A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

November 15, 2014

A Mystery Key

Terry Heilman of Stafford Virginia contacted me requesting some information about a railroad key he dug from a house site on November 13, 2005 east of Dumfries, VA. He sent me this picture of the key.  Neither he nor I have been able to find out much about this key. If anyone knows more about this key or keys of this type, please post in the comments here, and or contact him directly at  703-441-1794. (He requested I list his telephone number). Thanks.
Mystery key from the USMRy.


  1. It looks like a typical pad lock key.

  2. I got that same key and the lock that goes with it. It is a U.S.M.R.Y. switch lock key. Nice find.

  3. I got that same key and the lock, it is a U.S.M.R.Y. Switch key. Nice find

  4. I dug a similar key here in The Plains. It’s a siding switch key from when the Union took over the railroads after the first battle of Manassas to keep the Confederacy from moving troops by rail again.

    1. Wow, Would love to see a photo of said key, there are very rare in the collecting field