What kind of antenna is this? (Early RR locomotive/caboose antenna)

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cbehr91

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I've seen photos and movies from the 50s and 60s with some locomotives and cabooses with this type of antenna. It appears to be a 1/4 wave ground plane with seven (or maybe eight?) radials. Other than that I can't find any info about it (manufacturer/model, etc.) Anybody know?
86258
 

mmckenna

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Bendix King "wagon wheel" antenna. Elevated feed 1/4 wave ground plane.

I don't have any other info to offer. Did a quick web search, no luck other than some model train stuff.
 

trentbob

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So I was a railroad engineer for 5 years for the transportation company that took over the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad.

They used to use a radio rail phone system up to the late 50s. The antennas looked like a railing across the top of a car or engine. They were primitive and short distance as most communication was done with train orders or crank phones attached to wires along the rail Road that went right to the train dispatcher.

They moved to VHF high in the late 50s, I worked on the railroad from 19 85 to 1990. But I remember hearing about the radio phones and the move to VHF High. It would certainly seem that that antenna could handle 160 megahertz.

I tried about 25 different ways to try to look it up and no go. Oh well.
 

trentbob

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Yep I just saw your post and it looks like we read the same stuff
 

cbehr91

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So I was a railroad engineer for 5 years for the transportation company that took over the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad.

They used to use a radio rail phone system up to the late 50s. The antennas looked like a railing across the top of a car or engine. They were primitive and short distance as most communication was done with train orders or crank phones attached to wires along the rail Road that went right to the train dispatcher.

They moved to VHF high in the late 50s, I worked on the railroad from 19 85 to 1990. But I remember hearing about the radio phones and the move to VHF High. It would certainly seem that that antenna could handle 160 megahertz.

I tried about 25 different ways to try to look it up and no go. Oh well.
You're thinking of Trainphone.
 

trentbob

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Yes yes, train phone, that was it. I was only an engineer for five years because I did not want to get vested in railroad retirement, I wanted to stay on Social Security. In the last year I had actually been promoted into rail operations because as an engineer I was qualified on both the Pennsylvania Railroad side and the Reading Railroad side on all of the system because I was on the extra board for so long.

I was no longer on hours of service requirements and the schedule was brutal.

Even though it was only five years I learned a lot about the railroad.
 

iMONITOR

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I've seen photos and movies from the 50s and 60s with some locomotives and cabooses with this type of antenna. It appears to be a 1/4 wave ground plane with seven (or maybe eight?) radials. Other than that I can't find any info about it (manufacturer/model, etc.) Anybody know?

Cool picture, thanks for posting!
 

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The brake wheel antenna was first introduced on wooden cabooses. Locomotives also had them to until someone pointed out the fact that the loco was made from steel.
 

cbehr91

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The brake wheel antenna was first introduced on wooden cabooses. Locomotives also had them to until someone pointed out the fact that the loco was made from steel.
That makes sense since the A/S/Moto "firecracker" antenna as well as the Sinclair blade antenna have become much more common on locomotives (and cabooses while those were still used).
 
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