Ok, here we go..
First we have a Bethlehem model 1222 parallel throw switch stand. In tight areas these are mounted between the points or right next to them.
Building on the 1222, (Its now made by sombody else, Dont recall who), in paved areas they are often mounted in a steel box with a hinged diamond plate lid. Racor made a variant of this with a cast steel box (you could lock the switch) with a hinged lid. These are called submarine switches for obvious reasoning. Over time they get filled with crap, water, mud, sand, etc.. These can also be mounted several feet away next to a curb to get out of the beaten path of trucks, etc. As you can imagine, they destroy them.
Here is a Tom Bukre photo from ChicagoSwitching.com of one of the Racor's.
In the older areas, used in conjunction with girder rail are tongue and nape switches (single point). Simple operation, use a crowbar to force the point over and put a steel wedge in to keep it. These are slow operating switched, usually with tight radius.
The modern day variation uses the same concept, crowbar and wedge, but uses 2 points.