SoNo Switch Tower Museum in South Norwalk Connecticut

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#1
This retired New Haven, Penn Central and Metro-North Railroad signal tower in South Norwalk, Connecticut once controlled the entire Norwalk area. Under the New Haven, it was called Signal Station (S.S.) 44, and was renamed Berk under Penn Central. I first visited the SoNo Switch Tower Museum in 2006, and have returned every year or two. I have never been bored during my visits and always learn something new. I even joined the Western Connecticut Chapter of the NRHS, which restored and operates this former railroad interlocking tower.

The signal tower overlooks Metro-North's New Haven Line that is part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and is one of the best places to watch frequent trains passing by, including Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains. Because of the curve and swing bridge immediately east of the tower, trains travel past the building no faster than 30 to 40 mph, which allows ample time for taking great photos.

The tour guides always give fascinating presentations and answer my many and never-ending questions.

They let me throw the levers to line trains on specific routes, to unlock and open the bridge, etc. The interlocking machine still requires that the levers be thrown in the exact proper sequences and that the switch and derail levers must be all properly positioned before a signal lever can be cleared, because the original mechanical locking is still operational. I found this amazing!

The tower also has a power board by which the tower operators controlled the electric propulsion power in the catenary above the tracks both east and west of the interlocking.

My recent visit this year was so enjoyable that I felt that I should make this post!
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#5
#6
Here are a few photos:

SoNo Switch Tower Museum Viewed from Street
SoNo 1.jpg


Tower Interior Looking West at Levers, Model Board and Power Board
SoNo 2.jpg


Tower and Mechanical-Interlocking Pipeline while Still in Service
SoNo 3.jpg


Aerial View while Tower Still in Service
SoNo 4.jpg


Portion of Existing Model Board
SoNo 5.jpg


Former Tower Operators at Reunion
SoNo 6.jpg


Northbound Danbury Train Passing Tower Museum
SoNo 7.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#7
Thanks for posting the photos. I used my power as a moderator to place a caption above the corresponding photo, which I think makes it easier to read. What do you think?
 



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