HO Tower, Hancock, WV
This B&O tower is of one of the best known structures on the
East End. Built around 1902, this tower lasted throughout the
entire Chessie Era. It was closed by CSX in 2006 or 2007 and
was demolished shortly there after.
Hancock tower was one of the last mechanical interlockings in the
United States. That means that the switches in the yard are
controlled through the tower's Armstrong Levers. These large
levers were a mechanical linkage to the switch locks and points that
were as much as a hundred yards away. Most other interlocking
tower (NA and WB for example) used electrical switches.
The B&O had several standard designs used by the railroad around
the turn of the century. HO predates these standards, but was
the same basic architectural style as the standard towers. The
feature of the B&O towers that makes them scream B&O is the
fish scale skirting between the two stories. Additionally,
this tower had two additions put on. The rear addition wrapped
around the original chimney, which was difficult to model. The
second addition was on the opposite side of the doors, it blends in
with the original tower better than the rear addition.
This is the most complicated structure I've built to date. It
took me months to finish. Below the pictures of the finished