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Neilston - JA

Manual Tower

Network Diagram - PRR-2 - N&W


Neilston tower looking northeast.  The B&O/PRR main is in the foreground and the  CA&C/N&W tracks are behind the tower.  Photo by Donald A. Kaiser, January 1955.

        Neilston Tower was located .2 mile east of Columbus Union Station on the north side of the B&O/PRR main.   It sat in the "V" formed by the CA&C/N&W tracks diverging north from the B&O/PRR Main.  Neilston tower was staffed by the PRR. It made use of a switchtender to throw the manual switches. Across the B&O/PRR main from Neilston tower was located US tower. Both towers were located at the north end of Neilston Street.

        In its hay day there was a train director on the second floor and an operator on the first. The train director would have orchestrated train movement into and out of CUS while the operator was responsible for directing the switchtender that threw the switches. The operator had a table model Union Switch & Signaling Co. machine with two levers that controlled signals letting trains up the north or southbound CA&C tracks to CW tower.

       Neilston also saw many PRR transfer runs between Grandview Yard and both the N&W Joyce Ave. yard and Grogan yard.  It may have also controlled the entrance to the  west end of the PRR yard 'B'. Just east of Neilston was a stub track called the "elephant" track used to divert run-a-way cars from Yard B.

       When the train director's job was abolished the second floor was boarded up and the operator continued to use the first floor.


The camera is looking Southwest with the I-670 bridge in the background.  US Tower is across the B&O/PRR main and off to the left.  Photo by Galen Gonser, 5/8/1971

The camera is looking northeast with Neilston tower partly hidden behind the I-670 bridge.  Photo by Galen Gonser, 5/9/1971.