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Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).

Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby Randy Hees » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:27 pm

We currently have 9 harp switch stands installed on the SPCRR’s Ardenwood Railroad… one on a three way switch… We have our switch stands cast from our pattern, based on an original harp switch stand purchased by Billy Jones from the Pacific Coast Railroad… he brought it north on the top of a tender on the Daylight.

Several switch stands were recently installed as part of our car house project… and need paint… as do several older switch stands…

The question is; What was the standard for painting these… what did the various targets on the switch stand arms mean… there are several styles noted. We created the attached document in 2005 (by Andy Cary, based on research he and I did) but now, with more switches needing paint are revisiting it. We have looked at a couple of rule books, but found nothing… we have created matrixes by year and use and the fog has not cleared…

SPC switchstand jpg 001.jpg
SPC Switch stand targets, but Andy Cary


Any ideas or new sources of information are welcome…

Randy
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/
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Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby r3feetr » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:53 pm

This is a topic that has confused me as well.

Your inventory is missing the photo of Forbes Mill on page 87 of Portrait with a Style 1 switch stand. It serves a siding at the mill off of the spur to the mill. The photo dates from after November 1885 when the Los Gatos Ice Company built a freezing room off the back of the mill but before the trestle across Los Gatos Creek was rebuilt and the steam boilers were added as backup electricity generators by Oct 1904 after the mill was converted to generate electricity. I would date it closer to 1885 due to the good condition of the stone mill.

Because a Style 1 switch stand exists so far off the mainline it lead me to the conclusion that Style 1 switch stands were originally installed all over the SPC and its subsidiaries at the time of construction. I then assumed that the remaining version of targets occurred after the sale to the Southern Pacific and probably were due to lack of maintenance due to a lack of need for dual targets. All conjecture on my part.

Another possibility is that the Style 1 switch stands were maintained until April 1896 when Luther Filmore retired as Superintendent
Attachments
History of Los Gatos page 20.png
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Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby r3feetr » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:32 am

Another example is the Type 1 switch stand at Guadeloupe on the Almaden Branch. The photo is on page 144 of CENT. This branch was completed in April 1886 and fits with my theory of Type 1 stands throughout the system prior to Southern Pacific control.
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Guadaloupe switch stand.png
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Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby r3feetr » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:27 pm

While I was designing a switch stand for 3D printing I ran across another version of the switch stand targets. It may be the original 1880's version. It is similar to Style 1 above except that there is a "red" crescent painted on the top of the white crescent.
SPC Switchstand Targets 1880's.jpg
SPC Switchstand Targets 1880's.jpg (6.23 KiB) Viewed 4520 times


I discovered this by careful examination of http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/50170/william-henry-jackson-big-tree-station-santa-cruz-american-about-1871/. The 1871 date of the photo is obviously incorrect as the line at Big Trees was not opened until 1880. Based on the configuration of the platform I date the photo as sometime in the 1880's.

As an aside, does anyone know the dimension of the switch stand frame from the top of the tie to the top of the crossbar on the frame? Based on my photographic dimensioning, using the adjacent track gauge as reference, I put it at approximately 25 inches.
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Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby Randy Hees » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:08 pm

John,

I will be at the farm on Sunday and can measure....

Randy
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/
Randy Hees
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby Jeff Livingston » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:51 am

The West Coast influence on the Oahu Railway and Land Company is evident. The only two photos I'm aware of showing an OR&L harp switch stand are identical to the Style 1 illustrated.

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Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby Randy Hees » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:45 am

John,

26" from the top of the head tie to the top of the casting... if you add the locking mechanism it is 27"

Randy
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/
Randy Hees
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Stub switch, Harp Switch stand and targets

Postby r3feetr » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:28 pm

Thank you Randy!
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