Jump to content
Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

How far between Telegraph poles


Recommended Posts

There is a maximum distance between poles, I'm not sure what this is exactly but I remember that when my parents had their phone line put in the engineer said that the length of the run was right at the limit. This wire runs for about 35 - 40 meters. I am aware that the line would not be allowed over a road from a pole of this ones current height as it droops too much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a maximum distance between poles, I'm not sure what this is exactly but I remember that when my parents had their phone line put in the engineer said that the length of the run was right at the limit. This wire runs for about 35 - 40 meters. I am aware that the line would not be allowed over a road from a pole of this ones current height as it droops too much.

 

 

Kris thats for modern telephone poles, but I mean old fashion lineside telegraph poles.

 

Thanks

Nigel

Link to post
Share on other sites

From The Silver Blaze by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, published 1892, copyright long expired.

 

And so it happened that an hour or so later I found myself in the corner of a first-class carriage flying along en route for Exeter, while Sherlock Holmes, with his sharp, eager face framed in his ear-flapped travelling-cap, dipped rapidly into the bundle of fresh papers which he had procured at Paddington. We had left Reading far behind us before he thrust the last one of them under the seat, and offered me his cigar-case."We are going well," said he, looking out the window and glancing at his watch. "Our rate at present is fifty-three and a half miles an hour."

 

"I have not observed the quarter-mile posts," said I.

 

"Nor have I. But the telegraph posts upon this line are sixty yards apart, and the calculation is a simple one. I presume that you have looked into this matter of the murder of John Straker and the disappearance of Silver Blaze?"

 

Obviously not the authoritative source on the matter, but the passage came to mind in response to your query.

 

Paul

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

I can remember having trouble with one span using heavy drop wire we drove the van into the middle . Two of us hung on the wire till it cleared the van whilst the third man clamped it up. This was GPO. I remember the incident well but the normal length of span has been lost in the years. However there were always non standard spans. If on the inside of a curve the poles might be braced on the outside they would often have stay wires.

Donw

Link to post
Share on other sites

The distance did vary a bit and there ahd to be 17' of clearanced over roads. I actually found the stumps of the poles that they cut down at Long Preston and so placed the model ones exactly where the real ones were. I'll try and get at some boards in the shed and measure the distances for you.

 

Most of them are about 4' apart in O gauge so that would work out at at 174' or 58 yards. However I will check when I move some boards around in the shed as the layout is put away at the moment.

 

Jamie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter Kay's reprint 'Railway Signalling and Communications', published in the 90's (ISBN 1 899890 24 6),

states the following information which may help:

On straight stretches spaced on average 65 yards apart. (=780mm or 30inches in 4mm scale).

Placed on the inside of curves wherever possible.

Space between post is reduced to 50-60 yards on curves - sharper the radius, reduce the spacing.

Lowest wire height when crossing:

The railway lines - at least 17 ft above track

Occupation crossings - 16ft above road

Main roads - 20ft minimum

 

However I think you will need to reduce that distance apart to give a visual spacing effect that feels comfortable, due to our perception of what the distance is rather than reality - mine are closer than 60yds, but then again I do have quarter mile posts at 17'4" apart (more or less correct in 4mm) - useful for checking train speeds over the quarter mile, 15 secs = 60mph, 45secs = 20mph. We occasionally, at exhibitions, run a book on 'What speed is this train travelling at' and noting the time between the quarter mile posts, no money changes hands, but more than 20% variance in speed for the answer is a round forfeited in the pub later on..... ;) ,

and yes most people are wide (a slower speed answer) of the mark, we have known a whole evening go by without the need to buy a pint.........

because of the generosity of other exhibitors !!!!!!!!

 

I thought we had covered this topic extensively in the past, but 'Telegraph Pole' in the search box (and Forums) revealed nothing obvious on RMWeb.

  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Penlan, I'm sure that this has come up before, but I can't find it either... My dad and I were wondering about this some time ago and it occured to me that in Yeovil, we were fortunate enough to have some in situ telegraph poles available to measure between the sites of Hendford Halt and Yeovil Town stations. At this point (for those of you that know Yeovil, on the path between Ninesprings and Lysander Road on the former trackbed), the railway ran through a relatively short, brick lined cutting. When the line was closed, the poles embedded in the sloping brickwork were simply sawn-off (the stumps are still there). They are, for the record, some 60 yards apart.

 

Adam

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but if you have platforms, trains, curve radii and points that are all too short (even if the stock is scale length) then in my view the poles need to be closer together. It also depends if you are going to model the wires, or leave them to the imagination.

 

Ed

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but if you have platforms, trains, curve radii and points that are all too short (even if the stock is scale length) then in my view the poles need to be closer together. It also depends if you are going to model the wires, or leave them to the imagination.

 

Ed

 

 

I think if your going in to the detail of telegraph poles then you have to model the wires aswell, however you have to pick what time of year your modelling as the wires contract in winter and slacken in summer.(for the rivet counters)

Thanks for your help everyone.

 

Nigel

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought we had covered this topic extensively in the past, but 'Telegraph Pole' in the search box (and Forums) revealed nothing obvious on RMWeb.

 

On the old site http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36342 (and there's a reference to another topic within that one).

 

Also from my magazines I found

 

MRJ 43 by Paul Karau (but mainly about making model ones)

Modelling Railways Illustrated 3,11 (July 1996) by our own Mick Nicholson

Rail Model Digest 6 by Graham Warburton

and some very brief notes by the late Joe Brook Smith in Scalefour News 107 (May 1998)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Were there any rules for rivers where the railway crossed? Were telegraph wires strung above them or were they passed through conduits on the bridges?

As usual it all depends, conduits would be unusual, it involves coming from the open wire into insulated wires and that was bad for the transmission design, especially for the higher frequency carrier circuits. Small rivers would just have a pole on each bank, bigger ones might have the poles on the bridge piers, or just have the insulators bracketed from the bridge girders or masonry.

Regards

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...

And, most importantly if you want it to look convincing, and not just another line of poles plonked on a layout for decoration, is to give some thought to the number of circuits, and where they terminated. A key function of the overhead pole route was to carry the circuits associated with the block instruments, as well as connections to and from track circuits (where appropriate) and signals, plus the railway telephone circuits, some of which would have been through circuits whilst others would have been omnibus circuits connecting the signal boxes and other railway offices at wayside stations. Signals that could not be seen from the box would have had repeaters in the box, as well as a circuit for the lamp detection. Some of these circuits would have terminated next to lineside equipment or on the signals themselves, whilst a good many would have terminated at the signal box. All of these circuits would have terminated in the appropriate insulators, which are characteristically different from the standard through insulator, both in shape and mounting, and when modelled correctly adds to the visual texture of the pole route. So too, where it is appropriate, does the provision of guy wires for particular poles.

 

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

And, most importantly if you want it to look convincing, and not just another line of poles plonked on a layout for decoration, is to give some thought to the number of circuits, and where they terminated. A key function of the overhead pole route was to carry the circuits associated with the block instruments, as well as connections to and from track circuits (where appropriate) and signals, plus the railway telephone circuits, some of which would have been through circuits whilst others would have been omnibus circuits connecting the signal boxes and other railway offices at wayside stations. Signals that could not be seen from the box would have had repeaters in the box, as well as a circuit for the lamp detection. Some of these circuits would have terminated next to lineside equipment or on the signals themselves, whilst a good many would have terminated at the signal box. All of these circuits would have terminated in the appropriate insulators, which are characteristically different from the standard through insulator, both in shape and mounting, and when modelled correctly adds to the visual texture of the pole route. So too, where it is appropriate, does the provision of guy wires for particular poles.

 

Jim

 

Good point, Jim, and mine have insulators cut off in an attempt to suggest this.  Another often overlooked feature is the pairs of bells on walls or poles outside offices and cabins to alert staff not in the building that the phone is ringing.  Answer that, it might be the phone...

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

I have to admit I've put mine on the outside of the curves, mainly so I don't keep catching them on my shirt/arm when I'm track cleaning.  The one on the Signal Box, which is on the inside of the (roundy-roundy) layout, has a couple of spares ready, just in case :o
One aspect of telegraph poles that annoys me on layouts is when the wires would obviously (if they were there) go through buildings, thick trees and/or be sliced off when a signal is operated.
My telegraph poles are kebab sticks with 1mm square brass cross arms and 0.3mm wire soldered in with thin wire sheathing for the actual insulator. 

Edited by Penlan
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Caledonian Railway specified a distance of 60 - 65 yards on straight runs. Like most specifications I think there would be some variance between companies and by location. Poles would also be closer together on exposed sections of line to reduce weather damage. 

 

If you are concerned about damaging them during maintenance they can be fitted in sockets. This and the previous two blogs suggests a method.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold
3 hours ago, Penlan said:

I have to admit I've put mine on the outside of the curves, mainly so I don't keep catching them on my shirt/arm when I'm track cleaning.  The one on the Signal Box, which is on the inside of the (roundy-roundy) layout, has a couple of spares ready, just in case :o
One aspect of telegraph poles that annoys me on layouts is when the wires would obviously (if they were there) go through buildings, thick trees and/or be sliced off when a signal is operated.
My telegraph poles are kebab sticks with 1mm square brass cross arms and 0.3mm wire soldered in with thin wire sheathing for the actual insulator. 

 

I hope you have fitted stay wires then.

Don

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 25/10/2010 at 22:45, Burkitt said:

From The Silver Blaze by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, published 1892, copyright long expired.

 

 

Obviously not the authoritative source on the matter, but the passage came to mind in response to your query.

 

Paul

 

Brunel would not have approved of a miserable speed like that. On being asked if four hours from London to Bristol was too fast, he replied, "One day they will do it in one!" (or words to that effect). He was right, though not in general service as yet.

 

On topic, I place mine about ten inches apart. Sixty yards would be for straight track on open line. The restricted space and vicious curves of our models would require something much closer.

Modelling the wires is rather tricky and asking for trouble. As it is I find the poles are always getting knocked over. (Ham-handed!)

Edited by Il Grifone
Link to post
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Donw said:

I hope you have fitted stay wires then.    Don

With my eyesight, these days that's a step to far, in fact I haven't got steps on the poles either :o
I looked at some of the etches available, but couldn't be bothered in the end.
The layout no longer goes to exhibitions, and the few visitors who come just want to see trains running, BUT currently I'm putting together an article for early next year publication and I expect the photo's will be super clear to the N'th degree, which if the pro. photographer will allow me to do some PaintshopPro work on them,  should let me clear a few blips & blobs  :jester: 

Link to post
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Dave John said:

 

If you are concerned about damaging them during maintenance they can be fitted in sockets. This and the previous two blogs suggests a method.

 

 

 

Alternatively, if your scenery is made of polystyrene or other penetrable but grippy material, you can sharpen the end of the pole and 'plant' it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...