Railway Preservation News

Wanted: Pushbuttons for PRR Control Panel
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Author:  Dan Rapak [ Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Wanted: Pushbuttons for PRR Control Panel

Wanted: Push-Buttons for PRR Control Box

The Harrisburg Chapter of the NRHS is in need of replacement Western Electric Type 92 push-buttons for the restoration of the Train Director's Control Panel at Harris Tower.

Harris Tower is being fully restored to its early 1940's condition and is currently open to the public as an interactive museum. The tower's 113 lever interlocking machine and 20' wide model board have been tied in to a computer system that simulates the actual rail traffic that Harris controlled during The War Years. Visitors actually operate the interlocking machine to route "virtual trains" to their proper destinations, following their progress by way of the track occupancy lights on the model board.

The last major component of the system awaiting restoration is the tower's Train Director's Control Panel. The panel contained 14 indicator lamps, 42 push-buttons and 28 rotary on-off switches. Most of the switches and push-buttons had been removed before The Harrisburg Chapter assumed ownership of the building. We are currently searching for replacements for the missing push-buttons. Photos are included.

Once restored, the control panel will also be tied in to the simulation system, allowing visitors to set directiion of traffic flow, control safety switches that allow trains into non-electrified trackage as well as allowing visitors to reset Tap-Out indications from the adjacent passenger station.

Any help in furthering our restoration and preservation efforts would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Dan Rapak
Project Engineer - Harris Tower Restoration
Harrisburg Chapter - National Railway Historical Society

Control Panel in Service - 1979.jpg
Control Panel in Service - 1979.jpg [ 22.55 KiB | Viewed 1673 times ]
s Panel Push-Button.jpg
s Panel Push-Button.jpg [ 42.26 KiB | Viewed 1673 times ]

Author:  dinwitty [ Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wanted: Pushbuttons for PRR Control Panel

I need to see a bigger picture of the top image, or if you know possibly an early trains or railroad mag that has a shot of it also. I inherited a bunch of such switches from a rr club member, I have been evaluating their use on my layout, but not many are in use at the moment. SOme are rotating on-off, some are pull on, I forget if any were push buttons, but I will recheck the stock. I have no clue where these buttons were from, maybe surplus from some industrial site.
Those buttons may have been fairly common at that time, your other source is to look up Hamfests as they all so often have electrical gear for sale, some maybe very cheap, a lot may have been collected from industrial sites or who knows what where. Try to find an electronics surplus store as well.
I would websearch for possible new replacements that could fit the need as you may want to be able to have some new resource for said switches and pushbuttons to fit.

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