• Railroad telegraphy-Railroad vs. International Morse Code

  • Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.
Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by w2dsx
Many thanks for Gordon and the others for contributing, as I'm still kicking myself for not recording what was written in the earlier versions of this site. My job title is still Telegrapher, but am usually referred to as a block operator. (On a certain commuter road featured in Trains this month) There are still some dispatchers who issue train orders as verbally as they were done via the wire, and it's interesting to see the reaction of trainees when I tell them that. Or when I tell them that it was faster by wire, if both were experienced. But the use of telegraphy disappeared a long time ago here, probably until the '50s. Signal maintainers were referred to as T&S ("T&S Foreman...") in paperwork until the late '90s, short for telegraph and signal maintainer.

For those of you who have HF receivers, there is a net on Sundays that has former marine/military operators sending by bugs - semiautomatic keys - vibroplex keys, and it's a treat to hear an experienced fist crank that out. (I'll dig up the sked if anyone's curious) It's been awhile since I heard it, but there used to be a group of Old Timers who would switch to continental on the low end of 40 and it would amaze me how fast they would go. It also struck me as very "ditty", and I would always goof on the zeros, t's and l's when I'd play the recording back. My elmer taught me also to send IE? in addition to QRL?, and told me that was a landline "C" which was a way to inquire if the circuit was busy...


  by jarubel
Last edited by jarubel on Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by morse
I believe the telegraph operators went out in the late 50's and early 60's.

I talk to a few of them on the net sessions using my computer and a special telegraph program, and use the computer keyboard, you do hear the click/clack on your speakers and sending also, but for the hams it has a little oscillator sound for the code characters so you can distinguish it in the beginning weeks or longer.
I know most of the morse now, once in a while i trip up sending international instead of american.
You can also hook up a key to your computer and use it on the circuit.

Its open 24 hours a day for anybody to use..call sign your initials/state....

The morse telegraph club also has a hub you can dial into and use morse, it takes a modem,sounder,keyand apwr circuit to dial in, I have never been on it, but working on it now.

The chap who mentioned the MTC in Ill....keith is on the clubs leading fellow, he is on the KOB on the weekdays.and weekends.

By the way ...the program will print out on your monitor what the fellow is saying..not perfect but about to the point.

Any interest I can send you a version of the program or give you the download address also.

morse :-D