by c. s. giscombe
I’m writing about railroads in Dayton and southwestern Ohio. I recall that the PRR maintained two manned crossing towers in west Dayton (at W. Third and W. Fifth) and also employed a watchman to guard the Germantown Street crossing (even though that one was equipped with automatic protection) until 1969 or 1970. Does anyone know why these towers remained so long after the advent of automated gates and lights? And what was the communication scheme--how did the watchmen know a train was coming? (Radio, I assume...) Does anyone have anecdotes about them? Are there other interesting Dayton-area crossings that I’m not remembering? My thanks for any responses.