Interlocking: Michigan Avenue Tower, Springwells, MI

Michigan Avenue tower was originally at the grade crossing of the Michigan Avenue interurban line to Dearborn and the Pere Marquette main line from Grand Rapids to Fort Street Union Station. This was prior to the grade seperation of Michigan Avenue and the PM.

This tower was eliminated and likely moved to the top of the grade separation sometime after 1915 when the PM line was elevated enroute to Rougemere Yard and the interurban line (and Michigan Avenue) went through an underpass on Michigan Avenue under the PM.

The last line to come through here was the Detroit Terminal railroad on its line from Davison Yard, Highland Park, Fullerton to the Ford Rouge Plant. The DT crossed the PM here which was protected by an interlocking tower staffed by the PM. Eventually, this crossing was remote controlled from Rougemere Tower, and then via CTC by the dispatcher.

Location: 42o19.515'N, 83o09.949'W.


Time Line 

July 16, 1909. Two people were killed after being struck by a Pere Marquette train at the Michigan avenue crossing in Springwells. They were evidently laborers and both bodies were terribly mutilated. [DFP-1909-0716]

1912. The Pere Marquette is constructing a two-lever electro-mechanical plant on the Detroit, Jackson & Chicago division of the Detroit United Railways at a crossing on Michigan avenue, west of the city limits of Detroit. The crossing at this point is on a curve. The signals on the Pere Marquette are the General Railway Signal Co.’s Model 2-A, and are to be controlled by the track circuit and a circuit controller on the electric lock. The route is to be normally lined up against the street car line, so that the signals are clear for the approach of trains on the Pere Marquette unless there is an electric car using the crossing. This installation gives the Pere Marquette about a mile and a half of curve protection. [TSE-2/1912]

1927: The leverman at this tower were paid 60¢ per hour. [PMTA]

1931. The MPUC allows changes to the interlocking here, which is calla a "temporary" installation. [MUC-1931]