|Jimmy Fiedler posted|
Dennis DeBruler John LaRochelle I understand switches and derails. What are "locks?" If I see semaphores in a picture, I assume they were also "armstrong" controlled.
John LaRochelle Dennis DeBruler : 'Locks' where the blue colored pipe-connected levers that mechanically insured, thru a plunger at the switch or derail, that the switch or derail points where properly aligned for safe movement thru the switch or derail. In a pinch, a good tower operator would go down to the out of alignment switch/derail, and could use a spike puller as a fulcrum to move the point enough for the plunger to slide in, and then would be able to return to the tower to pull the signal lever. In a completely mechanical interlocking red colored levers were pipe connected. In an electro-mechanical interlocking the red levers activated relays to electrically power the signal. Large terminals and multiple track (3, 4, ,5, 6, etc., tracks sometimes utilized electro-pneumatic pistol grip interlocking. Switches and derails went over with a 'WHOOSH TICK". Sorry , I misspelled 'compensators', devices used to change the pipelines direction and force. Freezing rain wasn't much of a problem, but snow was definitely a pain the rear. Chicago Ridge used the old method, smudge pots to keep the switches and derails clear. Today, at manned/remotely controlled interlocking propane/natural gas burners are used.
|From MC Tower|
The device used to change the direction of a control line was called a 'compensator.' Below is a closeup of the one at the end of a pipeline from Tower NJ.
|Excerpt from below|
|From Tower NJ|
Update: Here is an array of compensators at the Englewood Tower to control devices along the Rock Island tracks south of the tower.
Dennis DeBruler shared
Most pictures from a tower are of a train, not the complexity of the infrastructure in the "armstrong" days. This would be looking westish across the RI and along the Pennsy. In the background are the bridge girders for 63rd Street. Imagine the labor it took to keep all of those pipelines clean and properly greased so that the leverman would be able to move all of that pipe and the turnout, signal, lock, etc at the end of the pipeline.
Richard Fiedler Our friend the late Rod Irwin worked second shift at Chicago Ridge and he was quite disgusted at the lack of proper care of the linkage and rollers. Seemed lubrication was a constant issue as well as alignment.
William Strassner's posting
Englewood Tower pipelines, ugh... PRR x RI.
Dennis DeBruler Most photos from a tower are of the a train. I love this photo of the infrastructure that gives us some insight into the complexity (and maintenance headache) of the "armstrong" days.
|Jerry J Johnston with highlights|