Here is what appears to be a later switch lock and key pair from the Virginian Railway. They work very well together.
THE LOCK is brass with an all over pebbled background. It was made by Yale and has that mark in a raised back panel. The clevis and clevis pin are free. The chain appears original.
THE KEY also is brass. It has a terrific darkening, rich color and patina. This key has VGN stamped on one side of its bow. On the other side is stamped SW ("switch"). There is no maker mark, but it interchanges with a "twin" Yale lock that is marked VGN (our item 6579) and that lock's key.
BACKGROUND: The Virginian Railway (reporting mark VGN) was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. It operated between 1907 and 1959 when it was taken over by the Norfolk & Western. According to Wikipedia: The Virginian Railway was conceived by a brilliant civil engineer, coal mining manager, and entrepreneur, William Nelson Page, who had a millionaire industrialist, Henry Huttleston Rogers, as a partner.
Together, they built a well-engineered railroad that was virtually a "conveyor belt on rails" to transport high quality "smokeless" bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port on Hampton Roads, near Norfolk, Virginia. Completed in 1909, the Virginian Railway was largely financed through Rogers' personal fortune. It was a modern well-engineered railroad with all-new infrastructure and could operate more efficiently than its larger competitors. It achieved best efficiencies in the mountains, rolling piedmont, and flat tidewater terrain. Known for operating some of the largest and best steam, electric, and diesel motive power, it became nicknamed "Richest Little Railroad in the World."
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