Friday, June 25, 2010
N&W Phone Box
The steel Norfolk & Western phone box was probably used by the railroad at the north end of the passing track at Sargents, Ohio in the railroad's Columbus, Ohio district of the Scioto Division. I was told the phone box was used on the Portsmouth - Columbus Ohio line and I believe it came from the Sargents location because the box has the number "20" on each side and that would be about the correct milepost for Sargents. The milepost numbers start at Portsmouth and go to Columbus, mp 98.20. Inside the door, there is a card holder for the ring codes of frequently used locations. There was no card in it when I received it but some names were faintly visible from being penciled on the sliver paint: Lucasville, Waverly, Renick and Chllicothe. The phone had two different lines, one for the dispatcher and one called a "message line" for local area conversations of company matters of course. A crank ringer was used to call the desired location. For example, Lucasville was one short, one long and one short. Based on the last battery inspection date of Dec. 12, 1985 on a tag inside, it must have been taken out of service about 1986. It is pictured, above left, with restoration and installation in our relic garden compete. On the left top of the wood post is an insulator which secured the communication wire and the phone box door is locked with a vintage brass N&W lock. * The small above ground junction box seen to the right of the phone box has a build date stamped inside of 1902 and it came from the old C&O near Lewis Tunnel, Virginia. The vintage picture above and right shows the crew of N&W train west bound extra 2101 at a phone box at Swords Creek about 51 miles west of Bluefield, WV on the Clinch Valley line.