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Latching Lever on Water Column

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Latching Lever on Water Column
Posted by staybolt on Monday, May 22, 2023 1:35 PM

I'm assembling Tichy's model of a Fairbanks Morse column. The orientation of the subject lever differs from that on a similar column here: https://donstrack.smugmug.com/UtahRails/Union-Pacific/UP-Steam-DDR/i-4fN6TVh/A


As you can see in the photo the lever arms are pointing upward when the column's  valve lever isn't being used, yet the latch lever arms in the Tichy model are pointing downward when the valve lever isn't being used. 

Wonder if anyone is familiar with the operation of this type of column, or could direct me to some on-line literature about it.  

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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, May 22, 2023 5:15 PM

Are the arms you're calling 'latch levers' actually a function of the spout counterweight?

https://www.tichytraingroup.com/Shop/tabid/91/p/8006-water-column/Default.aspx

The spout is up in the Tichy photo and the counterweight arm with the cross bar which supports two cables, rods or chains that attach to the spout is up as well.

The smaller lever at the front of the spout would actuate the underground valve.

Photo #2 on this page, link below, seems to represent the style of the Tichy column. I've seen severall varieties of counterweight and valve actuator designs on various columns.

https://www.cmrsclub.com/photography-of-ed-v

The Tichy instructions are erroneous in their parts description. What he calls the 'valve lever' is actually the spout counterweight and the so-called 'latch lever' is what operates the valve stem plunger. 

This photo taken at Strasburg shows the counterweight linkage pretty well and can be enlarged to see the detail better:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/23711298@N07/49210737541

 Scheffield-tall-crop by Edmund, on Flickr

I believe there IS a latch lever and it is the smallest lever on the end of the spout support arm and its purpose is to lock the water valve lever to prevent inadvertent opening of the hydrant valve.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by staybolt on Monday, May 22, 2023 10:23 PM

Hello Ed,

No, the latching lever is apparently a device that could be connected/latched to the valve lever so the fireman wouldn't have to hold the valve lever open (necessary if that lever was a spring-return design) while filling the tender. In the U.P. photo I linked the latch lever is the very small device near the base of the valve lever. It has two short arms projecting upwards, each arm at about a 45° angle;admittedly, it's very faint in the photo. The Tichy latch lever, however, is shown with its arms pointing downward in the drawing included with assembly instructions in the Tichy kit.

I realize I'm probably making too much of this (!), but I'm curious about how this latch lever worked.   

      -Chuck

 

P.S.- In the side view of the column you included at the end of your post one latch lever arm shows near the bottom of the valve lever.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, May 22, 2023 10:24 PM

I don't remember ever seeing a water tower or column that 'latched' in the down position.  I thought when you have adequate water you let go of the pull, the counterweight pulls the spout up (closing the foot valve) and the water shuts off.  But weight of the water in the spout would hold it down much more strongly than the spout-mass counterweight, so releasing the pull would close the valve and the spout would only retract after the water flow had stopped.

If it latched down and started to spill across the deck, there might be a slip hazard trying to get it turned off.

If I were going to implement a 'atch', it would be a toggle on the valve; it would work something like the device in a ball-point pen.  You'd pull the spout down and the valve would open and latch; then when you were done, you'd pull again and the valve would trip closed, and the counterweight would pull the spout up as the water flow stopped.

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Posted by wrench567 on Monday, May 22, 2023 11:29 PM

  Every video I have seen of a hostler filling a tank, he always has his foot on the spout. I don't think you would want the spout to latch in the flow position. That could get ugly in the winter.

      Pete.

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Posted by staybolt on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 1:17 PM

Ed,

 

Ok, so you evidently found a description of the purpose of the latch lever, viz. to prevent inadvertent opening of the valve rather than to keep it open while filling a tender. The volume per minute of water delivered by those columns was/is so great that I suppose it would only be tedious if the tender was practically empty. 

 

Guess that description is in the "Railroad Instruction Manals & Datalink you provided? I haven't had a chance to go through the whole pub. yet.

 

Thanks,

     Chuck

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Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, May 25, 2023 7:37 PM

  On YouTube there is an old railroad safety film that shows the right and wrong way to use a water spout at the 13:11 minute mark. The name is Why Risk you're life. A 1940s railroad safety film. Very interesting.

     Pete.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, May 25, 2023 7:56 PM

Easier access to the video:

Thank you, Ed

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Posted by staybolt on Thursday, May 25, 2023 11:11 PM

Hey there, Pete-

Thanks for posting this film link. With regard to my original question of placement and orientation of the latching lever, it appears that the fireman has used the latch function at the 13 min., 39 sec. point in the film. Although the latch lever is blurry, I can see it. Looks like he lets go of the valve lever and the latch mechanism prevents the valve lever from moving up to the shut-off position. 

       -Chuck

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Posted by wrench567 on Friday, May 26, 2023 7:41 AM

  The valve lever appears to be a simple over center link system. The placement of the lever looks like the spout will shut down the flow if the spout is raised. 

    Pete.

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Posted by wrench567 on Friday, May 26, 2023 7:45 AM

   Thank you Ed.

  Sometimes my tablet has problems posting links. And I keep getting the dreaded 403 forbidden error code. It tends to raise the blood pressure a tad, especially after writing a long reply.

      Pete.

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