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Ringoes in Hunterdon County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Steam Era Signal & Switchstand

 
 
Steam Era Signal & Switchstand Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Edelson, March 22, 2012
1. Steam Era Signal & Switchstand Marker
Inscription. The purpose of the railroad signal is not unlike that of a traffic light; it tells locomotive engineers when they can proceed, when they should proceed with caution, and when they must stop. This type of railroad signal, which uses colored lights, was introduced around the turn of the last century and is still in use today on railroads such as CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak. This type of signal has no reflectors in its lights so a locomotive headlight won't make the lights appear to be lit when they are not.

The signal displayed here was made by the Union Switch & Signal Company of Pittsburgh, PA, sometime in the 1930's, and was used on the Pennsylvania Railroad's New York & Long Branch Railroad in New Jersey. It was donated to the Black River Railroad Historical Trust (BRRHT) by Rill Rapp of Holmdel, New Jersey.

Tall switch stands, like the one displayed here, were used to change the position of the tracks and thus enabled trains to switch tracks. They were used primarily along mainlines rather than in yards. The metal flag, called a target, let the engineer see, from a distance, which way the switch was set. Some tall switchstands had lanterns on top of them for nighttime usage. This switchstand was from the Erie Railroad and was donated to the BRRHT by Frank Capalbo of Nutley, New Jersey.

In years past, a dispatcher

Steam Era Signal & Switchstand Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Edelson, March 22, 2012
2. Steam Era Signal & Switchstand Marker
controlled these signals and switchstands from a signal tower next to the tracks; today, the dispatcher sits in front of a computer in a dispatch center.

The signal and switchstand were restored by Oliver Shortridge, Troop 99, as his Eagle Scout Service Project with the generous support of Mr. Bob Rowe of Rowe Electric.
 
Erected by Black River Railroad Historical Trust.
 
Location. 40° 26.134′ N, 74° 52.299′ W. Marker is in Ringoes, New Jersey, in Hunterdon County. Marker can be reached from County Route 579, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ringoes NJ 08551, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ringoes (within shouting distance of this marker); Academy af Arts & Science (approx. 0.3 miles away); Black River and Western Railroad (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of St. Andrew's Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ringo's Tavern (approx. 0.4 miles away); Amwell Academy (approx. 0.4 miles away); Landis House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Servis - Quick Family Cemetery (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ringoes.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars

 
Steam Era Signal & Switchstand Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Edelson, March 22, 2012
3. Steam Era Signal & Switchstand Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2012, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. This page has been viewed 388 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 27, 2012, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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