Images of the HOPE Switch Tower

One of the most exciting developments of the last year of the History Project has been the discovery of previously-unknown images of the Hopewell and Pennington train stations. These not only help illustrate the history of the two stations, but also show now-gone station buildings including the passenger sheds and sidings, the Pennington underpass, the Hopewell station from 1881 (only five years after the station was built), and other buildings along Railroad Place.

And today we have some wonderful close-up views of the Hope signal tower that stood south of the Hopewell train station. This, and other similar buildings along the railbed, controlled the railroad switches that were use to guide trains between tracks.

ARHS Hopewell Area Photos

== View the Hopewell Railroad ARHS Images in the Image Gallery ==

== View descriptions of all the ARHS images (PDF) ==

These images of railroad activity in the Hopewell area are from the collection of the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society (ARHS), and shared here the kind permission of the ARHS. Some images are from the public collection of the ARHS archives, and some were provided from the ARHS private collection.

When not know, dates are approximated based on the ages of cars in the scene, or based on evidence from the visible railroad equipment.

View East from Hopewell Train Station

Hopewell Train Station c1950s
[1931 Mercer Co. Master Plan]

View east from the Hopewell train station, c 1950s, with a Western Union telegraph sign. There are still four tracks, and a fence down the middle, open only to walk across to the passenger shed.

Further down is the signal bridge across the tracks, with two sets of three signals. The old “banjo” signals also are still installed just past the station.

Beyond the station is the freight shed, with the Tomato Factory smokestack behind.

Across the tracks beyond the signal bridge is a building with housing for railroad workers, and then the Hope signal tower.

Railroad Housing and Signal Tower

HOPE signal tower and railroad housing 1950s

Closer in on the same view, looking east of the Hopewell train station, 1950s.

Reading engine 503 leads a long freight train with four engines past the Hope signal tower.

Also on the left is the railroad housing building. The switches for changing tracks are laid out in front of the tower.

HOPE Signal Tower

HOPE signal tower 1950s

Reverse view west from the Hope signal tower, 1950s.

Reading engine 503 leading a freight train toward New York.

The signal bridge, Hopewell train station, and Greenwood Avenue bridge are visible in the distance.

The passenger shed, railroad housing, signal bridge, and HOPE tower all appear in photos up through 1981. But we don’t have good dates for when they were gone. The passenger shed was burned by arson.

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