Here at the railroad we have a drop pit. A section of track that is supported by 4 screws that are turned by this complex arrangement of gears and shafts. Takes about 20 minutes to drop the 10 feet or so to the bottom. The thing is run by a 25 hp motor. The motor is started by the item in question.
To start this thing the handle is moved to the start position, and when everything is turning, about 3 to 5 seconds or so, then you move the handle through the "off" into "run", prop the stick in it, and watch to make sure that you have the end of the car supported and you didn't forget to chain up the end of the truck.
My question is, The "starter"'s nameplate says that it is a GE starting compensator, # CR1034 K1B. It has an oil bath in the bottom, it's ancient.
We are looking to replace it with a more modern starter, (don't ask why) and I would like to know how this one works, and I can't find anyone who knows.
Does anybody here have any experience with these things? How does it work?
By the way, nobody knows why railroad signal hardware is 1/4-24.