Sunday, July 5, 2015
ATSF Amarillo Dispatch Office 1985
I recently found this wonderful little video on Youtube that offers a rare glimpse of a CTC office in the brief period between the advent of wide area CTC and before computer interfaces. Before computers not every railroad was "paper" dispatched like the PRR with its frequent block stations. As far back as the early 1940's dispatchers had been given direct control of inderlockings through super sized versions of the same unit lever style CTC machine that had also shown up in towers. This was also the advent of radio communications allowing for direct interactions with the trains, but just before the complete phase out train orders..
Forgive the rather amateur production values and just take in how these clunky old offices worked with fully wrap around CTC machines and the microphones pointed on pantograph arms. If you watch the video all the way through you can see a first generation video display office c. 1992