N&W telegraphy

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jun 22 01:20:06 EDT 2009

NW Mailing List wrote:

> Mike Weeks asks: "When did N&W stop using telegraphs?"


> That is a good question, Mike, for which I haven't seen definitive

> dates. It seems to have been around 1958 and may have varied by

> division. Telegraphy was supplanted by telephone usage for train

> dispatching prior to that year --again, exact dates by division are

> unknown.


> Good evening,


> Frank Scheer

> f_scheer at yahoo.com


I haven't seen or found anything yet on the N&W system, but noted the


The complimentary close following a transaction on the wire was '"73," a
symbol of fraternity. In 1967 a final '73 was transmitted across the
Frisco system, and with that, telegraphy was discontinued on the Frisco,
123 years after Samual Morse's 1844 message. Through the 1950's and
1960's, technological innovations in radio, telephone, and computer
combined to make Morse's message seem overly dramatic. But to those of
us who were the eyes and ears of the railroads, we were, like Mercury,
messengers for thundering giants."

The Railroad Telegrapher
by Jim Thompson


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