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What Height Should A Telegraph Pole Be?

telegraph pole n scale


Pradyot from the UK models in N Scale and has this question for readers:

“What is the correct height of a telegraph pole in N scale? The height of signal post please? ”

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7 Responses to What Height Should A Telegraph Pole Be?

  • Paulsays:

    According to the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society’s FAQs page, the pole height in the UK is typically 9 meters, but some vary for clearance purposes. See more interesting FAQs at:

    • David Stokessays:

      There’s a “Telegraph Appreciation Society”? Fancy that!

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    Varied enormously, depending on location, including whether on embankment, in cutting, in front of bridge or tunnel, behind a bridge. I’ve seen telegraph poles not much more than 10′ high to the lowest cross piece and I’ve seen signal posts with 2 co-acting arms between a station canopy & a bridge where the lower arm was less than 6′ above the platform & the upper one was over 30′ above the platform. Sometimes, on a left-hand bend for instance, the signal post is on the wrong side of the railway. What you need is pictures of locations similar to the scene you’re trying to portray. Lots of pictures.

  • N. Longsays:

    Great questions…here is my question for you….where do you purchase telephone poles for use on a model train layout and once they are in place do you use thread for the wires or some other substance?….Thank you….Norm

    • Billsays:

      There are a large number of commercially available poles available and all you have to do is do a google search to find them. Alternatively you can use bamboo skewers (cut to length and stained) as in expensive poles. You will still have to find cross arms. I have used Rix Products for the arms. They are plastic and can be cut to shorten the length if you only want a few lines.Rix Products also sells the poles that their cross arms fit to easily.
      For wires sewing thread is not a good alternative unless you are running your poles at the very back of your layout. When you want to clean or add details those threads are not very flexible and eventually you will snag them and break something. I use E Z Line from Berkshire Junction. It is a very flexible thread that stretches up to 20 times its length and returns to its original shape.

  • David Stokessays:

    Telegraph/telephone poles are as high as a piece of string is long. There positioning in the real world depends on the topography it traverses, the availability of materials, manpower and chances of “interference”. The original overland telegraph in Oz had two types of pole, and both were 8 feet or 2.4 metres long, and slotted into each other to gain the neesssary height. They were then slotted into cast iron, spade shaped plates about 2’6″ x 3′ which were hammered into the ground because there was not enough water to mix concrete for most of its run. It carried 8 gauge fencing wire on ceramic and glass insultaors as a conductor. Every couple of hundred miles along it was a repeater station which boosted the signal. One of them was attacked by the local Aboriginals and the staff killed. Exciting times!?

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    I use to work on our local power bd for 23 years and their poles were 30 ft high from ground level and spaced 22 yards apart Telephone poles were 20 to 25 feet high with 4 ft or 6ft cross arms and spaced 20 yards apart. the cross arms were around the 4ft for short arms (two wire system and 6ft for 3 wire high voltage ie 11,000 volt Low voltage arms were 5 ft below the high voltage arms the wire could be anything from No 8 copper to 3/4 inch Aluminium stranded wire so for N scale divide bt 160 now where the power or telephone wires crossed the road and rail they were on 40ft poles and sometimes in high wind areas the cross arms increased to 6ft and 8ft respectively and the poles were two parallel pole structures or inverted V design. then in high hill situations pylons were used. hope this helps

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