Author Topic: Switch lanterns on high mast switches  (Read 13365 times)

John Kokas

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Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« on: October 03, 2020, 07:20:03 PM »
What type of switch lanterns are preferred for use at the museum?  There are numerous switch lanterns starting to show up on various web markets, but I need to know what to look out for.
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Joseph Lupinski

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 09:42:30 AM »
Would be nice if you could find more of them as think they look good in the yard and at the Alna station during evening events.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 10:06:49 AM »
The original W&Q/WW&F used switch lamps made by the Peter Gray Company in Boston.  There is one photo at that shows a Peter Gray lantern on the high level switch stand at Weeks Mills.  The Maine Central used the type as well, the surviving lanterns take the 5 3/8" lenses.  There is one MCRR Peter Gray in a local collection that has been tested on the original switch stand near the water tank. 

The museum uses Dressel switch lamps with the 5 3/8" lenses. Aspects are red and green.  There is a photo on FB today showing the mainline switch in front of the Sheepscot depot (at dusk) with the switch lamp lit.

John Kokas

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 11:14:29 AM »
Thanks Start,  is there a Dressel number or is the aspect size the determining dimension?  Also if there is a need, how many are we looking for?
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Joseph Lupinski

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 08:13:54 AM »
Stewart I saw those pictures the other night and that's why I was saying it would be great if the museum could acquire more they look fantastic!

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 02:37:59 PM »
John and Joseph -

8 lamps would be needed to cover the current mainline switches, more would be needed for the 218 siding.  The Dressel lanterns we have don't seem to have a model number, most are the same type that take the 5 3/8 lenses and do not have day targets.  What has to match is the pocket on the base of the lantern that fits onto the finger of the switch stand.  Lanterns from the Maine Central or Rutland fit our switch stand castings so any Dressel or Adlake switch lamps given to the museum should match the MEC style base casting. 

Start

Joseph Lupinski

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« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 03:07:56 PM by Joseph Lupinski »

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 04:09:24 PM »
Joseph, 
That lantern is the same type that the WW&F currently uses.  There are two Dressel lamps in service and two more that need work.  Lens colors must be red and green and oriented in the correct direction.  Also, there should be a font/burner that works.

They do look nice although they are a bit of work to clean and fill.  After setting one on a switch stand it is lit and then adjusted after a few minutes when the housing gets hot.  Our policy is to not leave them on the switches overnight so they must be extinguished and removed as one of the final jobs at the end of the day.

Joseph Lupinski

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 05:41:17 PM »
oh no completely understand not leaving them out as thats something someone could walk away with.  I am sure they are pain to fill but they add a great look.

Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 08:17:15 PM »
Just a note, the position and color of lenses is easily changed. Used lenses should run no more than $25 each and are often less in a lot with several of them. Ones of the wrong size or color  are easily resold.
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John Kokas

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2020, 08:40:25 PM »
Between Ebay and Facebook marketplace there are at least 4-5 candidates up for sale currently.  A couple in MA, 1 in NJ, 1 in OH, and 1-2 in MI.  Prices vary wildly as well as condition.  I would recommend that anyone to not purchase without first checking out the unit in person.  Nothing worse than paying a lot for a lantern only to find out its a rusted hulk.
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John Kokas

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2020, 08:21:54 AM »
Start,
Of the two Dressel lamps that need work, do they have their flame pots?  What needs to be fixed?
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Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2020, 11:17:39 PM »
This may be one man to contact about lamp repair and/or reproduction.

"The Luminary Shoppe"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLnP1oE39gk

Knowing the talent at the Museum probably not necessarily. :-)


Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 04:47:45 AM »
John,
I will check next time I go to the railroad.

John Kokas

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Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2020, 04:27:53 PM »
I've worked on and rebuilt lanterns in the past, (mostly Dietz and Adlake), and since I seem to be cooped up for the foreseeable future especially with winter coming, it would be fun (my mental health break), to take on the restoration/repair of the switch lanterns in my home shop.  So if there is no objections from the BOD - let me know what is needed and I'll get to work on it.
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