Cleveland Avenue

Cleveland Avenue - RA
Block Station
Network Diagram - B&O

Cleveland Avenue telegrah office was a small single story building situated on the south side of the B&O/PRR main alongside Cleveland Avenue. Tools of the trade are visable - a loud speaker to communicate with the switch tender, a broom to sweep the switch points especially when it snows, a yellow flag to give an engineer the come-ahead and a red lantern.

Drawing by William B Westhoff from a photo on page 47 of Bob Withers "Baltimore & Ohio Facilities, Volume 3: Western Region".

        The Cleveland Ave telegraph office was located .5 miles from Columbus Union Station. According to the B&O employee timetable It was .2 miles east of US tower and 2.7 miles west of the Alum Creek tower.

Daniel Macke, a former railroad trainman who has studied Columbus railroad history writes:

        "A former two story tower was located on the north side of the PRR/B&O mains between the Cleveland Avenue overpass and the N&W flyover bridge. Later the Cleveland Avenue operator worked out of a very small one-story frame structure almost directly opposite the older tower. The location was immediately west of the Cleveland Avenue overpass on the south side of the mains. Just west of the operator's shanty was also a small tool house.

        "There was a frame switchtender's shanty located about 300 feet east of Cleveland Avenue on the north side of the main.

        "Cleveland Avenue protected a series of four hand thrown double-slip switches that crossed the mains diagonally from Yard B on the north side to five tracks on the south side of the mains. That part of Yard B was called the Freight House Yard. The five tracks on the other end consisted of one eastward freight tack, two B&O freight tracks (to their 4th St. yard), and two PRR tracks (to the freight house).

        "Position light signals #1361 and 1361F (westward) were located just east of Cleveland Avenue and #1362 and 1362F (eastward) were mounted on the west side of the N&W overpass. These were automatic signals. They were not authority to enter the limits of Cleveland Avenue. Authority for movement was a proceed signal from one or more switchtenders. Trains and engines on #1, #2 or #3 needed a signal from the switchtender east of Cleveland Avenue. Trains and engines on #4 and the tracks south of #4 needed a signal from the switchtender west of Cleveland Avenue.

        "There was no access to Yard A from Cleveland Avenue. The south track was #4 main. Farther east there was a track to Fort Hayes with access from the St. Clair area (east). The first access to Yard A was just west of St. Clair Avenue (red onion), not quite one half mile from Cleveland Avenue. There were three hand thrown crossovers (from tracks 2 and 4) and a switch tender.

        "B&O valuation maps label Cleveland Avenue as "RA Tower" when it was located on the north side of the mains, and as "RA Tel. Off." when it was located on the south side. There definitely was an operator at the location."

Cleveland Avenue - RA Tower

John W. Barriger III Photo. John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, St. Louis Mercantile Library, UMSL.

        Before there was a RA telegraph office described above there was a two story tower at Cleveland Avenue shown in the photo to the left of the tracks between the two bridges. The Cleveland Avenue Bridge is in the rear and the N&W flyover in front. A switch tender’s shack is also visible behind the Cleveland Avenue Bridge.