TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell System Competition: Private Telephone Networks

Re: Bell System Competition: Private Telephone Networks

jdj (
Fri, 22 Oct 2004 22:39:45 -0700

On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 20:58:09 -0400, Wesroc wrote:

> In a message dated 21 Oct 2004 21:16:47 -0700,
> (Lisa Hancock) writes:

>> Railroads: These were very large networks, connecting stations,
>> headquarters, shops, offices and wayside stations. These was
>> particularly important since otherwise toll charges would be incurred.
>> Railroads had their own signal depts, so they could easily maintain a
>> phone system. Wayside phones were often local battery (crank), and
>> many remained in service through the 1980s. Railroads also had
>> internal Teletype networks.

> Railroads and pipeline companies were "right-of-way" companies and
> could interconnect with Bell pretty much without restriction,
> including such cases as using their own lines to extend to what
> otherwise would have been FCO locations. Their PBXs usually had
> incoming and outgoing Bell trunks that could dial and be dialed and
> connected with the internal communications system, even for intercity
> communications.

Southern Pacific's SPRINT and Microwave Communications, Inc. (later
MCI) were pretty well known.

Most of what I heard on the SPRR telephone channels were patches
to/from moving trains but occasionally there were strange signals
including dtmf prior to an actual phone call. The call progress
signals were often very different from Bell stuff.

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