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Nostalgia & History > in-the-street turnouts


Date: 06/04/05 18:37
in-the-street turnouts
Author: railroadangel

How were turnouts embedded in the street thrown?



Date: 06/04/05 18:49
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: LFM159

The ones I've seen in the roadway were covered by a hinged metal plate. The switchman would uncover the throw lever move it and cover it up again.



Date: 06/04/05 19:12
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: topper

LFM159 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> The ones I've seen in the roadway were covered by
> a hinged metal plate. The switchman would uncover
> the throw lever move it and cover it up again.

Yup.

Commonly called a "Submarine" switch.





Date: 06/04/05 21:40
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: Charles

Here is a shot of one in Ballard WA.




Date: 06/05/05 00:35
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: nitewatchman

These switches which can be "Double Tongues" where there is a point on both sides or the simpler "Tongue and Mate" which has a point on on side and a long frog on the other. These points are thrown by a switch machine or switch stand similar to a conventional switch except the stand or machine is mounted below the grade level, typically between the points.

My company builds a variety of paved track switch machines starting with simple manual stands which are thrown with a lining bar, to power switch machines complete with a throw rod, seperate lock and locking rod and point protection similar to a mainline US&S M-23 or GRS Letter Machine. Most of the current machines are hydraulic but we also manufacture a power machine which uses a large Seimens Electo-Magnet Solenoid. This machine operates like an HO Scale Snap Switch only much larger.

One of our more interesting jobs using paved track switches and switch machines is currently in process on the Panama Canal. We have been replacing the #6 Paved Track Turnouts located in the canal tow tracks over the last several years. The locomotives use 480VAC 3 Phase with the rail acting as a grounded phase. The other two phases are located in a trough adjacent to the running rail which carries the other two conductors. Since the "plow" supporting the pickup shoes much cross through the turnout which the reverse route is selected there must be a track switch, a track frog, an electrical switch and two electrical frogs in each turnout. This combined with designing a drain system to carry water out of the earth box and conductor troughs based on a rainfall of 7" per hour have made the design quite unique.

nitewatchman




Date: 06/05/05 00:39
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: nitewatchman

Photo showing Hydraulic Switch Machine being fitted to a Double Tongue Paved Track Switch.

nitewatchman




Date: 06/05/05 00:58
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: nitewatchman

Three Tow Tracks, Two Turnouts, Two Ships, Three Locks and Five Locomotives!!

nitewatchman





Date: 06/05/05 04:30
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: spnudge

Boy, things have sure come a long way. The ones we had in the City, were under a huge steel plate.

The switchman had to pry up the very heavy hinged plate and open up the box. The box could be between the rails or on either side. The plates were always bent some from heavy trucks driving over them. Then they had to get down on their hands and knees if it was locked, to unlock it. If the lever wasn't covered with mud or dirt they would throw the lever over, if it would move. Usually they had to sweep out the points and chip mud or dirt out of the hole so the lever would go all the way down. Then the had to close the steel cover and get on with the move, all the time dodging vehicles in the street.

They had one one the main line in Lompoc but it was a regular switch stand. The stand was way over, up on the curb and the points were way out in the paved street, almost 40 feet away. You really had to tug on that one to get it lined. The throw rod was in a pipe buried under the pavement.

Nudge



Date: 06/05/05 06:00
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: LFM159

I don't know if they still have them but New Orleans used to have power switches controlled by the motorman (these days I guess I should say motorperson). As the trolly approached the switch you would go with the route that was lined by shutting off power and coasting through. If you wanted the turnout to move you applied power again and the switch would throw.



Date: 06/05/05 07:02
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: MTMEngineer

LFM159 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know if they still have them but New
> Orleans used to have power switches controlled by
> the motorman (these days I guess I should say
> motorperson). As the trolly approached the switch
> you would go with the route that was lined by
> shutting off power and coasting through. If you
> wanted the turnout to move you applied power again
> and the switch would throw.


Twin City Lines had those, too. There are reports of motormen forgetting they were approaching the electric switch (ignoring the warning sign hanging from the spanwire half block ahead of the switch), and hitting the turnout with the controller wide open, with devastating results.



Date: 06/05/05 11:01
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: spnudge

Muni had something like that, There was a toggle switch on the control panel that said "SWITCH". There was also some sort of pick up on the trolly wire.

Nudge



Date: 02/18/08 15:16
Re: in-the-street turnouts
Author: 2472Don

spnudge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Muni had something like that, There was a toggle
> switch on the control panel that said "SWITCH".
> There was also some sort of pick up on the trolly
> wire.
>
> Nudge


As a kid, my twin bother and I used to sit right behind the conducter and peek through the pull shade (behind the conducters seat back) to watch him pilot his PCC car. Grew up in the Sunset so rode the L Taraval a lot to get Downtown and we would get off of the seat just before West Portal Junction on the inbound and peek over his shoulder to watch him flip the "SWITCH" switch...usually the highlight of the trip; for us but not for the conducter, was whenever the trolley pole would slip off the overhead wire just before stopping at the West Portal for passengers.

2472Ron and I would bet whether or not the trolley pole would slip off. After a while we figured out that some conducters could NEVER get through that turnout without the trolley pole detaching so all bets were off for them LOL

2472Don



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