N&W Orders Telephones for Train Dispatching, 1910

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Apr 22 15:47:28 EDT 2014

>From the magazine Signal Engineer, January 1910 (vol. 2, p. 288.)

"The Norfolk & Western has recently placed orders for four complete telephone train dispatching circuits, from Norfolk to Crewe, 27 stations, 130 miles; Crewe to Roanoke, 27 stations, 130 miles; and Portsmouth, O., to Columbus, O., 22 stations, 100 miles. These circuits, in addition to the two circuits now in operation between Roanoke and Bluefield and between Bluefield and Williamson, will complete the telephone dispatching equipment for the entire main line between Norfolk and Columbus, O., about 700 miles, with about 125 stations equipped. The telephone apparatus for all these circuits was purchased from the Western Electric Company. Mr. W. C. Walstrum, superintendent of telegraph, reports that the two circuits now in operation are giving excellent service."

I sent this to Mr. Paul Wills, E.E., a Communications Engineer and a telephone equipment historian, and asked what type equipment the N&W might have purchased. Here's Paul's comment:

"I don't think the 60 Type AC selectors were out in 1910. It
was probably the 50 type DC selectors. They used DC pulses
which ratcheted up a contact wheel to select the particular
station. It actually could use two strings of pulses. The
first digit would step up the wheel to close a shorting
contact that would slow the release of the magnet until the
second string of pulses started which would select the
second digit."

-- abram burnett

Sent to you from my Telegraph Key...

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