Steve Williams, Amby and I had a zoom conference today to discuss the fix to the telegraph stations on the longer cables. They came up with two simple solutions that should work. We will try them next Monday.
We also briefly discussed possible upgrades to the software. We will sort that out further once we have some operating experience. I was thinking it might be fun to have the random messages lead to things that the dispatcher would have to react to and not just for ambience. That would require the dispatcher to translate the random messages and decide what to do.
I have been listening to the random messages as I work on my computer. They arrive suddenly and often I miss the first sentence as I prepare to copy. To make that translation easier, the random messages should have a preamble like the others. W-W-W - EoW is perfect. Also, the message would have to be repeated until acknowledged.
If we do this, I would need to compose messages that need action. Others can just be for ambience and or information.
The type of action the dispatcher could take include, order out an extra, such as the General’s special, set up a meet, tell a train to pick up a certain car , etc. Since the telegraph system is one way, the DS would write the message on a paper message slip and place it manually on the layout for the conductors to pick up.
If you can read this, you can see that W.W.Wright is complaining to Haupt about being unable to get reliable service from the telegraph. I believe this was because regular Army traffic was monopolizing the telegraph. This was after the battle of Chancellorsville and the Army was actively campaigning.
|Letter from W.W. Wright to General Haupt|
In that same batch of letters was this one from Haupt to Wright discussing how trains own the Aquia Line were delayed to pick up wounded. The Army medical officers were using an ad hoc system to load wounded that was delaying the USMRR trains. Haupt would not have that!