A reverser handle is an operating control for a railroad locomotive that is used to determine the direction of travel. The reverser usually has three positions that include forward, reverse, and neutral.
When the reverser is in the forward or reverse position, the locomotive will move in the indicated direction when the throttle is opened. Removing the reverser handle from the control stand in the neutral position locks the throttle controller, effectively disabling the locomotive. The reverser lever is also known as a "railroad key."
This is a 6" vintage railroad locomotive engine reverser key handle made of brass that was used by the engineer to control direction or disable the train.