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Central Indiana Division, NMRA

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Big Four (NYC)
    'Bee Line'

    Michigan Div.

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    Delco Tower

    DOW Tower


    EA&L RR

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    Indiana Sites

Roger Hensley

  Railroads of Madison County

DOW Tower

DOW Tower

DOW Tower was a Pennsylvania Railroad (Pan Handle) tower guarding the crossing between the Pennsy and the CCC&StL/New York Central (Big Four) Michigan Division....

Wendell L. Willkie Special on the PRR just north of Anderson in 1940. The sidings in the photo were controlled from JR Tower (DOW) at Cross and Indiana Ave. Willkie traveled extensively by train during his campaign for President. George Witt Photo (deceased) - Ron Stuckey Collection
This photo is available from John Fuller,

Dow ("JR") Interlocking and Block Station (MP 124.8) protected the PRR's crossing of the NYC's line between Goshen and North Vernon, Ind. The Interlocking was built about 1912 and was operated and maintained by the PRR with the NYC contributing toward expenses. Dow controlled an eastward siding with a capacity of 84 cars and a westward one of 76 cars. In fact in 1942 at Dow, passenger trains 207 and 208 - "The Union" between Cincinnati and Chicago were to meet and pass at 4:31 p.m. daily.

On October 23, 1957 Dow was made a remote operation from Delco Tower and remained that way until August 1, 1976 when the whole installation along with Delco was retired.

A Remembrance:

In 1950, when I was 11 years old, my family moved into a new home about .6 of a mile from the Pennsylvania RR. At that time there was little between our house and the railroad except fields. I used to listen to the Pennsy passenger trains coming from and going to Chicago early in the morning. One would come south (?) about 2 am and the other would go north (?) at 4 am.

PRR 0-6-0 It was the swan song of steam. Diesel was already replacing steam on the passenger runs, but I remember the steam switcher that used to stand at 5th & Main near the PRR Freight House chugging away while the crew grabbed lunch. I remember walking north out to the coaling tower that sat along with a water tower on the west side of the crossing with Madison Ave. (Rd). They were on the south side of the tracks. And, of course, the water tanks and the freight and passenger stations here in Anderson. I remember the steam whistle of those early morning passenger runs sounding like a lost soul calling to whoever would listen. They called to me across the night and I listened. I listened and they became a part of me. Those whistles were for the grade crossing at the DOW. Later, I would stand in the brisk air of cold winter mornings and look across the fields before the houses and subdivisions and trees blocked the view and watch the dim lights of the passenger cars as they cut through the night swiftly passing DOW Tower on their journey south. But before I knew it, it was all gone: the whistles, the DOW tower and the Pennsy were all just memories. But sometimes, in the quiet of the night, it seems that I can still hear those whistles calling...

DOW today On January 19, 1998, with the posting of new mile markers, the last trackage designated as 'The DOW' was incorporated into the Marion Branch. With Goshen Indiana designated as Milepost 0, and with MP 112 being near 23rd and Pearl Streets in Anderson.

On June 1, 1999, NS began operating the line from Anderson to Elkhart only using the DOW to service the couple of industries still on it and run an occasional train through South Anderson Yard to Indianapolis. With the Frankfort Main connector in Alexandria now in operation, the DOW is truly only a memory.


Picture Credits:
DOW Tower in the early 1920s - Post Card Photo located by Irene Litten - Marvin Crim Collection
PRR 0-6-0 photo courtesy of Ed Belknap, deceased - Roger Hensley Collection
The DOW End of Block at Cross Street in Anderson - 9/9/1997 - Roger Hensley Photo
NS2879 at DOW with a grain local - 12/29/1999 - Roger Hensley Photo

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Copyright 1997-2005 by Roger P. Hensley. All Rights Reserved.
This page is written, maintained and hosted by: Roger P. Hensley,
An addition to the original work by Roger P. Hensley Copyright 1995.