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Monday, October 22, 2012

Extinct: The US&S MT Switch Machine

Over a year ago when I posted about the demise of E 180TH ST interlocking and tower on the New York City Subway system I was unaware that we were not only losing the last main line single interlocking on the IRT or the last section of IRT signaling (including those three headed monsters).  It appears that the E 180TH ST interlocking had one more surprise, a surprise that I had noticed, but never fully comprehended. 

This mystery object was brought to my attention be a superb, yet rather invisible, signaling blog called The Has Been that took note of my E180TH report and quickly flagged the item of interest.  If you had ever viewed my photos you may have seen something that looked a bit out of place...a bit like it should belong in the London Underground instead of the NYCS.  I'll make it easy for you and just show you what I am talking about.

Well I have confirmation that yes indeed that is a Mid-Track mounted point machine produced by USTS as the model, what else, MT and according to this post on the Has Been blog it dates from the original construction of the interlocking and was manufactured sometime between 1904 and 1912, surviving about 2 or 3 re-signaling efforts...but unfortunately not 4.

The MT machine at E180TH ST was attached to a split point derail and what probably kept it in service in addition to its compact mounting, was that it is probably the only model of point machine that support staggered point blades, which were called for in this specific power derail. 

Anyway, the 100+ year old point machine had been giving the NYCTA some real headaches as of late as all repairs had to be carried out from scratch, still, it is always a same when the last of something disappears from the wild, if not the entire world.  While the three headed monsters were clearly unique, they were made from standard hardware that still exists in droves.  The MT was truly unique and something the likes of which will never be seen again.

1 comment:

  1. Also gone at the same time was the last "Side Track" machine on NYCT, which was like an A-1, but older, and the last Style "C" valves were at E180 as well, and that was last Model 14 machine with the quick switch feature (to support the C valves)

    I have pix of the C valves and the side track somewhere.