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hamradioguy

Railroad/transit locks and keys

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I hope this is ok to post, I thoroughly read the rules page and saw nothing forbidding it, so here goes.

 

First off, I am not asking to buy/trade anything, I'm just enquiring for my own curiosity.

 

I was wondering what kinds of keys a typical subway motorman or conductor would carry, and if you have pics of them? I collect railroad locks and keys, primarily from midwest railroads, but sometimes find other items in my antique shop/ flea market trips. I was recently watching the newer version of "The Taking of Pelham 123" and saw them use a "cutting key" to separate cars. From what I can tell, this looks like a small wrench. How do subway couplings differ from most other North American rail knuckle couplers?

 

I was also wondering what the cab keys look like, from what I can tell, it's a skeleton key style.

 

As far as what I have in my own collection, I have a Frisco railroad switch lock and key (the key was my grandfather's), caboose keys, a Pullman coach key, and a brass reverser handle of the style used on most diesel locomotives. Anyone else here collect this type of stuff? I'm mainly interested in pics, so I can keep an eye out on my travels to antique shops and swap meets.

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while it's not against the rules per se, we are all a little leary on the subject (goggle the antics of Darius McCollum)

 

The couplers are designed so that all connections run through it. there are no lose hanging pipes or cables that have to be attached or detached. This means someone does not need to be next to the train, on the ground, when these connections are made. And considering the amount of space they would have in many circumstances to do this, it's for the better. 

 

That being said, Pelham 2009 is the least realistic of the three film versions. Since the 1990s, the MTA has been connecting train cars into solid multi car sets. Between cars in the set are link bars, which to separate requires a work shop, a wrench, and a lot of elbow grease. the external car from the film was a dressed up R62, which can (barely) operate on it's own. the R142/R142A/R188 series it was acting as simply can't do that. The separating of the train was for the sake of keeping to the story. 

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The subway doesn't use the standard North American AAR knuckle couplers, except on the work equipment. The 2 main couplers in use are the Ohio Brass (flat face) couplers, and the WABCO H2C type coupler.

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Ok good info guys, thanks! I understand being leary, I recently found some videos of some idiots calling themselves the subway conquestors, who were throwing stuff on the third rail, messing with trains, etc, and thought "what fools!" I just read about Darius, good grief, what HASN'T he stolen and driven around? I feel kind of sorry for the guy, and hope that he can get some help.

 

I can also see why connecting up the "gladhand" hoses like on a freight train would be hard on a subway style trainset, I bet the system they use is a lot safer than the standard AAR setup too, as it doesn't require workers between the cars where they can be crushed.
 

Thanks again for the info, I have a feeling I'll learn some things here!

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