Telegraph Lines

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Golfcoach

New Member
I am a novice railroad enthusiast.
While driving west out of St. Louis on I-70 there is a rail line that parallels much of the highway.
I am puzzled by the frequent occurrence of installation of fresh telegraph poles and cross members? It is obvious that many of the wires are hanging on the ground. Why does the railroad maintain these poles?
Thanks
Ed:confused:
 

Golfcoach

New Member
I'm in the dark

I was inquiring about the upkeep of telegraph poles. Your response was "signal circuits". I'd appreciate if you would expound.
Thanks
Ed:rolleyes:
 

roee

Active Member
They are telegraph poles, they are signal poles. Some signal circuits still use pole line to convey information. Also some of them are used for AC Power. There use to be much more carried by the wires, but I'm sure some have been abandoned.
 

Pat

Photo Critiques Welcome
The older automatic block signal systems were hard wired. Conditions in the blocks, interlocking etc were transmitted some distance down the track to the other signals, potentially miles, by wires on the pole lines. It sounds like some remnants of a hard wired system are still in service and the poles are being maintained. The pole lines were expensive to maintain. Newer systems make a greater use of buried cable and radio frequency.
 

Golfcoach

New Member
Signal Poles

While my memory is not what it used to be, I'm sure that what I found so confounding about these new poles and cross members was that they were out in the middle of nowhere. There where no crossings and the cross members had nothing on them. Could it be that there is some antiquated subsidy that the railroad gets for keeping the telegraph infrastructure in place?
 

roee

Active Member
Newer systems make a greater use of buried cable and radio frequency.
Actually most modern system actually use the rail. They put codes on the rail in the form of DC and AC circuits. Typically DC pulses for the wayside equipment, and AC frequencies for the crossings, of course there are applications of the opposite for each. It's pretty amazing what kind of information is traveling down the rails that are grounded.

There are still some uses for cables between locations like crossing starts for adjacent crossings. And the old code lines are mostly gone or going away and replaced with Radio Code Lines, although fiber is becoming more fashionable connecting the control points together. It's funny how thing go full circle.
 

Tacoma Tom

New Member
Those old telegraph poles are disappearing at a alarming rate. Even more so since the addition of solar power panels on the signals. The line from La Junta,Colorado to Santa Fe New mexico still has active telegraph poles with glass insulators on nearly the entire line which is several hundred miles. A good portion of that line still has semaphores. I noticed that each semaphore has 6 wires going to it from the pole. Does anyone know what these wires are for?
 




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