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Welcome to our Question & Answer Bulletin Board -- a bulletin board for collectors and anyone else to post questions about railroadiana and related history. Please note that we do not deal with contemporary railroading. This board is moderated (all volunteer) but is not staffed by "experts". Rather it relies on everyone to share what they know. Any question or reply about railroadiana is welcome except the following:

  • No questions about what something is worth -- see About Values. Also, no questions or replies selling or looking for items, parts or services. This includes offers.

Email questions to qa@railroadiana.org. Most questions are actually posted within a day or so. While an image to go along with the question is optional, it is strongly recommended and will help others find an answer. Email the image(s) as an attachment, but it must be YOUR OWN IMAGE. Stealing it from Ebay is a copyright violation! Also see our Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs page and our Contact Us page for questions that we cannot reply to.

Latest 25 Questions:

 Q3106 Pyle National Headlight Question  I purchased a Pyle National headlight a couple of years ago which I was told was removed from a Canadian National steam locomotive in the 1950s. Being a member of the camp of 'trust but verify' I've been looking for pictures of locomotives with this exact type of headlight but have yet to find one on any railway in Canada or the US with the same loop pin holding the bezel on the left with the butterfly clasp locking the glass on the right. Most headlights have different latching systems; either a butterfly clasp that folds back or more of a hook-type latch. The headlight has a 14 inch glass and cast into the bottom of the bezel is 1417 NO (though it could be a KO); the diameter of the light is the same throughout - not tapered. The reflector inside has stamped on it 14014 Non Glare 11 PN 89. The copper tag is a bit corroded but appears to have a RR record no. of c24G CPW. Can anyone tell me about this headlight or to which railroad this record number belongs? I think the style dates from 1925 and my suspicion is if it was from a CNR engine, it was most likely removed from a tender some of which appear to have had similar, older style headlights. Thank you for any help you can provide.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, February 7, 2016 by Jason   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. The mounting arrangement between the door and the headlight casing is not unusual for Pyle lights. It just looks like somebody replaced the usual bent wire hinge pin with the one you have, with the longer wire and loop. That could have happened any time in the life of the headlight. It would have been much easier to install the hinge pin you have, and not worry about having to bend the usual very stiff, thick wire one and take the chance of breaking the cast aluminum hinges. Headlights and backup lights were always taking a beating, and its entirely possible and would be entirely typical if the door and maybe the reflector you have did not start life on this headlight body.  Posted Sunday, February 7, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3105 Piper Lamp Questions  I bought the lamp [at left] at a local auction & have been collecting for over 40 years & haven't seen one like this before. It's a N.L. Piper Toronto with a soldered on brass plate. It's unfortunate that it's in very rough condition, but that's how it was found! It is large (Approx. 20 inches high & missing two lenses- two left are -one Red -one clear. They seem to be fresnel type glass. My main question is: what was it used for??? I collect all types of lanterns & have approx. 100 different ones. Any info is appreciated! While I'm at it please see other unknown make lantern with green glass all around and about 14 inches high [at right]. I also would appreciate knowing what it was used for??? The dealer I bought it from thought it was used on a barge?? The interior is also badly rusted,but the font is there.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Thursday, February 4, 2016 by Larry H   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. For your pic on the left, Barrett's Illustrated Encyc. of RR Lighting, Vol. 2, pg 254-255 in my softbound copy, has a pic of what appears to be this exact lamp labelled PIP BR-12, Swing Bridge Lamp. Theirs did not have a tag, but they thought it was from the late 1800's and (as yours confirms) made by Piper in Toronto. Theirs (which is in much better condition) had red and blue lenses.  Posted Thursday, February 4, 2016 by RJMc

A. For your pic on the right, Barrett Vol. 2 shows some very similar ones under Armspear, and says that co. in the 1920's supplied this style of lamp for several different functions by changing brackets, lens configuarations, etc. On pg. 111, under Barrett's designation ARM UN-01 (for 'UNknown purpose'), they say that the bolt-down holes in the base indicate a bridge lamp but the curlicue in the bail (not quite visible whether yours has that) would indicate a grade crossing lamp. The one they show had red lenses and they speculate it was for a highball signal. Your more green lenses suggest to me a navigation marker (bridge) light.  Posted Thursday, February 4, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3104 Switch Key Question  I recently purchased a key with PRR marked on one side and NYC on the other. I know throughout the country that railroads did have areas where they owned tracks in conjunction with other railroads. Would this be a key used in one of those areas? I would assume that since the tracks were jointly owned crews working those areas would have common keys for the locks in that area so that each railroads' crews could work any lock along that stretch. Thanks for any information you can give me.  Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2016 by JN   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. There are many possibilities. A picture of the key, showing its relative size (lay it on a ruler), clearly showing the lettering style, and its bit pattern --an end view showing any bends, cuts or curvature -- would be helpful to maybe sort this out.  Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2016 by RJMc

A. Here are images of each side of the key. Link 1  Posted Thursday, February 4, 2016 by JN

A. Hi JN, A reference book I have shows your PRR key to be a Philadelphia Terminal Division key.The PRR is a factory stamping but the NYC was shop marked later after it left the factory. I don't follow the PRR myself but others may jump in on this too.When you see letters added to keys,it generally means that they are a part of a joint operation so in this case the Philly yard may have been jointly used.This double marking also eliminated the need of mfr'g another special key and the decision was to use a PRR existing keying.DJB Posted Friday, February 5, 2016 by DJB

A. Thank you DJB. I am wondering if this has something to do with early Penn Central? Maybe others would know. Thank you again for your information.  Posted Friday, February 5, 2016 by JN

 Q3103 Pin (Coupler)?  Found this pin while metal detecting along an old interurban. I have seen a few link/pin assemblies used early in railroading and this one seems considerably smaller. Does anyone know if this could possibly be from the rail line or just a piece of a wagon or something that coincidentally got lost in the vicinity?   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by CH   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. looks like a old window weight that were in the side of the window frame so when you opened the window the weight would keep it opened Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by wh

A. A lot of equipment on both the interurbans and the main line railroads used pins like this to couple, but usually with drawbars rather than links. The small carts used to carry ties and other maintenance-of-way materials were hooked to the Fairmont speeders with drawbars, and pins such as yours. On trolley lines and interurbans, the smaller city service cars often did not have couplers. When they needed to be towed, a drawbar was used (see Link) and would have needed a pin on one or both ends. In the pic in the Link on the Lake Shore Electric, the big interurban definitely has couplers, but the small city car did not and they are using a drawbar to make the tow. None of the uses described above had the really heavy duty strength requirements of even the shorter freight trains of the 1800's that used links and pins, where the link material might be 1" in diameter or even bigger to take the pulling and slack action forces between engines and cars in a loaded freight train.  Link 1  Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by RJMc

A. In the next picture of the same sequence of pix from the Link above, zoom in on front of the trolley in the Link below, and you can clearly see the pin in place. It looks a lot like yours.  Link 1  Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by RJMc

A. The second link above has a problem; maybe it is too long. The full link is: http://www.lakeshorerailmaps.com/lse/norwalk/images/norwalk%20last%20cars%205-13-38%20fred%20gassman%20close%20up.jpg and I have tried to enter it again below as a Link in case it works the second try.  Link 1  Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by RJMc

A. Thank you. If you were curious, the rail line I found it along is the Milwaukee Electric Posted Saturday, February 6, 2016 by CH

 Q3102 Battery Marker Lamps  Were the older battery operated caboose marker lamps -- the ones made out of metal like the ones on PRR and Penn Central -- steady burn or did they flash? I have two, one made by McDermott, it's a PRR and the other is a Penn Central. One flashes; the other is steady burn. Thanks.  Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. It was the railroad's choice. And on systems as big as PRR and PC it is entirely possible they used both at different places and times. When the FRA wrote its 'High Visibility Marker' rule, whether to require or not require, allow or not allow flashing was a major discussion point. Neither side of the argument was convincing enough, or powerful enough to dictate a solution one way or the other. Similar debate over colors; red, orange, or yellow? So the rule allows using either flashing OR constant, and uses highly technical language on color spectra to really say "Any color in between red, orange, and yellow is OK." Generally flashing the lamp gives longer battery life, and with modern strobe light circuits can deliver (arguably) higher visibility and that approach has been the trend. But the 'to flash or not to flash' debate has gone on for a very long time. The link describes how even kerosene lanterns could be made to blink on and off, although the method apparently wasn't reliable enough to gain any acceptance on US RR's.  Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3101 Loco Headlamp?  I have researched and researched this item which appears to be a locomotive headlight but i have not been able to confirm since I can't find any info on General Electric Co making one. Can you help me figure out the origins of this item? It was my grandfathers and he recently passed away. Thanks.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by SU   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Hello SU,I am quite certain that your headlight is off an interurban car or possible a streetcar.The interurban use is my guess as they were portable in nature and the crews took them and the marker lamps off the train after each run.This is evidenced by the hanger hooks on the back of the body.Lets see what the others say about your headlight.DJB Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by DJB

A. Hi, The clips on the back have me leaning towards streetcar also. I agree with DJB with his thinking. Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by JN

A. A streetcar or interurban application is a very good possibility. The 'steam railroads' also used this type of light to illuminate back up moves. This is indicated by the screw clamps at the bottom of the hanger straps; the hooks drop down over the top of the folding gate, and the screw clamps lock the light to a lower section of the folding gate in the vestibule of a passenger car. For example, I was told the Bessemer and Lake Erie RR at one time ran a daily local passenger train up a stub end branch line, and had to back down all the way on the return. A light like this was on the back end. Most of the travellers on the train were kids going to school and back, and all winter a lot of the trip was in the dark so the light was essential.  Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by RJMc

A. Looking more closely at the current example, those are not screw clamps at the base, they are rubber bumpers. Most interurbans had just a single bar to hang the headlight on, so the bumpers were needed, and adjustable, to keep the headlight from banging around against the front of the car due to the play in the hooks. This makes the interurban application most likely. Another clue, (except in this case not available because this light seems to have been rewired)would be the type of plug. Many interurbans used a fairly large wooden-handled plug with long two round prongs; most RR's used a much smaller screw-base type plug or a even a typical flat two-prong plug similar to household use.  Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3100 PRR Ticket Punch.  I have a PRR conductor's ticket punch. It punches out the letter 'B'. Why is that? Thanks.  Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. The Conductor's punch is the employees "signature". Each conductor or employee that collects tickets has their own distinct punch. No two matched. If a railroad had 500 ticket collectors there would be 500 unique punches. If you sent a ticket to the PRR passenger dept with that "B" punch, they could tell right away that John the Conductor punched that ticket. Only John would have that design punch. It is still that way today on Amtrak, NJ Transit, all passenger trains. I have a catalog that shows over 1,600 individual punch designs that are made by a company today. Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016 by JN

A. To illustrate this, see the Link, for a pic of a Western Maryland school kid's monthly ticket where the conductor punched the ticket each trip. You can plainly tell by the punch pattern which conductor worked on which day. (The item is already sold.) Link 1  Posted Friday, January 29, 2016 by RJMc

A. The Link above is not working; look at completed EBay Item No. 351632425843 to see the WM ticket.  Posted Friday, January 29, 2016 by RJMc

A. A good example of this can be found on the home page, Left side, click on "Featured Items" and scroll down until you see PB&W Commuter Pass. You can see quite a few punches on it! RLN Posted Friday, January 29, 2016 by rln

A. The PB&W ticket mentioned above is 25 items down using the Link below. It really does illustrate quite well a huge variety of punches; the PB&W (now the Amtrak Northeast corridor) was a very heavy commuter route. You can see why in the 'old days' train crewmen had to have 20/20 vision, at least when hired. It is difficult to imagine, on a moving commuter train possibly crowded with standees, how those conductors (and for those runs they did have many assistants) were able to find, for every passenger, the right little box to punch! There wasn't much time to get it done, either, since its only about 27 miles between Philly and Wilmington. And MONEY was involved, making things even more critical for all concerned.  Link 1  Posted Sunday, January 31, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3099 ATSF Marker Lamp  I received a caboose marker lamp for Christmas and trying to get an approximate of when this would have been used or was made. It is an Adlake, marked as Santa Fe. Was originally kerosene, but was converted to electric. The only other markings are 'S47359' and 'CL 31 X'.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by CS   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A.  Santa Clause was good to you this year! – Of all the lamps I have, my Santa Fe marker is one of my favorites; noticeably smaller than other markers and with a graceful and distinctive shape. – These are a variation of the ADLAKE model 63 lamp (LINK 1) – Though the AT&SF switch and marker lamps “all look alike”, there are some subtle differences. Yours has the typical flat cap of the “later” majority of ATSF lamps, but still has the ADLAKE patent date tag on the stack. Very early ones had a blank domed cap and some had the ADLAKE domed cap. Later flat cap ones did not have the patent info tag. – My theory is that Santa Fe eventually bought the stamping dies from ADLAKE and made the lamps themselves. -- They even made order board lamps and semaphore lamps out of the same body! - – The tag 'S47359', is serial number and each one I’ve seen has a different number; BUT not all Markers have the serial number tag; However, EVERY switch lamp I’ve seen has the serial number. My theory is that during WWII, with metal shortages and overwhelming increases in traffic, the Santa Fe converted some switch lamps with the serial number tag into markers. They also converted a number of boxcars into side door cabooses due to war time traffic demands. The basic body is the same for the marker and switch lamps, and the bases (cast aluminum) with the cast in “Santa Fe” lettering is the same on both lamps (though there are slight variation in "Santa Fe" lettering on the cast aluminum bases as well). If you take the fork tubes off the switch lamps you see that the switch lamp bases have the same 8 indexing holes that the marker bases have; only difference being the attachable fork tubes and the attachable mounting bracket on the markers. – As the model 63 ADLAKE lamp dates back to the early 1900s, and yours has the patent date tag, I’d guess it could date to the 1920s +/-. The fact that it was electrified could mean a number of things; cabooses weren’t electrified until the 1960s. Some steam engines and streamline passenger cars got electric outlet sockets for markers back into the 1930s. See questions ; Q1392, Q2514 for more discussion ---- …. Red Beard  Link 1  Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016 by Red Beard the Railroad Raider

 Q3098 Authentic PRR Item?  I acquired this item a while ago, when just getting into collecting. What I am unsure of now is whether or not this item is an authentic PRR piece or if it might be a piece produced later on?   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by JT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. It's a nice looking piece, but it's not authentic; ..sorry to say. -- Good quality Cloisonné enamel pieces (sometimes spelled cloisenay) were abundant in the late 1960s and 1970s. Cloisonné enamel railroad shields abounded and were put to many uses. The main giveaway here is the very thin metal of the inexpensive, mass produced pen holder. ---- .... Red Beard. Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016 by Red Beard the Railroad Raider

 Q3097 Brass Wall Mount Oil Lamp  I have a heavy ornate brass wall RR lamp stand 18 inch tall by 10 1/2 in depth. Marking as follows: the bottom of the oil/ kerosene bowl inscribed: Post & Co Makers Cincinnati, Oh. The wick turn knob inscribed: The Plume & Atwood Mfg. Co. USA.; the top stack reads: Adams & Westlake Company, Chicago. I trying to obtain some information about this lamp. I appreciate any information. Thank you,   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by Charles   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3096 Adams & Westlake Model #200-#250  I just bought 2 Adams & Westlake lanterns at an estate sale. According to information they are both from 1930 to 1935 with the short 3-1/2 inch red globes. Wanted to see if you could tell me how to add kero to them? I have opened the tops and removed the globes. The wick control works good on one; the other needs a little work on it but it does work. The numbers stamped in the top are # 27479 and # 24994. Any help with these would be great.  Posted Saturday, January 23, 2016 by Greg N   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Hi, just lift out the whole tank assembly (oil tank, called the Fount) gently twist the burner (the part that holds the wick)counter-clockwise about 1/4 turn and remove it. It might be a little stuck so don.t apply too much force. Once you remove it and remove the burner just pour in your oil (I prefer scentless lamp oil) and reattach the burner.. The oil fount may have waste cloth (called batting) in it. You can either leave it in or remove it just by pulling it out. It won't affect the operation if you pull it out, and pulling it out an keep it from absorbing moisture and possibly rotting out the fount. Posted Saturday, January 23, 2016 by JN

 Q3095 Brass Lock Time Period?  About what time did railroads switch from brass locks to the more common steel adlake locks? Thanks.  Posted Saturday, January 23, 2016 by KO   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. See prior Q 2947 for a discussion of when steel locks became generally available (likely 1890's from Adlake, and probably earlier from various smaller manufacturers.) As with many RR practices, there was no 'magic date' for a changeover; for many decades and still today some RR's choose brass, some steel for any particular lock application. Just one example: Penn Central, which existed only from 1968 to 1976, ordered switch locks which used the design of the 'standard' steel locks, but had sometimes the hasp and sometimes the entire lock body made of brass or bronze.  Posted Saturday, January 23, 2016 by RJMc

A. And on the side of more classis brass 'heart shaped' locks: they were the standard switch locks for major RR's such as UP, B&O, RF&P and N&W into the 1970's and well beyond. In many cases it was only mergers, causing wholesale replacements usually with more modern styles of locks, that ended their long and honorable active service.  Posted Saturday, January 23, 2016 by RJMc

A. Back in the early 1980's I had the chance to meet and speak with Joe Hansl from Hansl Lock Co. As many of you probably know Hansl made brass heart shaped locks for RR's and others into the late 1970's and early 1980's. He drove me past the facility they assembled locks in at East Hazel Crest, IL. At that stage they had parts foundered elsewhere and simply assembled the final product at that location. They were very crude locks, but were legitimate. At the end I believe they obtained keys from Mitchell in Canada, including the notorious cast CRI$P keys for a large order of locks/keys that the Rock Island bankruptcy stuck the company with. This may have been the last company to make brass heart shaped locks for RR use. Posted Sunday, January 24, 2016 by BobF

 Q3094 EMD Diesel Bell ID   I have a bell with markings E M D 8005156. Can you help with the age and where it is from?  Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by EL   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. The website "Bells and Birmans" (see link) has LOTS of excellent description of railroad bells in general, and EMD diesel bells in particular, including dimensions, mounting techniques, ringers and even control valves. Check the number on your bell; as seen in the Link the EMD standard part no. was 8004156 for as long as bronze bells were used, up to the mid-1980's at least when steel bells became the standard. Since the part number was a standard used on almost everything EMD built (in some cases customers might supply or specify their own bells), there is no way to determine exactly when or where the bell might have been used. And bells were one of the more commonly 'handed down' items when locomotives were traded in, and could continue in use for many years, making the situation even more complicated.  Link 1  Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3093 SF Cable Car Bells  We received an inquiry at this website about 'Vintage Cable Car Bells' being sold on our favorite auction site and whether they are true fakes, new old stock, or something else. Quite a few bells have been sold of late. A recent offering with initials 'S.F.C. Co.' cast or stamped into the brass appeared to have a small, red 'Made in India' sticker, which would suggest a modern reproduction. However, San Francisco cable cars still run, and it is always possible that the maintainers of these cars have sourced bells from India. Do the bells wear out often and need to be replaced? Does anyone have any information on these cable car bells and their authenticity? Thanks. Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by Web Editor   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. These are sold in the cable car museum in SF and have been for years. Strictly repros or knockoffs. Posted Thursday, January 21, 2016 by BK

 Q3092 ALCO PA Diesel ID  We are trying to identify an ALCO PA diesel unit being constructed, in a color print photograph almost certainly taken at the ALCO plant. The prime mover diesel engine is being lowered into the carbody. Because of the early stage of construction, there is no finish paint, and no builder number ID; however the numbers '316 - 6' are marked on the side of the unit. Because of the small details (such as no small top number holder) the unit does not appear to be for Santa Fe. Did ALCO use a production lot numbering system, separate from the builder's numbers? If so, is it possible to identify what road unit(s) was/were in Lot 316? For future reference, The Diesel Shop website (Link: http://www.thedieselshop.us/) under 'Locomotive Builders' has an all-time list of ALCO diesel unit production with models, builder numbers, dates, and road names and numbers... but nothing about possible production lot numbering. Thanks for any assistance.  Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by RJMc   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3091 RR Tower Horn?  Did the railroad use this type of horn on towers or stations? It's electric. This is what I was told. Thanks.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, January 18, 2016 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. I have seen horns like this on railroad "bungalows", the silver painted metal sheds that hold relay circuitry near grade crossing and interlockings. I believe that a dispatcher could use them to warn work crews that a train is approaching. The locations I have seen them are mostly near areas where switch towers used to stand but were replaced by remote computer operation. Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016 by JN

A. In the days before every employee carried a portable walkie-talkie and/or cell phone (back in the 20th century!), the horns were also used to summon signal maintainers or other maintenance personnel in the area to come to a wayside telephone to talk to the dispatcher.  Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016 by RJMc

A. does anybody have a picture of the railroads using this type of horns thanks Posted Thursday, January 21, 2016 by rt

A. Still looking for an air horn pic, but the Link has great description of how the RF&P AF interlocking tower in Alexandria, VA originally had a large air whistle (great pic of that! and all the other signal apparatus) which was replaced several times over with air horns. The reason the whistle and horns made sense was because the switch machines were 'pneumatic' meaning operated and controlled with compressed air. In the early 1900's running air pipes ovr long distances to large air cylinders was a more practical way to deliver the heavy shoves needed to throw switch points. This was a big improvement over the prior method of running long pipelines where the whole length of pipe had to be moved. So there was lots of compressed air capacity at these towers(see pic and discussion in the Link)and it was easy and natural to add the whistle or horn to signal outside employees. The wayside compressed air systems were replaced with electric machines gradually over decades; the horns were very useful and usually also got replaced with electric horns or even sirens.  Link 1  Posted Friday, January 22, 2016 by RJMc

A. thanks rJmc hope you find a picture of these horns Posted Friday, January 22, 2016 by rt

 Q3090 Frisco Glass Water Bottle Info Needed  I have a Frisco glass water bottle with a Gorham silver platted stopper. Gorham mark shows was made in 1917. In cursive lettering 'FRISCO LINES' on silver plate stopper. Thick glass bottle that appears to be hand blown, not from mold. Around top of middle of bottle is a design going all around bottle. I know Gorham made stopper, but who made glass bottle? Gathering info for a museum display. Thank you.  Posted Sunday, January 17, 2016 by JM   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3089 Lamp ID Needed  Here are a couple of pictures of a lamp my Father had. I was wondering is anyone has an idea as to what it's purpose was and history of who and when it might have been manufactured? It appears to be all brass or copper, has a kerosene container with a wick inside, clear glass, and folding handles on the back. Other than the flat bottom, there is no holes or hooks for 'hanging' the lamp. I do not see any manufacturer's name tag on it. Thank you.  [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2016 by John G   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3088 Changing Lantern Battery  How do I change the battery in the 292 model?  Posted Monday, January 11, 2016 by NoName   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. This is a Star Lantern Co. electric model. See prior Q 2908 on this Board all about the batteries and how to change them, and many other questions under "Star Lantern" in the word or phrase search here on this site. Star Lantern Co. maintains a good website (see Links) also on all of their earlier and current models of these lanterns which are were and are very widely used on the RR's.  Link 1  Link 2  Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2016 by RJMc

 Q3087 Builders Plate ID Needed  I have an Alco #52360 builders plate. Can you tell me what locomotive it is off of? Thanks for any help given.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Thursday, January 7, 2016 by RS   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. My Alco records indicate 52360 is from CM&StP 2-8-0 # 7205  Posted Friday, January 8, 2016 by COD

 Q3086 Inspector Lantern  I recently purchased a Dietz Acme inspector lamp. The last patent date is March 8 1910, there is no production date, it has a tall square handle, no bail or holes, the tubes are smooth, there is a release lever for the reflector, the reflector is hollow glass, the globe has a mark which may be a pontil mark or a zero, the fill port is steel, the fill cap is cup shaped steel, it has a reinforced hang hole. Does anyone have information especially a time span this variant would have been manufactured? It seems to be an amalgam of #0 inspector and trackwalker/protector parts. Was it made to use up parts? I've seen pics. of the curved handle and lower square handled lanterns which both have bails. This lantern appears appears to be a transition model but why the lack of a bail?   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, January 4, 2016 by DT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Hi DT, I too have seen photos of this lantern with out a bail, and I know from years of collecting and speaking with railroad employees that different railroads were able to order their lanterns to different specifications which they desired. The collection of different parts is not surprising. Many times as parts failed or were broken they were replaced with parts from other lanterns. Sorry, I don't know about the timespan when they were made, you may want to send an email to Woody at W.T Kirkman in California, he is somewhat of a Dietz expert and very friendly. Steve B. Posted Saturday, January 16, 2016 by Steve B

 Q3085 'K in Circle' Kopp Globe  I purchased a Hunter/Spruce green Blizzard lantern made in 1950. It has a blue Kopp globe. I read that Kopp started made lantern globes in 1926. Do they still make these lantern globes? If not when did they stop production? Thank you.  Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 by DT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Hi, Kopp still makes globes. As a matter of fact, if you purchase a new Kero Lantern from Adlake it comes with a Kopp globe. Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 by JN

 Q3084 PRR Lighter  Can anybody tell me about this PRR lighter? Thank you.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. I have one of the lighters too. I don't know the story behind the lighter itself, but the steam locomotive shown was the very last PRR steam locomotive to operate in revenue service. It ran on a branch in NJ and the date on the lighter is the very last day the locomotive was in service. Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 by JN

 Q3083 PRR Paperweight  Can anybody tell me about this paper weight? It has a heavy metal base that has a sticker on it that says Made in USA. How old is it? Thanks.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. I believe that these were from the early 60's. Came in several different types and I think that they were made by Honeywell.  Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2016 by RLN

A. thank you it is made by honeywell Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2016 by rt

 Q3082 GM&O Key  Happy New Year to everyone who works at and views Railroadiana Online! I bought this GM&O key at a flea market. I have been told it may be a fake, but I would like more of an opinion. I know that 'RT' probably means Rip Track. Can anyone shed light on this key for me? Thank you.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 by JN   Post a Reply  Email a reply