Monday, April 18, 2005

Harp switch stand targets

From: "Randall Hees"

I am working on a mystery

Several of us did a photo survey of South Pacific Coast harp switch stand target and paint styles. It appears that originally the SPC followed CP/SP practice. This appears to be a circle with a crown, (at the top of the mast) and a diamond (at the middle,) both painted red, with a white outline.

We find the originally SPC stands have both targets, or only the top (crown), and later, after 1895 also in some cases have only the lower (diamond) but by 1895 the upper is white while the lower is dark (red)

There are also some stands with no targets, and some with a derail sign.

We know what the derail means, we assume the no target version is for yard or industrial tracks, but what do the two targets, diamond only or crown only arraignments mean?

Randy Hees
Please note, my email address is changing to


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


What's the nominal difference between the funnel stack, short diamond stack, and large diamond stack? Could you reference a few photos for me in Myrick, perhaps? By the way, I had generally assumed that funnel and diamond stacks indicated wood burners, and that straight stacks indicated coal or oil burners. I have seen photos of a few obvious exceptions.


4/19/2005 8:25 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From Myrick – RRs of Nevada

pg. 8, 20, 30 – classic funnel stack of 1860s CP. (several slight variants in top pg 30 view – different tapers.
pg. 31 – major variant of classic funnel stack – perhaps consider an entirely different type..

pg. 21 – large diamond stack (Stevens stack)

pg. 39 – about half way between a large diamond and a small diamond. Based on tender paint, this is probably a pre-"Stevens" stack.

From Beebe – CP & SP RRs

pgs 128-133 - CP Jupiter and UP 3119 at Promontory - Jupiter classic funnel, UP #119 straight stack and extended smokebox for coal

pg 54 - two variants of classic funnel - note taper can vary significantly.

pg. 325 top – major variant classic funnel.

pg. 332 top, 583 bottom - early version Stevens large diamond – 1876 view.

pg 31 drawing, 242, 319, 335, 359 - later large Stevens diamond stack – 1880s and later (including several vies in Monterey that are likely actually taken in 1880). Note coal in tender on pg 242.

pg. 33 upper right, 160, 167, 321 - classic small diamond stack

pg. 39 - Steven late 1880s straight stack and extended smokebox for coal.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

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4/19/2005 8:34 PM  

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