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  Railroads of Madison County
Roger Hensley
Finding Delco Tower

Delco Tower's Location


The time was 1997

Greetings All,

Delco Tower This weekend, I took an 8x10 photo that was loaned to me for use on my 'RRs of Madison County (Indiana)' web site and went in search of the location. The picture was of 'Delco Tower', the control point on the Pennsy for all rail traffic into and out of Delco Remy division of GM here in Anderson Indiana. I knew roughly where it needed to be because of was because of some of the buildings in the background. If I am going to put it up on my site, I want to know where it was. :-)

The first attempt put me onto some streets that I had never been on before. Quite a mix. I found that more of the Pennsy still exists in Anderson than I thought. I stood on the old main line in two different spots, but neither matched up with the photo. Close, but not right.

After going home, I decided to make a trip downtown to our library to talk to a couple of the local historians there. On the way, I decided to make one more attempt on my own. Hey, I must have driven by Delco Tower many times when I was a young pup. Back through the back streets and down around the 'Quartz Glass' and back out. The Philadelphia Quartz Glass plant HAD to be in this picture. Back out to the main streets again and then near a spot where the PRR and the NYC had crossed and 5 streets came together in an odd configuration, I pulled into a parking lot and started to walk the abandoned rail bed.

I stopped on the 'tracks' and looked back down the line toward town and then turning around, I held up the picture. The ties and the concrete switch stand mounts were still visible at my feet and on the photo was the scene that I was looking at as I stood on the site of the tower and the speeder building next to it. The 67 Caddy had been parked right there about 10 feet from where I was and to my left was the parking lot where I was parked and where the owner of the property was getting out of his car to see what the guy with the picture was doing.

To his inquiry, I replied that I was visiting history. He seemed to enjoy looking at the photo and realizing what had been here before. He pointed to a single line pole with heavy cross-arms and a few remaining glass insulators on it and explained how he had sold some of the insulators. "This pole?" I asked as I pointed out the tips of the cross-arms in the photo.

No doubt about it. I had found the spot and I had, indeed, passed by it many times when I was younger. I knew that something was missing there, but I never could remember what. Now I know and a small bit of history had fallen into place and into my memory.

Roger


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