Coupler question - Russell-jordan device?


With Mike's approval and given that we've discussed couplers in the
past I have a question about this coupling mechanism.

I came across a reference that SP pushers working eastbound out of Pt.
Costa up the grade to the Carquinez Straits bridge (north of Oakland,
CA.)would routinely use a "Russell-Jordan device", which prevented
the pin from dropping, to cut out on the fly at the top of the grade
just prior to the bridge.

Can someone explain how this device worked (I suspect that it was
air operated)? Would the coupler face have been "open" (for lack of a
better term) with couplers only touching ie: not a proper coupling?

Is it visible on the steam locomotives themselves?

Stefan Lerché
Duncan, BC

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