Western Union Poles

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gawlikfj
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 4:05 pm
Location: Connecticut

Western Union Poles

Post by gawlikfj »

Why weren't the Western Union Poles taken out on the Springfield line and Maybrook line when they weren't used anymore ?

DutchRailnut
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Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Western Union Poles

Post by DutchRailnut »

Telegraph poles are railroad owned not westen union.
some poles still carry signal circuits.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Engineer Spike
Posts: 1925
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Re: Western Union Poles

Post by Engineer Spike »

The B&M bulletin had an article about the history of their communication systems. Their pole lines were originally owned by Western Union. They later sold out to the railroad, after telegraph was phased out.
On the D&H, I have seen some old poles with Western Union identification tags on them. Usually a utility pole will have a metal ID tag and numbers, identifying the owner. I have a friend who is a telephone lineman. They have to know who owns the pole (electric co., telephone co.). This is helpful when one gets destroyed by weather, a car hitting it, etc.
I am not saying that NH did not own the poles, but it could have happened at a later date.

trainsinmaine
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:23 pm

Re: Western Union Poles

Post by trainsinmaine »

Call me an oddball, but railroad telegraph poles have always interested me. That the railroads themselves owned them (at least in the latter two-thirds of the twentieth century) is obvious, I would say, because each railroad's poles had their own distinctive appearance. The number and length of the crossarms would vary, of course, from branch to branch, depending on the volume of traffic, but the New Haven's poles didn't look like the B&M's or the New York Central's. The insulators were different; the spacing between the crossarms was different.

I''ve long been annoyed that most rails-to-trails groups, when they gain control of ROWs, tend to remove most vestiges that would remind hikers and bikers that they're on an old railroad bed. This includes the telegraph poles.

gawlikfj
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 4:05 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Western Union Poles

Post by gawlikfj »

I agree the Telegraph Poles should be left along rail lines as a reminder that it was a Railroads Rail line.

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GOLDEN-ARM
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Location: " LVRR CRANFORD STATION, 1962"

Re: Western Union Poles

Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

I could see saving the poles, but as an insurance liability, they have to be removed. Imagine a rotted pole falling on a group of hiking Girl Scouts. The lawyers would have a field day. I'm also believing they might be sourced as a tax base, even if the amount of taxation was minimal, no? Better to save the signals, whistle boards, etc.,

CVRA7
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Location: Along the Canal Line

Re: Western Union Poles

Post by CVRA7 »

I also have an interest in railroad communication and signal lines - perhaps in some way due to my grandfather working for the phone company. From my observations, not only did the New Haven have its own "pole line signature" but many of the individual lines had their own style of communication line setup. The upper end of the Naugy, for instance, had a lot of 14 wire poles - 10 on the top crossarm, 4 on the bottom. I grew up along the Hartford main line near Springfield, and in that area we had signal lines on the west side, communication lines on the east. From what I remember and what I was told, the 4 wires on the top crossarm were high voltage - 2 of the 4 were for the cab signal system. The lower 1 or 2 crossarms were lower voltage. The comm. lines along the Hartford were generally spread over 3 crossarms. At Berlin the comm. lines were on the west, the signal lines on the east. The remnants of the Hartford main signal lines are common as some wires were used up until about 10 years ago.
Branches such as the Armory and Valley generally had 6 wires on a medium length 6 pin crossarm but I also seem to remember a 7th wire being attached to a peg that was attached directly to the pole - having an odd amount of wires does seem strange- maybe I remember wrongly!
The former HP&F route had a line with 3, 4, or more crossarms worth of wires - what must have been a major WU route.
Today few of the poles remain. On the Naugy there are some north of the Thomaston Station and a number on the post Thomaston Dam diversion up around Campville - these having been installed in the late 50s were a bit newer than most.
There are some old communication poles along the Hartford Main near where I work in Berlin, and over the years I have "mined" a good number of insulators in the area across from the station. Most of what I have found can be seen inside the ticket office window of the Berlin Station.

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