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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

More Union Station: 1908

More Union Station: 1908

Washington, D.C., c. 1908-1910. "Switch yards, Union Station." Lefthand section of our railyard panorama. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

Double Slip Switch

That type of switch is called a double slip switch, a maintenance nightmare to do repair work on. It looks simple, but it's quite complicated in mechanical and electrical set up & controls for the signals as well.

It's possible to travel over it as if it was a simple "X," but also to enter one leg of the X and leave via the other leg that is on the same side. A very clever piece of trackwork. When the foreground train has departed, the one in the back can advance to the double slip and be switched to either the same track as the departed train, or to the adjacent track, behind the walking man.

Coming & Going

The adjacent track switch seems to be four-way, as to which two directions it joins. It's sort of a Rubik's cube to set, I bet.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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