TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Penn Central

Re: Penn Central
Wed, 4 Jan 2006 20:47:08 EST

In a message dated 3 Jan 2006 10:02:00 -0800,

> As an aside, the Pennsyslvania Railroad had a sophisticated telephone
> system, with its own toll test switchboards. I believe railroads were
> one of the types that were allowed to own their own telephone gear and
> maintain it themselves and still connect to the Bell System.

"Right-of-way" companies were able to connect with the Bell System
(and other telephone companies) this way. In fact, when the Santa Fe
freight station in Oklahoma City burned down they built a new freight
station in a location further out in an industrial district (and more
accessible to trucks, too).

They wanted to keep the same numbers (the new location was not in the
same central office area) so they connected with the Bell lines at
their old location, extended the loops to the new location over their
own facilities, and the Bell phones were connected to them at the new

"Right-of-way companies" were those that had their own right of way
and communications facilities. Railroads and pipeline companies made
up most of the "right-of-way" companies, but undoubtedly there were

Wes Leatherock

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