Switch Stands

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Switch Stands

Postby burrley » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:55 pm

I am trying to date Racor split switch stands and hardware. Any suggestions? Are there any diagnostic marks on stands indication manufacture date? Have the designs of hand-throw switches changed much over time? Any company history info on Racor? Thanks...
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Racor

Postby H.F.Malone » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:55 pm

Racor-- An acronym for Ramapo-Ajax Corp. They were based in Hillburn, NY (near Suffern on the Erie RR) in the "Ramapo Mountains" (really just big hills). Early stuff, around 1895-1910, was simply marked Ramapo Foundry Co. By the early 1950s, RACOR became part of American Brake Shoe Co. (ABEX) located in nearby Mahwah, NJ. ABEX closed up in the mid-1990s and RACOR product support and manufacturing vanished.

I have a few RACOR catalogs-- early 20s, mid 50s, late 80s. What items specifically are you trying to I.D.? Most of the switch stands have numbers, such as #17, #17-C, #22, etc.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby RussNelson » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:40 am

There's one such switch stand near me:
https://plus.google.com/photos/10235543 ... 8384375266
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby RONB » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:55 am

Gentlemen,
I discoverd your discussion this AM. I have had an interest in this style switch stand since first seeing it at the old MEC, Waterville Yard in Maine. Coincidentally, yesterday I discovered that the same signal (diffent colors) is used for the turnouts at Essex Station and museum in Essex, Connecticut.

There is also a stand at the old depot site in Hallowell, Maine. Very good condition.

The stands in Essex bear the name "Ramapo Ajax, Hillburn, NY" and "Racor" and the number, "E2229." The only dates I saw were copyright dates beginning in late 1800's and ending in early 1900's.

I hope this adds something to the general discussion.
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby dogsboss » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:45 pm

I need some advice on the adjustment of a Racor -in-pavement-switch operator w/ a spring loaded connecting rod. the problem is getting the flangeway wide enough so as not to allow the wheels to pick the point. If I get the points close enough together to leave enough room, at least one of them will not bear on the stock rail properly- either the connecting rod or spring within is faulty, or I'm missing some information. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Naturally, I' m pretty anxious to get it done!

Thanks much, Bob G.
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby dogsboss » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:26 pm

replying to H.F. Malone,
do any of your later catalogs for Racor include advice/instruction on adjusting 'submarine', i.e: underpavement machines with a sprung operating rod, (spring in a cylinder)? Any advice is welcome, & needed!
B.G.
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby Notnecessarilyfoamer » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:35 am

replying to H.F. Malone,
Actually the Racor brand is still alive and well.
Development and manufacturing of many of the more common stands from the ABEX days (22E, 36E, 31B, 112 & 336-EC).

http://www.voestalpine.com/nortrak/en/p ... chure.html (12MB pdf brochure)

ABEX went through a few more bankruptcies (ABEX -> ABC -> ABC-Naco -> Meridian) before being bought by Nortrak, a trackwork company that now seems to be involved in a number for trackwork and trackwork related fields.

replying to dogsboss,
I think the submarine switch you are talking about is an Ambidex switch stand.

The Ambidex is not one of the stands that is no longer supported.

What is the nature of hte issue you are having?

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Re: Switch Stands

Postby dogsboss » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:39 pm

The issue I'm having is getting the points to rest hard against the stock rails when the switch is lined, without having the opposite point fouling the flangeway on the other side. When I get one side good, the other is not so good. Logic says I have the points too far apart, but if I close the gap, one side or the other will not sit tightly enough on the stock rail. The stand is a Racor 336 w/ a spring loaded connecting rod, which poses another question: what sort of preload would be appropriate for proper functionality? It seems possible that there's excessive lost motion in the mechanism itself, it will move quite a bit before any action occurs.
I hope I don't sound to ignorant, but any advice would be very welcome, Thanks. BG
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby polybalt » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:59 pm

I don't know anything about in street split-point switch machines. Streetcar lines and many railroads used single point turnouts in the street, where only one of the two points moved at all. However normal split-point machines have basically three adjustments. The first may be on the connecting rod that holds the two points a fixed distance apart If this rod adjustment is correct, whenever one point lies against the stock rail, the other will always be the correct distance from the other stock rail (typically 6 or 6.5 inches). This is not adjusted in the switch machine, but on the connecting rod. On many switches, this is not adjustable, since it should never change. Often the clips that hold the connecting rod to the actual point has a series of three offset holes, by moving the connecting rod bolt between holes, the distance between points can be adjusted.

The second is an adjustment that determines how far the switch rod itself moves. This is usually under the switch machine and consists of a screw eye bolt that moves back and forth when the switch is thrown. The switch rod connects to the eye with a clevis. It may be possible to take off the clevis and unscrew the eyebolt. The more threads that are showing, the longer the throw. The third adjustment, which usually needs adjustment from time to time, is a fine adjustment used if one side is too hard to throw and the other doesn't pull up to the stock rail when thrown. The adjustment is underneath the cast cover on top of the machine. It should be possible to rotate or remove this cover to expose the mechanism inside The should be a number of small wedges which can be moved when the stand is halfway thrown from one side to the other to adjust the exact point where the pivoting is stopped.

Normally on a spring switch, the actual switch points are held together by a rigid bar, so the points are always the same distance apart (unless adjusted as mentioned above), and move back and forth together as a unit with no movement between the two points. The spring is between this connecting bar and the actual switch rod, which connects to the switch stand. There are usually adjustments on the switch rod at this connection to adjust spring tension and/or make fine adjustments to the throw.

It sounds like your switch points are two close together if one side makes up while the other side is too close to the stock rail. I would check that the two points are rigidly connected together, with no relative motion, and the proper distance apart first.
Peter Schmidt
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Re: Switch Stands

Postby dogsboss » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:25 am

Peter, thanks for the quick reply. The majority of the switches in our yard are Racor # 22, which are just as you describe. They are trailable, have 2 rigid connecting rods holding the points a fixed distance apart, attached to the points with multi-holed clips for adjustment purposes. The the rod furthest from the frog is attached to a throw rod with a clevis at each end, connecting as you point out, to a threaded eyelet with which the throw can be lengthened or shortened. The model 336 on the other hand, has the 2 points connected with 2 pieces of heavy all-thread, connected with a turnbuckle for adjustment. The further piece of all-thread is threaded both left & right, so the turnbuckle will adjust the point spread. The throw rod is what is puzzling me. It consists of a heavy steel tube,with a spring inside, actually a spring within a spring, that con be compressed via a piece of all-thread going thru the cap with a clevis at the end to attach to the switch stand eyelet, and a nut to increase or decrease the preload on the spring. This mechanism does not appear to change length with the adjustment of the preload. The 336 stand has shims (washers), to adjust the throw. There is a lot of lost motion in this mechanism. the throw lever will move quite a bit before the points will move, even though I have the shims placed for maximum throw. The arrangement of the all-thread connecting the points is pretty flimsy, compared to the model 22. Each point is separately adjustable by means of lock nuts with bushings going thru a hole in the stock rail.
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Re: Racor

Postby rwferr » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:19 pm

H.F.Malone wrote:Racor-- An acronym for Ramapo-Ajax Corp. They were based in Hillburn, NY (near Suffern on the Erie RR) in the "Ramapo Mountains" (really just big hills). Early stuff, around 1895-1910, was simply marked Ramapo Foundry Co. By the early 1950s, RACOR became part of American Brake Shoe Co. (ABEX) located in nearby Mahwah, NJ. ABEX closed up in the mid-1990s and RACOR product support and manufacturing vanished.

I have a few RACOR catalogs-- early 20s, mid 50s, late 80s. What items specifically are you trying to I.D.? Most of the switch stands have numbers, such as #17, #17-C, #22, etc.


Mr. Malone, I am looking for drawings and photographs of a Racor #112G switch stand. Would you happen to have any information on this model in your catalog collection? I'm asking because I'm considering having it reproduced by Shapeways. It was widely used by the Great Northern Railway which I am modeling. Overland offered this switch stand in brass some years ago, but is no longer available. Interestingly, this model of switch stand is still available from this firm:
http://www.voestalpine.com/nortrak/en/p ... 112E-112G/ in the full size version.

Thanks in advance,

Ron Ferrel
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