Signal/telegraph pole spacing

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Section Hand
Trailrider: I been spacing my utility poles at approximately 125 scale feet and they look prototypical. The spacing depends on a lot of factors and the earlier poles were closer than those of today. Some poles were far apart as 300 feet.

Electric had at least two lines if not three and one or two telephone lines. Use different colors for the electric vs. the telephone lines.

I'm not an expert and I know there's guys out that know a lot more about this subject than me. But I model what just looks right and don't worry about the wiring to the transformers or other details.

On one right-of-way I saw old poles with only two cross arms and two insulators for the power and shorter lower cross arms for the telephone line.


Some poles on my CM&N layout.


I use EZ Line for the wires.



Well-Known Member
How far apart are these generally placed? In the 1940's-'50's. how many lines might be for a double track main line?
I read your question and the title as referring to the lineside telegraph and signal lines. That I cannot answer, sorry. It appears that the answers that you got so far refer to modern day electric/telephone lines which are accurate.
Back in the day, pole lines were used to measure distances between mile posts, "...reduce speed from milepost 320 pole 10 to mile post 320 pole 25..."

Typically there were between 28 and 32 poles per mile, standard on a particular sub. The 10th poles had an aluminum band around the pole, 1 for 10, 2 for 20 and 3 for 3o, the "mile" pole had the number of the mile on it.

At 30 poles per mile, they would have been on about 175 foot spacing.

In the 1990's when railroads started converting to GPS locations they found that the mileposts were way off and the stated locations of things were way off compared to using the pole line. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to