MOBILE TELEPHONE SERVICE

 ON TRAINS

1947

 

The photos below show a 1947 installation of Bell System telephone service on board a Pennsylvania Railroad train in the Washington- New York City- Philadelphia area.  This installation used the regular Western Electric Type 238 equipment on an "Urban" channel and required an attendant to place your call for you while you sat in a booth opposite her.  It is not known how long this service was offered.

A typical "lounge car" that would have had such service is shown below.  Other railroads may have had similar service.

The caption for the photo below reads:

William R. Triem, General Superintendent of Telegraph, Pennsylvania Railroad, sits in the passenger's "telephone booth" on the lounge car "John Adams."  On the right is Miss Helen K. Reese, of Washington D.C., a passenger representative of the railroad and telephone attendant.  Picture made at press demonstration on August 14, 1947, the day before the service was officially opened. (Note: If desired, this picture may be used as an illustration of a passenger making a call, without identifying Mr. Triem, but NOT for advertising.)          Hmm...Tricky.  That Mr. Triem pretending to be a passenger and all. 

 

The photo below shows the attendant's booth.

 

The caption for the photo below reads: "Train "telephone operator" Miss Helen K. Reese, of Washington, D.C., a passenger representative of the Pennsylvania Railroad, sits at her "position" on the lounge car "John Adams." Her control box is next to the window.  The transmitters and receivers are in the cabinet at her right. She can signal the passenger using the telephone through the small window in front of her.

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Ver. 8-03-2016                                                                                                                                                                                                        Geoffrey C. Fors, 2016, all rights reserved