Manually operated crossing gates

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

Postby Tri-State Tom » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:07 am

Don / Ken -

AIR, manually operated gates survived at Belmar station and at the Main St. crossing at Manasquan station for quite awhile as well. My recall on this is admittedly foggy so I'll yield to others with more accurate info.

Regardless, had no idea manual operation survived on sections of the NJCL until the late 70's-early 80's.

BTW, manual gates were unigue for the three-quarter 'up' position as well as for having a single steel drop rod about half-way out the arm to keep the arm from hitting the pavement as the gate was lowered.
Tri-State Tom
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:06 am

Postby RichM » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:41 am

Thanks Tom, you brought back the memory of that support bar, made me think of something else... the gates appeared to have something akin to "free weights" for counter balancing, rather than the fixed weights on the automatic gates I saw on the NYC/PC West Shore at that time. Always looked to me that they had some lateral movement on the shaft they were mounted on, like they could be changed easily. I assume this was the case because they were far more sensitive to correct balancing than the motor operated type.
RichM
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:04 am

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby rjgrubin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:06 pm

These were the last manned manual gates in North America! The last four manned gates were as follows to my knowledge,automated in this order. Melrose,MA Wyoming ave. Automated 1982?, The two at South Amboy were next to be automated, and the Concord St. Framingham,MA. http://rjgrubin.rrpicturearchives.net/a ... x?id=10013 I have a F&J Safety Gate Catalog showing parts and assembly of the Gatestands on a PDF file for anyone interested.
rjgrubin
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby nayaugpark52 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:06 am

I thought the grade crossing in Westville, NJ was manually operated until the early 80s. Anybody know the date it was automated?
nayaugpark52
 

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby red92s » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:57 pm

According to one of the "Northeast Corridor 1976-2007" videos on youtube South Amboy had manually controlled gates until 1983 and the demise of engine changes there. Not sure how accurate that is, but it says these were the last manual gates in NJ.
red92s
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby rjgrubin » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:43 am

Those were the the last two in New Jersey and Framingham,MA were the last manned Manual Gates in the USA...August 20th,1985 was the last day of operation. They are preserved at the RRMNE in Thomaston,CT. All the gate stands are there...and the cranks are in my cellar. I had the privilege to crank the last four in existence.... both at South Amboy, Melrose,MA (wyoming Ave), and Concord st. Framingham,MA...
rjgrubin
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby davebdawg » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:10 pm

Why did some gates take so long to be switched over in this digital age???
MP. 23 On The Lehigh Line!!
davebdawg
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:21 am
Location: North Edison

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby limejuice » Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:56 pm

The last manned crossings in the country with automatic (motorized) gates were Broad St. and Main St. in Lansdale, PA. These crossings were fully automated in 2008. They were still manned so recently because the crossings of two major thoroughfares (one being a state highway) were in the middle of an interlocking, adjacent to a terminal station. These complicated conditions would have the gates down for long periods of time without someone there to raise them. Until recently, the capital funding to replace the signal equipment here did not exist.
limejuice
 
Posts: 614
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 8:51 pm

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby GSC » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:04 pm

In keeping with what limejuice said, the last sets on the NY&LB were in the middle of active bi-directional trackage. Engine changes in South Amboy had all kinds of rail traffic going back and forth. In the Asbury Park area, the last set of manuals was at Route 33 / Corlies Ave. Just west (south) of there was a crossover and a then-busy freight yard. Always something on the "wrong" side moving back and forth. The Corlies Ave crossing shack was elevated so the operator could see a long distance in both directions. None of the rest of the crossings in that area, although manned, had gates by the 1970s. Those old timers were working out their last days on the railroad, and were a pleasure to talk to about the "old days". Sitting in a crossing shanty on a cold day, with the pot belly roaring hot, listening to stories about railroading in the good old days is something I'll never forget. All of those guys I knew are gone now.
Every 20 minute job is just one broken bolt away from being a three day ordeal.
GSC
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:10 pm
Location: NY&LB MP 29.2

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby rjgrubin » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:06 pm

davebdawg wrote:Why did some gates take so long to be switched over in this digital age???

An old State law in Massachusetts..and stubborn selectmen.When they redid the plant and got it down to two tracks eliminating the diamond that was the only way they could do it..They tried to do it in 1969 when they automated Bishop St. the next crossing east.. The New Haven lines still had cow bells at the crossings in the area..they are all gone now too. Old New England Railroading..
rjgrubin
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby Jtgshu » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:24 pm

Again, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, the private grade Xing at Monmouth Park still has gate watchmen, usually one on either side during the busier summer months and they close (roll) the fence gates across the road, blocking access to the tracks.
On the RR, "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see"
John, aka "JTGSHU" passed away on August 26, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.
User avatar
Jtgshu
 
Posts: 11744
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: MP 39.1

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby GSC » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:58 am

Jtgshu wrote:Again, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, the private grade Xing at Monmouth Park still has gate watchmen, usually one on either side during the busier summer months and they close (roll) the fence gates across the road, blocking access to the tracks.


Forgot about that. I remember the four old-style gates that were there.
Every 20 minute job is just one broken bolt away from being a three day ordeal.
GSC
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:10 pm
Location: NY&LB MP 29.2

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby JLo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:47 pm

Stockton Lake Blvd and Rt 71 in Manasquan was a manual crossing until sometime during the 60s. IIRC, after that, it was simply an ungated crossing for a period of time.
"One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor." George Carlin
JLo
 
Posts: 1662
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:36 pm
Location: Rather Be Anywhere But Here

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby steemtrayn » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:27 am

A few things I remember about the gates in Red Bank:

The crossing at Monmouth St. had a single red light instead of flashers.

The Monmouth St. gates (6 of them) were controlled by levers. The others were cranked.

Red kerosene lanterns hung from the gates.

There were no toilets. Sanitation facilities consisted of porcelain pans, which

were emptied onto the street after the gateman did his business.
Just be glad you don't have to press "2" for English.

If Cass Elliot shared her sandwich with Karen Carpenter, they'd both be alive today.
User avatar
steemtrayn
 
Posts: 756
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: Hudson County, NJ

Re: Manually operated crossing gates

Postby TSTOM » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:11 pm

steem -

Red kerosene lanterns hung from the gates.

Don't recall the keroseen but do remember the dangling red lanterns....which I don't believe flashed/pulsated on/off when gates were lowered as a couple do nowadays. I think they just lit-up electrically when the gates were activated.
TSTOM
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:39 am

PreviousNext

Return to New Jersey Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests