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Great Western Railway telegraphic codes

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For information about the UK railway company itself see the Wikipedia page [1].

Great Western Railway telegraphic codes were a commercial telegraph code used to shorten the telegraphic messages sent between the stations and offices of the railway.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) pioneered telegraph communication over the 13 miles (21 km) from Paddington to West Drayton on 9 April 1839 using Cooke and Wheatstone equipment. Although this early system fell into disuse after a few years, from 1850 a new contract with the Electric Telegraph Company saw double-needle telegraphs working at most stations on the line; these were replaced by single-needle machines from 1860. Although used primarily as a safety device to regulate the passage of trains, it was also used to pass messages between the staff. In order to do this quickly and accurately, a number of code words were used to replace complicated or regularly used phrases. The codes were changed from time to time to reflect current needs.

By 1922 most railways in the country had agreed on standard code words, although the GWR had an extended list of codes that could only be used within its own network. In 1943 all railways were brought into a single system of codes and the GWR special codes were discontinued.

More information, including lists of terms, on the Wikipedia page [2].

See also Australian railway telegraphic codes

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