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 Post subject: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:15 pm 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 225
I have a Ramapo #20 switch stand that I took apart and restored years ago. The problem is that I took the heavy springs with the rollers out (2 total ) but I have NO idea how to put the whole thing back together. There must be some way to compress the springs and put the cover back on; how is it done ?????

Kevin K.


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1239
Location: Youngstown, OH
I have a feeling that you can insert something in the holes at each end of the switch stand body that will pull the springs back so that the top can be put on. Are the roller castings threaded?

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J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:35 am 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 225
Rick:
Nothing threaded, I just looked.


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:46 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 390
How did you initially get the springs out from their compressed state?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:04 pm 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 225
I was able to carefully pry them out. According to the US patent the holes on each side are to adjust the springs. What it doesn't say is how that is done.

Kevin K


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:34 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 33
I did a similar job on a Ramapo #17 stand a few months ago. Same mechanism, just
a high version. What a pain in the butt!

I made a pair of special "T-headed" bolts, starting from regular square-head bolts. Ground down
the heads to a "T" and rounded them off so they would clear enter the elliptical hole in the end
of the casting that has the roller and around which the spring goes. Also clear the hole in the
main casting. Then put the two roller assemblies into the base with the main shaft missing.
Push the bolt through and turn it. The head will lock inside the roller/spring guide casting and
won't be able to turn further clockwise. Thread a nut on from the outside of the main casting
and tighten, compressing the spring (do the same on both springs). Then drop in the main
rod with the square shank (having the four rounded recesses), put the covers on and bolt down.
Finally, thread a second nut onto the bolt, lock the nuts together, and turn CCW to release the bolt

I've also seen these stands with bolts/threaded rod sticking out of those two holes in the main
base casting. I'm guessing there was a tool supplied for doing this. What an absurd design!

I think I have a photo that I can dig out and post on this site.


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 33
See below. I guess my memory was faulty. I used a Vise-grip instead of two nuts. Hey if I had
been really ambitious I could have milled 4 flats in the end of the bolt shank to accept a proper wrench!

For the #17, the object just above the base in the photo, with a red painted ring, is what goes
in between the rollers. But first the lower cover has to go on. The red painted "No. 17"
casting goes inside of that, and the square hollow tube piece painted partially red goes inside
of that. The rod that actually turns the crank at the bottom is 5 feet long and goes all the way up
through the center of all this! Who ever thought up this crap?

For your #20 the top part is a little less cumbersome but same concept.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:33 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2217
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Those are good switch stands; they can be positively adjusted to snug the points on each stock rail, and if they are accidently trailed through, parts are not broken or bent. The 17-C version of the high Ramapo stands are the best. Too bad they're not made anymore.

Thanks for the photos and information about the inner workings of these things.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 226
Looks like a type that was common in Florida... I've always heard them referred to as "run-thru" stands or "locking" stands, intended to lock in the correct direction.... Most short-lines here don't do much maintenance and refused to keep them greased properly...
When used right, they can be a real time saver...or damage preventer...


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:05 pm 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 225
JeffH:
You're the man ! Thank you ! I knew there was an answer out there somewhere !

Kevin K.


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 33
Howard P. wrote:
Those are good switch stands; they can be positively adjusted to snug the points on each stock rail, and if they are accidently trailed through, parts are not broken or bent. The 17-C version of the high Ramapo stands are the best. Too bad they're not made anymore.

Thanks for the photos and information about the inner workings of these things.

Howard P.


I like the Racor #22 stands (which are still made) much better. Very simple mechanism inside,
clearly marked lubrication points, very easy to take apart for cleaning and inspection.


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:38 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Pittsburgh
I’ve no direct experience with the Racor/Ramapo model 17, 19 and 20 switch stands, but know more about the Racor 22 than I care to. Many years ago, I needed some trailable switch stands for temporary installation on a light rail transit project. The Racor 22, which at that time was made by Ramapo’s successor corporation Abex, seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Late one night, the last car back to the carbarn, a PCC car empty except for the motorman, attempted to trail a Racor 22 switch at about 25 mph. The points did not throw, with the result that the car derailed and crashed into the end of a high level platform. The Abex salesman attempted to deflect blame by telling me I should have specified their “lightweight spring cage assembly”. I pointed out how no such option was called out in the catalog he had provided me. Abex provided the lightweight springs and installation labor at no charge to my client, but that didn’t fix the wrecked PCC car. Lesson learned the hard way: It's highly questionable whether anything lighter than a freight car will consistently trail through a Racor 22 switch stand.

There's another issue with the Racor 22. Unless the current manufacturer has changed the design, there's no way to padlock the switch. This leaves the switch wide open for tampering. Another one of my clients had a switch with a Racor 22 stand next to a high school. I pointed out how bored urban youth are often looking for amusement and that his Racor 22 stand met the kids' needs perfectly.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:41 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 33
Larry Lovejoy wrote:
I’ve no direct experience with the Racor/Ramapo model 17, 19 and 20 switch stands, but know more about the Racor 22 than I care to. ... Lesson learned the hard way: It's highly questionable whether anything lighter than a freight car will consistently trail through a Racor 22 switch stand.

There's another issue with the Racor 22. Unless the current manufacturer has changed the design, there's no way to padlock the switch. ...
/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


Larry, the 22P is the padlockable version of the 22. It is exactly the same switch stand except the
base plate casting has the extra risers and holes for inserting a padlock above the handle.

Any trailable switch stand is going to have a question mark around the actuating force required
to make it "snap" over. I guess the alternative is rigid stands with break-away cranks, but
again, what is the impact required to break the crank?

That's an interesting engineering question. With a wheelset trying to spring or trail through a switch,
what is the force on the throw rod? Is it W/(L/V) where W is the weight on the leading axle?
Then with a "snap" type of trailable switch (not a straight spring switch), there is a certain point
where the crank gets past the hump and snaps. The relation between that point and the throw of
the switch at which the snap action takes place depends on the adjustment of the crank (i.e. the
overall switch throw). But does that affect the weight on axle required for action?


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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5417
Location: southeastern USA
I'd imagine that wheel profile also enters into it.

One of the oddest things I've seen was a diesel moving through a weighted ground throw switch set against it - each wheelset lifted the weight, then it dropped again afterward. the hosteler got off to set the switch, only to then notice that it was already set..... scratched his head for a while, looked around to see if anybody was watching, then quietly went back to work.

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 Post subject: Re: Ramapo #20 Switch Stand
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1531
Location: Southern California
Dave wrote:
I'd imagine that wheel profile also enters into it.
Traditionally, streetcar wheels would have a narrower tread and a shallower flange.

Some operations like the Los Angeles Railway used a compromise profile. For the LARY this was because of the joint trackage with the Pacific Electric in downtown LA. The PE used a conventional, steam-railroad profile.

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