Here is a good brass heart shape switch lock and key set from the Atlanta & West Point Railroad. They work well together and would be a nice addition to any railway lock set collection.
THE LOCK is sound and solid and very heavy, and interesting with a taller than usual shackle. It is stamped A&WPRR on one side of its shackle and on the other is stamped J.H.W. CLIMAX CO. NEWARK. N.J. USA. It is well sprung: the dust cover resists being slid to the side and then snaps back shut sharply over the keyhole when released. Color is deep and attractive.
THE KEY is probably a little older than the lock, but works fine with it. The shape and style date it to the earlier 1900s. It is stamped A&WP in block letters that match the lock stamping, and a large number 1709 in a tall serif Roman typeface on the other. There is no maker mark on the key. The bit and barrel edges are rounded with some significant wear, but while the barrel is slightly thin on the very end it is sound with NO splits and has a lot of use left.
BACKGROUND: The A&WP ran from 1847 until 1983 in the state of Georgia, forming the eastern portion of the Atlanta-Selma West Point Route. With financial backing from a parent company, the A&WP in 1886 joined with the Western Railway of Alabama to operate as the "West Point Route." Through the remaining 1800s and into the 20th century, they were controlled through joint leases by the Louisville & Nashville railroad and the Central of Georgia Railroad, which sold out its lease in 1944. The Seaboard Coast Line then took control, with the A&WP becoming a "fallen flag" upon the 1970s creation of the Seaborad Railroad System.
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