Green Cove

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Sun Nov 7 04:00:47 EST 2004

Date: Sat, 06 Nov 2004 22:03:32 -0600 
To: nw-mailing-list at 
From: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Green Cove

I'm building a model of the green Cove station and
want to put up the power pole.  How many insulators
did the cross-arms have at the station.  The model one
has what I think are too many

Larry Smith

November 7, 2004

Hello, Larry:

Based on photo observations at other locations on the
Abingdon Branch, there were four insulators.  With so
few, it was sometimes possible to omit the cross-arm
but in many cases one cross-arm had two insulators on
each side of the pole.

In the telegraphy era, the four wires were separate
circuits.  In most areas of the N&W, these basic four
were the dispatcher's wire, an N&W message line, a
local block line, and a Western Union circuit.

During the telephone era, two conductors were required
for a circuit.  These were usually the dispatcher's
line and a message line.  As Western Union traffic
declined, the occasional message was handled on the
N&W message circuit.  Otherwise, the N&W message line
was used for obtaining or receiving tariff quotes when
an office didn't have the applicable freight or
passenger tariff on hand, car orders, tracers,
sleeping car reservations, and any other company
business that did not involve train dispatching.

Best wishes,

Dr. Frank R. Scheer, Curator
Railway Mail Service Library, Inc.
f_scheer at
(202) 268-2121 - weekday office
(540) 837-9090 - weekend afternoons 
in the former N&W station on VA rte 723 
117 East Main Street 
Boyce  VA  22620-9639

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