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 Utility Poles

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
R Street Posted - 11/07/2007 : 2:04:29 PM
One of my favorite bits at CSS 07 was Dick Elwell's clinic on power poles.

I just found this website that details out utility poles. There is a bunch of modern stuff included, but you can figure out what's needed and what's not for your era I'm sure .

11   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
LLIAXTEP Posted - 03/05/2010 : 2:09:44 PM
Great link, thanks, thisll give the pole on my diorama a lot of extra features!!!

hon3_rr Posted - 02/09/2010 : 11:19:45 AM
Thanks Tom. Your crystal ball is finely tuned as I was going to do some additional research on this subject this week.
Neil M Posted - 02/09/2010 : 10:45:23 AM
Thanks for the reply Al, it helps a lot
Tabooma County Rwy Posted - 02/09/2010 : 09:31:04 AM
Neil, I work for an electric utility in the Pacific Northwest. To answer your question, yes, the dimensions have stayed "about" the same. The NESC (National Electric Safety Code) sets these dimensions, and the various state agencies adopt the NESC (or a particular state's more stringent version). It is quite common to see poles with transmission, distribution, and secondary (120/240v) on the same pole, as well as communications conductors.

Dave, the standard height varies, depending on what type of conductors are on the poles, and what type of clearance (to ground level, for example) are required. It is fairly common to find transmission poles that are 70 feet tall, distribution poles 40-50 feet tall, and secondary/service poles 30-35 feet tall. Of course, that's the total length of the pole; a certain percentage is buried in the ground. And there are the occasions where really tall transmission poles are needed to cross some obstacle; we've used poles as tall as 120 feet. These are all treated wood poles that I'm talking about. Some utilities use poles made of fiberglass, concrete, or steel.

Hope this helps....
Neil M Posted - 02/09/2010 : 07:59:53 AM
Very useful info, thanks.

Does anyone know if the standards stayed about the same for the positions of power and telephone cables throughout the last 100 years? I am modelling the 1930s and was thinking about this very topic a few days ago as I am modelling within a city and was wondering if domestic 120V power, 3-phase power for industries and telephone cables would/could share the same poles.

It seems a lot but i only have space seanically for poles along 1 side of the street so only really have 1 pole line.

Thanks for your suggestions if you have any
Peterpools Posted - 02/09/2010 : 06:48:52 AM
Thanks for bringing the link back to light. I totally forgot about it and have been doing some research on my own but this site is magic. It's now bookmarked and keep in my railroad folder for quick reference.
railbuilderdhd Posted - 02/09/2010 : 12:32:46 AM
Thanks for the great link and a lot of info on what's on the utility pole and were it goes. I've got a question I didn't see answered here, what is the standard height of these utility poles?

LynnB Posted - 11/11/2007 : 8:25:07 PM
Thankyou I'll add the link to my refernce folder , I was wandering about poles and what was what on them , now I just have to find a supplier
rckwallaby Posted - 11/07/2007 : 11:28:23 PM
Great site Tom.

Ize jerst leerve the one wit'da witch.

Too cool.

I can see that cropping up on model railroads all around the world.

Peterpools Posted - 11/07/2007 : 6:09:14 PM
I missed Dick's clinic as the show but your link will sure help pour a bit of power pole knowledge in my brain. Thanks for the link.
Tim Kerkhoff Posted - 11/07/2007 : 3:22:30 PM
Great link Tom, thanks for sharing it. After seeing the poles on Dick's layout, you can really understand the importance of that detail.

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