Southern Pacific Railroad History Center


Communications Department

The communications department operates one of the world’s largest privately-owned communications systems. It is a service organization and provides the same type of communications services for the operation of the Company as are offered by the commercial telephone and telegraph companies to the public. Some of the services provided are:

  1. TOPS Data Circuits
  2. Intercity Dial Network
  3. Radio-Microwave and VHF
  4. Dispatching and Centralized Traffic Control Circuits
  5. Teletype Message Network and Administrative Traffic
  6. Facsimile and Closed Circuit Television
  7. Communications services to subsidiaries, such as:
    • Pacific Motor Trucking Company
    • Southern Pacific Pipe Lines, Inc.
    • Pacific Fruit Express Company

Respective assistant superintendents direct the engineering, maintenance, and operational activities of the department. The assistant general superintendent and assistant superintendents report to the general superintendent of communications – system, who is responsible for the communication operations on Southern Pacific and its subsidiaries, including the Cotton Belt.  Details of day-to-day operations are handled by engineers and supervisors at various levels.

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