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Radios for prototype switching crews

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  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: North Carolina
  • 233 posts
Radios for prototype switching crews
Posted by trnj on Thursday, August 03, 2017 1:17 PM

When did railroads begin to use hand-held radios for switch crews to use?

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, August 03, 2017 2:18 PM

Hello all,

You should repost this in the prototypical information for the modeler section.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, August 03, 2017 2:29 PM

In the early 1950s this was to going thing.  All mini tube type portables.
 
 
Followed by this model in the mid to late 50s.
 

 
In the early 1960s this was the most used portable.
 
  
 
Mid to late 1960s this was highly used by railroads.
 
 
 
 Hope this helps.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by ATSFGuy on Friday, August 04, 2017 11:31 AM

Gee that stuff looks old!  great pictures.

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Posted by NYBW-John on Friday, August 04, 2017 12:07 PM

ATSFGuy

Gee that stuff looks old!  great pictures.

 

Reminds me of the first widely used cell phones from the 1980s. The kind Gordon Gecko used. They were the size of a brick but what a status symbol for the people that had them.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, August 04, 2017 1:36 PM

I went to work for a Motorola Two Way Radio Service shop in February 1958, I grew up in electronics repairing those old Motorola “eggcrate” portables.  The SP Radio guy would bring in a box of busted up radios and pick up box of repaired radios every Monday morning.  The railroad was really hard on radios, one guy even stuck one under the wheel of a slow rolling freight car to stop it, didn’t workout for either the car or the radio.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951

My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: North Carolina
  • 233 posts
Posted by trnj on Friday, August 04, 2017 1:48 PM

Thanks so much for your input.  Very helpful.  My little plastic brakeman will be glad to hear about this! Ha!

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, August 04, 2017 4:44 PM

My career in Two Way Radio Communications lasted for just short of 50 years but my early 50s guys still use the old way, before radios.
 
  
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 3,877 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:12 PM

Prior to 1973, some contracts required paying an arbitrary payment to trainmen who were required to carry a radio.  There was an article in Trains Magazine once about an incident on the BN in the first couple of years of Amtrak.  It seems an Amtrak train had to set out a car that had developed mechanical problems.  The Amtrak trainmen (at that time still employed by BN) didn't have radios because Amtrak didn't want to pay the arbitrary for having a radio.  They had to do the work on hand signals. 

In the late 1970s (in my area it seemed like many trainmen on the CNW had radios.  Meanwhile on the RI very few trainmen had radios.  I heard that a few had bought their own.

Jeff

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