In the fist post of this thread, Bob Chaparro asked:
Could this be a waybill box for the (possible) spur or siding that is to the left of the picture?It's possible, but a few things make me doubtful that this is a bill box.
- There's no lock, and no provision for a lock that I can see.
- The placement seems to be in a more public location than necessary, and not one particularly convenient for train crews.
So to me it's more likely it's a US Mail box.
Like Ed, I wonder whether the resident of the house near that tracks has just appropriated the post for his mailbox. There's no other roadside mailbox at that house.
Or it could be a mailbox for railroad use as Dennis suggested. Tire tracks turning off the road toward the switchstand suggest there may be SOME facility to drive to along the tracks down there, perhaps an interlocking tower or section house. But if that's what the box is for, why is it on the opposite side of the tracks? Ponderables that we'll never answer with certitude.
Other than the mysterious box, the overall scene is beautiful, and there are a lot of other interesting details in these photos. The multiplicity of power lines, phone lines, and telegraph and perhaps signal lines stands out. There are miles of wire in these shots.
The far track has screw spikes, the nearer track has cut spikes, and some ties seem to be missing spikes or plates.
There's only a single crossbuck, and lacks the "2 TRACKS" notice that would be mandated later. I wish we could see more of the switch and whatever is down the R-O-W there....