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Canadian Rail 425 1991

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Canadian Rail 425 1991

Canadian Rail §
No. 425
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991
2~===–__ –
CANADIAN RAIL
PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY BY THE CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO
-EDITOR: Douglas N. W. Smith
PRODUCTION:
A. Stephen Walbridge
CARTOGRAPHER: William A. Germaniu
k.
LAYOUT: Fred F. Angus
For your membership in the CRHA. which includes a
subscription to Canadian Rail, write 10:
CRHA, 120 Rue St-Pierre. 5
1. Constan!. Que. J5A 2G9
Rales: In Canada: $29 (including GST).
outside Canada: $25. in U.S. funds.
PRINTING: Pracet Printing
..———TABLE OF CONTENTS
RAILWAY TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE ………………………………………… ROBERT G. BURNET 183
CRHA COMMUNiCATIONS …….. ,. ………….. . 218
Canadian Rail is continually in need of news, stories, historical dala. photos, maps and other material. Please send all contributions the
editor: Fred F. Angus, 3021 Tratalgar Ave. Manllea], P.O. H3Y 1 H3. No payment can be made for COfltributions. but the comributer wi!!
be given credillor material SUbmll,1ed. Matena! Wilt be returned 10 theCOfltribulOf il requested. Remember ·Knowledge is olliltle value unless
II is shared With olhers.
Frederick F. Angus
RC. Ballard
Jack A. Bealty
Waller
J. Bedbrook
Alan C. Bla
ckburn
NATIONAL DIRECTORS
Hugues W. Bonin J. Christopher Kyle
Robert Carls
on William Le Surl
Charles De Jean Bernard Martin
Gerard Frechette Robert
V.V. Nichol!s
David W. Johnson Andr
ew W. Panko Douglas
NW, Smilh
Lawrence
M. Unwin
Richard Viberg
A. Stephen
Walbridge
J
ohn C. Weir
The CRHA has a number of local divisions across the country. Many hold regular meetings
and Issue newsletters. Further infOffTlaJon may be obtained by ~tnling 10 the division. FRO/Vf COVER. AlxlIIl 1950 (I CNIl
NEW BRUNSWICK DIVISION
po 80>< liS SaInI.IoM N 9 E2I.. 4G7
ST LAWRENCE VAllEY OIVlSION
P 0 80>< 22, sw.cn8
I~PO H383J5
RIOE.4U VllEY OoIVlSKlN
P06O>.~
SfnIItIIF.,Onr K7A~
KINGSTON ~VISION
P 0 Bo. IOJ. Slatloo 0 … 0
KrqsIon, On! K7I.t 6P9
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
P 0 80>< MAg T ___ A
ToruIIo, o-c. MSW lP3
NIAGAR- D!VlSION
PO b5Q3
51 ~ Or-. l2R 6W8
WWDSOR-ESSEX DIVISION
XII) c-. RIal EaIII
………. 0rW. N9G lA2
KEYSTONE DIVISION
1.
FWynokIs Bay
WinnorJ-u. lQn. R3K otM
CALGooUlya SOUTH WESTERN DIVISION
&0 100 4th A … H-E.
~. AIbeRf, ill ~
AQCI(Y MOUNTAIN DIVISION
PO. 80011102, StaIlDn C
Edmonton. Alberta T58 lNQ
SELKIRK DIVISION
PO aoo:N
Reve!s()j< •. B C vee 2SO
CROWSNEST & KETTLE VALLEY DIVISKlN
PO 8o.4OQ
ClIWIbtooI<.BC. VIC.H9
NELSON ELECTRIC TRAMWAY SOCIETY
123 VIIrw SV_
N&IIon.BC V1LlV8
PflINCE GEOAGE-NECHAKQ.FRASER OMSION
PO Bo.~
~ Geo PACIFIC COAST DIVISION
PO Bo. lOO1!. SIabon °A
V~!lOOVYff e C VOC:?Pl
Inllli diSIKJlcher posld for Ihis cll/.Ui<
photo. Null Ihe proll1/11elll posillo/l of rhe
Idlpholll and Ih … I·Itc/01 I}()o(/rd, as well
rI.t rlre slIIalltilleb()(lffl (l1Il} plllg ,ires/or
ptj(clrillg ami groll/utilrg 1tItgrofh ri/,­
(lIiIS,
CNR Arclrhls, MOil/real. PhOI() N(),
X 17568,
As par1 Oof its activities. the CRHA operates
lhe Canadian Railway Museum 81 Oe(son I
51. ConSlanl, Que. which (s about 14 miles
(23 Km.) from downtown Momreat. It is
open Irom !ale May tOo early October (dally
until Labour Day). M
embers, and their Im­
mediate
tami~es. are admitted tree of charge,
()OJ.LOf llE ASSOCIATION THE COlLECTl()N ~ESERV~TION,NO DISSEMINATION Of ITEMS RELATING TO THE HISTOAY OF RAILWAYS IN CAN~DA
IJOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CAIJADIAIJ RAIL Page 183
The Railway Telegraph and Telephone
By Robert G. Burnet
I. TELEGRAPH BACKGROUND
Human communication and the need to communicate has always
been essential.
Long ago people went to extremes to pass along
news, warn others
of danger, help those who were ill, and even
gossip.
The unassisted human voice is limited and can only travel
smalJ distances.
To overcome this shortfall, drums once sent
stylized secretive codes;
smoke signals on hills developed, as did
the semaphore flags and
Roman signalling towers. But the idea
remained the same -to talk and
connect with other people over vast
distances. Such was the case when Morse developed the telegraph,
and Bell, the telephone.
Born on April 27th,
1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, Samuel
Finley Breese Morse was the eldest
of three brothers. Samuels
father, Jedidiah was a clergyman in one of Bostons Calvinistic
churches and a noted geographer -his mother was Elizabeth Ann
Breese. Samuel always had an interest
in art, specifically painting.
His talent was so obvious he attended Yale University
in 1805,
graduating 1810.
To further develop his artistic skills, he studied
in London and Paris. When the United States Capitol Building was
being built, Morse applied to do interior paintings, but the President
rejected Morse over a trivial personal matter. This rejection
caused him to virtually abandon painting as a career. (Morse died
April 2, 1872 and
is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn,
New York.)
Morse was the first inventor
of the electro-magnetic telegraph. In
1831, Professor John Henry (1797-1878) published a descriptive
theory on the magnetics
of an electro-magnetic telegraph. He also
produced an electro-magnetic telegraph to demonstrate the concept
of his theory. Henry … had discovered the electro-magnetic force
which aided Morse in his discovery
of how to apply that theOIY to
an up-and-down
movement of a metallic mechanism.! While
returning to the USA from Europe aboard the packet ship Sully,
he began to question transmitting electrical current along wire.
Roughly six years passed, from idea to application. In January
1838, Morse and his long time associate, Alfred Vial, sent their
first telegraph from the Speedwell Village Iron Works Factory in
Morristown, New Jersey.
The message keyed to Morse was: A
patient waiter is no loser.2
After Morse became a professor at
New York University, he
performed a practical
example of the theory. The demonstration
consisted
of stringing 1700 feet of wire about the walls of the
university.3 This was positive evidence that the theory worked.
In February 1838, he repeated it for the US House Committee of
Congress. While Congress debated the grant, Morse applied for a
patent in England.
The English government turned him down,
citinga scientific magazine which had published an article describing
the results
of Morses electro-magnetic telegraph but did not
describe the method
of its operation. Morse then went to France
and was granted a French patent -the US patent was granted some ten years later, but was made retroactive.
On February 23, 1843,
a Bill was passed by Congress, … appropriating $30,000 for
building a test line between Baltimore and Washington [some 40
miles apartJ …
The line was along the right-of-way of the Baltimore
and Ohio RailRoad.4 It was along this railway line that Morse
first tried underground cable. A special tool had been made
to dig
a trench and bury the cable.
The wire was placed in lead pipes,
connected and sealed together. At one point the connections were
tested, and a short was discovered. Morse and his colleague,
Cornell, then began stringing the wire
in tree branches and making
temporary poles. Glass bottle necks served as the first insulators
for the wire.
The circuit itself was a series circuit where one line
sends and the other
is earth return. Original D.C. power was
supplied by copper sulfate cells, which deteriorated rapidly when
the key was
in an open position, therefore, early operators were
instructed to always close the key while on standby to conserve
power. Finally, on May 24th, 1844, the US
Supreme Court gave
Morse the official decision. Annie Ellsworth –
daughter of H.E.
ellsworth, the Commissioner
of Patents -selected the first telegram
and handed it to Morse. It was from the Court bui Iding that Morse
sent to Vail, as he waited
in the Baltimore and Ohio Railways
Mount Claire station, the first telegram, quoting from the Bible,
Numbers 23:23: What hath God Wrought, sig SFB Morse.
The North American Telegraph was now established.
It
is interesting to note that Morse was not the sole inventor of a
telegraph system. Many others worked on different approaches.
The first electric telegraph can be traced to a detailed article
written in a 1753 science magazine published
in Scotland, signed
C.M. only. The writer also advised the use of insulated electrical
wire to protect it from the weather; he even suggested sending a
code using the 26 letters of the alphabet, however, each letter
required its own wire.
Two Englishmen experimenting with
another form
of telegraph wire were William Fathergill Cooke
(1806-79) and Charles Wheatstone (1802-75).
Their 1837 telegraph
was called a
needle visual telegraph, in that one could read the
letters on a display board; the operator then
put the letters together
to form the alpha-numeric characters. Their first test line was
constructed between Paddington (London) and
West Drayton,
along the London and North Western Railway right-oF-way. By
1839, the Great Western Railway was using this telegraph system
for train operations. Their needle telegraph showed how valuable
a communication tool
it could be with the capture of John TaweJl.
Tawell had been spotted boarding a train at Slough, after committing
a brutal murder. As the train travelled
to Padding ton, his every
move was reported by railway telegraph operators to the police.
Once into Paddington Station, he was arrested. The needle
telegraph
of Wheatstone and Cooke had been the key player in his
arrest. Italso established their telegraph as a viable tool. Interestingly,
Wheatstone and Cooke had examined
Morses electro-magnetic
telegraph, but had dismissed it as not being commercially profitable
to develop, and they dropped it in favour
of their own.
Page 184 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
TIIF.
AMERICAN
ELECTRO MA GNETIC TELEGRAPH:
RErORTS OF CONGltESS)
o F ALL TEL E G It A P II S J{ NOW N ,
ILLIfSTIATED llY :IGIITY-ONI: WOOD ENGIt,IVINCS_
_ UY ALFRED VAIL,
A1IIISTANT SUrERINT£NDENT OF EL&C. ~IA(l. TEl,.. FOR TilE U •••
CAII~TTII(JU ~r.tin Ufll1TNIIH~, ynAT TIIF.Y ~lAY fin, ,0,110 ,,~y IlIITO TIIF,I!, IUO … • wr. … nllr-J~
rn III ~;~~r~~~ ~,:;, rl::~~ ~ ::~, ~.:: i~;,,~:~;, ~ ~ :~., :::::~, :~~ I.l:;~,: :~~:,.:~;;~ ~I.~~;:; :::;::.~~.(,h ~r~l: ::~: :I~:[, ,,..~ :~:
IVnI:r, I~ 11111) 11111 til walln,tlh ,·lInlI 0, lll~ ~k(lr 11~IIIII, ~f(111I-1I1I,111 HIli 1111111
:i~::~rr~,~,~:I:;~~I~:::;~:;:~~~;;~~;:/1~;l~~~;,J ;~~::.;:r{:~~:I.,~~:;1 ,r,c~, ttl~d,!: III It· ,e: rllne·
111:1.0 c..:o …. U, V.lf~ 0 h …. Ofa 0 II. n., 1815.
PIJILADELPIIJA,
LEA &. [lLANCHARD.
1845.
The lille page of one of the earliest books on the lelegraph.
The book was writlen by Alfred Vail and published in 1845.
Collection
of Fred Angus_
In the USA and Canada, the telegraph had a different beginning.
The telegraph was first used on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
on May
24,1844. Later, the Erie Railroad became the first railroad
to use the telegraph to
dispatch trains, which came about accidently
on
September 22, 1851. Superintendent Charles Minot was on a
train
in a siding waiting for a late train to pass_ Minot learned from
the
commercial telegraph operator, that it had not yet reached
Goshen,
13 miles away. Minol sent a wire to the Goshen agent to
hold the train until his
own train proceeded to Goshen_ The
locomotive engineer refused to proceed upon such an order and
Minot took the throttle.
The advantage of the telegraph for
speeding up train
operations was proved and was gradually adopted.
About
half a century later the telegraph was supplemented by the
u
se of the telephone circuit. (Dots and Dashes, May 1943 –
C.N.R-s Telegraphs publication / G_ Horner) By 186/, telegraph
wires
spanned the continental USA from Missouri to San Francisco,
replacing the fabled Pony Express on
October 24, 1861. It is
significant to note that the US military exploited the telegraph for
improved military communications_
The Union Army, during the
American Civil War made effective use of mobile telegraph units.
In Canada, Louis Riel unwittingly helped to establish the telegraph
with the Rebellions out west in the 1880s. In short,
Morse invented the telegraph key and Code_ A total of 62
persons
claimed to have invented a telegraph, but Morse made the
first practical application
of Henrys elecu-o-magnetic theory. The
Morse Code itself, developed with Alfred Vails assistance, lasted
virtually unchanged until the
mid-I920s
6
Around 1855, Morse wanted to prove how fast and efficient his key
and
Code were at the Paris Exposition_ The first telegraph Morse
invented was like a teletype machine, in that paper was pulled
through under a punch. As the tape
moved along a guide, a large
V was imprinted on it. By counting the Vs and making note of
their relationship and spacing to one another, it was possible to
translate the
V back into a numeral or letter, and in turn a word_
Several months before the Exposition though, Jimmy Leonard, age
15 and his friend
Joseph Fisher, successfully demonstrated receiving
55 words in one minute. This feat was brought to Morses attention
and he was astounded.
What Leonard was doing was reading
Morses Code by sound rather than deciphering coded tape -these
two teenage boys invented the first practical sounder, the
receiving part
of the telegraph. As a result, Morse adapted the
telegraph so that
paper tape was no longer used, and thus began the
long tradition
of listening to the sounder. Sound reading may
have existed before 1855. One report notes, that in 1846 sound
reading
was practised but discouraged by Management; They
wanted … the letters decoded from the inked paper strips_7 The
The Telegraphic Alphabet represeni-S each lclter of the Eng.
lish Alphabet, with Ihe Numerals, by which nny amount of
\riling or correspondence may be conducted, in all tile delails
or ctl.c:rfi nlld words of the common moele of correspondcnGc)or
wriling.
ALPHllilET_ NUMERALS_
A
Il—-
c·· .
1) -.
r,: .
1 –­
G–·
H .. —
T —
J —­
K–­

M-­
N–
o· .
I -.. —
Q .. _.
Jl . –
S .-­
T-
U -.­
V··-­
w–­
X .-..
y .. -­
Z —-
&,. _.-
1—
2—·-
3 .. ·-­
~ . – —-
0—
6 …. ·-
1—-
8 -… –
9—-
0–
AL1RF.D VAIL,
,Is_,t Sll of Umled Siale., Telegraph_
A full tlcscription of Ihe Elr.clro Mngllclic Tclcgrnph, logethel wilh the reo
ports ofClIlIgrrss IIpon.he sul~icc, nnd the hislOry nml ttcscription of nil Tele­
graphs OIWIl, cOIploJ)ilig clcclrir;ily or gnhnnisln, ilhl~lrnlccJ by at wood CUI3,
may be ol,l:-.ill(,ll lit Ihe Tclcgmph Offir;.~, prir:c 7S cents.
AI~o,:l .tcscl·jplion of til! Elcr;lro Mngnclic Tclcgmph, in operAtion between
W:lshil1:!hl1 :1.1111 1I0itimrrlr, illll.itr:ltctl by 14 wO(1I1 clIl~, price 12~ (cnill.
MORSES TELEGRAPHIC ALPHABET as printed in 1845.
Nole the advertisemenl for Alfred Vails book.
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 185
The three basic components of the
telegraph: receiver, sending key and
batteries, as they were illustrated in Alfred
Vails book
in 1845. The receiving unit is
by far the most complicated as it printed
the incoming dots and dashes on a paper
strip. This was greatly simplified when
the sounder was developed. The design
of
the key, however, changed little throughout
the whole era
of the Morse telegraph.
Page 186 RAIL CANADIEN NOVErviBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
actual sounder receiving unit was not invented until 1856. The
sounder itself is an electromagnet. Suspended above the magnet
is an armature where a lever is attached with a style or pin. When
the magnet is magnetized, the lever moves down and is forced back
up by a spring.
When the sounder lever went down it made a
tapping noise. In later
years, operators amplified the sound by
putting
empty tobacco tins behind it. S igni ficantly, as transmissions
be
came faster, some operators could not keep up with the sender.
Someone, somewhere brought a typewriter to the telegraph office
one day making it possible to record messages sent by pushing
typewriter keys faster than their mind could write and translate
codes. E
ventually in Canada, three telegraph schools wereestablished
to train telegraphers;
in Toronto, the Cassan School; in Montreal,
the Elle Business College; in Quebec City, the Thomas Institute.
There were over 30 telegraphy schools throughout the United
States
8
II. RAILWAY TELEGRAPH DEVELOPMENT IN CANADA
The use and development of the teleglaph for railway operations
began as early as 1830. British North America consisted only of
the Maritimes, Upper and Lower Canadas and the huge Hudsons
Bay Company territory to the Pacific Ocean, before mention of
made about telegraph communication. A telegraph-railway system
had indeed been suggested in the 1830s, but nothing developed
beyond an idea. It was not built until 1852, when the Grand Trunk
Railway (GTR) was given the authority to build a telegraph line
beside their
Montreal-Toronto tracks. It is interesting to note the
logo
of the Montreal Telegraph Company -formed in August
1847, by Hugh Allen of Pacific Scandal fame boasting on a
telegram dated
October 24, 1853, Connecting with all principle
cities and towns in Canada and the United States.9 By 1856, the
tel
egraph was being used for Grand Trunk Railways operations,
albeit
on a small scale.
The next earliest instance
of a railway telegraph appears about
1858. The North-West Transportation, Navigation and Railway
Company was incorporated. with … powers to establish
communication from one or more points on the shore of Lake
Superior to any point in the interior within the limits of Canada. 10
One year later the Act was amended and their name changed to the
North-West
Company, with the addition … to construct a telegraph
line.
The Act expired through non-use. In I 862, the North-West
Company was again authorized to, … establish communications
within the Northern and Western limits of Canada. 12
In the early I 860s, The Grand Trunk Railway showed a keen
interest in building a railway and telegraph line to the Pacific.
The
GTR wished to own a swath of land for their rails and poles to the
Pacific, through
Hudsons Bay Companys Ruperts Land. But it
was not to be that simple.
The Hudsons Bay Company (HBC) was
well aware of world attitudes. Coupled with US expansionism and
a Civil
War, the HBC knew part of their land would eventually
have to be given up. The HBC stated in the 1850s, it might consider
parting with some of their land as long as the GTR met certain sale
conditions. The Hudsons Bay and GTR maintained strong and
intluential positions, and both companies were not about to
surr
ender their rights and demands. Both companies too, had
English benefactors and origins. The HBC did begin to … spar
with the British and Canadian governments over legal investigations
of its Charter, and on the other [hand] to await [its best] offer.1J
,.,. ..
Q.UEDBC
,.
TbrM RI~
lltJotloal.
~ !
DrOOloWe. •••
XlDptoo.
StUnW
Cobollrr.
Port Supt, ..
Toronto.
Ha.m.iltoo., ••••• _
Bu4Ia1o ………..
10
All Cotmmmicati … llrictly COfIjid4nIiaL
TARIFF OF· PRICES.
NUKBBR OJ! WORDa.
to 30 .. .. eo 70 eo ..
00
.. …. d. t, <1 .. d. ~ .... d. I, ..~ 4 ... d ... d .
,
3
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A very early Canadian Telegram. Sent from Montreal 10
Quebec City on October 25, 1847, it inquires about the
availability of wooden railway sleepers
for shipment to
England.
Collection
of Fred Angus.
Several interesting developments began in earnest for a railway
and telegraph route west in the 1860s. Edward Watkin, (born
September 26, 1819, died April 13, 1901) a former manager of the
Manch
ester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, was hired by
Glynn, Mills and Baring Brothers
Company to see if the financial
trouble
of the GTR could be solved -he also is on record for stating
that the Grand
Trunk was an organized mess -the sink of
iniquity. It was Watkin who initially suggested building a joint
railway and telegraph line to the Pacific through Canada. To him,
this was in the best interests
of the Grand Trunk. Watkin was also
aware that the Canadian and English governments would not
invest any finances to colonize the west.
Watkin turned to the
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991
private sector of British financiers and industrialists
who were anxious to supp
ort a joint railway-telegraph
system.
Watkin and the Duke ofNewcastle(the Colonial Secretary),
began a series
of meetings in 1862. They developed a
plan to acquire
Ruperts Land from the Hudsons Bay
Company. Watkin wanted to save the GTR, while
Newcastle needed to gain political stability and security
with a s
ingle, united and unified colony named Canada.
Their goals, attitudes and dreams were fuelled by
troubles south
of the border -an all-Canadian railway
and te
legraph system would conveniently establish a
strong communication link and barrier, albeit non­
military as such,
frol11 the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
Watkin was intuilive
enough to know the Canadian
government had to take immediate action with the HBC,
as American soldiers were starting to turn north and
settle
in British Columbia and the Prairies. Watkin took
his plans 10 Glynn and Baring Brothers at the Colonial
OfFice. As a result he was given the authority to
establish the Atlantic and Pacific Transit and Telegraph
Company. This company was charged with bridging the
3000 or so miles between Upper and Lower Canada, the
Maritimes through to the Pacific.
,
?
$
CANADIAN RAIL Page 187
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY
COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
MORSE CODE
ALPHABET NUMERALS
~ Ml!.r.ll .I….illtu M..2.Lu E1ll!Ltu MQr.u
A N 1
B 0 2
C P 3
0
a
E R 5
F S 6
G T
H U 6
I V
J W 0
K X
L
Y
M Z
Period
£ Pounds LX -.-..
Colon KO-o-.
Shillings UT
Colon Dash KX -.-.-.. Pence D
Colon Quotation KO -.-
.. -.
Capital Letter CX
.. . .-..
Semicolon Sl Small Leiter 15
Comma Docimal Point DOT
_.
.
.-
Interrogation % Per cent OSO
Exclamation
f Paragraph
Fraction Line E . Nol Code ES
UT Underline UX
.. -.. -..
Dash
OX -••• -••
Unde,line lEnd) UJ
.. –.-.
Double Dash BK -~ •• -e-
I Parenthesis (Start) PN
Hyphen HX
…. _ ..
) Parenthesis (End) py …… .. ..
Apostrophe
OX •• -e .-e.
II
Brackets BX
-••• e-••
Dollars SX Ouolalion ISlart) ON
Cents C

Ouolation lEnd) OJ
.. -. _._e
The Hudsons Bay land had to be acquired. Watkins
Transit and Telegraph Company requested a stretch of
land ten miles wide across Ruperts Land. This width
would provide for a
roadway first, later a railway and
telegraph
right-of-way, with room for expansion of
facilities. Newcastle forwarded a letter in July 1862 to
Beren, the
HBC Governor. Newcastle outlined that he
would
provide … telegraph service and of securing the
means
of travelling with regularity to the British territory
on the Pacific.14
Beren agreed to do this so long as
adequate
securities were given for
the lines completion.
More letters were exchanged, each time the ante being
upped in favour
of the other party. Finally, on June IS,
1863, an agreement of 1,500,000 pounds sterling was
paid to the
Hudsons bay for Ruperts Land. On July 6,
1863, Watkin went west to establish his plans.
Repeat when sending 00
-•• _e
Break or stop sending BK
_ ••• _e_
I understand 13 .-.. -Finish (No more) 30 … —
Message to all offices 23
.. -….. -.
Regards 73
__ ••••• _e
I am busy 25
.. -.. —
Morse code made it easier to receive and transmit quickly. Railway Morse,
also
at/led American Morse, is not to be confused with international Morse.
Rdilway Morse differs in that some letters contain spaces
in the dot-dash
series -see le
tters Q, R, Yond Z. The dot represented the closed key; the dash
requires the key
fa be held down, generally for the time of two dots.
Source: W.J. Jack Corbett.
Under the proposal, Watkin saw a cart-path made first.
Then, the telegraph line would follow alongside the route of a
future railway right-oF-way. Next, building settl
ements as were
needed.
He estimated that these settlements would reach the Fraser
River in about 13 years after which the path would be replaced by
a r
ailway, but not until the population out west had grown to
warrant
its need. Watkin had also ….. drawn up … the establishment
of telegraphic communications between the Atlantic and the
Pacific through agreements with the Montreal Telegraph Company
and the United States
Telegraph companies and the construction of
a line from Pembina to Fort Gary to Jasper House and Fort
Langley.,,15 In a letter dated February 18, 1864, the HBC pointed
out thatthey would not be … likely to receive benefits corresponding
to the cost of constructing a line of telegraph … unless the Atlantic
and Pacific
Transit and Telegraph Company are prepared to
undertake the construction
of a road, pari passu [with equal pace 1,
with the telegraph line, the committee cannot. .. recommend
acceptance.16
To appease the HBC, Dr. John Rae (born September 30, 1813 died
July
22, 1893) was put in charge of the survey crew for the
westward route,
in 1864. Rae was the perfect choice: he was a
surgeon, an expert boatman,
swimmer, climber, and, a Hudsons
Bay employee at Moose Factory. His assigned objectives were to
locate the telegraph route, and
examine the possibilities of a road,
water and rail route. In his concluding reports to the GTR and
HBC, he noted no severe constructional difficulties from Fort Gary
until the Yel10whead Pass in British Columbia. However, with Dr.
Rae was an unnamed official of the GTR who reported favourably
on the railway r
oute, but from St. Cloud on the USA Mississippi
River the to Fort
Gary and west. It was this report, nOI Raes, that
was in direct violation of the … avowed purpose of establishing
communications on British soil.17
With this report, Watkins work was completed. The carefully
detailed surveys, maps and plans
through Canadian land was
Page 188 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
defeated. Ironically, the plan failed because of internal back­
stabbing within the GTR. As a result, Watkin resigned in 1869 just
as Confederation was about to include Assiniboia and British
Columbia.
The Grand Trunk lost the western opportunity just as
they had lost
other interests and routes in the East.
The Bunnel Key and Sounder lIsed by my grand fa/her, uncle and
mother
out of Ihe GTR I CNR Port Union statiol/. The portable key set
is Westem Union. Stamped on the back is: Prepared by H. Thall, on
thejiont is W.U. Tel. Co.,
J 50 ohms. Line poles were used to connect
with such portable lelegraph sets. The wires
at the bottom end of the
line
pole would be altached to Ihe Ihree (one missing here) brass POSIS
atlhe top of the sel. {his slyle was med in privale, superin/endanl or
business cars, also by telegraphers sent 10 work at/he scene of wrecks.
The saga of the telegraph changed as a result of the Canadian
Pacific Railway and the Pacific Scandal. In 1874, Prime Minister
John A. MacDonald was replaced by the newly elected Scot,
Alexandcr MacKenzie. Among other proposals, MacKenzie and
his
government wished to utilize water routes between tbe Rocky
mountains and the eastern terminus on Georgian Bay. Known for
his lack of action and interfering ways, he delayed this issue as long
as he could. Incredibly, MacKenzie did allow for a telegraph line
and its
construction but only after the railway line had been
determined.
On February 19, 1874, J.D. Edgar was instructed by the Canadian
Government to go to British Columbia and obtain an agreement,
highlighting … the construction of the road within the time set was
an impossibility, and … [to] make at once a wagon road and line of
telegraph along the whole length of the railway in British Columbia
and continue the telegraph across the continent.8 These terms
were
removed on June 8, 1874 as the government said there was
no way
itcould maintain the time limit British Columbia demanded.
On July 23, 1874, the B.C. representative, Mr. Walkem replied to
the
Government: … even a telegraph proposed would not be made
until the route of the railway is settled, … 9 Later, on September
17, 1874, the Canadian Government answered. By this time the
basic
agreement had been reached, with Earl Craven appointed as
arbitrator. Part
of his findings included … a telegraph line [bel
postponed until the road was located.20
As the government changed back to MacDonald, it was becoming
more essential to have faster communication linking one area to
another.
Railway connections were a paramount need because of
their speed and hauling capacity. Water routes and/or wagons
could not compete. To improve areas of communication, fOllr
contracts can be cited. The initial western connections were
primarily from the
Red River to western Canada. Canada,
Quebecand the Maritimes could lise the telegraph connections
between
Toronto and Montreal and into the United States. The
awarded contracts were:
Contract I –
October 17, 1874
Contractor: Sifton, Glass and Fleming
Area: Fort Garry to Fort Pelly.
Contract 2 -October 30, 1874
Contractor: Richard FilJes
Area: Fort Pelly to
Fort Edmonton.
Contract 3 -November 10, 1874
Contractor: F.J. Barnard
Area:Fort Edmonton to Cache Creek.
Contract 4 –
February 9, 1875
Contractor: Oliver, Davidson and Brown
Area: Prince Arthurs Landing to Red River.
21
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was determined to ensure
railway passage to the west.
An increase in CPR passenger and
freight traffic, deemed
it vital that there be an augmentation of
railway freight and passenger cars, facilities like stations,
divisional points and telegraphic
communication centres linking
everything together-a line of transportation and communication,
co-existing along the same ideal right-of-way. By 1882, the
CPR had 181 miles of one-wire telegraph lines and another 714.5
miles of two-wire lines.n In 1885, the CPR was … turning a profit
of $145,000 worth of dots and dashes, thanks mainly to Louis Riel
and the
newspaper correspondents covering his North West
RebeUion.23 Special telegraph units were used to co-ordinate the
movement of the military, supplies and trains. One telegrapher
was killed,
another held prisoner until the Rebellion ended. At the
same time, as the towns developed and grew alongside the tracks,
the significance
of a wider network of telegraphic communication
to important towns and cities between Quebec and Ontario began
in earnest in 1886. The Postal Telegraph Company, the Baltimore
and
Ohio Company and the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Company
lines were being connected to provide almost complete North
American service.
The telegraph lines from Montreal also started
to follow beside the
Ontario and Quebec Railway (CPR) right-of­
way, linking Montreal with
Smiths Falls, Peterborough, Toronto.
Other wires were strung along the Credit Valley Railway (CPR).
By
1886, the CPR telegraph system far exceeded what the Grand
Trunk used. Interestingly, the CPR with the Postal Telegraph
Company constructed a telegraph line from Vancouver, B.C. to
San Francisco and completed another connection to the Commercial
and French Atlantic Cable Company for across Atlantic Ocean
service. From this point on, the railway and telegraph were
synonymous.
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 189
Another example of a portable telegraph unit, hut from the Great North Western Telegraph Company, circa 1890.
Source: CNR Archives, Monreral, Photo No. 46394.
III. RAILWAY TELEGRAPH USE
When Morse invented his Code in 1838, there
was no
pressing need for this faster form of
communication in Canada. Verbal orders were
committed to memory with specific problem
spots noted on paper.
Trains moved by unreliable
watches, preset
timetables which spanned many
different time zones, unspecified rules of
operation, and, luck. Signal communication
was minimal, using only hands and arms. flags,
and a ball
on a pole -when high, the track was
clear hence highball, and when it was lower,
stop or slowdown was represented. Trains no
doubt waited for hours in-the-hole for an
oncoming train. In many cases that oncoming
train may not have kept to its schedule due to ,.
mechanical failure, track damage, fuel depleted,
and
so on. It is certain that only those operating
the train
knew exactly where they were on the
run -no
one else could know.
As the tele
graph gained notoriety in Britain and
the United States,
communication between trains
and people,
railway safety and train operations
became vital. More trains were running in
1
850 Canada: it became increasingly difficult
Vibroflex telegraph key or hug developed afrer 1900 as a means to speed up
transmission
of orders and telegrams. II did 1101 fully replace the Bunnell key/
sounder The bug was
preferred by some as it operated sideways rarher rhan
the up-al1d-down morioll
of the wriSI with the BUllnell key.
Source.
George Homer.
Page 190 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE
1991
,
,
.,
,
Fut.:>I L
Col3 P;l,~OI J~LD. CaCM&, :So … 10th. 1681; o.S., My17CII,IlM.
To open, 1earotfthc colored label at perlornted mark Tblro
TorT,
~
oil
The Great North Western lelegraph Company, of Canada
OI1:JtATI;(O TUt (.1.0: 0 TnE )!O:i1S£.u., 00.111:110:1 J.l(O lU.~~ •. n:.u:GIl.AlU COIo!JJ..fI~
ae[Jd~~I~~~~~.~~,:;~~,~!~1~~~nd (]clJ t~ D1e.l~·u onl1 00 ~H~Qlls 1!.ml1inlb 1~ li.lbl}!JJ( …. hlcD b … o bo:en ~n~ to by lhll
DOl h<)~I:;.~I{~~:~ (,;/~~~~~~~ls;tll~~lrn hl~;~rnl~;~~~nlo~~:t~r~a~~ ll~r~~n~~I oar In any C.-3~ ~bere tho cI:lU1l 1* not prUOlllrJ In …. ruing wuhln alit) d~,a :;IUd !tUJ;UI{ the Ule.u~e.
This b 110 uDr~pe;u.od mc~uge. 3Jld j dtUvortd by the requut of lender. !Ioder the corldlt:ons n.l:ned boTe.
D.
P. OW !GIll, Prc.l!dcnl !od Geot:r::U l-{!l.n~r.
Money ordors by telegraph botween prIncIpal: telegraph OmCC5 In Canada and tho United etates.
Socond
To1 To __________________ ___
No. ____ CI«c ______________ _
___________________ /Sq
I
,
Fro1n ________________________________________ ~————1
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A telegram of the Creat North Western Telegraph Company of Canada sent to Saint John, New Brunswick 011 August 2, 1899.
The telegram was intended
fo he folded as shown and then addressed on the oU/side he fore delivery.
Collection
of Fred Angus.
to operate efficiently and safely. Along the Grand Trunk Railway
between
Toronto and Montreal in the late 1860s, trains began
operating with telegraph assistance. Train movements were done
by a dispatcher through his operator(s) who contacted the required
station(s) via telegraph.
To compound operating problems between
Canada and the USA .some railways insisted on their own code
for little better reason than to insure their singularity.24 Typically,
Canada took about25 years longer, around 1890, before a standardized
railway
code of instruction and communication was accepted.
It is interesting to note
some early attitudes towards the telegraph.
New inventions are greeted with suspicion and
misunderstanding.
The telegraph in its infancy did not escape such criticism. In spite
of the fact that many engineers, accustomed to being loose with
their trains. looked on the telegraph with disdain, this great
forward step toward safety in train operations played a major role
until super
s.eded when block system of train control came into use
about
1880.25 William Cooke in 1837 stated, .with a telegraph
the
manager in his office at Paddington could live like a spider
along the line.,26 keeping track of his train crews. Cooke and Wheatstone felt watching the
employees was a positive aspect of
the telegraph system, but the Great Western Railway objected as
it implied their company was slovenly, therefore GWR would not
construct the telegraph line, leaving it to the inventors to foot the
bill. Apparently, too,
if one dreamed of being seen in a telegraph
office,
it foretold of unfortunate love affairs and failed marriages.
Worse,
if one was hapless enough to be the telegraph operator
sending the bad news, he would be subject to and affected by the
gossip that followed. Further,
In early days, it was customary for
the towns people to
gather about the [telegraph] office to secure
any news
coming over the wire. In fact, if there were items of
importance, a bulletin would be displayed outside.>27
Canada seems to follow rather than lead -so true for the telegraph.
In England and the USA, the telegraph
of 1844 was also commercial.
The first recorded non-railway use for a telegraph message OCCUlTed
when Queen Victoria gave birth to Prince Alfred. In England, it
was an hourly ritual to send out the time according to Greenwich
Mean Time. This was somewhat true in Canada, but at first it was
officially for railway use only. The Canadian Time Signal
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 191
Form 51.
All envelope addressed to the Agent at Napiervil/e Quebec on August 10, 1909. Note the complex logo of the Great Norlh Western
Telegraph Company. Although the contents
of the envelope have disappeared, it was likely an important message. As pel Rule 321
of the GTR operating Rules, Telegrams addressed 10 officials must be pul in an envelope, sealed and properly addressed in each
and every case. The contellts
of aI/telegrams must be held as confidential. The GNWT Company was taken over by CNR Telegraphs.
Collectioll
of the author.
originated from McGill University, Montreal. Later the signal was
transmitted from the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa, however,
the working train timetables reflected the signal from
Montreal. It
was also sent along railway circuits, not the commercial ones. The
Montreal Telegraph Company, was the first Canadian commercial
company, formed in 1847. By 1890, telegraph poles and wire
construction went hand-in-hand with railway lines. In point
of
fact, by 1896, … the electric telegraph [had] become a necessity
to
our political, commercial and social life. It tells … of the million
incidents that make up our national life.28 With the CPR
expanding their commercial business, the system had its faults. It
was
known to be unreliable when first installed. Typically: As the
line has been down since Saturday between Hays Lakes and here,
read the
December 6, 1880 issue of the Edmonton Bulletin
newspaper, we are without telegrams for this issue. A man will
leave tomorrow to repair it, and by the next week we hope to be able
to give that latest news from the East up to date.29 As the
Canadian
railways expanded, train operations grew in the late 1880s. Messages
of a personal nature were rarely sent along the wire. Early
messages
were primarily in the business of railroading: warning or
calling for maintenance crews, order up extra trains, infonning
crews on the whereabouts of other trains. The telegraph also
provided
services to rural areas and small towns. In emergencies,
station operators could be relied on for help, learn
of eventful
news,
gossip (though unofficial) and send messages about important
people
or dangerous cargo. Because a telegraph message was faster than the mail, the railway station took an unofficial role as
an information centre, as well as a place for rural gatherings, to
learn
of news or, wait for a train.
It is significant to note that stations were clearly distinguished by
the presence or lack
of a telegraph. Smaller stations had only a
station agent
at the key -smaller stations maybe no one at all. A
station however, was elevated in status if it had its
own telegraph
operator who was kept separate from the station master and/or
agent. the operator often received the priveledged location
in the
tower where he could closely
eye the tracks, and, community. In
the 1880s, a commercial telegraph
company tried to acquire rights
beside the CPR tracks. Van
Horne felt the price the company
offered was not enough to warrant joint use of the railway
telegraph lines and poles. He stated that,
… as the CPR was putting
up its
own lines and enjoying its own operators as an adjunct to
train operations, it should rightfully operate its
own commercial
service. As a consequence, the
CPR offices began commercial
messages in 1883.30 Later, with the increases in telegrams two
messages could be sent simultaneously, one in each direction
over
the same wire. One method was Differential Duplex Circuit
using relays and allowing two
operators to send messages over one
wire;
Bridge Duplex Circuit was similar to Differential, and
Edisons Quadruplex Circuit which could handle four message
transmissions.
Pole construction was essential for the telegraph. Stated earlier,
Morse strung lines
in tree branches and made temporary poles.
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A SELECTION OF TELEGRAPH FORMS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE AUTHOR.
Page 193
The telegram was the major means of fast communication for many years, until long-distance telephone became economical for
general use. The telegram, usually but /lot always on yellow paper, was afamiliar sight to people all across North America. The
receipt
of a telegram would immediatelely signify important news, either good or bad, and these illustrations of telegram forms
should bring back memories
of those now vanished days.
PAGE 192, TOP: Two CPR logos, ten years apart (1926 and 1936). Both messages were typewriflen, with confirmation wrillen
on the telegram.
PAGE 192, BOTTOM: The upper telegram logo is a later CNR form on which the customer would fill in the message. The lower
Western Union telegram has a
1927 message from Hill Brothers coffee in New Brunswick.
PAGE 193, ABOVE: Two CNR Telegraph Company logos from 1943. The top message was completed by the CNR teletype, while
the lower message was done on a typewriter.
Both the messages are from Bracebridge, Ontario.
Page 194 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
The poles were crude and of poor
quality: … Geore [sic] B. Prescot!
l was] the leading telegraph engineer
of the time. The lines were usually
built
in haste, the posts generally set
while filled with sap, often without
taking off the bark. As a consequence,
in a few years, they rotted off at the
sUlface
of the earth, and then had to
be replaced by others in the
same
manner.31 This method of pole
construction lasted 1 5 to 20 years.
Later dried poles were used, often
treated withcreosote,painted orheavily
coated in fat
or oi I. Poles too, were
placed about
13 feet from the nearest
track with
crossarms no more than
eight feet from the nearest rail. The
wires would parallel the tracks and
contour of the land, maintaining
unifOImity of height. Pole tops were
either roofed or gained 32 The
poles horizontal crossarm, was made
to hold the weight of the wires. On
the crossarm the first circuit was always
the dispatchers, then a message circuit
followed by a block circuit for station
to station and/or local business. A
major railway might use from five to
seven crossarms, heavy branches two
or three, lighter branches one with
ten pins and a
short line might have
one crossarm with six pins. The span
between poles ran from
88 to ISO feet
apart with
60 to 26 poles per mile
respectively, though this was
approximate. The average distance
seems to be 100 feet apart with 53
poles per mile. Where possible, having
wires
cross over the tracks was to be
avoided; when they did, it required
about 18 feet or more of vertical
clearance.
To summarize the development of
the telegraph, John Pendleton, writing
in
Our Railways, 1896 edition, best
states it:
A family photograph of Spencer McCalpin in 1930 at Danforth (York) station, operating a
bug. Note the telephone equipmel1l. George Homer notes that
it was likely the yard office
just east of the passenger station. George Horner and Spencer were lifelong friends, working
together at Danforth
,Toronto Terminals and Mimico Yard.
The telegraph, though it occasionally blunders. is the
swiftest and most zealous of all railway servants. It gives word of
warning to the signal man, a hint of danger to the driver, a
peremptory instruction to the station-master in emergency; it
speaks even to the shunter amid the
maze of waggons, and to the plateJayer busy with his
gang on the creosoted sleepers and rusty
rails
in the lonely cutting. It marshals goods trains, stops expresses,
orders special trains, helps
every official on the line; and is helped
in its turn by the telephone, which in many a crowded depot
forwards and supplements the telegraph message.lJ
OPPOSITE
PAGE: This composite photograph details various early pieces of telegraphic equipment used by the Grand Trunk Railway
of Canada.
Source: CNR
Archives, MOlltreal, Photo No. 47513,
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 195
Page 196 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE
1991
DIAGRAM SHOWING LOCATION OF TRAIN TELEPHONE WIRES-EASTERN REGION./
FACE IN DIRECTION NAMED, COUNT CROSSARMS FROM THE TOP, DOWN. :
!
1
~
T T
r r T
lOOK WEST
lOOK WIST
WE lEACH CAIE
MONUIAI WIST
,OU TO VAUOlfUll 100KWUT 100KWUr LOOK NOITH lOOK WIST lOOK NORTH
JCT .• 011 TO NI
c!, WIHOfnTU C
VAUOl£lItl TO SOlllAHOU TO LAMAN TO WAMQ TO UD(Ll, TO
IfACH CllE .OU 1 AUlfNllAN C SMJTHS fAiU COINWAlL MANJWAKI FRANCESCHINI PIT PRUWOOD
r T T T T
lOOK sourH lOOK w,sr lOOK NOITH LOOK
WEST
lOOK WElT
I,DUl TO SMfTNS IAllS IIOCKVll.lI TO
ElLS JCT. TO
CAllE TON lACE
.lnCOTT TO CAIIUTOH LAC! SMlTH$ fAllS
CARllTON PLAC.
TO CHALI( IIVU
~I •
~
• •
~
~
lOOK WEST
LOOK WElT
Ohico to G,.lph Jet.
lOOK WElT lOOK WIST lOOK WIST LOOK WUT I~Ol( WElT
Scarl.tt Rd. to Obico
• T .,minal C.
Guelph Jet.
Woocktocl. 10
LondoR Zorra Wood,loek
to COOI(lfm. only • lond<>.
• T.,mlnol C,
o london C.
10 .0 .. $.0. C. 10 10 to
o london C.
t::. arong …. ill. c. Woodstock o Wif,dIOf C.
Windsor Yard St. MarY Ingeoll i::J. Orang …. ;II. c.
10 $, •• h … iII. Jel. ollly.
1
~
i
f
;; ;:E;;H
:::L=

lOOK WIST lOOK SOUTH lOOK HOITH lOOK NOITH lOOK NOITH lOOK NORTH lOOK NORTH
Igonoll Guelph Jel. Owelph Hamilton
w •• t lOfOfllo
Bolton InGer.oll
to Bollon
to to to to to • MotTl., C. to
St. Thoma. Pt. Burwell Guelph God,rlch Guelph Jet.
.. T .,tlol C.
Modi.
a:r ~ ~ ~ ~

lOOK WEST LOOK WIST lOOK WEST lOOK WElT lOOK WEST LOOK
WElT
Ypre. M.dontd McMillan
Smiths olls to 01.-. Tay A9incovrl to –olid.
CI,,, Toy t. • hll ….. m. c.
to to 10 • hlluiJI. C. AglnCovtl C Hov,od. C .
Camp Bord,n Port McNlcoil Midland [J H CI velock C. Vla Tr.,.tOft • hrnlinal C.
o lOlldotl C.
0
;:1:;;;
+4;;1::::
~ ~ ~
1 …
LOOK WlST lOOK WEST LOOK NOITH LOOK NORTH lOOK NORTH lOOK WEST
Tw.ed
Ivanhoe M.P. 16. Streehvill. Orangeville Canpa to
10 to to to to Oblco
Ivanho. AgllKourt Und.ay Orangevili. Owen Sound • Tormlnal C.
The symbols 01/ the crossarms show where the dispatcherS lines are so one could cOl/neCf the line pole and hook it up /0 the portable
telegraph or telephone set. The blank spaces are areas which have been
officially abandoned and likely poles, wire and tracks have
been remoled. Source:
CP Rail Employee TimelClble No. 43, October 26.1969.
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 197
IV. RAILWAY TELEPHONE
BACKGROUND
THENo.Jfh~r.f14 E Je~fI.Jc
AND MANUFACTURING CO.LIMlno
TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT
l-c)R STFAM A!II) EI.F.CTRrc: RAII.WAY·;
The previous study about the telegraph
is
essential in understanding the
development of the railway telephone,
as the telegraph and telephone went
hand-in-hand for decades. The telephone
was a Canadian invention, developed
in Brantford, Ontario by Alexander
Graham Bell, born
in Scotland on March
3, 1847 (died: August 2, 1922).
Bell
always wanted to help those who could
not speak and/or hear. Edisons
invention of the Quadruplex Circuit –
permitting the transmission
of four
messages on a single telegraph wire –
led Bell into further experiments
involving the voice. Morse had shown
signals could be sent along a wire –
Bell wanted to use the human voice.
As a comparison, Morse made very
little money from the telegraph
due to
lawsuits and the attitude
of the United
States government; Bell leased his
invention and even sold stocks to
companies and individuals, collecting
a fee for the
telephones use. As
Morse spent some ten years fighting
lawsuits, Bell was
in court over 600
times to fight patent infringements.
Like Morse, Bell had to convince people
that the telephone was a better way to
communicate over distance. Once the
telephone was functional, it operated
better locally
in towns and cities than
long distance because
of many technical
problem,s yet to be solved. When it
actually came to discussing phone
service, the argument was: Why
duplicate it when the telegraph was
already present, efficient and sufficient.
r~
tiD ~
No I~-;-W K()I No L~J·W Rec~iVer
HEAD RECEIVERS
No IO20·R O(!;k St;l.nd
t
The telephone was recognized onMarch
10, 1876. When Bell first created this
tool, it was originally known as the
harmonic telegraph, permitting a
greater
number of telegraph messages
Three common types oj headsets used by GTR, CPR and CNR telephone operators. The desk
stand phone, transmitter, headset
and arm was typical dispatcher-operator phone equipment ..
Source: Bell Canada, Montreal, Document No. 10304-1, 1913.
to be sent along one wire. Bells origina.! idea was to have
numerous sending keys in the telegraph office, all connected to one
ciJcuit. His telegraph would use different frequencies
of pitch
when sending.
The receiver atthe opposite end of the signal, would
decode this message and frequencies. However, as ingenious as
the system was, it was unreliable; it did
prove that several signals
of differing pitch could be sent along one wire, including the
human voice.
The first voice message was Mr. Watson, come
hers: I want you., however, this was only a one-way transmission
within the
same building.
The transItIOn from the telegraph to the telephone was less
politically
motivated. There appears to be no governmental
intelference with establishing phone lines. This can be attributed
to Bell transferring for $1.00,
75% interest in the telephone patent
to his father,
Alexander Melville Bell. A.M. Bell then employed
agents to find subscribers for their own private telephone line.
Dominion
Telegraph Company also tried to secure a five year
license with Bell at a $100,000 price tag. The Dominion Telegraph
could not raise the money, as a result, Bell sold to the National Bell
Telephone
Company of Bostol1, in 1880, which later became A.T.
&T.
Page 198 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
V. RAILWAY TELEPHONE DEVELOPMENT AND USE
In 1909, W.E. Harkness, a Scales Engineer for the US Western
Electric Company,
made a presentation to the St. Louis Railway
Club. Harkness
expounded the use of the telephone over the
teleg
raph. His presentation was lengthy, but many salient points
were highl
ighted why the telephone exceeded the telegraph in
functional use:
I) .
.. the enactment of state and federal laws
limiting
the working day of railroad employees.to nine hours.;
2).15,000additional operators would be required
as there was a shortage
of good telegraph operators. In order to hire
this many men and women,
it would cost the railways some $10
million (US) dollars
to operate the railroad, and,
3) Still another reason for the introduction
of the
telephone is the decreased efficiency
of the average commercial
and railway
telegraph operator. Harkness believed telegraphers
would seek out better opportunities in the electrical industry, or,
have anattitude towards the younger student operator, fearing
job loss especially if they were better. 34
Harkness added that .beyond a doubt [railway operations) can be
rendered by telephone with equal safety, reliability, and accuracy,
and further, with greater speed..» He must certainly have found
himse
lf not only trying to sell the product, but trying to alter
hardened telegraphic attitudes.
Many advantages existed
for the phone. Some notions were
contrived to sell the product to the biggest potential market at the
time, the railways.
Railway dispatchers were under .both
mental and physical strain, due to his efforts to keep things moving
and prevent delays to traffic and the almost incessant operation
of
the telegraph key.36 The dispatcher, using a key, had to translate,
tran
smit, then re-translate code, letter-by-Ietter, then send it out
himself or through an operator(s) to the right location. Mental
work
included manual and mental skills of a superior nature -also
true for an operator. With long hours, errors were extremely
possible. Disasters could ride on one incorrectly decoded or coded
letter or number. Early arguments even went
to the stress of
unconsciously anticipating a message before it had been completed,
and this appears to have been a
common tendency. However, it
was pointed out that the telephone provided direct vocal
communication, resulting in faster efficiency and accuracy for
operational needs, not
to mention the implied safety factors. Like
the telegraph, the telephone encodes messages e
lectrically, but the
phone can also take sound waves and their undulating waveforms
and turn it into electrical waves and vibrations by using the
diaphragm
in the mouthpiece. A message over the phone is
encoded instantaneously from transmission. The basic network
comprises
of a terminal device, a pair of copper wires connected
to a local switching centre, trunk cab
les connecting switching or
exchanges within a community.
Other components surfaced. The noise of the sounder was
monotonous and tedious. As George Horner relates as a CNR
operator out
of Danforth Yard (also known as York), in Toronto,
other distractions included the arrival and departure
of all types of
trains, whistles blasting outside the telegraph window signalling a
crew member, the pounding of the 4100 series push engines in the
Yard as wel.1 as people waiting and talking around you as
one
worked the key. Occasionally messages or orders would get
scrambled. When the orders were repeated as required and an error
was
caught, it meant clarifying it again to ensure accuracy.
Interestingly, Mr. Horner also related a unique telegraphic event:
While working in the railway telegraph office in Toronto, called
c Office on a cold February night in 1942, I experienced a once
in a lifetime phenomenon.
The office was alive and very noisy as ten telegraphers sent and
copied messages, all amplified with Prince Albert tobacco cans
behind every sounder. Between 50 and 60 relays were also chatting
away. Then it started to happen: one wire went dead, five minutes
later another; three or four minutes passed and another wire went
dead, and this continued on as if someone was outside with a wire
cutter and was snipping the wires one by one.
In one hour and thirty
minutes, the office was completely silent, the time was
11 :30 P.M.
Ten operators sat talking to each other, unable to work.
A phone call to the wire chief revealed the cause of the problem,
which he had no control over –
it was the aurora-borealis or more
commonly called the Northern Lights. Allhough this problem
frequently occurred
in Northern Ontario, it was veIY unusual for it
to have such a far reaching effect so as to cripple the entire
communications network
in southern Ontario too. Commencing
about 2 a.m., the wires started to return to service and by 3 a.m.,
all wire were working nonna!.
Telegraph and telephone lines connected most stations. The
telegraph and early telephone systems acted like a party line as all
stations could hear messages being sent and received. An operator
had to be on duty, literally, all the time as one in the early system
never knew
if a message was for this station or the next. The
telephone provided an improved way for the dispatcher to reach an
individual station
or all stations using specific switching and
selecting equipment.
The telephone also provided a ringing tone,
which was much preferred and did
not irritate as the sounder
apparently did. The telephone was more private in conversation,
using a personal earpiece.
The telephone was far superior in speed. The highest speed
attained by an
expert telegraph operator is around 50 words per
minute while with the telephone a speed
of 100 words a minute
may be attained without
the skill required by the average telegraph
operator.
37 Direct vocal communication was almost instantaneous
and
more accurate. The telegraph involved mental memory work,
decoding and encoding telegrams -the telephone required none.
The skilled telegraph operator could transmit between 15 to 50
words per minute. This converts between I 0 and 40 hertz or cycles
per second. In essence,
the telegraph operated at a .Iow transmission
frequency, sending digital signals -dots and dashes in
on/off
sequences of electricity, not unlike todays computers. The voice
is an undulating analog signal which varies frequencies of pitches
between
250 and 3400 cycles per second or hertz. Bell discovered
that low frequency telegraph and higher frequency voice waves
could be tran
smitted along the same single wire. As Bell developed
his telephone, he further
discovered the many messages could go
along one wire at the same time, increasing the speed of
communication.
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 199
The Hamillon and Dundas Slreet Railway was Ihe/irst Canadian company 10 dispatch lrains by ,elephone. This was/irSI done in 1878,
while this photograph dates from 1895. NOle Ihe engine in /ronl, the steam whistle and stack ring on lOp, and Ihe coupling device. The
cars behind the engine are
the original H & D passenger coaches. The location appears 10 be Dundas.
Source: Bell Canada, Montreal, photo No. 8534A.
The telephone did have disadvantages. In its infancy stage, not all
voices
could be transmitted.
No scientific evidence was presented
to explain this, but a concerted effort to have this problem resolved
was suggested,
if … employees with suitable voices [were hired
than] employees
who could send good Morse.3g Other alleged
drawbacks included, a
slowdown in transmission of the voice
when the weather was cold. Also, telegraph operators were

… subject to paralysis of the arm due to continued use of certain
muscles
in the wrist when sending.39 It was suggested that the
telegrapher wrap his arm in a cold ice pack to relieve the pain.
Unique telephone attitudes developed. In us
ing the telephone,
… people were
made uneasy by the very notion. Hearing voices
when there was no
one there was looked upon as a manifestation
of either mystical communication or insanity.40 Some even
considered the telephone a fad, others thought of it as a toy, while
so
me used the familiar excuse that nothing practical would come
of it. A more interesting pose considered it bad luck. People
believed that if
you receive a telephone call, it foretold of strange
people who would
cause you harm. Because of the technical
problems with the early receiving equipment, it was once believed
that shouting into the mouthpiece would assist the person
on the
other end to hear you better.
Common too, was the belief that if
you could not hear the caller, the receiving individual was threatened
with gossip and even a failed marriage. By the 1880s, telephone
companies began sending their customers notices. Theirsuggestions
included: Don
t use the wire for clothes lines … Persons who eat
onions must stand four feet from the transmitter.
.. [and for those
who felt the telephone was magical] No mistakes in grammar will
be rectified in transmissions
.41
On August 10, 1876, BeJi applied to the Dominion Telegraph
Company (DTC) for permission to use their telegraph lines
between Paris, Ontario a
nd Brantford. Thomas Swinyard, the
General Manager of the DTC, refused Bell permission. He
belie
ved Bell was a crank.42 Lewis B. McFarlane, Swinyards
assistant, persuaded his boss to at least try the experiment. After
much consideration, permission was granted.
The test was successful.
The publicity from this experiment firmly planted the phones
future.
The first commercial long distance service was constructed along
the railway line between Hamilton and Dundas,
Ontario, in 1879.
The Hamilton and Dundas (Street) Railway -incorporated in 1875-
6 -was the first known railway to lise the telephone for
dispatching
trains in
Canada. In Hamilton by the end of 1878, 40 telephones
were in the area. One line on the pole was reserved for commercial
Page 200 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
No. 121S-C Telephone Set
Nor/h(1/,IJ Llee/ric
TELEPHONE SETS
:. 129J·AD Telephone Set
!o. 1J11 Telephone Set
:-00. 1305·,.C Tel~phone !:iCI
TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT
FOR STEAM AND ELECTRlC RArLWAYS
. ~;~
~. :.:y. …… ~.J .C~::-.~.) .~~~·I • L
—–.-.
.~r,. ,:,; ,r: … r.. . ~ … ,;.::w: …. t.i
. ——:~:J
::-!:);.r.:> .0F.) r.:) …. ~:.:. ~ f.1
—— ::.
-, -~ ~,l/[) ,._y.~.~ ~ ,. e ..
. ~(..
No. OO·A Selector Key Cabinet
No. OI·C l~tercalllDg Key
SELECTOR KEY CABINETS
~). I l7-r.~ T~fl~
Il· … pllllnc Set
TOP ROW: Wall telephone used about 1920. MIDDLE ROW: Wall telephones about 1920. Last one is CNR style
BOTTOM ROW: Two styles of selecting equipment used by the dispalcher andlor operator to call individual or a hlock
of stations.
Source: Bell
CClI7ada, Montreal, Document no. 10304·j, 1920 .
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 201
This photo of a Montreal train dispatcher was taken about 1950. Note the solid telephone transmitter arm and dual telegraph
key. The train sheets, Irain order book and the bloller are timeless now. Note
Ihe seleclor box with the bu/{ol1s 10 cedI individual
slations.
Source: CNR Archives, Montreal, Photo No. X32489.
subscribers, the other wire for the hamilton and Dundas dispatcher.
It has been recorded, that the telephone users could listen to private
and railway conversations.
Hugh Baker, the president of the
Hamilton District Telegraph
Company appealed to Bell to test the
circuits for
himself and note the interference of the two systems
operating on the same pole. Bell apparently did tests on this
problem, however, party-line listening was a
common occurrence.
It is significant to note, that the Ontario,
Simcoe and (Lake) Huron
(Union) Rail-road
Company used a telephone. The OS and H was
chartered in 1850, to operate trains between Toronto and Ban:ie. Its
more familiar and lasting nickname was the Oats, Straw and Hay
Railway because of its fanning tonnages. The OS and H Railway
reached Collingwood on
June 2, 1855 and was apparently .. the
best
and most
completely equipped railway in Canada, if not in all
North America.43 This railway provided the only link to western
Canada in the late 1850s. MacKenzie, it will be recalled, wanted
to develop a
system of railway, water and river routes, but when he was replaced with the re-elected John
A. MacDonald, the CPR
stm1ed construction and MacKenzies idea died. The Ontario,
Simcoe and Huron Railway, later renamed the Northern Railway
in 1858, had several historical firsts; which included operating the
first steam locomotive
in Upper Canada in October, 1852 named
the
Lady Elgin. A more relevant first … was perhaps its use [use
of the telephone] earliest applications to trains.44 These phones
were placed between the locomotive and the van in ] 880. With the
telephone … direct and personal communication with the conductor
or engineer and in case of emergency to obtain firsthand conditions. .15
with the use of a phone.
Once the railways began using the telephone and saw its significant
advantages, other factors affecting
service developed. The railways
and city subscribers discovered that the length
of the phone line
had a bearing on operability
over greater distances. Signals were
generally good for 75 to 100 miles but then it needed to be
amplified or boosted to keep it moving. A co-related problem was
Page 202 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
Glass telegraph and telephone insulators of the Great North Westell1 Telegraph Company of Canada, the Gralld Trunk
Pacific Telegraph Company and the Bell Telephone Company
of Canada.
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991
the size and type of wire. It was finally resolved that copper
wire, hard drawn to withstand the weather, was best when it was
210 pounds per mile. Copper wire would last fifty years
whereas iron wire may only last
15 to 20 years before being
replaced.
Other common wire types llsed were galvanized iron
and bronze. It was also discovered that two wires or a metalJic
circuit was best for signal receiving and transmitting.
Telegraph
wire tended to be rubber insulated and needed to be away from
the
phone lines because it … reduces volume and affects
articulation … [andJ … lead-covered
paper insulated telephone
cable … should be used … 46, because of its superiority.
As an aside,
copper wire has caused other operational problems.
The theft of 9-gauge copper telegraph-telephone wire is a
problem since it fetches a significant price. During the
Depression,telegraph wire by the mile was often stolen and
sold. Constable Pat Stoneburgh,
CP Rail Police investigations
noted, that during a recession when people a
re hard pressed for
money, the railway telegraph lines tend to get hit. Because
of
todays technology, the pole and lines are disappearing at an
alaJming rate, in favour
of radio. But some areas are still being
vandalized. Constable Stoneburgh added that as late as January
1991 in Cambridge, Ontario, thjeves took approximately 20
pole lengths
of copper wire along CP Rajls Galt Subdivision.
The value of this wire today would be between $8,000 and
$10,000.
Most of the telegraph-phone lines along the railway
use
open wire or insulated bare wire in the construction
process, making
it easy to sell. Also, antique dealers and
TRAIN DISPATCHING
.. BYTELEPHONE
:. :,
C.P.R: Now Opera.tes All Trains .Be­
. tVCeD. Sudbury l1Dd ManlWba by·
That Method.
The Canacl,lan ;Pacific has now com­
pleted the Installation of the tl!lephone
to· replace. the telegraph In the dispatch­
Ing. aric;l operation of. trains: practically aU
tho way; from Sudbury. Ontario; to Bran­
don. Ma·nltoba.. This embraces practically
llie whole of the Lake Superior diviSion.
and as ihls·. part ofthe system. partlCu­
l~r.1i-that . whlchJles .. along tne north
shore of ):..ake Superlor._.Is a hard one to
operate In. winter. the substltutlon·o!· the
telephone for the telegraph shows the
confidence of the managers and engineers
Ir, the :great.er ,efficacy of the telephone
in the. operaltlon of trains. It Is believed
that· the ultimate economic superIority or
the: telephone over. the telegraph. will be
demonstrated. …. . ;
The iresult of the . gradual Introductlpn
of :ttm.telephOne:.foI;·despatchlng pl.1rposes
has. llee,}-: ;·e~ltJ.ently satisfactory.· .aod. .It
I~ now. declared to be 001 Y ·R quest1!>tl ,ot
tlm~,:before ltds:i:!all:led all.the WAY, from
t.b~/:Atlantlc to the!,ac1tlc.. U~lWards o!
a/~:t.~usand imlles ha)(e,., It.,> fs sta,t~ ~­
~eli..ctl..peen .IDstll,lled;·:·.: . …1·~_
From Montreal Herald, October 28, 1909.
CANADIAN RAIL Page 203
RO
· ti lal Telegraphs
will pay lh abolx rewa tl /o:r inforllwtioll
that will lead 10 Ihe
of all) P(1S() n 1Jf> !<(H,swho n~ay he
dei(>cled il lht, (j( of .
Brf·Hklll~ Insula. . ~
or who mn), in an) oilwr lVay wilfully
dama ( or jf>re wdh tJ, RO,J,RTY
,)r lVlRES
of the Company.
11 {J; ,un 1111/. may II d/~>(llf{ II~ fomnulimg
tiny Qf/he obQtJf (llft~ftf ,rill btt
T F THE LAW
~ … Q. . .._t. ~_.,, …. ….,.,._:t . …..,–,~-~,,~~: .. ~IJtl.~ .. ,
t·-.~~
.. -~~.
III June, 1934 the CNR Telegraph Company put this poster up in its
stations.
As Constable Stonburgh noted, thieves still take the insulators,
or they are smashed by individuals. This
of len serial/sly disrupts important
railway operations.
Source:
6218 Museum, ForI Erie, GTR Ridgeway Station.
railway treasure hunters have been known to climb the poles and
steal the glass insulators, especially those with railway and telephone
initials
of full company names, whether wires are present or not.
The galvanic battery was finally created. Early telephone signal
transmission and receiving was erratic.
The battery helped to send
a much stronger undulating current. Later,
(he Blue BelJ Battery
Company developed a dry ceJl battery which lived longer and was
more trustworthy. For the railway telephone,
it required ten
battery cells -four assigned
to talking and six for signa II ing. The
batteries were mated in series for added power. Also they had to
be .placed near
the set but out-of-the-way where it is unexposed
to mechanical injury and dampness but accessible for inspection
and renewals.
47 This design was true for the station and later the
trackside telephones -also known as dispatcher line phones.
On October 28, 1909, the Montreal Herald newspaper, reported
that the Canadian Pacific Railway was starting
to use telephones
to assist in train dispatching.
48
The clipping is interesting as it
shows direct dispatching circuits used on the CPR. This actually
began about 1907-8
Page 204 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEIVIBRE 1991
specific operator along the line, he
J./crI/ttrtI EI~hic Compuny
LIMITED
would open a switch, lighting his
panel.
The station operator answered
the ringing line.
The signal sent was
a
continuously ringing bell, however,
this
produced unnecessary anxiety
as well as
draining power supplies.
Eventually, the system was modified
around 1915-29 where only selective
ringing occurred and/or halted
automatically after a specific time
span
ornumberofrings. The pulsating
ringing gained
more attention without
its
stressful, constantly persisting
ringing,
however the ringing bell
was much preferred over the tapping
of the keys sounder. A more serious
technical difficulty arose when a
number of stations were connected
ARRANGEMENT OF APPARATUS TELEGIlAPH AND TERMINAL TELBPHONK STATION RAILWAY
COMPOSITE SY:ITIUC
Fla.· 11
to the same circuit. Power boosting
and
proper copper wire was essential
to improved operation. Even the
type, style and transmitter-receiver
circuit caused significant problems
which warranted
the use of telegraphic
messages as late as the I 940s.
ARRANGEMENT OF APPARATUS INTERMEDIATE TELEGRAPH AND TELItPHONlt STATION
RAILWA Y COIoUOSITB SYIITI.M .
The 1910 Northern Electric Catalogue
shows many different styles of
telephones and headsets available.
Canadian Pacific, Grand Tnlllk and
Canadian National Railways
preferred
three styles.
One style was a special
transmitter arm which was on a long,
solid metal rod. At the end was the
trans
mitter and receiver approaching
the operator/dispatchers face.
Fla. II Generally it was fixed to one location
on the wall and could not
swing
Two designsfor the composite telegmph / telephone. Top: Stomge batteries are on the lOp shelf
of the cupboard. Bottom: Balleries are under the bay window desk. Testing equipment is on
the wall, directly opposite the lelephone.
aside. The second style was the
headsets which were worn over one
or both ears, with a mounted
mouthpiece on the desk. Again, the
mouthpiece could be solidly fixed
or moveable. And the other telephone
Source: Bell Canada, Montreal, Document No. 3853, undated.
The dispatchers telephone still was the cause of serious complaints.
The railway dispatchers found that signals were often full of
interference. By 1927, the carrier current device had been
de
veloped and virtually eliminated this problem. The device was
used … to
carry 10 Morse Code cyphers and two telephone
messages over the same wire at the same time.49 In early 1900,
it appears customary for the train dispatcher to have three to five
operators working with him. The dispatcher used a transmitter
which hung from his neck and looked like an upturned cows hOI11.
He, too, would wear either a single or double receiver set over his
ear(s). The whole design held the dispatcher tethered to the power
supply and various controlling switches. Some equipment used a
single
or double foot pedal for controlling signalling equipment to
his
operator or directly to a station. The operators were similarly
mated to their
phone equipment. When the dispatcher needed a
equipment commonly seen was the flexiphone which had the
operator/dispatcher we
ar a single ear piece receiver over the head
and the mouthpiece transmitter mounted on a swinging,
moveable
and flexible X-like arm. This was the most popular type in
stations while more desk oriented jobs tended to be solid fixtures.
A demand for faster co
mmunication was needed about 1915,
between dispatcher -operator-train crews. As a result, the Northern
Electric
Company introduced a composite telegraph-telephone
system: Our railway composite telephone and telegraph system
has been designed for the
purpose of enabling telephone and
tel
egraph messages to be transmitted simultaneously over grounded
telegraph lines. It is adapted to simple Morse circuits where
interruptions
in the telegraphic current are of comparatively low
frequency and where the
charge in potential of the current due to
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 205
Norl/t(1rn Eke/ric
SEllAIHORE AND TELEPHONE EQUIPME:->iT
-1 ..,1,·,
,,,I r,-Ie-I .1>
p.lt .• ~ :ol..!,
ri.:hl·,A·,.y
lnl …. rlur J,, …. ,·1·.· I>!,,,,.J ;l.1,·d,,,J~,, •. :,,,,1
I ,I<-ph .. ,- 11.(. [,,~ I .• , .. c
ABOVE: George Horner immediately recognized
Ihe operalor as Herman Snider; Ihe loealion is
CNRs Ganunoque Junction slat ion about 1942.
Note
the operators head set, {}VA styles o/telephone,
the long solid transmilter arm and desk phon
e.
The telegraph is nol quile as permanel1l.
Source: CNR
Archives, Photo No. X14346.
LEFT: Early examples
0/ dispalcher trackside
line lelephones.
Source: Bell Canada, Mono·eal,
documenl No.
10304-1,1913,
Page 206 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991

,
A CPR trackside dispatchers line phone from about 1930;
however CP has
modernized the circuits. It was used ulltil
about 1990. On the teiepholle lransmiller is a button with
instruction push to
talk this sent a high frequency current
to the dispatchers howler to alert him.
Atthe base of the phone
is the ballel) container holdillg three lantern batteries. Note
the single piece ear set. To the left
of the battery box is the
device which completes the electrical circuit when the door is
opened
and the shelf dropped. In trouble spots, quite often an
alarm signal
is attached to the circuit alerting the dispatcher
of all il/egal en/If No/e: This telephone stil/ opera/es on the
authors model railway.
the operation of the telegraphic apparatus is not excessive … It is
not suitable for use on duplex or quadruplex lines, or where
machine sending
is employed.5o Tied with this system were three
types
of telephone stations: (a) the two terminal stations at either
end
of the rail line of where the telephone line ends; (b) intermediate
stations located between the t
erminaJs and, (c) portable sets
intended for use in an emergency or awaiting.
For this system to
function, no changes were necessary to the telegraph system,
however, the
telephone required a condenser which would prevent
the telegraphic current from leaking to the
ground and affecting
tel
ephone operations and creating interference. The telephone has
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE OF
TRACK SIDE TELEPHONES
Close knife switch to connect
telephone to circuit (where such
switches are in service).
Remove telephone handset from
hanger and operate Press to Talk
switch to speak to dispatcher.
On concluding conversation re~tl)r;.v
telephone handset to hanger. ,
Open knife switch.
Restore drop .helf to closed
Close and secure telephone box.
The importance of track side • J
telephone installations to traiJ1.rews
and maintenance of way per!,el
dictates that employees shou
handle the equipment in a care III
.
manner to prevent damage t,,#,e
telephone, associated equipment
or housing.
Inside the dispatchers tracks ide telephone are the reminder
ins/ructions for
irs use.
a signal button on the box face and when pressed, sent a high
frequency current along to the howler.
The howler was a telephone
receiving unit with a horn,
so the station agent could readily hear
it. Its volume could be adjusted by moving the howlers diaphragm,
closer
of further away from the magnets. With composite technology,
the length
of the telegraph line plus the number of intermediate
stations, could successfully be used, but,
it was conditional. The
telegraph line depended on such characteristics as length, gauge,
material and
amount of wire used. Uncovered copper wire
operated best, however, wire covered
in paper was more efficient
than that covered with
insulated rubber, as rubber created a high
electrostatic charge.
In short, the ordinary telegraph lines of up to
100 miles, with five intermediate stations, would operate effectively.
In age old railway tradition, the station operator was the operational
link to the train crews.
Using the telegraph, the dispatcher sent his
orders.
They would be coded and then decoded from memory and
sent out to the stations as needed. Once the operator received the
orders via telegraph, he
or she (as there were many women
telegraph operators) would then key back the orders tothedispatchers
operator for verification.
Once approved, the station agent or
station telegrapher would then complete and time the orders on
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991
The obvious changes to .the telephone are evident with this
photo
ofa modem tracks ide line telephone. Note the differences:
the smaller
modem phone hand set, the single ballery and the
board clip. The circuit
switchJor use when the door opens, is
at the top right side. The previous instmclions for use are
identical here as well.
It is with great appreciation to the
Cooks steel crew that this photo was taken
for the pUlposes of
this article.
form 19Y or type them. The semaphore signal was put into
position so the engineer knew whether he was to stop, slow down,
or just keep going. If there were orders to be hooped up, the
semaphores were set up so the train adjusted speed accordingly.
This whole procedure was very time consuming and riddled with
error potential, With respect to the telephone, there was little
doubt as to the accuracy of a message. Also, it was faster and much
less time consuming. Where there might be doubt, letters, and/or
words were spelled out letter by letter or the numbers written in
letters followed by the number, that is, six thirty 630. The orders
were then repeated as given and any errors
corrected, then signed
with the disPlltchers initials. the dispatcher then notated the order
complete and the time in.his train order book. (This was common
with the telegraph as well except that there was an added burden
to
code and decode). Eventually the telephone would replace five
operators with one.
CANADIAN RAIL Page 207
It is significant to note that Canadian National Railways (CNR)
began transmitting radio
programs to their passengers on board
trains
in 1923. Marconi had harnessed wireless communication
with electromagnetic waves. Further, the CNRs president, Sir
Henry Thornton, bought the Western Union Telegraph Company.
Western Union had some 6670 miles of telegraph lines at some 188
offices in eastern Canada alone by 1928. When the CNR was
incorporated,
it not only had the worlds largest railway system,
but
CN Telegraph offices were connected 10 some I 1335 mi les of
telegraph-telephone wire. After much research and development
between Canadian National Railways and the Bell Telephone
Company of Canada, the CNR presented another technological
feat: … for the first
time in any part of the world, for a two-way
telephony from
moving trains.51 now existed. This service began
on
Sunday, April 27, 1930 aboard the inaugural run of the
International Limited – … which was hailed then as the … worlds
fastest passenger train operating over a 334 mile run between
Montreal and
Toronto in 360 minutes.52 Typically, the Grand
Trunk had experimented with this very idea as early as 1910, but
the
GTR failed because … of the difficulty of establishing a
physical link between
moving train and any fixed contact point.5J
-Note:
one-way telephone communication from moving trains
was successfully being used in Germany; the CNR and Bell had
taken advantage
of their work and developed two-way instantaneous
talk.
Small
Railway communities began using telephone. Significantly,
the largest work force
was the railway. For example, in Halifax
there existed
about 400 telephones in 1888, but only one in
Etobicoke, Ontario (a city suburb of Toronto), in 1903. The phone
provided the railway with another way to get their employees to
work. Up to this
time, Call Boys with bicycles were hired to notify
and/or awaken slee
ping train crews at home. However, a railway
ruling
came into effect where all employees who lived more than
two miles from a yard, were
required to have a phone. In 1906, The
Grand Trunk decided to build a major freight yard west of Toronto
and call it Mimico. For nearly 50 years, Mimico was a solid
railway town.
Even before developers and building contractors
built homes
in the area a GTR locomotive, one coach and van
would pick up
railway crews at designated locations around
Toronto, but this method was not beneficial. In these first new
homes,
48 were equipped with a telephone. As time progressed,
more rai lway fami lies received
phones and the way of the Call Boy
began to diminish. By 1916, Mimico and New Toronto had
become a big urban centre
S4
The railway telephone superseded the telegraph. By 1940, the
telephone was a ful I partner in rai I way communication and operations.
It now had other
immediate and emergency uses, such as the
excerpt from the poem RED, by F. W. MacKenrat:
Verse
12:
The boys got busy and hung up the phone,
The dispatcher had answered in a very bad tone,
Go back with your engine as quick as you can,
And keep on
going until you pick up your man
l
55
The telephone used here to communicate with the dispatcher, was
the dispatchers trackside line telephone. The trackside or dispatchers
line phone played other roles. George Copeland, a retired CPR
fireman/engineer notes: The trainman or brakeman used the
Page 208 RAIL CANADIEN
TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT
FOR STEAM AND ELECTRIC RAILWAYS
r
110. 3 Line Pole NO.3 Line Pole
DIsjointed Assembled
NO.4 Line Pole
No. N2 Line Pole
LINE POLES
Mndc or hickory nnd nrC adapted (or US( III (;(1Il­
nee lion with mltrdlic circuits; tin: sprcnd(r~ IIrc u(
5uOkient Itn!th to t!llS3gc wires SPACl!U 1 distlllH:C uf
:! fll,.l opnrt. Connl.:ctors nrc provided with n ch:lInin!,!
deice. l::4uiPPfU witb 100 feet of ,!·conduclur (unl.
U~LJ witll XI)S. l:tJO·I-;, t:i:Jl·E, 1:1:1:!·I·:, ::1·,,;11111
1:1.:1:!· E purl,tlIL t,·It·lhOnl·~.
TmJc
~u.
:lfrli.
:-.In.
ri.,,.
E: … II
~7 .S.)
Similar to No.~, but arrang<,d fur conmctinl! tile
porta hie telqJilonc to the line wire of it grountk·d (ir·
l!uit. F:qUilplO witll 10 flct of single.cunductur lC)!(J.
U5<:0 wilh ;. l:I1~·A porta hie tdCI)honl·.
Tr!lu(
Nt).
O~H4Uu
~lfr~.
:–;.
RICHARDSON LINE POLES
Price
E:,·h
Arranged (or USE in connection with Illetnllic cir­
cuits. Can ue connect(~d to linc wires·in either hori·
zontal or ertical tllancs which an. spaced RIIY distnlH..t
up to 5!J2 (cet. The adjustllwnt or on(·wirt! clump i~
controlled hy /I tonI. The len!!th 01 the cord COnlllct·
ing tll( lillc to thr tlh.plionc Stt i~ 100 kClt.
Ul·wd with ::-:. ]:tIO·E, 1:t:l1·E, 1~:t2·., n:!2·I·:
illlJ ~k- )1011,,1.1, ll·hphollls.
Tr:,,,·
il.
O,.·.!I·t!i7
I·r.·.·
Line pole styles with interesting prices and explanations.
Source: Bell COl/ada, Montreal, document No. 10304-1, 1913 and 21] 10,1920.
NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
Canpa [abbreviation forCANadianPAcificj.
We would have to wait there until the CNR
operator called back and gave us verbal
permission to proceed. Wed start the train
when the trainman gave us a slow ahead
hand wave, and wed crawl towards CN
Canpa. This routine lasted until 1980 or so;
now its aU done by radio and better timing.
It is
noteworthy that the Union Pacific
Railroad were the … earliest to use siding
telephones together with signals. 56 around
1905
or 1908. M r Copeland added: The
silver metal instrument huts provided another
means of communication, but not for moving
trains. A flashing white light at night
or a
horn blasted by day, alerted a crew that the
dispatcher watched them.
This occurred in
extreme conditions. The crew then went to
the nearest available dispatchers trackside
phone and called. It was also for track
crews, telegraph construction men, bridge
workers and idle trains in-the-hole. In the
van, a portable telephone (and telegraph
set) was kept for use by the
conductor or
trainman in case of emergency. The line
pole had bare wire clips at the top which
hung onto
the wire beside the glass insulators.
At the base of the line pole, the conductor
took a clamp and attached it to the portable
telephone unit.
The conductor would first
identify
himself, give the train number, and
the dispatcher would then issue
the necessary
orders. Note: portable telegraph units were
used in a similar fashion. The diagram of
the telephone lines is printed in every
Employee Timetable. By locating the area
the train
was in, the trainman would use the
picture, match
up the pins, hook up the wire
to his set and ca
ll the dispatcher.
VI. CONCLUSION
Morse strove and achieved the use of the
telegraph, and it was the first
machine to
transmit and receive messages
over great
distances. Bell sought to improve and
supplement the telegraph, by successfully
introducing almost instantaneous human
voice communication. On the railway, the
dispatchers phone the most. This crew member would then relay
the orders back to
the engineer. These phones are attached to every
turnout
which called for a change of direction of change onto the
mainline. They were also located at every train order station for
immediate contact with the
dispatcher. A typical example for use
of the dispatchers line telephone were the CP freights heading to
Hamilton along the CNR Lakeshore line. The freight would have
to
make a full stop at North Queen Street. The trainman would
detrain, cross the
road and call the CNR operator-Ieverman at telegraph provided the first
viableandessential medium of dispatching
and co
mmunicating with others. By the 1940s, the telegraph and
telephone were ins
eparable mates. However, after World War II,
the telegraph,
which had dominated railway dispatching and
communication for a century, began a fast decline, becoming a
backup
system to the telephone, then, fading out completely by the
early 1970s.
Today, radio and even satellite telecommunication is
beginning to re
place the telephone.
IJOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CAIJADIAIJ RAIL
Portable Telephone Sets
10. 1330-f Portable Set
No. 1332· Por< ble Set
No. lJ36·F Closed
No. 133b·F Upen
Norrlt(!rl1 E/(!clric
TELEPHONE ARMS AND BRACKETS
.·0. IO-l8-0D Telephonl! ;
om
TOP AND MIDDLE ROWS: Portable sets used in the van or on telegraph poles.
BOTTOM ROW: Two styles
ojjlexiarms with telephone at the end.
SOURCE: Bell Canada, Montreal, document No. 10304-1, 1913
and 21110, 1920.
Page 209
Page 210 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS PERTAINING TO TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE DEVELOPMENT
1753 –
1791 –
April 27
1831 –
1837 –
1838 –
January 8
1844 -May 23
1844 -May 24
1844 –
1845 –
1846 –
October *
1846 -December J 9 *
1847 -*
1847 -March 3
1850 -(circa)
1851 -(circa)
1851 -April 8
1851 -September 22
1852 –
1853 –
*
1855 -June 2 *
1858 -*
1858 -August 5
1862 –
1862 –
May 24
1863 -June 15
1863 -July 6 *
1864 -Summer *
1866 -July 27
1868 -*
1869 –
1869 –
1874 –
October 17 *
1874 -October 30 *
1874 -November 10 *
1875 -February 9
1875 –
( * Indicates a Canadian Event)
Earliest published article about an electric telegraoph.
Samuel F.B. Morse born (died April 2, 1872).
Professor John Henry details electro-magnetic theory.
C. Wheatstone ( 802-1875) and W.F. Cooke (1806-1879) experiment with electro-magnetic key but are not
convinced about its use.
Morse and Vail present dot-and-dash code.
First experimental message sent by telegraph between Baltimore and Washington.
The text was: WHAT
HATH GOD WROUGHT.
Morse wins grant from Congress.
Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad begins using telegraph for train operation.
Capture
of English murderer John Tawell; this heJps establish the needle telegraph in England.
Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company begins operation.
First political
message sent from Toronto Mayor to Hamilton Mayor – a businessman also inquires about an
unpaid bill.
Montreal
Telegraph Company, controlled by Hugh Allan, connects with Ottawa, Sackville N.B., Buffalo
N.Y., Detroit Mich. and Portland Maine.
Alexander
Graham Bell born in Edinburgh Scotland (died August 2, 1922).
American
Telegraph Company (Agency).
New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company opens.
Western Union Telegraph Company opens (Agency).
Erie Railroad first uses telegraph for train dispatching.
Norton Telegraph Works Company (Agency).
Grand
Trunk Railway obtains power to construct telegraph lines.
Northern Railway (OS
& H) reaches CoUingwood.
North-West Transportation, Navigation and Railway Company given power
to establish telegraph lines, but
fails in 1862.
First Atlantic cable cable completed; however it failed after only a few weeks.
L.G. Tillotson
& Company (contact keys and Victor instruments).
First use
of telegraph in warfare, in American Civil War.
Agreement reached
to purchase Hudsons Bay Company Ruperts Land.
Watkin heads
west to initiate plans.
Dr. John
Rae begins survey for telegraph-railway route.
Completion
of first successful Atlantic cable at Hearts Content, Newfoundland.
Dominion Telegraph Company gives Montreal Telegraph
Company a Price War competition for telegrams.
Western Electric (Manufacturing) Company (keys, sounders, relays).
Chester Patrick and Company (general, plus keys, sounders and relays).
Contract I awarded for western telegraph construction.
Contract 2 awarded for western telegraph construction.
Contract 3 awarded for western telegraph construction.
Final western telegraph contract.
Anderson Brothers (made practice sets).
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 211
1876 –
1876 –
March 10
1876 -August 10
1878 –
1879 –
*
1880 -*
1880 -*
1880 -*
1882 -*
1883 -*
1883 –
1885 –
*
1886 -*
1886 -*
1890 -(circa)
1894 -*
1896 –
1900 –
(circa)
1906 -*
1907 -*
1909 -February 12
1909 -October 28 *
1910 –
1910 -*
1923 -*
1924 -,;
1927 –
1930 –
1930 –
April 27 *
1935 -February 14
1940 -(circa) *
1950 -(circa) *
1950 -*
1960 –
1972 -May 30
W.E. Day & Company (Agents for practice telegraph sets).
Bells telephone made public.
Be
ll applies to Dominion Telegraph Company for long-distance line.
J.H. Bunnell (1843-1899) standardizes key / sounder design.
Hamilton
& Dundas (street) Railway Company is first in Canada to use telephone for train dispatching.
Northern
Railway uses telephone between locomotive and van.
Bell Telephone
Company of Canada founded.
Great North Western Telegraph Company connects Ontario and Quebec. Western Union takes over
in 1881
and consolidates Canadian telegraph companies. The Canadian Northern Railway took over wilen the GNWT
Co. went bankrupt, and it became the basis of the CNR Telegraph Company.
CPR has 895 miles of railway telegraph lines.
CPR begins commercial telegrams and news service.
U.S. Postal
Telegraph Company (Agency).
CPR Telegraph
Company begins expanded commercial service between Lale Superior and Rockies / breaks
Western Union monopoly.
North
American Telegraph Company (Agency -U.S.A.).
CPR Telegraph Company makes connections with east-west U.S. coasts.
Railways standardize Morse
Code and Uniform Operating Code.
CPR Telegraph Company connects with Associated Press to distribute news along lines.
Foote, Pierson and Company (general line-keys, sounders, relays).
Horace G. Martin
Company (bugs), also Vibroplex Company Inc. (bugs).
Grand
Trunk Railway builds Mimico Yard -uses telephones over call boys.
CPR Telegraph
Company attempts to quadruple prices charged to three Winnipeg newspapers. They object,
so
CPR cuts them off, as well as one in Nelson B.C.
W.E. Harkness makes telephone presentation to St. Louis Railway Club.
CPR begins using telephone for train dispatching.
Board
of Railway Commissioners of Canada established. It is designed to watch telegraph-telephone
messages and fees charged for transmissions.
CPR Telegraph Company loses to Board over 1907 decision to raise prices. As a result it drops the news
revenue
business.
CNR begins radio service on passenger trains.
Northern Electric Company introduces Public Address system in Toronto.
Telephone Carrier Current developed
to stop signal intereferance.
CPR begins exchanging telephone-telegraph traffic with the U.S. Postal Telegraph Company.
CNR begins two-way telephone transmission on International Limited between Toronto and Montreal.
Austen G. Cooley
perfects transmission of photographs using the telephone lines. This is the first facsimile
system.
Telephone full partner on the railway.
Telegraph use diminishing as telephone, teletype, Deskfax (facsimile) and radio start
to dominate.
CPR phases
out Morse code to convey railway orders and replaces it with telephone and teletype in Jackman
/ only commercial messages with telegraph.
CN-CP Telecommunications was formed.
CP Telecommunications closes its last remaining Morse commercial circuit at I :15 A.M., from Batiscan,
Quebec.
The final message was: THIS IS THE LAST TELEGRAM VIA MORSE CODE IN CANADA.
WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?.
Page 212 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
NOTES
1 Dots and Dashes, September-October 1968, Pg 3
Yonder Comes the Train, Pg 346
Dots and Dashes, September-October, 1968, Pg 3
Ibid.
Pg 5
lOots and Dashes,
July-August-September, 1973, Pg 5
Ibid.
July-August-September, 1989, Pg 5
7Ibid.
July-August-September, 1987, Pg 5
Ibid. January-February-March, 1988, Pg 5
9Growing Up with
Canada, Pg 15
lOHistory of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Innis, H.A., Pg 38
Ibid. Pg 39
llibid. Pg 40
i3History of Transportation in Canada, Yol. 2, Glazebrooke, G.P.,
Pg41
l4Ibid.
Pg 39
Ibid. Pg 40
6Ibid. Pg 42
%id. Pg 44
lRHistory of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Innis, H.A., Pg 83
19Ibid.
Pg 85
2°Ibid.
Pg 85
Ibid. Pg 88
22Ibicl. Pg 133
DDots and Dashes, July-August-September, 1974, Pg 4
21A History of the Canadian National Railways, Stevens, G.R., Pg
157
l5Yonder Comes the Train, Pg 350
26The Railway Station, Richards J., MacKenzie, 1.M., Pg 303
27Dots and Dashes,
July-August-September, 19754, Pg 9
2SCanada
Moves Westward 1880-I 890, Batten, J., Pg 38
29Yan Hornes Road, Lavallee, 0., Pg 290
)ODots and Dashes, April-May-June, 1977, Pg9
Dots and Dashes, April-May-June, 1977, Pg 9
)2National
Model Railroaders Association, April 1964, Pgs D6u.0 I
to
D6u.03
) The Railway Station, Richards, J., MacKenzie, 1.M., Pg 304
)4 The Telephone for Train Dispatching, Harkness, W.E. Pg 1-2
)5 Ibid. Pg 2
6Ibid. Pg 4
)%id. Pg 6
)81bid. Pg 8
]9Ibid.
Pg 8
4°The
Telephone -The First Hundred Years, Brooks, J., Pg 37
Dots and Dashes, January-February-March, 1974, Pg 3
4lThe Canadians -Alexander Graham Bell, Petrie, A.R., Pg 32
4)History of the Canadian National Railways, Stevens, G.R., Pg
125
44Ibid.
PG157
45The Telephone for Train Dispatching Harkness, W.E. Pg 9
46Ibid.
Pg 17
47Composite
Telephone and Telegraphs for Railway Service,
Northern Electric, Pg 8
4SMontreal
Herald, October 28, 1909
49History
of the Canadian National Railways, Stevens, G.R., Pg
331
50Composite
Telephones and Telegraphs for Railway Service,
Northern Electric, Pg I
5History
of Canadian National Railways, Stevens, G.R., Pg 334
52C.N.R. Magazine, Yol XVI, #6, Dennison, M. PG 5
53Ibid.
Pg 6
54Etobicoke –
from furrow to borough, Heyee, E., Pfl27
55Canadian Rail, Issue #389, November-December, 1985, Pg 207
56The Telephone for Train Dispatching, Harkness, W.E., Pg 9
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 213
APPENDIX A
Uniform Code of Operating Rules –Rules with respect to Telegraphs and Telephones
The first Standard Code was adopted about 1889 by the General
Time Convention, later becoming the Association of American
Railroads. Using the telegraph for train orders, the Code was
designed to give uniform train rules
for allY train movement. As
the telephone was introduced and improved, it was found more
adaptive to the
railways needs, the Code was again revised. Rule
books differ, sometimes considerably from railway to railway and
one edition to the next. When rules were subject to interpretation,
it
was the Rules Examiner or Superintendent who was the judge
when a dispute arose. These rules applied to mainlines, branch
lines and
so on. The following is a list of the more typical
U.C.O.R.;
of particular note is rule 206. Examples are from CNRs
U.C.O.R., August 25,1951:
[Timetables]
RULE 6. The following symbols when used in the timetable
indicate: … P
Telephone … (page 14)
[Movement of Trains and Engines]
RULE 85a. (Single Track) When a section passes another section
of the same schedule, unless authorized by train order, the leading
train must notify opposing trains affected until the next available
point of communication is reached and the train dispatcher
advised. (Page 47)
RULE 94. A train which overtakes another train so disabled that
it cannot proceed may pass it, if practicable, and if necessary will
assume the schedule and take the train orders of the disabled train,
proceed to the next available point
of communication, and there
report to the train dispatcher.
The disabled train will assume the
right
of schedule and take the train orders of the last train with
which it has exchanged, and will, when able, pro
ceed to and report
from
the next available point of communication. Trains affected
which are met or passed under these circumstances must be
notified.
(Page 52)
RULE 94a. When a train, unable to proceed against the right or
schedule of an opposing train, is overtaken between open train
order offices by a train having right or schedule which permits it
to proceed, the delayed train may, after proper understanding with
the following train, precede it to the
next available point of
communication where it must report to the train dispatcher … (Page
53)
R ULE 104 Para 13. If it is known or suspected that the points, or
any parts of a switch are damaged or broken, the switch must be
protected, section foreman notified, and
reporlmade to the proper
authority from the first available point of communication. [Recall
telephones are attached to
most locations where this could happen
with
exception of yards.] (Page 62) [Rules for
Movement by Train Orders]
RULE 206 Para 5. In transmitting and repeating train orders by
telephone the
number in the address will be pronounced and then
spelled letter by letter. All
stations and numerals in the body of an
order must first be plainly pronounced and then spelled letter by
letter, thus:
AURORA A-U-R-O-R-A, and one nought five o-n-e
n-o-u-g-h-t f-i-v-e. (Page 70)
Para 6. When train orders are transmitted by telegraph the train
dispatcher must write the order into the train order book as the first
office repeats, and
check and underscore each word and figure at
each repetition.
When transmitted by telephone he must write the
order as he transmits it, and check and underscore each word and
figure at repetition.
(Page 70)
[Rules Governing Opposing and Following Train/Engine
Movements]
RULE 267. Instructions or information received by telephone
from the train dispatcher must be repeated to him before being
acted on,
stating time and occupation of the employee and his train
or engine number. The train dispatcher must make proper record
immediately.
(Page 123)
[Automatic Block Signals]
RULE 509. When a train or engine approaches a stop signal
indicating
stop it must stop before reaching the signal and not more
that 100 yards from it. If not immediately cleared it must
communicate with train dispatcher, and upon receiving advice that
there is no
conflicting train movement may proceed at restricted
speed to the next signal … (Page 140)
RULE 510. Block signals or switch indicators which are evidently
out of order must be reported to the train dispatcher from the first
available
point of communication. (Page 142)
[Interlocking Rules]
RULE 671. While an interlocking station is closed, should a
signal for an
open route indicate stop, train anei engine crews must
know that the route for their train is properly lined and be assured
they are protected
against movements on conflicting routes, after
which train may proceed at restricted speed. The fact must be
reported to the
superintendent from the first available point of
communication. The following General Instructions specify telephone/
telegraph rules.
They are taken from the CNR book, October 28,
1962.
Page 214 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
The Public Address System was all offshoot of Ihe
telephone. Northern Electric Co. placed this illlo
service
ill 1924 01 Torolltos Unioll Sta/ion under
Toronto Termillal Railw
ay use. They werefound al
Ba/hurst Street
and al Spadina Avellue. Men were
1I0tified via Ihe P.A. to throw the array of manual
switches.
Source: Bell Canada, MOl1/real, photo 10982B.
APPENDIX B
General Instructions Covering Train, Engine, Yard and Other Operating Employees Connected With t.he
Movement of Trains, Locomotives and Cars
[General]
4. In CTC, telephones are
located in vicinity of all main
track switches. In CTC, electric horn and white light to summon
employees to telephone must be answered promptly. (Not applicable
to e
mployees on moving trains.) (Page 2-3)
[Instruct
ions Governing the use of Railway Radio)
4. Radios sha
ll not be used for transmission of train orders except
as may be authorized by the Chi
ef Train Dispatcher, as occasions
d
emand, and when so used, rules governing the transmission of
train orders by telephone must be observed. (Page 8)
[Handling Dangerous
Commodities)
… Particulars
of cars found leaking and set out enroute must be
reported to Superintendent from first available point of
communication. (Page 63-4)
[Laws Pertaining to
Hours of Servive U.S. Territory)

19. When instructions cannot be obtained on account of no open
tel
egraph offices, wires down, or other such causes, conductors and
enginemen must reduce train load, or take such action as in
necessary to
insure reaching a terminal or relay point and obtaining
relief before having been on duty 16 hours. (Page 89)
[Train Dispatchers a
nd operators)
23. No operator, tra
in dispatcher, or other employee who by the
use
of the telegraph or telephone, dispatches, reports, transmits,
receives or delivers orders pe
l1aining to oraffecting train movements,
sha
ll be required or permitted to be or remain on duty for a longer
period than: First, 9 hours in any 24-hour period in all towers,
offices, places and stations continuously operated night and day.
Second,
13 hours in any 24-hour period in all towers, offices,
places and stations operated only during the daytime,
except in
case
of emergency, when the employees named in this proviso may
be permitted to be and remain on duty for 4 additional hours in any
week. Any tower, office or station will be considered,
continuously
operated
night and day if such place is open as a telegraph office
more than 13 hours during any 24-hour period, regardless of time
it opens and time it closes. Any tower, office or st
ation will be
considered operated only during
the day time if such place is open
as a telegraph office not to exceed 13 hours during any 24-hour
period regardless of time it opens and lime it closes. (Page 90-91)
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 215
APPENDIX Bl
General Instructions Pertaining to the Movement of Trains, Engines and Cars. Canadian Pacific Railway,
April 27, 1958. Source: George Copeland
[Connivnnce in llegnl TrnnspOitation by Railway Employees]
16. (Final Paragraph) If an agent, ynrdmaster or conductor (nnd
particulnrly the latter
in connection with cars loaded at flng
stmions and outlying sidings) has
reason to believe that a shipment
is falsely billed and contains contraband, although classified as
some other commodity, he will immediately infOlm hisSuperintendent
by telegraph,
giving full particulars, including car number. (Page
58)
17(b).
Toall conductors,enginemen, trainmen, and other employees:
-Conductors,
Enginemen, or Trainmen who discover or receive
notice
of the existence and location of a fire burning upon or nenr
the right-of-way,
or of a fire which threatens land adjacent to the
right-of-way, shall report the
same by wire to the Superintendent,
and shall also report it to the Agent
or persons in charge at the next point at
which there shall be communication by telegraph or
telephone, and to the first section employees passed .. Notice to
track forces
of such fire shall also be given immediately by engine
whistle signal 14(r)[000000] U.C.O.R. (Page 59)
17(e).[This
discusses the actions to be taken by Agents, Dispatchers
and Operators when receiving the fire location. They use the
wire to notify the Superintendent.] (Page 60)
17(f). [This discusses that section Foremen, extra gang foremen,
bridge foremen, telegraph
or other construction gangs, and other
track employees, are to fight the fire and … additional help shall
be immediately requested by telegraph or telephone message to
the
Superintendent or Roadmaster.](Page 61).
APPENDIX C
Rules and Rates of Pay for Telegraphers. Grand Trunk Railway System Operating Rules, June 18, 1911.
Source: G.
Horner
The more significant and interesting Rules are reproduced here.
317.
The first duty of an Operator is to make himself thoroughly
familiar with the Rules, and
obey them. (Page 159)
318.
Operators having other duties in connection with the telegraph
must attend to those
of the telegraph first. (Page 159)
320. In addition to the office call, operators will sign their
own
private signal in sending or receiving telegrams, and such letters,
with time
of sending, must be shown upon each telegram. Each
telegram received
must show on its face the office call from which
it
was sent, the time received, and the signal of sending and
receiving
Operators. (Page 159)
322.
None but officers of the Company and employees of the office
are to be allowed within it.
Students will not be allowed in offices
without written permission from the Superintendent.
and they
must not be allowed to practice upon the main wires, answer calls,
or transact business until authorized
todo so by the Chief Dispatcher.
(Page 159)
323.
The greatest care must be exercised in sending or receiving
orders regarding the
movement of trains by telegraph. (Page 159) 327.
Operators must read all messages carefully before sending to
prevent
delay in sending. No message will be transmitted from
dictation
or otherwise than from legible copy. When difficult
words
occur in messages, transmission must be slow and distinct.
(Page 160)
330. Verbal
messages regarding the safety of trains or bridges
must
not be sent when possible to avoid it. Communications of this
character must be made in writing to avoid mistakes. (Page 160)
339.
The local battery must be kept clean and in good working
order. The liquid should always cover the zinc, the loss by
evaporation being replaced with clean water. A portion of the
solution
must be dipped off occasionally replaced with water. The
blue solution should always cover the copper but never reach the
zinc.
It is much easier to keep a local battery in good order if the
vitriol is supplied in small quantities as it is consumed. As a
deposit
of copper is constantly forming, the accumulation should
be removed when necessary. (Page 162)
343.
Correct time will be sent daily at II oclock A.M .. Eastern
Time; all business will be suspended on the time circuits and
connections made with the McGill Observatory clock at Montreal
for
two minutes. This signal clock will break .the circuit once every
second, except the 50th second, when line will remain open for ten
seconds, the
signals again being transmitted from 10.59 to 10.59
and 50 seconds, when there will be another pause of 10 seconds,
the line closing at 11 oclock A.M. (Page 163)
Page 216 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
Canadian National Railways, Rules and Wages for
Telegraphers,
june 16th, 1927
Article 8 -Exemptions
(a) Telegraphers
will be exempted from shovell ing snow. stenci Iling
cars. shifting coal
ashes. tending to flower gardens. scrubbing
stations. cleaning chimneys. unloading. c
utting or piling fuel,
clea
ning and disinfecting cars or cleaning outbuildings. handling
Government
mails. and any other work not incidental to the usual
work of a telegrapher. Special consideralion will be given to cases
where
it is shown that attending to heaters in cars at Terminals or
Junctions, or calling crews, constitutes a hardship or unduly
intelferes with
the other duties of the agenl or operator. (Page 16)
Article 9 -Attending Lamps, Pumping Engines and Windmills
(a) Telegraphers will. without extra compensation. keep train
order signal lamps clean and
in good condition and lighted when
required.
(b) Telegraphers who attend pumping engines or windmills. which
work will be optional with
them, will be paid $10.00 per month for
attending to pumping engines and windmills or pumping engines
only, and $5.00 per month for attending to windmills only. (Page
17)
, ..•.• ~ …. , .,;~, &:I_.L.J~Li.ll..ing.a.t.o.n..—G.eneI.aL
-Ag8….LL ._111111 .mltuf~~ Ih~~o vcrtllil1in!J !lhir.lly lnhmuncssr:l
ChicagQ &J~rth W estern ~ai,-,tw,-,a,y __ _
Itdll!~II.f.J.lbl.tTS()!( WHmHHN UNION J.rNRH I:fTAR lhunm~
,,,,illl,.,,, :11 19181,1< •• nth ....... ontel!d
~~ I~::
S((CONO.ItONS
ON eAC ••
CONDITIONS
THIS PRANK I~ 0000 ONL.Y BBTW!BN TH!; ..oINTS
AND· FOR THB CLASS OF MESSAGES STATED.
ALL MESSAGES POR POINTS BEYOND THESE UNITS
MUST Be PAI[I FOR AT RBCUt.:AR RATKS. THE HOLDBR
OF THIS P.RANK. BY-
AcciPTINC AND ACTING UNDIR LT.
ASSUMI!S ALL RISK. AND ACff6ES TH.AT TH.. TBL.!ORAPH
COMPANY
SHALL HOT· BI! LIABLE POR DAMAGES.
WHETHER ARISING FROM NEOLICENCI! 01 ITS AoaHTS
. OR OTHeRWISe.
• N~I IIiIJ /0 m_, .. tJelhon.J /0 tJet;ph offica. .
2431
……… .., …………. ,., c·
Frank passes were issued to Ihe telegraph / telephone employees.
Here
is shown, the face of a 1918 Chicago & North Westem
Railway Frank Pass with the back of 1919. The CNR and CPR
Telegraphs i
ssued similar card type franks 10 railway officials and
Members
of Parliamenl. This gave them (he authoriry 10 send
messages over the commercial wires without charge.
Southern Ontario District. Belleville Division
RATE PER
STATION
POSITION MONTH
———–_ .. ————-_ .. —–
………….. _-_ ……………
Lyn jet. Agent 133.00 HFL
Mallory town Agent 133.00 HFL
Operator 122.00
Lansdowne
Agent 137.00
Gananoque
jet. Agent 134.00
2nd Operator 122.00
3rd Operator 122.00
Findley
Agent 129.00
N. Operator 122.00
Kingston
Agent 129.00
Kingston
jet. Tkt. Agt. & Opr. 156.00
2nd Operator 138.00
3rd Operator 138.00
Collins Bay Agent 129.00
HFL
Ernestown Agent 130.00 HFL
N. Operator 122.00
Napanee
Agent 178.00
1st
(sic) Operator 148.00
2nd Operator 140.00
3rd Operator 140.00
Marysville
Agent 129.00 HFL
ShannonviJIe
Agent 129.00
HFL
Belleville Agent 245.00
Belleville Yd. 1st Operator 162.00
2nd Operator 162.00
3rd Operator 162.00
Belleville
B 1st Operator 164.00
2nd Operator 164.00
3rd Operator 164.00
(Page
56, and so on … )
NOTE: HFL means
Free House, Fuel and
Lights.
NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 1991 CANADIAN RAIL Page 217
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SOURCES
*** A special note of THANKS to the two Georges and Pat
Stoneburgh for their tremendous
encouragement, proofread ing,
patience
ancl sharing their personal insights, experiences and
andecotes. **
Acknowledgements:
-Copeland, G., retired CPR fireman / engineer, Telephone use and
line pole information and Railway
Operating Rules (fired steam
excursions
of the 136, 1057 in the 1970s), Toronto
-Horner, G.W., retired CNR telegraph and telephone operator,
Telegraph-telephone historical information and use. Railway
operating rules, GTR telegraph Pay Scale, photocaptions and
Bug photograph, Guelph
-Romaini,
c., Canadian National Railways Historical Archives­
photo source, Montreal
-Stasewich, B., Midwestern Rail Association (1975) Inc., Telegraph­
telephone glass insulators, Burlington
-Stoneburgh, Constable p.,
CP Rail Police Investigations, Toronto
-Townsend, L.,BeJl Canada Historical Services, Railway Telephone
materials and photo source, Montreal
-Batten,
J., Canada Moves Westward 1880-1890, Natural Science
of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1977
-Bell Canada (Courtesy
of Historical Department)
-Dennison, M.,. Bell,
c., Canadian National Railways Magazine,
Vol XVI, No.6, June 1930
-Harkness, W.E.,
The Telephone for Train Dispatching, Feb. 12,
1909
-Northe1l1 Electric Company, Composite Telephone and Telegraph
Systems for Railway Service, Document Number 3853 (undated)
-Sise, P.F., General Catalogue
# 2, Electrical Supplies, Telephone
Apparatus, Fire AlalID Apparatus, Document # 10304-1, 1913
RIGHT: Franks were different colours for their issued
year, value and series number. The CPR Frank is
from
1895, serial number 086. The frank passes were in the
form of booklets col1laining the stamps. Complete booklets
exist but are very scarc
e. The CPR issued franks from
1887 to
1936. All were black except/or 1902, 1903, 1904.
The Canadian National, Canadian Northern, Grand Trunk
Pacific, Bell Telephone and others also issued franks.
Samples of1913 Bell Telephonefranks are also shown. All
are dijferel1l colours.
Interestingly, the Uniled States issued a
3 celli poslage
stamp
in 1944 to mark the centennial of the lelegraph.
Canada never issued one,
bUI did produce a sl(lmp to
commemorate
Ihe centennial of Ihe telephone in 1974.
-Brooks, 1., The Telephone-The First Hundred Years, Harper &
Row
Publishers., N.Y., 1975
-Canadian National Railways Public Affairs, Growing Up with
Canada,
CNR Public Affairs and Advertising, Montreal, 1987
-Careless, 1.M.S., Canada: A Story
of Challenge, MacMillan of
Canada, T.H. Best Printing Co., 1963
-Dots and Dashes, Morse
Telegraph Club Newspaper, Fresno,
California, Issues
January 1868 to March 1991 (George Horner)
-Glazebrook, G.P. de T., A History
of Transportation in Canada.
Vol 2, McClelland and
Stewart Ltd., 1964
-Heyes, E., Etobickoe-from furrow to borough, Web Offset
Publications,
Toronto, 1974
-Innis, H.A. A History
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, University
of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1971
-Lavallee,
0., Van Hornes Road, Railfare Enterprises Ltd., Don
Mills, 1974
-MacKenrot,
F.W., Red*, Canadian Rail, Issue 389, Nov./Dec.
1985
-Mika, N., Railways of Canada-A Pictorial History, McGraw-Hill
Ryerson, Toronto, 1978

Newman, P.e., Ceasars of the Wilderness, Penguin Books
Canada, Markham, 1987
-Petire, A.R.,
The Canadians -Alexander Graham Bell, Fitzhenry
and Whiteside Ltd., DonMills, 1975
-Phillips, L, Yonder Comes the Train, Galahad Books, N. Y. 1986
-Phillips.,
R.AJ., Canadian Railways, McGraw-Hili Ryerson
Company of Canada, Toronto, 1968
-Richards, J.,
MacKenzie, J.M., The Railway Station – A Social
HistOIY, Oxford University Press, 1988
-Stevens, G.R. A History
of the Canadian National Railways,
MacMillan Co., N.Y., 1973
C 18
.~~.
-~~;JJ
191.3
, 71
.~(
. .) .
. .
·1913
Page 218 RAIL CANADIEN NOVEMBRE -DECEMBRE 1991
CRHA Communications
RAILWAY PRESERVATION IN
NEWFOUNDLAND
Our member, Mr. Dyson Thomas sends these
photos, taken on July 2, 1991, of the historical
museum train preserved at Corner Brook,
Newfoundland. Number 593 is the only remaining
steam locomotive
of the Newfoundland Railway,
and the
complete train is an extremely impressive
and worthy preservation project,
especially so in
vi
ew of the abandonment of the railway in
Canadas easternmost province.
TOY TRAINS WANTED
Remember when you were a kid playing with toy
trains~ Maybe youre still playing with them or
theyre all in your attic. The Canadian Railway
Museum would like to show todays youth the
toys
of yesterday. It will be the subject for next
years exhibit which will be held in the Hays
Building.
So if you have unusual railway toys,
childrens books on this subject, or even pictures
of kids playing with trains, and would be interested in lending them
to the museum, please contact Julie Cl
ement at (514)-638-1522.
CANADIAN RAIL BACK ISSUES
The sale of Back Issues of Canadian Rail has netted the Association
about $2,200.
Some of these funds will be used to improve the
facilities for the production
of future issues. Thank you, members.
Several members are interested in acquiring issues that are not
available from
our stock -mainly in the series before issue number
200. If anyone who may be willing to dispose of such copies would
like to write to Back Issues, and list the numbers of issues for
disposal,
we would be glad to put the two interested parties in touch
with
each other. Please write to Back Issues, 120 Rue St-Pierre, 51.
Constant, Que. J5A 2G9.
NOVEMBER DECEMBER 1991
ANNUAL AWAIWS FOI{ 1991
Thi~~lI1n()Uncclllt:m of the C:umdian Railroad Historical A,: Annulil
A>.ard~ for 1991 is for Ihe fifth year oflh~ prognun. The
rc~ult~ of previous .lwarus h:lVe been fCJlUred in pa~l i~~uc, of
Cun.ldi publit·:t1iOI1~.
Ole purpo,c of lhe aW;lnh b recognilc :Hld honour ill(lividllal~
\Io,c cndc:lvoUn, ill 1991 have contributed signifu:antly 10 the
rt.Cording lUld I or preserving the artifacts of hiqllrical value of
Camillas railways,
The
Av. ard~ Commincc ha., been very imprcSt.:d by the c:llibre of
the ~cle<:lion~ mudc by lhe rl(Jminalon.. and wan!;.; 10 IhlIlk them for
the imc(csl1>hown 3mllhc link requ in.-d in mal; ing their Ilominations.
1K categories of award!; -;cheduled for 1991 are a~ follo\:
J. LIt-criME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: To a per~Orl for il
ignlficam COnlnbutiOIl o~r a period of ),e;ll<.
2. ARTICLE AWARD: (a). For an ankle published in Canadian
Rail.
or;1 DIvISion Newslcner. (b). For nn article publhhro Ifl an)
other periodic:11 or m:tga:rinc.
3. BOOK IWARD: For a book published 111 the a …. ard )e,lr
(1991). and the prcious year (1990).
4. PRESERVATION A WtRD: To a peNon orll group of pcop!c.
for:1I1 oUl~landil1g presavlliioll altivit) in lhe :lw;lrd year.
Rcc
ipicnt~ of ;lwards wi] I reccivc certilkales bearing the A~soci:lIiorl ~
nall1¢. its corporate seill. rhe n signaturc.~ of the A~soci;lIion~ Presidenl and the Chairm:m of the
A
wards Cotn111inee.
NominatiOI1~ will be accepted from 111lIlli>trs and other pcrsol1~
interested in Canadian railway history. Stlbmi~sion.~ ~hQu!d beur
the nAme of Ihe 110minee and the rea~on~ for lh:1I ptr~()ns
nominalioll. with COfl(i~ statements a~ to Ihe a(lompli~h11lent~ of
Ihe nominee. which wi!! be helpful 10 thc Panel of Judges in
reuching their decisions. A copy of the nomin;llcd work ,holll I>ubmincd ….. i!h !he nomin..1Iion. where POlblc.
CANADIAN RAIL Page 219
IominaliOil ,hould be ubmined a.~ e;u1y in 1992 a~ po~~ible. bul
nOllater Ihun March J
I. The n:lmc, of the recipiern~ of Awanh will
be announccd as soon as Ihe decision~ oflhe Judge!>:irt lllo ….. n. and
will be published in Canldian Rail.
Award~ .I ill be prc!>CtUcd 10al1
recipicrn~ :II an official function of Ihe A~so(.iation.
The mernben. of the Panel of Judges art:
D
r. Dere~ Booth . Profc~~or. BI!>hopl> UmVl:rsIlY. Lenllowilk.
Quebec.
Mr. Ray Corley. AlITher. researcher and \ell krlO.In milway
equipm
.:nt authority. Toronto. Ornllrio.
Mr. Glrard Frc-chene . Educator. MOll1rtal, Quebec.
Mr. Allan Gnlh(lm . High Sch
ool Teacher. Alberlon. PrilKc
Edward Isl;m
Mr. Colill Hatcher-Education Consultlml. Government of Albcml.
uuthor.
Edmoillon. Alberta.
Mrs.
Ruby Nobbs – Hbtorilm and :lulhor. RlVtbIOkc. Brili~h
Columbia.
Award.~ Commiute:
M
r. Walter J. Bedbrook -Chainn:U1. CompartmcnI 132. R.R. l
Pkton. Ontario. KOK ITO.
Dr. Robert V.V. Nicholls. Merrichillc. Ol1lario.
Mr. R. Dyson 1llomas. Saini John. New I1nms.l ick.
Mr. Hadrian EV:)I1S, Calgary. Albcrtu.
Man)
t:o.:cc1lcm artick~ about CJnadil!11 nlllwa)~ have appeared in
publiGliions in 1991. Scvcml
bools h:tc been [Jllblhhcd during
Ihe past two years. a
ll of which :.holiid be considered for award~.
Inlerestinf, preserVaTion activitils havc been undertaken as well.
all of which the Can~dian Railroad Historical As.;OCiation. with the
help
of your nominalions, w ishcs 10 lltknuwledgc by the presentation
ofthcsc :lnlllmi Hwards. Your pM!icip:lli()1l is c(lgerl), and earnestly
requesled.
Plea~c alluch the fonn. or rea~OfHlbk facsimile-. wilh
y
our nomination~ and scnd them to the addrt~s indicatcd thereon.
To: CANAQIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL AWAIWS
Com~nmenl 1l2. R.R. 2. Picton. Omario KOK 2TO
M) .. .omin:II>Oo for !he following award(s) ishle:
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (
PRESER VA TJON A WARD ( The anach«l documco!SsuppOll 01) nomin;uion(s).
ARTI
CLE A WARD(a) ———,-..,.,cc———–published In
Tilk <>f io roc
199
ARTICLE A WARD (b) ———,-.c-cc———–published in
Till. of Hick
roc
fiOOKAWARD —————-=c-~~————­
T;,kofllo<>1-.
The allachcd documcllIS5uppan my nominalion(s).
1991
nublishcdill 1990-91
Submiucd by: _______________________________ _
BACK COVER. The illsid( 0/ a sigllal 1(1 ill tIll. foromo area aoom 192.J 011 IiiI. slid! III/ron! oflhe {elumall is II SII/all P .A .•
wnrcilllolijied im onlinmt.: Slli/rlles/or a rolllinJ(.
SOllrce: 81/1 Ca/llllia. MOil/real. plrow Na. 10982A.
Canadian Rail
120, rue St-Pierre, St. Constant, Quebec Canada J5A 2G9
Postmaster: if undelivered within
10 days return 10 sender, postage guaranteed.
PLEASE DO NOT FOLD
MAIL~POSTE
C_-c.,.._,5oc_,_ … _Ot._
……. – .. ,.
letltnnail Poste-leltre
PERMIS l.a
ST. CONSTANT. OUE. J5A 2G2
NE PLiEZ PAS S.V.P.

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    Exporail, le Musée ferroviaire canadien est un projet de l’Association canadienne d’histoire ferroviaire (ACHF)