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    Re: Railroad Time
    From: Don E. Bray
    Date: 2014 Mar 02, 22:26 +0000
    It mighty be interesting to note that railroads moved trains in segments (blocks) governed by hand written Train Orders where the Engineer was directed to proceed to a point and often to wait to meet another train until a certain time before proceeding to the next segment.  The dispatcher issuing these orders had knowledge of all traffic in his division. In this case it is obvious that the engineers of an East West train meeting a West East train on a side track would have to have very accurately synchronized time. 

    As radio communication became common and Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) was adopted the importance of individual timepieces decreased. Not sure if GPS is used now, but I remember a technical meeting where it was first proposed. 

    Don


    **************************************
    Kepler finds 674 Earth size planets  
    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/community/skyblog/newsblog/Kepler-Mission-Hits-3500-Candidates-230867391.html
    New images from Japan at http://benbray.com/
    Don E. Bray
    Mail P. O. Box 10315, College Station, Texas 77842-0315
    Office/Cellular 979-492-9534
    Faith in science http://debclltx.com/
    

    On Mar 02, 2014, at 02:20 PM, Mike Mayer <mwmayer{at}tds.net> wrote:


    Apparently observatories made money by selling time to the railroads, or at least this history of an observatory says so:

     

    http://www.astro.wisc.edu/about-us/wisconsin-at-the-frontiers-of-astronomy-a-history-of-innovation-and-explora/

     

    See page 110 of the above document:

     

    “One way that many nineteenth-century American observatories, including

    the Washburn Observatory, earned additional income was by selling accurate

    time signals to railroad companies and other businesses, such as jewelers and

    clock-makers.”

     

    ==================================================================

    Mike Mayer

    mwmayer{at}tds.net

     

    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Lu Abel
    Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2014 1:16 PM
    To: mwmayer{at}tds.net
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Railroad Time

     


    Interesting article (and pretty much as I suspected, the telegraph was used for time synchronization).   But the author seems very unaware of the equation of time (as demonstrated by the analemma) and so has the layman's misunderstanding that the sun is directly south (or "directly overhead") at local apparent noon.   Surely even with a clock of even modest accuracy one would notice that the sun was not always "directly overhead" at "noon local time" every day of the year.

     

     


    From: Mike Mayer <mwmayer{at}tds.net>
    To: luabel{at}ymail.com
    Sent: Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:31 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Railroad Time

     


    Here’s an article about time synchronization via telegraph:

     

     

    ==================================================================

    Mike Mayer

     

    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Brad Morris
    Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2014 11:21 PM
    To: mwmayer{at}tds.net
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Railroad Time

     


    Hi Don

    I realize it was a long time ago, and you were a young boy by your own admission, but I hope we can squeeze a few more details out of you!  Its okay if you don't remember or you weren't privy to the info.

    You mentioned an Inspector who traveled around with a master clock.  Did you ever see that master clock?  Did they transfer that time to a station master clock?  And then from the station to the conductors?

    When you said "he could compare" his watch to the master clock, I assume you meant your dad.  Could you explain a bit more how he did that comparison?

    Brad

    On Mar 1, 2014 10:52 PM, "Don E. Bray" <debray1---.com> wrote:


    I can shed some light on this since my father was a railroad engineer (driver, to the UK folks).  

    When I was a small boy in East Texas in the early 40's, I remember going down to the jewelry store in our town when he was home and comparing his pocket watch  to the large standard pendulum clock on the wall. The link to standard time was the inspector who traveled up and down the railroad with his standard watch. The railroads had extensive private telephone/telegraph networks and I expect that he could periodically compare his watch with the standard railroad clock. My father got his first wrist watch in the '50's, I think.

     

    On time performance was important to all railroad personnel.

     

    Thanks for prompting this flash beck.

     

    Don Bray

      
    **************************************
    Kepler finds 674 Earth size planets  
    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/community/skyblog/newsblog/Kepler-Mission-Hits-3500-Candidates-230867391.html
    New images from Japan at http://benbray.com/
    Don E. Bray
    Mail P. O. Box 10315, College Station, Texas 77842-0315
    Office/Cellular 979-492-9534
    Faith in science http://debclltx.com/


    On Mar 01, 2014, at 09:01 PM, Norm Goldblatt <ngold---.net> wrote:


    How interesting. Of course, this begs the question, but what about Church Bells? Big Ben? Maybe it was more important to be locally in sync with your townspeople than to be absolutely correct.

    Norm
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