Story: Telephone Dispatching on the Copper Range Railroad



On and after Saturday, April 1st (1911) the new dispatcher's telephone system recently installed on the Copper Range railroad will be in effect. T.T. McKeever, vice president and general manager of the road, approved the printed instructions to the dispatchers, operators and trainmen on his recent visit to the copper country, and the orders will be delivered to the trainmen the latter part of next week by General Superintendent C. S. Fales.

The new improvement is superseding the telegraph in railroad work throughout the country and the old stand by of the railroad, the telegraph, is beginning to take a back seat. The telephone for railroad dispatching is replacing the telegraph on the large trunk lines, such as the Lake Shore, C.B.&Q., the Rock Island, Pennsylvania, Union Pacific, Northwestern and St. Paul. The C.B.&Q. has 1,700 miles of main road containing only telephones.

The telephone system on the Copper Range is the Kellogg system, made especially for railroad work and dispatching. The telephones are absolutely perfect in every way, the sound being as clear as a bell. One of the rules for using the phone illustrates the clearness with which sounds are heard. This rule is: "In using the telephone, place the lips within half an inch of the mouth piece, and speak in somewhat of a lower tone than used in ordinary conversation. Pronounce words slowly and distinctly, and do not speak too loud as it will cause a rattle on the diaphragm, which will prevent your communication being understood by the receiving operator."

Superintendent Fales stated today that the system will be extended so as to provide a means of communication in case of accidents. Phones will be placed on poles along the whole line, eventually only a mile apart, for use in the event of accidents. Trainmen will be provided with keys for the boxes in which these phones will be kept and if anything happens a trainman can call up any station on the road immediately. Telephones will be placed at points where there are no stations of any kind, such as the Twin Lakes.

The beginning of the installation of the system was begun September 1st last. Over 100 miles of solid copper have been used, representing a good sized fortune in copper alone.