Open Wire in the News

 “Decades-old Telegraph Poles To Go, Taking History With Them: Statham, Other Northeast Georgia Communities’ Railroads Make Transition To In-track Signaling Systems.”


Athens Banner-Herald – Article by Ben Deck

Sunday, October 17, 1999 


Please see link:


“A bit of history is leaving many Northeast Georgia communities this fall, and some leaders are glad to see it go.”


CSX officials determined a communications network to work the best for their railway was to send signals through the rails themselves, retiring ’50s and ’60s era microwave and existing open wire.  Of the 35,000 miles of track owned by CSX, all but 6,000 miles had been shifted to the in-track signaling.  Old systems were used until the conversion was complete and the railway officials added that the original poles and wires beckoned back to the Western Union use period.


“Pole Problem” Published in the Wichita Falls Times Record News

Monday, September 25, 2000


‘Pieces of long gone era still stand’ by Hanaba Munn Noack


Remnant of the ill-fated BNSF Bellevue, Texas lead.

An excellent article appeared in this edition of the Times Record News of Wichita Falls, Texas, complete with illustrations and a lively story about a stretch of U. S. 287 between Bowie and Bellevue, Texas plagued by a obsolete remnants of disconnected BNSF open wire.


This webmaster spoke with Ms. Noack at the time as well as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe official charged with the responsibility for these eyesores.  Ms. Noack wrote a front page article, “Pole Problem,” which outlined the problems of these condemned poles, the condition they were in at the time, vehicular accidents which plagued the section of right-of-way–which included one fatality–along with other aspects of BNSF’s plans to remove them.


BNSF’s on-going condemnation program finally eliminated the line in 2000-2001.  The article is worth a read and can be found in the Times Record Newsarchives for September 25th, 2000.

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“Railroad Poles A Vanishing Sight” Sunrise Edition of the Omaha World-Herald, Friday, April 6, 2001


‘Felled by the Information Age’

By Todd Von Kampen, World-Herald Staff Writer


An excellently written article appeared in the Sunrise and Evening editions of the Omaha World-Herald on April 6, 2001.  The article touted three photos: two in color another on the inside pages in black and white; featuring Union Pacific Railroad’s linewrecking contractors progress near Valley, Nebraska and the evening edition’s Burlington Northern’s companion destruction of line wire between Waverly and Lincoln, Nebraska.


Contact: The Omaha World-Herald

Story & Photo Requests: (402) 444-1014 Ext. 2714

Omaha World-Herald Building

Omaha, Nebraska 68102-1138

1-800-284-6397 – General Information