Keystone Communications System

Our new communications system is a Wireline Telephone PBX connecting our Dispatchers, Yardmasters and Conductors. We considered using FRS radios (as in our earlier railray) or a party-line phone system but decided on less disruptive two (or occasionally three) way conversations.

Placing a call requires pressing a three digit extension number. The extension numbers are listed on each phone holder.

White corded phones are for Conductors and two are installed in the train room. These are shared by the 3 or 4 conductors planned for each OPS session. Black corded phones are for Yardmasters and one is installed nearby each of the four yards. Dispatcher currently uses a wireless phone also connected to the PBX.


In this configuration, the Dispatcher is in the same building but in a remoted room versus the Train and staging rooms. The PBX is configured to support an outside line for a very remoted dispatcher when required. A speed dial feature on each Yardmaster and Conductor phone can be readily programmed to dial '9' followed by the phone number of the remoted Dispatcher. Conversely, the Dispatcher can call the Central Office (CO) line dedicated to the Dispatcher access to local phone extensions.

The JMRI Loconet over TCP interface used to connect the Dispatcher screens with train rooms is currently used by a somewhat remote Dispatcher but this same setup can optionally be used by a very remote Dispatcher to sense occupancy and turnout states and to control turnouts and signals. A firewall port access change is required to permit the very remote Dispatcher feature.