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Some phone numbers of interest

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Some phone numbers of interest
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 5, 2021 5:24 AM

From Mike:

1940 Manhattan phone-biiok:
 
 
 
The 20th Century Limited's observation car phone number was MUrrayhill 9-8000.
 
 
The Broadway Limited's was PEnnsylvania 6-6000
 
 
MUrray Hill 9-3600 for the Merchants Limited and the Yankee Clipper.

https://stevemorse.hopto.org/census/1940nypl/manhattan/p740--large.jp
 
 
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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, September 5, 2021 12:36 PM

daveklepper

From Mike:9.

1940 Manhattan phone-biiok:
 
 
 
The 20th Century Limited's observation car phone number was MUrrayhill 9-8000.
 
 
The Broadway Limited's was PEnnsylvania 6-6000
 
 
MUrray Hill 9-3600 for the Merchants Limited and the Yankee Clipper.

https://stevemorse.hopto.org/census/1940nypl/manhattan/p740--large.jp

I presume the phone lines were only active while the respective trains were parked at the station prior to departure or after arrival.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 5, 2021 2:32 PM

BaltACD
I presume the phone lines were only active while the respective trains were parked at the station prior to departure or after arrival.

That was my understanding.  I think the service was available relatively early on some trains... someone like Mike will have a definitive list with dates.

I believe it would have been technically possible for something like the Trainphone system to bridge telephone voice without involving FCC radio regulations.  To my knowledge the Metroliner system was the first that allowed making and receiving calls connecting to the POTS system from anywhere on a moving train's route, but I'd be interested to hear of others.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, September 5, 2021 10:29 PM

daveklepper
The Broadway Limited's was PEnnsylvania 6-6000

Almost a Glenn Miller song.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, September 9, 2021 5:28 AM

Overmod
but I'd be interested to hear of others.

The Pennsy outfitted two Pullman parlor-lounge cars, Lot 6383 Plan 3999-C, John Adams and George Washington, for telephone service for the Congressional Limited on August 11, 1947 using equipment installed by Bell Telephone Labs.

Later, additional telephone service was provided on trains The Potomac and The Legislator between Washington and New York

Of course the Budd Congressionals and Senators had  "second generation" telephone service and for a while mobile phone was available for Broadway Limited passengers on segments of its route. Both Harbor Rest and Harbor Cove lounge cars were equipped for public telephone service. There were only segments of the system covered, around Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Chicago. The rest of the route was "dark".

http://www.wb6nvh.com/MTSfiles/TrainMTS.htm

Not particularly related to mobile telephony but this fellow has an interesting look at the telephone apparatus of the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad system:

http://www.cedarknolltelephone.com/prr/index.htm

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:29 AM

Tracks at Grand Central and Penn Station had phone jacks that accepted large "Tip and Ring" plugs that look like modern phono plugs, with the jacks under the platform edge on the raised platform.  The phones were ordinary Western Electric phones.  I don't know off hand if such jacks were available at LaSalle St., Union Station or South Station...

In the pre-cellular phone era the radio phone connection depended on the band used - most likely VHF low-band around 40 mHz- and usually required line-of-sight.  Remember the whip antennas on police cars in 1940s and 1950s movies to get a feel for how limited mobile radio service really was in those days.

I fondly remember listening to a person talking on his cell phone as the California Zephyr entered Moffat Tunnel.  The cell signal held for about 15 seconds, then "Hello?  Hello?"

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