Re: Freight Yard Light Poles

Tim O'Connor

Jim what's with the bells (?) on top of the water standpipes? I've never
noticed that before. None of the SP standpipes I've seen have that feature.

Tim O'Connor


 I have got quite a few requests off line for photos of engine service areas with lights as originally requested by Bob.  So OK.

      The photos as I stated are by Wade Stevenson who worked for the Milwaukee Road at Othello, WA. and passed on a few years ago.   Photos were believed to be taken in the 1950s, and most likely 1952-1956, so right in the transition era. I have reduced the pixel count on these photos by about 1/3 to 1/4 of original.

       Wade had notebooks with captions of all his photos however in the move from his house to assisted living, much of this was lost. I presented on some of that last year at RPM meets.

First photo with #1171 (this is the STEAM freight car list, right?) (1) On the left next to the passenger car is a light rather high up on the pole with conduit running down the pole to a switch about the level of the lower window sill. This is duplicated (2) on the next pole to the right, next to the locomotives pilot. Here the switch and conduit can be seen more clearly. The light is mounted lower and the pole is strapped to a stubbed post. Also note that this pole has pole steps, no need for boots with spurs here. As a point of interest, almost ALL the poles in the photos I checked have pole steps. Please check the photos of your favorite railroad to see if the above is a common feature with them. (3) Then there is the lower pole on the far right. (A dead end pole is the correct term, as the power supply line terminates there.)  Lastly (4) the concrete support structure for the cinder handling apparatus has a pole mounted and a line attached to it, which supports and supplies a light in the center of the ashpit operations off to the right out of the picture.

Next photos: Here just after the end of steam on the western end of the NP (about 1955-56) is a photo from which several lights are mounted can be found. The pole central to the photo has two crossarms with a third arm mounted perpendicular. The photo show the left and right lights mounted on this third cross arm with the center light mounted on one of the parallel pair. As I commented earlier, pole steps are evident here also. Also conduit running down to an electrical switch box which is just above the height of the locomotive walkway behind it. Note also the light mounted on the pole at right. Cinders abundantly in evidence here right up to the railheads with stones or concrete blocks either containing walks or serving as walks themselves.

Planks or duckboards ( ) on the lower left in a vain attempt to keep cinders out of the nearby office structure. Note the varied heights of the poles.
Much to study in these photos - for those who wish to see.

Jim Dick – St. Paul, MN


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