion centers on the PRR, the story is brought through the PC up to 1999 in both books.  A unique feature of all three books is aerial photography of almost every line and key interlocking.  Roberts commissioned these photos especially for these books.  There are also sections of color photography in each book with a decent amount of Penn Central included.  Please note, I am in no way associated with the publisher or the author, I just enjoyed reading the books.

Bob Holzweiss

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