Following up to David Willoughby's excellent write-up on La Mesa Model Railroad Club's Spring Switch installations, let's have a quick look at where SP used spring switches on the Tehachapi Sub, mostly in CTC limits, and over the Mojave Sub, which was still Train Order-Timetable territory.
|AT&SF 140 LAC, entering CTC at the end of Double Track at Bena.|
Demo Video of Spring Switches in Operation
Tehachapi Sub - Spring Switches, September 1955 ETT SI No.6
The spring switches at the east end of Bena are installed for non-CTC operation on both the main and siding. The main track switch is set for Westward track and the east siding switch is set for the westward main track.
|End of Double Track switch complex at Tehachapi with controls and track diagram. (Note switch to Nos.2 & 3 Sidings being rebuilt in this shot.)|
The spring switches at Tehachapi as modeled include the pre-CTC spring switches at the west end on the main track and No.1 siding. These two switches were made CTC controlled switches during the prototype's upgrades in 1943. The end of double track switch on the main track in front of the depot is also a spring switch, allowing for movements onto the single track main west of the station.
Summit's east switch is also set up as a spring switch, which makes sense as it is entering a section of higher speed track, and the brakemen would have been busy cutting out the helpers at the wye near the west end of the siding for the last 20-30 minutes, getting air tests, etc. Best to get the train moving again and down the hill to Mojave without leaving a tired brakeman 3 miles from Tehachapi or Monolith!
Bakersfield Engine Lead
|Yard diagram showing the spring switch just above the word "Pullman"|
Mojave Sub - Spring Switches, September 1955 ETT SI No.6
The heavy use of spring switches makes the rear brakeman's life so much easier, because he does not have to drop off, line the switch for the main, and then run after the caboose when the train is departing the siding. When working on heavy grades, such as the climb from Palmdale to Vincent and down the Soledad Canyon to Newhall, especially at night.
Tehachapi Operations (Part 2) - "Mojave Shorts" Symbol
Freight Symbols Over Tehachapi Index