• WALTHAM Tower Status

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by Bluebird

Note: I am new to this forum and am not sure if this should go in the MBTA or B&M/MEC Forum, so I'm putting it in MBTA for now because as far as I know, MBTA currently owns the tower.

Does anyone have information on the current status of WALTHAM tower? Recently, the semaphore on it was raised to the 'Stop' position, the window shades were open and from what I could tell, the lights may have been on inside. I'm wondering if this is the MBTA testing it, trespassers messing around with it, an organization like a historical society cleaning it up, or something else. Info would be appreciated. I think WALTHAM Tower would be a good candidate for preservation considering it hasn't been modified much since it's B&M days and it's exterior (and maybe interior?) are pretty intact.

  by GP40MC1118
As far as I know, it belongs to the signal department. Not sure how much of the two signal/switch machines are left - like levers and knobs, etc. It was a nice tower to work, having qualified there in 1980. Never owned a job there, but worked it as a spare all the way to 1983.
  by CRail
I believe the machine was acquired by the Waltham Historical Society but hasn't moved. The train order signal is just operated mechanically by a lever. It doesn't mean anything now as it's not in the timetable and so in the RR world it doesn't exist.
  by Bluebird
There is an ENS plate on the side of the tower, and the emergency number + DOT number are the same as the plate at the railroad crossing. This leads me to believe it may still be owned by the MBTA, but I can’t confirm this.


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  by BandA
Until a few years ago, the tower was an integral part of the Fitchburg Line / Fitchburg Branch signal system, as well as the Watertown Branch?. I believe it was the last manned tower. So I assume the MBTA owns the land underneath it. What is being done to preserve it I don't know, it is a handsome little building. Are they removing the machinery so that they can set it back up in a more accessible location?
  by neman2
If I remember correctly Waltham controlled the Fitchburg from Sherman St in Cambridge to South Acton. The Lexington Branch, Central Mass and Watertown fell under Waltham's control when they were active. I'm not sure about the freight cutoff, it may have been partially or fully controlled by Tower H.
  by GP40MC1118
Waltham Tower controlled the mainline from West Cambridge (Sherman St) to Willows. They also controlled the west end of the Freight Cutoff at Hill Crossing in Belmont. The FCO was
under the control of Mystic Jct Tower (and what was later left if on the Somerville end by Tower X), not Tower H. You are correct about the branches, but also the Maynard Branch
connection at South Acton.
  by CRail
On the freight cutoff, what was controlled by the tower at Davis Sq. when that was there?
  by GP40MC1118
Don't think so...that was basically a crossing gate watchman.