Mechanical Railroad Switch Actuator: Relic of the Empire

Once upon a time, the current Dutchess Rail Trail was an active railroad line, complete with all the usual switchgear and signals. This relic, abandoned in place near the east entrance to the Walkway Over the Hudson, looks like it changed the direction of motion at a right angle:

DCRT Abandoned Switchgear - rod in tree trunk

DCRT Abandoned Switchgear – rod in tree trunk

I think the rod near the top of the picture came from a control lever, with the clevis to the right attached to a rod that moved the switch points.

And, yes, the rod passes right through that tree trunk. The metal gadgetry just in front of the trunk once captured the rod between rollers:

DCRT Abandoned Switchgear - rod in tree trunk - detail

DCRT Abandoned Switchgear – rod in tree trunk – detail

The body casting speaks of a bygone age of industrial might:

DCRT Abandoned Switchgear - General Railway Signal Co casting

DCRT Abandoned Switchgear – General Railway Signal Co casting

It’s been a long time since the General Railway Signal Company cast that iron in Rochester NY…