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 Post subject: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 174
I have exhausted my searches and I am hoping i can find some help with a few questions regarding switch lamps.
First, I am trying to find info on the various adapters used for mounting to the mast. I can find very little info on this. Were they produced by the lamp manufacturer or switch stand manufacturer, or both? I have Adlake lamps that have an insert to mount onto an AAR (?) Mount. They only fit on a certain way and the colors of the lens don't always match the route. Did the railroads switch the lenses around to make them work? What about lamps with two different size lenses? Where can one find these mounts for various lamps/switch stand combos? I could fill this page with questions on this, but I will stop here.

Second, I picked up a very clean Adlake lamp with green lenses/day targets and purple lenses/red day targets. All the info I can find on purple lenses is in reference to signals, not switch lamps. Would this have been for a derail? We believe it came from northern Michigan, near Cadillac.
Any help would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
http://jerrysrrstuff.com/info_page_ligh ... rns__parts

I bought a switch lantern at a train show and it had differrent size lenses, 2 missing lenses, I found a supplier, I dont think jerrys is it but thats a start, its now full lensed. I'll check back on color light rules, but knowing the railroad helps narrow it, but there are general rules and then there are specific railroad rules.

http://www.railroadsignals.us/rulebooks/rulebooks.htm

rulebook resource to check

http://www.jeffpolston.com/lantern.htm

where I got my lenses

I have some rulebooks here but cant check till tomorrow.

in the word of Vane Jones- SCROUNGE


Last edited by dinwitty on Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:34 pm 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 199
What you need to remember is that a switch lamp is a signal. It can give you a day indication just like a semaphore with a blade, the targets of the lamp are your day indication and of course the night indication is the lamp light with lenses illuminated .
Color of lamps and targets vary from RR to RR, but one color of target and lens means your Lined for the Main Route and the other is for a Diverging Route.
Here are some examples from my collection:
1.Erie RR Mainline switch lantern: Red target, red lens and White target with blue lens
2.Mainline lamp Red and Green lens/ no target
3.Yard lamp: White target, blue lens and Yellow target with yellow lens
4. B&O RR Green target with blue lens and yellow target with yellow lens
5.NYC RR Red target with red lens/ however, I believe it should have a purple lenses instead. Other target is yellow with yellow lens.
As you can see a Rule book will help you determine who's RR and how they were used. Concerning the mount: I have never placed one on a stand so I can't answer to that question.

Kevin K.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:37 pm 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 199
Forgot to mention: Flip that switch lamp over and take a flash light to the cast iron mount where it slips on the switch stand. Many RR's had their names cast inside.

Kevin K.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 174
Thank you for the info. A little more research today dug up a little info. Sounds like purple was used with red day targets opposite green or amber, depending on rules and years of use. Purple was banned as a stop indication in 1952.

Only a few of my lamps are unmarked. One is this purple/green lamp, and the other is an amber/lunar Adlake that has no targets.

I do have a GN #5 that i discovered had the original amber lenses swapped with red at one point long ago. I found a chart that listed all lamps that GN used. They numbered each lamp for easy identification. The exact same lamps with red instead of amber lenses were numbered differently. Fascinating stuff.

I can't believe there are not more books on signals and switch stands, targets and lamps.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:15 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
Signals and use is one fascinating area of railroading, there was a long discussion on the N&W email group wheres and hows and whys a certain signal is here and what indications are required and its interpretations.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:51 pm
Posts: 81
Several roads use purple targets and/or reflectors on switch stand activated derails, CN comes to mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
In regard to unusual lens colors, recall that a lot of these lamps were kerosene burners. That means you had a low yellow flame for illumination.

I've seen marker lights with blue lenses. Combined with a yellow flame, they would throw a green light (yellow and blue make green), something that might face to the side or front, with red to the rear, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
EWrice wrote:
First, I am trying to find info on the various adapters used for mounting to the mast. I can find very little info on this. Were they produced by the lamp manufacturer or switch stand manufacturer, or both?


They're made by the switch stand manufacturer. As you mentioned, there's an AAR size for the lamp tips. The lamp manufacturer makes an opening sized to fit that tip. So that end is standardized. The other end varies by stand style, you can see some varieties here:

http://harmersteel.com/catalog/frogs-sw ... ch-stands/

Some are square, some are round. They still make them today, though of course the lamps today would be electric. That said, I can only think of one place where I've seen them use switch lamps. At night, it reminded me of a Lionel train layout.


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
I like how ICG made use of the purple, the engineer would be approaching the end of a double track and see the double mast, no more track for you! as it turns off to single track.
Consider the purple as your other -stop- indication. Love to see a museum do this, I'll see about modeling this


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 Post subject: Re: Lantern posts and purple lenses
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 174
Most of what I have found was that purple was an early, alternative, stop indication (at least until 1952) or a derail marker. I am fairly convinced that my lamp was from a derail. The opposite green targets are what threw me off, but I found that was used in a few rule books.

I have acquired a few lantern posts for Racor switch stands, and have found info on others available. These are all drilled 90 degrees so that you can set the lantern to match the targets to match the direction of the switch. Problem solved.

Here is what still has me puzzled: A few of our switch stands have the AAR mount forged directly into the top of the mast. The direction of the mount is, therefore, preset and cannot be changed. Example: We have 5 of these PM stands. 3 of them are lined for the main when the AAR mount and day target is parallel to the track. The other 2 are lined for the main when the AAR mount is perpendicular to the track, but the day target is parallel. Therefore even if all the switches required red/green lenses, the lanterns could not interchange between the switch stands. I am very curious as to how the railroads that used lanterns handled this situation.

The interesting thing I have noticed about my lamps:
The adlake lamps all have the green/clear/lunar lenses set up to show when the AAR mount is parallel with the track.

Dressel is the same, but the socket seems slightly larger. Not as tight a fit, but does fit.

My Handlan lamps are set up opposite the Adlake/Dressel lamps and have a much larger socket. I am wondering if there is a bushing, or adapter of sorts that is required for these.


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