Dah Dah Dah Dit Dah

Discussion in 'Willow Springs Subdivision' started by Karl, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    In several locations, the Frisco used two letter-combination or truncated names to designate junctions, e.g.

    BV Jct = Blue Valley
    JA Jct = Johnston Ave
    KY Tower =Katy
    WS Jct= Willow Springs
    Dejun = Deepwater Junction, etc.

    At other locations, no abbreviations or truncations were used, e.g.
    Nichols Jct
    Southern Jct
    Pine Street Jct, etc

    However, I have always wondered about the particulars regarding Southern Junction and it's change to MK Jct. I never found an adequate explanation as to why the letters MK, until I looked through John Dill's 1907 List of Stations, and I noticed that the telegraph call for the tower at Southern Junction was "MK".
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2011
  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Good detective work, Karl. Now I wonder why its telegraph call would have been "MK" in the first place? I suspect there's a good back story somewhere.

    Clever subject line, too. That brings back nice childhood memories of Saturdays in Sikeston.

    Sometimes after lunch at Lambert's Cafe (WAY before it was a tourist attraction) we'd go see Grandpa at the Sikeston Municipal Airport. After crossing the Mop tracks, the AM radio would start to pick up the non-directional beacon. Dit Dit Dit / Dit Dit / Dah Dit Dah
  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Chris - Did Lambert's have the "throwed rolls" back then, or was that a later tourist thing?

  4. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Ken, I can remember going to the "original" location closer to downtown, and having them bring everything to our table (usually when there weren't many in the cafe)

  5. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Karl--Do you think the "M" in "MK" stands for Missouri Pacific? Maybe there are other junctions with the Missouri Pacific with an "M" in the call sign combined with other letters?? Just a thought...

  6. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Yardmaster Chris--What years would that have been: Sikeston airport, Lambert's etc?

    Thanks, Tom
  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The obvious inferences drawn from the telegraph call letters are that:
    1. One or two characters.
    2. Characters are not repeated within an individual code; at least in 1907 there is no ZZ
    3. Unique to that division, but not necessarily unique to the railroad, e.g., DS
    4. The call letters are generally found in the station name.
    I guess the question then becomes, when the call letters are not a part of the station name, is there any significance to the letters?

    Kansas City=BK
    Kansas City Yard Office=OX
    Kansas City Grand Central Station=HI
    Southern Junction=MK
    Southeastern Junction=WD

    It doesn’t seem as if there is any rhyme or reason as to why specific letters are chosen or even why some stations have one one-letter calls. I wonder if the telegraph calls are based on the ease of sending or receiving those letters telegraphically. That is, are the call letters chosen because, when they are sent via Morse, they are less likely to be confused with other letters in Morse? Perhaps, some of our ham operators can opine.

    I don’t believe that the “M” in MK had anything to do with the Missouri Pacific. In 1907, I believe that the Frisco was the sole railroad operating in Springfield, and at the time, the “MP” line that passed to the southwest of Springfield was known as the St Louis, Iron Mountain, & Southern

  8. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Dixon was DX, which many hams spend a lifetime chasing.

    73, Doug W3HO
  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Karl -
    Good logic on usage and assignment of call letters. Can anyone advise if telegraph offices on different divisions would have shared telegraph circuits? I would guess that they would not; otherwise, it seems that each and every telegraph office on the whole system might need a unique telegraph call?

    Tom G., we used to go to Sikeston on what seemed like every Saturday from my earliest memories (I was born in 1972), especially since they had a Wal-Mart and an indoor mall long before Cape Girardeau had them. In later years, we'd also include a trip to the Tradewinds Flea Market (just past the Frisco mainline on US 60/62), and then would go to the "new" Lambert's (the old "War Drum Cafe" building); that would have been after 1981. I think Grandpa sold his plane around '86 or '87; by that time I recall that it was getting really tough to get a table at Lambert's without waiting for a hour or two.

    Best Regards,
  10. dricketts

    dricketts Member Frisco.org Supporter

    What about naming conventions for signals?

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