Pennsylvania Railroad Locomotive Antennas

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by MCL_RDG, May 29, 2003.

  1. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Ever wonder just what the heck those "handrail" antennas on a PRR loco were for or how they worked?

    I did, here's the short answer.

    Pennsy Style Antennas explained.

    That's all I have- but I found it interesting.

  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hey Mark,

    Well yes I HAVE wondered about those antennas! They're such a distinctly Pennsy trademark. Interesting info. I haven't modelled any on my PRR diesels but I suppose a set of Athearn handrails would do the trick.

  3. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    Thusly- they radiated enough to send a signal via the nearby "elements".

    Thanks for the note Ralph.


    Attached Files:

  4. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    So basically...'d transmit to the nearby wires and the receiver would pick up the signal- pretty kewl. I only added this note to add a pic with the antennas.


    Attached Files:

  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys I worked on the PRR as a brakeman.. Now when I started working on the PRR in 66 the TPs was being phase out in favor of radios in the engine and cabin car.The trainmen would not begin to see radios till the following year.(67) We used hand signals till then..
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Thanks Brakie. Say, how long into your tenure did you see those antennas on PRR, and maybe later, PC units? Its so cool to have railroaders onboard to provide first hand experience!
  7. D.R.Rosser

    D.R.Rosser Member

    PRR Antenae

    Ralph, Don't try to make Athearn railing bits work. CalScale makes complete sets of the exact/correct uprights for most dsl. locos used by the Pennsy I have then on every PRR dsl. on the layout ( around 12 I think), and on each caboose. Looks great on each one. Dave
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    The system was taken out of service in the 60s. I haven't seen many photos of the antennas on PC units, but I know they existed. I've even seen one shot of a GP7 or 9 from the early 80s, in Conrail patches but still with the trainphone. Don't know if the engine was still running at that time, but the paint showed it had to have run into the late 70s.

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