Thursday, May 30, 2019

Crossing Gate Trouble in Snoqualmie

When I drove through Snoqualmie to the Northwest Railroad Museum train shed, the museum switcher was busy moving cars near the depot. When I came back there was quite a commotion and the switcher was stopped on a side track.

A car had run into the crossing gate and broke the shear bolts holding the crossing gate to the crossing arm with the counter weights. When I got here, help had just arrived and they opened the crossing gate control box. Ooooh! What an opportunity!

Of course I walked over, chatted a bit with the conductor, and took photos. Here's the inside of the crossing gate control box.

They unscrewed a contact in the box which caused the machinery to lower the crossing arm.

The crew moved the crossing gate back into its normal position and installed new shear bolts. These bolts are design to break and allow the crossing gate to swing out of the way when something (*cough* a car *cough*) hits the gate with sufficient force, instead of braking off completely.

The fix is relatively easy: Align the crossing gate to where it belongs, install new shear bolts (the copper bolts in the picture), and that's it.

While they installed the new bolts, a crew member holds the crossing gate in the right position.

All done.

Testing the sensors and proper gate operation.

All good. Let's continue with the switching chores.

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