Help With Tool Found is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
Hello, this is my first post on this forum, so thank you for the assistance in advance. I recently came across some old railroad/trolley parts on Long Island and I’m having trouble identifying this tool pictured. I believe it’s a brake handle/reverser with a spring lock mechanism but can someone please help with some better detail as to what I have. It is quite old and doesn’t have any discernible markings other than the numbers shown.
Well you certainly picked a good subject for your first post. Really interesting tool.

I don't know anything about reversers, but that looks like a specialty crow-foot adapter wrench, of which millions have (and continue) to be made. EXCEPT for that spring-loaded thing on the open-end wrench. That feature moves this tool out of the "millons" category, but probably not one-of-a kind.

I think it's a crow foot adapter for placing a carriage bolt upward in a restricted space. The spring-loaded thing looks like it holds the bolt from falling out as it is moved into place. I say upward because of the orientation of the drive socket--the place where a ratchet wrench might be attached--but this is just intuition.

My intuition tells me that this would be great for holding a large carriage bolt until the nut was engaged and tightened until the wrench contacted the part; then you could slide the wrench out and use a pry to hold the carriage bolt up into it's slot till the nut was tight.

(Alternately you could tape this thing on to a ratchet and used it on the head of the designer who made such a tool necessary. Just sayin'...)

Let us know when you crack the case.


It's a slow day. Here'e my version of what this tool does. (I realize after I got it all sketched out that the bolt is too small. An open-end crow foot like this one would be for a 3/4-1 inch carriage bolt.)
Mystery Wrench v4.jpg is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)