Steam engine tires as fire gongs

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Steam engine tires as fire gongs

Postby hondajohn » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:47 pm

I frequently drive between CT and Albany along RT22, and noticed, in front of the Fire House in Dover Plains, a round, suspended "fire ring" that I presume can be used as a triangle or bell when hit. It dawned on me recently, that the contour and lip on its circumference perfectly match the standard profile of a rail wheel. I believe what we have here is a steel "tire" from an unknown steam locomotive drive wheel. Can anyone shed light on this situation? I know these parts were designed to be easily replaced and were considered consumables, so its likely that a single locomotive would go through multiple sets throughout its lifetime. Does this have some significance, or was it simply a conveniently shaped piece of scrap metal that they found? This isn't the only instance of this that I have seen, but I can't remember where the other one is.

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Re: Steam Locomotive Part in Dover Plains

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:50 pm

Mahopac fire house on route 6 has simular wheel tire, the were very common in yesteryear and are still used by european railroads
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Re: Steam Locomotive Part in Dover Plains

Postby med-train » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:36 am

There is one in Lyndonville, NY. The NY Central "Hojack" Railroad went through Lyndonville.
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Re: Steam Locomotive Part in Dover Plains

Postby RichM » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:57 am

These were common "fire alarms" along the West Shore towns in New Jersey and Rockland County as well. Now I'm wondering if it was a railroad "community assistance" program for its time, and way to dispose of used material.
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Re: Steam engine tires as fire gongs

Postby Alek9997 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:57 pm

Until as late as the 1930's, the original fire station here in Brookfield, NY used a steam locomotive wheel as a fire gong. Used to cause some nearby windows to rattle from what I was told...

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Re: Steam engine tires as fire gongs

Postby mwichten » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:27 am

There is one still standing on Fire Island in front of the Fair Harbor Fire Department. The sign on the support states it was erected in 1931 at 5th and Central Walks before being moved to its present location in 1960. There is no mistaking its origin. I have a second photo of one that I found off the beaten path along a trail on that same trip.

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Re: Steam engine tires as fire gongs

Postby k9bucket » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:57 pm

Firehouse on ST-9W in Port Ewen (just south of Kingston, NY) has one out from, right on the road.
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Re: Steam engine tires as fire gongs

Postby GSC » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:46 am

Hamilton FD in Neptune NJ has one on display in front of their newer firehouse, moved from the old house some years ago. It is just for decoration, and a nice display of flowers and landscaping surround it.

Many Jersey Shore firehouses still have them.

Notice that the tires are cut, giving them that gong / huge tuning fork sound. If they weren't sliced, they would sound like a cement block when struck.

Also notice how thin most of them are, worn down and practically unusable on locomotives. Scrap them or give them away. They had to be useless, as railroads didn't thrown anything away that could be used somehow later, recycling long before it became the thing to do.
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