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Western Railroad Discussion > BN Switch Keys

Date: 01/12/05 12:30
BN Switch Keys
Author: Ster2Block

I have a Sargent and Geenleaf lock I got from a friend that is a lock from BN, I was wondering if anyone knows what key it takes, I have tried the #101 and #102 that I was issued by the railroad I work for and they did not seem to work. I was thinking that it takes the #104 but I am not sure.


Date: 01/12/05 12:59
Re: BN Switch Keys
Author: spnudge

BNs won't work on UPs & visa versa. What road do you work for?


Date: 01/12/05 13:11
Re: BN Switch Keys
Author: SurflinerHogger

Why would anyone on TO want to know what keys work in contemporary switch locks?

Date: 01/12/05 13:39
Re: BN Switch Keys
Author: cnconductor

I believe its illegal for a non railoader to be in posession of a S&G high security lock. I was told this by a FRA Inspector in Detroit after one vanished on a Mainline switch.

Date: 01/12/05 15:10
Re: BN Switch Keys
Author: Ster2Block

I work for the Wheeling and Lake Erie, and if everyone read the whole post they would see that I said I tried my ISSUED keys in the lock. I want to know what key it takes so I can get one to open it. As most may or may not know, you have to lock the lock to get the key out and I have a lock that is locked. I think it is a waste of time to have a lock without the matching key. Also, the railroad is not the only ones that use this type of lock, S&G calls is the Environmental Series. Other businesses just wont have the same keys. The keys I have #101-Works on the NS and on the railroad I work for, and the #102 works on Conrail ( including xe Conrail lines woned by NS and CSX) and UP, and they might work on some other railroads as well. These keys and locks are availible on Ebay for anyone to buy at times.


Date: 01/12/05 15:21
Re: BN Switch Keys
Author: pacificeclectic

There are a variety of things that may not be illegal to own but shouldn't be discussed in an uncontrolled environment. How to open switchlocks certainly seems to be one of them.

Date: 01/12/05 16:55
Re: BN Switch Keys # Chill
Author: spnudge

Hey, the guy just asked a question. Switch locks are to stop people who might not know what happens if you mess with a switch. Someone that is bent on doing something???? That is what should not be talked about.

Hell, I have old Adlake keys for just about every road. The government used C&O switch locks at Ft. Eustis and SPs at Ft. Bliss. When the SP moved from Adlake to that "American Lock" it was a joke. Most of the trainman broke off their keys within a few weeks of using them. Mine lasted 3 months and I was in engine service. It was a key that had a slot milled out of of their regular blanks. The SP Adlake's had to be changed out every 6 months on the coast. They would rust up so bad, you could not unlock them OR all you had to do is pull the chain and it would open.

When they finally started putting out the "New" locks( S&G), these were to be better so they could not be "knocked off" with a sledge, etc. They all do not keep the key when unlocked. It is up to the carrier and how they want what lock to do what. and where it is placed, also what key is used has a difference.

If someone wants a key, they will get it. If they want the lock off, it will come off. Keys are for honest people.


Date: 01/13/05 03:19
Re: BN Switch Keys # Chill
Author: twsmike

#105 KEY

Date: 01/13/05 15:27
Re: BN Switch Keys # Chill
Author: KeyRouteKen

Adams & Westlake Company (ADLAKE) in Elkhart, Indiana was the premier manufacture of Keys and Padlocks and Lanterns, Markers and Bunk Lamps for the Railroad operations of most major U.S. operations.
They are no longer in business-- however, there is another company in Indiana, I believe, that has the "rights" to the Adlake line as well as the codes and Key numbers..
R.B. Hornberger Company in Novato, CA has been an Adlake distributor for years. He used to be in Montclair in the Oakland Hills.. Bob is the one that gave me that information. I also have a copy of that BOOK that was published about ADLAKE keys and it is very informative.

The ADLAKE switch keys and coach//caboose keys were used for over 100 years. They were rugged and could take much abuse. They were designed to be able to be placed "in a frozen lock, in Montana, in the middle of the night" by a tired brakeman wearing big gloves and still be able to be opened without too much fooling around..
The newer locks had small regular looking keys with little teeth on the shank and could break easy even if you found the opening in the lock..

The railroads and the A.A.R. decided many years ago, even before the "9-11" attacks, that switch locks needed to be changed and replaced with a newer, more high security padlock.

I think that the overall fear of the nation's railroads at the time was:
"That there were probably more SWITCH KEYS in the hands of railfans than valid employees" !! Hence the development of the large S&G locks, which utilize a very strange looking key to open them..



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