Trackside Details

Discussion in 'Right of Way' started by mike, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. I have a dumb question. I've always wondered this, but what exactly are tell tales and how to they function? I know what they look like, but what is the purpose for these?
    Ship it on the Frisco!!!

    Murphy Jenkins
  2. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    As I understand it, they are a warning for a man wakling/riding the roofwalk on a car that a low clearance area is approaching.

    It is better to get hit in the head with a chain (or whatever else was hanging below the bar) than a tunnel portal.

  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Paul is describing the use of telltales exactly.

    Take a look at these two pictures from Cape Girardeau. The telltales were not on the Frisco, but the MoPac spur, formerly the Cape Girardeau Northern - one of Louis Houck's railroads. They guarded the viaducts under Morgan Oak and Good Hope Streets.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2012
  4. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Telltales were installed in Tulsa east of the overpasses at the Union Depot. I don't remember any on the west end, but they were probably there also. The ones on the east end were still in place when I hired out in 1971. Those bridges were low (1930ish clearances), and the telltales served their purpose well.
  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Keith, those are neat photos. I can remember when they filled in the old Houck line "cut."

    While not serving quite the same purpose, a modern-day version of tell-tales are being installed in Indonesia in order to deter "train surfing."

    Best Regards,
  6. Ok, thanks for the answers. I might add a couple to my layout when it gets underway.
    Ship it on the Frisco!!!

    Murphy Millican

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