Although railroads haven’t always been as mechanized as they are today, railroad maintenance is a critical aspect to railroad functionality and public safety. Back in the 19th century, railroad maintenance work was completed with manual labor also known as gangs who could be found along the railroad track maintaining its upkeep. 

Today, we rely on an entire ecosystem of locks and switches that are unmanned by daily workers. This lock ecosystem must stand up to external conditions, even harsh and unusual external conditions. A critical element to this ecosystem includes an environment padlock. According to, the right padlock is “designed for harsh outdoor conditions.”

In a LockLab article written by Army Commander Bosnianbill of Seneca Army Depot in Upstate New York, Sargent & Greenleaf locks were a significant part of his army base’s operations. The Commander described the locks as “some of the toughest padlocks ever manufactured.” He went on to compare the internal design of the locks to leading manufacturers + greater reliability. He performed rigorous testing on the locks to prove its durability.

As noted in a recent blog by, “to find out if a padlock is truly resistant to the environment you must look into the inner workings of the lock.” In fact, there are a minimum of 6 critical factors to consider when purchasing an environmental padlock:

Critical Considerations:

  1. Is the outside finish of the padlock resistant to water, salt, rust and moisture? Could it survive physical attacks?
  2. How does the inside of the padlock function?
  3. Is the inside of the lock resistant to the extreme environmental conditions?
  4. What keying options are available? i.e. Master keyed, Keyed Alike/Different, can it be re-keyed?
  5. Has independent testing been done on the complete padlock?
  6. Where has the padlock been used? (railroads, boats, docks, cargo/freight, trucks, trailers, etc.)

The current Administration has vowed to use 2021 to spark “the second greatest railroad revolution” and ensure that “America has the cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world – for passengers and freight.” That makes this railroad maintenance season more critical than ever.  

The Sargent & Greenleaf Environmental Padlock is designed with unique features to protect against both physical attacks and extreme environmental conditions. The weatherproof padlock ensures security and easy operation even with regular exposure to extreme heat or freezing temperatures, rain, and dirt – setting the standard for Railroad security industry with:

Key Features:

  • Self-cleaning cylinders and unique flow-through drain holes to open quickly even in extreme conditions,
  • Rugged Double-balled lock construction to protect against physical attacks, including shimming, pulling, cutting, sawing and leverage attempts,
  • Coated inside and uut with electrolysis nickel plating to resist corrosion,
  • Unique key-retaining design with controlled or restricted distribution. Available keyed alike or keyed different.
  • Contact one of the Sargent & Greenleaf Lock Solutions Specialist to discuss your specific hardware needs.

Environmental Padlocks

S&G is committed to the security of your business.  See which locking solution best fits your needs.