This is a hard to find key from the New York, Ontario & Western Railway. It was made for a passenger coach or caboose door.
NYO&WRR is strongly stamped on one side of its bow. There is no maker mark. There are two rings incised around the middle of the shaft.
It is just under 3.5 inches long, and has a solid steel shaft that is taking on a terrific, appealing patina and great color.
The bit edges are just slightly rounded so it has seen a little use.
Even the commoner switch keys from the O&W are hard finds. This key would be a great find and a terrific addition to any good collection of railroad locks and keys.
Background from Wikipedia: The New York, Ontario & Western Railway, more commonly known as the O&W or NYO&W, was a regional railroad with origins in 1868, lasting until March 29, 1957 when it was ordered liquidated by a US bankruptcy judge. The O&W holds the distinction of being the first notable U.S. railroad to be abandoned in its entirety. Its mainline extended from Weehawken, New Jersey in the greater New York City area to Oswego, New York, a port city on Lake Ontario. It had branch lines to Scranton, Pennsylvania; Kingston, New York; Port Jervis, New York; Monticello, New York; Delhi, New York; Utica, New York and Rome, New York. The part south of Cornwall, New York was operated over the New York Central Railroad's West Shore Railroad via trackage rights.
Improved highways ended the O&W's passenger service to the resort areas of the lower Catskill Mountains and lightly populated portions of upstate New York, with the last train from Walton, New York to Weehawken operating during the summer of 1948. The last passenger train (from Roscoe, New York to Weehawken Terminal) operated on September 10, 1953. The O&W began bankruptcy proceedings, from which it would never emerge, as early as 1937. Apart from total dieselization by the early 1950s, it became antiquated. The decrease of coal as a heating fuel for other than major power plants damaged its primary freight business, as did the end of rail transport of high-priority dairy products from upstate New York to the Metro New York City area. The federal government eventually recommended complete liquidation, which occurred on March 29, 1957.
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