The annexed engravings are views of an improved railroad switch, invented by James M. Dick, of Buffalo, . ., who has taken measures to secure a patent for the same. Figure 1 is a plan or top view of the improved switch ; figure 2 is a longitudinal ver-ical section of the same;, figure 3 is a transverse vertical section ; figure 4 is also a transverse vertical section. Similar letters refer to ike parts. The nature of the invention consists in the employment of springs and levers so arranged and adjusted to the switch, that the car wheels, as they pass, will operate upon the evers above mentioned, release the switch, and allow the springs to throw it in a line with the direct track. The switch is set in line with a branch track by an attendant, anc the cars after passing from the branch track upon the direct track operate upon the levers and produce the result mentioned. A represents the rails of a direct track; and C represent the rails of branch tracks and D are the short movable rails which connect with either of the above tracks. The movable rails are connected at one end by pivots, a to the sleeper, E, and in line with the direct track, A, the opposite ends ot the movable rails are connected by pivots, 6, to the slide or movable sleeper, F. The slide or movable sleeper, F, rests upon a cross piece, G, and flanches or projections, c, attach- ed to the slide, pass down on each side the cross iece, as seen in figure 2 ; these flanches keep he slide properly on the cross piece : H, figures 1 and 4, is a lever by which the slide, F, is moved, and the movable rails, D, put in line with either of the branch tracks, C ; 11' are elliptic springs, one placed at each end of the lide, and J is a stop attached to the lever, K, which lever, K, has its fulcrum at f, and is ttached by a pivot, g, to the connecting bar, ,, and the connecting bar, L is attached to a ever, M, having its fulcrum at h, and similar the lever, K. Both levers, , project up a short distance above the rails. ihere are two recesses, d e, (see figure 4) in the slide, F, in which the stop, J, fits. When the stop, J, is in the recess, d, the short movable rails, D, are in line with the branch rails, B, and when the stop is in the recess, e, the short movable rails are in line with the branch rails, C, figure 1. The stop, J, is forced into the recesses by the spring, N, which acts upon the lever, M, figures 1 and 2. ' are guards attached by a pivot, 2, to one side of the slide, F, and P, is a lever having two vertical pins or projections, //', upon it. 'he lever, P, has its fulcrum at k, by raising r depressing the end of the lever. P, thepins, j\ will act upon the guards and elevate ixem, so that the slide, F, may be moved. 'he guards prevent the slide from being moved accidentally. Operation.Suppose that the short mov-ble rails, D, are in line with the direct track, A, and it is desired to move them in line with the branch track, B. The end of the lever, P, is depressed by an attendant, and the pin, j', throws up the guard, O', and by drawing outward the top of the lever, H, the slide, F, is moved along until the stop, J, is thrown into the recess, d, by the spring, N, while in this position the movable rails, D, are in line with the direct rails, A, and branch rails, B, and secured in that position by the stop, J. Now, when a train of cars passes from the branch track, B, upon the direct track, A, the car wheels will depress the lever, M, and the stop, J, will consequently be withdrawn from the recess, (i,pd the elliptic spring, I, which was compressed when the slide, F, was moved, will, by expanding, throw the slide, F, back to its original position, and the movable rails, D, will be again in line with the direct track, A. The same operation is performed when the movable rails are in line with the branch rails, C, only the slide, F, is moved in an opposite direction, and the stop, J, fits in the recess, e. In case the movable rails, D, are set in line with either of the branch tracks, and the train is passing along on the direct track in either direction, the movable rails will be brought in line with the direct track as soon as the wheels depress either of the levers, . More information may be obtained by letter addressed to the inventor.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Railroad Switch" in Scientific American 8, 24, 188 (February 1853)