Lineside Poles.

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Fri Jul 1 08:18:59 EDT 2005

This is great information. For some reason, maybe uniqueness, the bayonet
has been a favorite of mine. I have been observing them for years,
particularly when you are on a bank above the tracks and the bayonet is eye
level or below. Thanks to all for the contributions.
Charlie Long

-----Original Message-----
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Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 9:52 AM
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Subject: Re: Lineside Poles.

I talked with a retired N&W/NS signal maintainer who furnished the following
additional info: The offset bracket is made of steel channel and is called
a bayonet. The line that it carries is called a static line. The static
line is fastened directly to the bayonet without any insulator and is
grounded about every fourth pole or at the location of a transformer, signal
box, etc. The purpose of the grounded static line is to route lightening
strikes to ground. The N&W standard plans call for the offset in the
bayonet to be away from the track. Where the signal lines go over a tunnel,
river, or similar inaccessible location, a heaver gage line is used to
preclude breakage.

The 3-phase, 4800 volt signal power lines (also used to power crossing
gates, etc.) were arranged largely in two ways: 1. All three lines were on
insulators on the top crossarm. 2. Two lines were on insulators on the top
crossarm, and the third line was on an insulator on top of the pole. This
latter arrangement was the reason for the offset in the bayonet. One signal
maintainer that I talked with years ago, demonstrated a rare sense of
esthetics when he commented that the arrangement with the third line on top
of the pole made for a good-looking pole line.

I remember back when the AAR blanked off all names on railroad equipment in
pictures to avoid any pretense of favoritism, you could always identify a
photo made on the N&W by the bayonet on the pole line in the picture.

Gordon Hamilton

----- Original Message -----
From: <nw-mailing-list at>
To: <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:08 PM
Subject: RE: Lineside Poles.

> The bracket and line are lightning 'rods' for the pole line. Each pole

> has a ground line stapled to its side to get the current down the pole

> and into the ground. This line is attached to the metal arm.


> G Rolih, Cincinnati


> -----Original Message-----

> From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at

> [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of

> nw-mailing-list at

> Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 11:28 PM

> To: nw-mailing-list at

> Subject: Lineside Poles.


> When I have been in N&W signalled territory, and seen it in photos, on

> top of

> each pole is a steel bracket about two or three feet high with about a

> forty

> degree angle where it is fastened to the pole with a single insulator

> on

> top of

> the bracket. My question. Is this line, strung from pole to pole,

> a

> common

> ground, a common hot wire, or is it the code line for the lineside

> signals?

> Bill Sellers, Norfolk Southern Railway ( Ret. ) Gainesville, Ga.



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