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:
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:
The body casting speaks of a bygone age of industrial might:
It’s been a long time since the General Railway Signal Company cast that iron in Rochester NY…