LaOtto Question

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

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Notch 8
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LaOtto Question

Post by Notch 8 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:54 am

When and which road controlled the tower at LaOtto, Was SK the Depot or the Tower ? and what year was the tower abandoned ? LaOtto never had an Interlocker ?

Mindbogling to think that any railroads crossed in LaOtto..

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D.L.
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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by D.L. » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:39 am

:roll: Both were owned by PC.

cjberndt
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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by cjberndt » Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:55 pm

I posted this 2016 aerial before. The small white spot is part of the tower foundation in the NW corner of the diamond. The water tank foundation in the SE quadrant was on the transfer track between the ERR and GR&I. There was also a transfer track in the NE quadrant.

PRR's 1923 CT-1000 lists the tower as callsign SK. A 1932 ETT lists the depot as callsign KO. The 1945 CT-1000 lists a station, but no callsign, and does not list a tower.
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Aerial LaOtto 2016 RR Xing.jpg

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Notch 8
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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by Notch 8 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:43 pm

D.L. wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:39 am
:roll: Both were owned by PC.
I realize both were PRR properties in the end but 1 was a Wabash Property and did not know the timeline during the construction of the roads. I assume the Eel River was built 1st ? So it would make sense this was at 1 time a PRR/Wabash arrangement ?

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Bob Durnell
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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by Bob Durnell » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:37 am

The Eel River began operation in 1871 as the Detroit, Eel River and Illinois. In 1879 it was leased to the Wabash for 99 years. After a protracted legal battle between the Wabash and DER&I stockholders in Logansport, the Wabash lease of the line was annulled in 1901, and it reverted back to local control. Soon after the stockholders sold it to the Pennsylvania RR, or PRR controlled interests. Craig could give you better details. The Indiana section of the GR&I was built in 1870, so the two roads MAY have been under construction at the same time, so I have no idea who the senior road would have been.
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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by cjberndt » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:00 pm

The GR&I began operating at about the same time that construction began on the DER&I in 1870, so GR&I was the senior road at LaOtto.

ERR was leased to Wabash 1879-1901, owned by P. Co. or PRR interests 1901-1968, PC 1968-1976, and Conrail thereafter.

I don't know when the interlocker was installed at LaOtto, but it and the tower were removed in 1934 or 1935 and replaced with a smash gate. It was no longer needed, as there was no passenger or mail traffic on the ERR after 1929, and ERR freight generally originated at Ft. Wayne, ran up the GR&I and was split at LaOtto to Auburn or Churubusco. There was no scheduled east-west through-freight at LaOtto.

Craig

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Notch 8
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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by Notch 8 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:01 am

So is it plausible to say at one time 50 plus trains a day could have rattled the diamond in LaOtto ?

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Re: LaOtto Question

Post by cjberndt » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:47 am

When Wabash controlled the ERR, it was a very busy line. The Mar. 28, 1886 ETT listed 16 scheduled daily through-trains at LaOtto. Unscheduled trains would have increased the total of course, but we don't know how much. I don't know how much traffic moved on GR&I pre-1900.

When PRR took control of the ERR from Wabash in Jan. 1902, the line was no longer part of Wabash's fast Detroit-St. Louis corridor, and the situation deteriorated rapidly, especially Columbia City to Butler. Passenger and mail service were no longer profitable and were terminated in 1929.

Logansport-Butler through-trains were eliminated well before the diamond was removed at Vandale in Columbia City in 1939.

Craig

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