Apr 18, 2020
Milford Junction - 1910?
May be either a B&O or Big Four Train.
Maurice Lewman Collection.
Found two other photos taken at Milford Jct., IN. The town was also served by the Winona interurban which crossed the B&O just west of the Big Four/B&O crossing.
Thank you so much Roger for your continuing series of Indiana railroad history.
Great stuff, keep this up, Roger and Hardcoaler. I enjoy the historical photos.
I think it's great when more photos of the same site are added to the original. It makes for a more complete picture of the site.
One of he things I notice in the photos is all the control rods coming from the tower to the tracks. The engineering of the day to make it all work was simply impressive. Thanks for sharing all the pics Roger and Hardcoaler.
I noticed that too and there are even curved ones (or, at least arranged to run in a curved fashion) running under that covering in the last photo!
I hadn't noticed that Doug -- interesting! How in the heck did they make that work I wonder?
The only thing I can think of is short lengths of straight rod connected by universal joints. I still find it amazing one man could throw some of those by himself. "Armstrong" is right!
RH, thanks again. Great stuff. Very interesting. You are right. More pics, bigger overall view so to speak.
Upon rethinking my reply about running rods in curves, I don't know why I was thinking the rods had to turn,hence universal joints. Of course, they don't have to turn, just push but, they would still require hinge-type joints.
I don't think they need hinges. The curves appear so slight the rods will hold their shape when they are pushed and pulled. All that would be needed are guides every so often to stop the rods from collapsing and bulging.
OK Hank, makes sense. Hopefully, they keep the guides well greased.
At that time, I would believe probably an all "armstrong" plant. If not continually maintained, the leverman probably enlarged his cuss word collection!
IIRC, the levers were about five long above the pivot, and six to eight inches below the pivot which gave the leverman a significant mechanical advantage.
One would hope this to be true. I had many conversations with active and former levermen. Some plants were easy to operate. Others, no matter how well kept were a bear every day. Some were electro-pneumatic, so a breeze.....
This the lever room of an interlocking tower (UK Switch Box) at the GWR Didcot Railway Center in Oxfordshire, England. I imagine this would be similar to the lever room in a US interlocking tower.
I'm amazed at the travel distance of the four thrown levers to the right. Height, and upper body and leg strength had to have been requirements for a leverman.
I like the foot pads at the bottom of the levers to place your foot on for better leverage!
Furthering Boxcab's thoughts, in the Armstrong plant towers I've visited, there often seems to be easily thrown levers and those that are more difficult. When my wife and I visited a former B&O tower, the Op schooled my wife on one lever where when it was released, it'd want to spring forward. If you quickly followed through and pushed the lever forward along with the spring action, it was easy. But if you let the lever spring forward and come to rest, it was murder trying to complete its movement.
The Mich. Div. and the main line of the B&O crossed at this location . It was a site to see when 100 cars of coal, steam or diesel going west at about 60 mph . The sparks flying as the brake shoes were hitting against the wheels, it was like a fire works . In the early 60s And the tower was still manned a B&O jumped the track just before it reached the tower . I asked the operator what he was doing while all of this was going on . He said
he could see the cars coming because he was watching the train and his first thought was ,I have to get out of this tower and I ran for the door and no I don't have time, my next move was to run around the tower about 2 or 3 times and then think ,hang on. Well when it all came to a stop cars were all around the tower and not one had hit the tower . I think they piled up about 30 cars LEW
And the maintenance required to keep it all operating !!!!!