Topics

Freight Yard Light Poles


Bob Chaparro
 

Anyone have an educated guess as to how tall the typical light poles were in a freight yard or service area in the steam or transition eras?

I'm not thinking of the large gang flood lights but rather poles with one or two shaded lights.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Schuyler Larrabee
 

2x car height, maybe a little more.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2018 8:15 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Freight Yard Light Poles

 

Anyone have an educated guess as to how tall the typical light poles were in a freight yard or service area in the steam or transition eras?

I'm not thinking of the large gang flood lights but rather poles with one or two shaded lights.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


np328
 

Looking at some photos, I agree with Schuler, in general.  I will state that I think the poles heights are from the ground, 32 feet in total, and with the lights at or about 24 to 26 feet in elevation. There are several more feet above the lights for cross arms carrying lines. 

      I'll also add that of the examples, in one of the photos, a pole that seemed ONLY to serve as a light post, and terminated the light circuit, was a bit lower than the other poles that held lights and line carrying duties. This last part I feel is a distinction worthy of modeling.
     The photos I studied are roughly 9MG per photo and I am aware of this sites limitations. They are however great for studying detail and that is why when I was still an officer of the NPRHA and the Milwaukee Road Historical Society graciously gave these to our group, I had the original large 2.25 x 2.25 film images scanned at a high res.   I can post say 2 photos if people here request it.                Jim Dick - St. Paul


Dennis Storzek
 

I tend to agree with Jim. Wikipedia (always the definitive source :-) says the average power pole in the US is 40' long, set 6' in the ground, so 34' from ground to tip. I seem to recall from my railway museum days that 35' poles were common during the "interurban era" (pre WWII) set  five feet in the ground for a overall height of 30'. Longer or shorter poles were always available, but only used when really needed.

Dennis Storzek


Rick Jesionowski
 

35' Poles were and are still the common height.  I worked for an outside electrical contractor, and the majority of poles in our inventory were 35' poles with a smattering of 40', 45' and 50' poles for special uses.  A 35' pole was placed in a 7' holes resulting in 28' above ground for mounting the crossarm.

By the way the majority of poles were shipped in gons as the 35-50 foot poles would easily fit in a 52'6" gon which is how we received them at our yard.

Another point, all the scenery gurus want you to roughen up the poles with a steel comb or whatever, poles were smooth so there was less chance for a lineman's hooks to pop out when climbing the pole.

Rick Jesionowski


np328
 

 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 (  http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/08/duckboards.html ) 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


Steve SANDIFER
 

These are very easy to make using Grandt Line 5062 light shades, Ngineering tubing, and 603 LEDs. I have many on my layout. I use bamboo skewers as light poles. You can get other lamp shades from Shapeways.

http://ssandifer.com/Lay/Howard/Const/LED/LEDClinic.ppt

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of np328
Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:49 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Freight Yard Light Poles

 

 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 (  http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/08/duckboards.html ) 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


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 (  http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/08/duckboards.html ) 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

Attachments:


Scott
 

That is a great clinic Stephen!  I used to solder a lot for my job but now we just pitch the bad cca and get a new one.  I will have to break out the soldering tools and give it a go on the little surface mount LEDs.

Scott McDonald


Bill Daniels <billinsf@...>
 

Those are not bells, Tim, but vacuum breakers to prevent overrunning of the water.

Bill Daniels


On Aug 2, 2018, at 8:11 PM, Scott <repairman87@...> wrote:

That is a great clinic Stephen!  I used to solder a lot for my job but now we just pitch the bad cca and get a new one.  I will have to break out the soldering tools and give it a go on the little surface mount LEDs.

Scott McDonald


Dennis Storzek
 

On Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 06:48 PM, James SANDIFER wrote:
These are very easy to make using Grandt Line 5062 light shades, Ngineering tubing, and 603 LEDs.
That statement gave me pause for a moment... I'm of an age where we had to use the Campbell pressed brass shades, because the micro bulbs ran too hot to mount in plastic. Then I realized you are using LEDs.

Which brings up another point. Now that we have all sorts of different color temperature LEDs available, keep in mind that all the lights with "pie plate" reflectors we see in old photos used incandescent light bulbs, so be sure to use an LED that gives the proper yellowish light. Mercury vapor lamps were available, but required a ballast transformer, which led to the ubiquitous teardrop shape of outdoor MV lighting fixtures. These pie plate fixtures have no boom for the ballast, therefore are incandescent.

Dennis Storzek


Jon Miller
 

On 8/3/2018 7:52 AM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
Then I realized you are using LEDs.

    I have been using 402 LEDs purchased prewired* for passenger car lights.  I think they would work for those who don't want to do the soldering.  Of course they are a little more expensive.

*  eBay item number: 192364968502 (Just one of multiple listings)

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
SPROG User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Steve SANDIFER
 

When I first did the clinic, pre-wired 603s were hard to come by. Now you can buy them or 402s on ebay very inexpensively. You certainly want warm white or golden white. I use them for everything.

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jon Miller
Sent: Friday, August 3, 2018 10:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Freight Yard Light Poles

 

On 8/3/2018 7:52 AM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

Then I realized you are using LEDs.

    I have been using 402 LEDs purchased prewired* for passenger car lights.  I think they would work for those who don't want to do the soldering.  Of course they are a little more expensive.

*  eBay item number: 192364968502 (Just one of multiple listings)

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
SPROG User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS