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Spring Switches
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NS3360
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Posts: 1955
Spring Switches
 
« on: Aug 17th, 2004, 7:32am »
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Do railroads today still use spring switches? I don't know of any in Eastern Pennsylvania and wondered if they still use them in other states.  

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Passenger_Extra
Historian
Posts: 1284
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #1 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 10:40am »
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Yeah there's still some around.
 
Light rail uses them a lot, particularly in places where a crossover move is usually made turning back out of a terminal.    


« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2004, 10:41am by Passenger_Extra » Logged

Not good on trains 1, 2, 5, 6, 25 & 26 west of Washington D.C. and trains 27 & 28.
ClydeDET
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Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #2 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 5:08pm »
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If you go to the NTSB Railroad Accident Reports site, you'll find at least onel recent accident involving spring switches on a Class One. Spring switches are still used, and on the big roads as well as the little ones.

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Pennsy
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Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #3 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 6:10pm »
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Hi All,
 
Spring switches are fairly common at areas around terminals and places where the switch is unmanned and the train can just shove the points over, get into their stub track, unload their passengers, pick up the returning passengers, and then take the switch to the correct returning track. All accomplished by simply the spring action of the points of the switch. By the way, you never take a spring switch at speed. Somewhere around 10 mph is about it. I have done it on my HO layout many times.


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Passenger_Extra
Historian
Posts: 1284
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #4 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 6:48pm »
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We are NEVER supposed to make a facing point move on a spring switch without first verifying the point alignment and switch target are in correspondence.  Stop if we have to.
 
THey are meant to be used in situations as you just point out where movement is normally trailing out of a passing track or siding.


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Not good on trains 1, 2, 5, 6, 25 & 26 west of Washington D.C. and trains 27 & 28.
Hunter518
Railfan
Posts: 166
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #5 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 11:30pm »
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CSX still has some spring switches on their heavily-used lines in central Florida.  Most are on former Seaboard Air Line Railroad lines, an example being at Edison Jct, FL. , where two line come together to form a single main line.  The spring switch allows for westbound trains from either line to proceed through the switch without having to stop and throw the switch before proceeding.
 
Switches that are spring switches have a sign (SS) alongside the switch that indicates it is a spring switch.  
 
Hunter518


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BNSF_1088
Historian
Posts: 6029
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #6 on: Aug 20th, 2004, 10:55am »
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Where i work for BNSF from Lafayette to NOL we have spring switches for the sidings execpt for 1 siding that doesn't have them.

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Fred
Railfan
Posts: 151
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #7 on: Aug 22nd, 2004, 2:26pm »
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Here in Detroit until just a couple of months ago CN trains operating between CP West Detroit & Delray utilized spring switches where the single track went to double & then back to single. The spring switch at the north end was sprung towards the southbound main and the spring switch at the southend was sprung toward the northbound main. This operation had been going on that I know of for over 40 years; just recently since the CN trains are operating more & more on the former CR main their double track has been reduced to single. Only time their was ever a problem was when the train would run into a problem and made a backup move without first properly lining & locking the switch.

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George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3824
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #8 on: Sep 29th, 2004, 11:17pm »
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There are a lot of spring swithes still out there.  Southern used them a lot, and probably still does.  If you are in non-CTC territory it makes lots of sense, since there are no longer cabosses or rear end crew members to close the gate behind you.  They were originally installed to eliminate the need for the extra stop of a train after it had cleared the siding so the rear brakeman could reset the point to the main.  Southern used to allow 25 mph when springing points.  I believe these were No. 14 turnouts, but am not sure of that.

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George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3824
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #9 on: Nov 7th, 2004, 11:47pm »
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After reading about proposed Albuquerque commuter rail, I dug up a BNSF ETT for the area.  It has the following note:  Hahn: end of double track eastward spring switch . . . 30 MPH (P) . . 30 MPH (F).  I ahd added the (P) and (F) as the speeds are in columns.  Hahn is at milepost 898.8, which is east of Albuquerque station at 902.4.
 
One good example of the benefits of spring switches could be found at Hot Springs, Arkansas up until about the mid 1960's when passenger service into Hot Springs ended.  It used three spring switches.  The approaching train from Little Rock came to a switch set for the wye, entered the wye.  At the top of the wye it trailed through the switch, springing the points.  It then backed through this same switch in a facing direction which set the train onto the leg of the wye toward the station.  Next the train went through the switch just outside of the station in a trailing direction, springing the points and continued backing into the platform track.  Upon leaving the station the train pulled straight out over this switch and trailed through the switch at the other end of the wye, springing the points.  Three turnouts with spring switches.  The train crosses all three once in each direction and no one is required to hit the ground to throw a single one.  No tower, no switch machines.  As simple and cheap as it can get, and quite adequate for a low traffic branch line.


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jesus
TRAINing
Posts: 12
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #10 on: Jun 24th, 2005, 11:28pm »
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north american signal makes hydraulic switches that are spring switches.  We dont advertise that on our railroad because we dont have the major opperations that class ones have.  Ours operate by radio anyway, so there really no need for them to really use them as a spring switch.

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1oldgoat
TRAINing
Posts: 23
Re: Spring Switches
 
« Reply #11 on: Apr 25th, 2008, 1:16am »
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And NEVER reverse movement while on a spring switch or their'll be cars on the ground!

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