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Santa Fe Railway Colton Tower at Southern Pacific Railroad crossing

Santa Fe Railway train at Colton Tower

One of my favorite places was Colton Tower. The tower controlled train movements through the busy crossing of the Sunset Route and the Santa Fe's Third District. All of the SP Sunset Route trains ran basically east west and all of the UP and Santa Fe trains ran north south. Santa Fe Extra 5677 West (train 118) passes the tower on February 14, 1974. I didn't have time to get over to the sunny side. The Santa Fe replaced its damaged interlocking at Colton, CA with a 48 lever Saxby and Farmer mechanical interlocking machine to control 19 switches and 17 signals in 1917.

Southern Pacific Railroad train at Colton Tower

Engines 2567, 5008, and an SD7 rattle over the diamonds and head back to West Colton on February 14, 1974.

Southern Pacific GP30 at Colton Tower

The number of GP30s on the Southern Pacific was not large. The SP only had eight and the Cotton Belt had ten. All began service in 1963 and roamed the Sunset Route and SSW trackage during the 60s and 70s. Disk 54