Interlocking: Beaubien Street Tower, Detroit, MI

Beaubien Street Tower Detroit MI Beaubien Street Tower Detroit MI Conrail Beaubien Track Diagram Beaubien Street Tower was located on the Bay City Branch at Beaubien Street in Detroit's new center area. This tower was located between Spring Works and Milwaukee Junction on the MC, and between the Amtrak station and West Detroit on the GTW. The double-track MC line crossed the Grand Trunk Western branch here.

Photo info: Top, the Michigan Central Beaubien Tower, as photographed in 1986. The tower was unusual in that it had "moveable point diamonds", which were a necessity due to the severe angle of the diamond crossings. Normal open diamond points would have led to derailments. In the above photo, a southbound Grand Trunk engine set heads towards West Detroit. 2nd photo, taken in a north direction and provides a full view of the tower. [Both, Charlie Whipp]. 3rd photo is a Conrail track diagram of the crossing in 1993.

Location: 42o22.176'N / 83o04.058'W.

Time Line

1900. Railroad Commissioner Osborn took action to-day for better protection of the Citizens' Street Railway crossing with the Grand Trunk, Wabash, Michigan Central and Lake Shore tracks at Beaubien street. The commissioner ordered that the derailing switch, now operated by the street railway conductors, be connected with the railroad signal tower and operated by the men on duty there. This change will relieve the street car men of all responsibility for lost time at the crossing. [DFP-1900-0309]

1903. This was a Saxby-Farmer Lever machine installed by the Union Switch and Signal Co. It was refered to by the Lake Shore line as John R Street. [MCR-1904]

1935:  Beaubien Street Tower controlled the crossing and connection of the former MC and NYC tracks, as well as a crossing with the Wabash, and a junction with the west end of the MC's Peninsular Spur.  [ MC Detroit Terminal Timetable No. 76] 

1935:  Beaubien Tower was on Grade Line 2 (1 long and 2 short).  Grade Line 2 also communicated with Belt Line Junction (2 long, 3 short), Milwaukee Junction (1 long, 3 short), North Yard (3 long, 1 short); West Detroit (2 short); and Vinewood Avenue Switch tender (1 long, 1 short).   [ MC Detroit Terminal Timetable No. 76]