The question of why telegraph lines follow the tracks vs simply running straight up the hill came up on a recent post. The reason, I think, is that there existed a device that looked like a long pole which could be placed over the telegraph line so that trainmen could transmit a message in an emergency to the nearest station if they had a derailment or other problem or if some kind of issue arose. To have the line miles away from the track would be a huge inconvenience and time waster for the crews. I once had one of those "poles" but it was fragile and that was years ago and age prohibits me from remembering precisely what it looked like.
P.S. Sign me up as another C&S Sn3 modeler, although I am not nearly the same skill level as most of you guys and my layout is still well within the planning stage. This is one of my favorite websites!
This is correct and a practice largely followed. But there were exceptions
where hairpins or such caused the Telegraph Dept. to bi-pass a long detour
and take a shortcut for maintenance reasons, I presume.
In the case of the Peabody's Curve, a good mile or two of line could be
avoided with ten spans of line going straight from the valley floor up to
the point. Did thay do it ? I don't know. Never seen photos showing the
line running either way. The telegraph ran all the way around Nigger Hill
above Breckenridge, but I see no evidence of it running around Hookeye
Loop in photos. If they wanted to cut miles of construction and maintenance
off the telegraph, they could have marched right off the hill from Windy
Point to Hookeye and on down the line into Breckenridge. Clearly, it was
deemed worthwhile to have that coms line along the tracks for all that
extra mileage. Did they cut off and not follow into the Hookeye valley ?
Only good photos can say for sure. This seems to be a very ignored part
of the South Park operational history.