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Archive for the 'Odds and Ends' Category

Real Train Signals

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

I bought a bunch of real railroad signals, lanterns and switch stands today. I think a switch stand will make a great mail box holder. I bought the stands without knowing how heavy they were, but the woman threw in an old cast iron handcart to move them around. The handcart is pretty neat too!

In among the haul were three of these short signals. They are boxes with Corning glass colored lenses on each side on a heavy steel post. The boxes are mounted on the poles in different configurations.

Here’s a photo of one. The color on these is dirty black. The lighter areas are because the signal was still wet from me hosing it off. These were in a back yard with grass and weeds covering them so only a small bit of the pole was visible.

yard signal

Here’s a close up of the signal’s face. The lenses are 4.5 inches in diameter.

yard signal face

Here’s a top view. Each box has two bulbs and has space for 3 lenses. There doesn’t appear to be an area to mount a missing divider between the bulbs.

yard signal face

They are about 30 inches tall and the top is about 13 inches square. Set up for electric bulbs, never had any kerosene fonts.

These came from a former Southern Pacific engineer’s estate. He retired in 1961. The stuff I got with these came from various western railroads, but much of it was from the SP.

If you know what these signals are drop me a note. TERRY AT NALROO DOT COM.

If you’re researching and found this page, here’s a link to a website I found with lots of pictures of interesting railroad signals.

Lionel 5A Test Set 1938 Only

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Lionel 5A test stand
Lionel made a series of test stands for service station use. The one shown here is 5A for 1938 only. In 1939 Lionel changed it a bit and renumbered it the 5B. In the postwar period they made 5C, 5D, 5E, and 5F with different capabilities.

The 5A and 5B test stands tested Standard gauge, O gauge, and OO gauge trains in addition to every type of accessory and transformer Lionel made.

Close ups of the knobs and switches are shown below:

Lionel 5A test stand

Lionel 5A test stand

Top view showing T-rail track. I think the end bumpers on this are not correct?

Lionel 5A test stand T-rail track

When you connect an automatic station or semaphore to these terminals:

Lionel 5A tester station terminals

This motor inside the unit simulates a train entering and leaving the block:

Lionel 5A tester Inside View

Here’s an end view:

Lionel 5A tester end View

The Lionel 5A tester is 24 inches long, 7 inches wide at the base, and 7 inches tall to the track platform.

The Lionel 5A test stand came with instructions so the service station operator knew how to connect the accessories, and run the diagnostic tests. The instructions with this testor are mimeographed sheets because there weren’t enough copies needed to warrant the cost of offset printing. The instructions are held in a common file folder with bent over clips.

Here’s a photo of the cover page of the instructions:

Lionel 5A test stand instructions

The instructions also include a diagram of the tester itself so it can be repaired if needed. Here’s a photo:

Lionel 5A test stand diagram

There is a page on the Toy Train Revue website that shows photos of all of Lionel’s test Stands along with some other service station tools. Here’s a link.

Noma Talking Station Postwar

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Noma Talking Station
Noma made Christmas tree lights and other seasonal items. This station has a battery operated record player inside it that plays when teh button on top of the chimney is pushed.

There are at least 4 different records for the station. Joe Mania has recordings on his website if you want to listen to them. Here’s a link.

The station was made with a red or green plastic roof. Green is more valuable.

Red rectangular areas surrounded by white under the roof on the corners are sign boards. The station came with paper town names to fit in them, or the user could make his own.

You can find a history of Noma here.