J.J. Jackson at WTUR

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Tue Apr 3 01:01:12 EDT 2007

Garrett Wollman wrote:
> <<On Mon, 02 Apr 2007 23:58:59 -0400, "A. Joseph Ross" <joe@attorneyross.com> said:
>> Is this actually technically possible?  Making the entire length of 
>> the tracks an antenna sounds rather like the old ads about the gadget 
>> that makes all of your house wiring an antenna.
> That's a complicated question, because it depends on the nature of
> the tracks and the signaling system in use on the particular
> railroad.  But in general, I would agree with your doubts.  Railroad
> tracks are generally grounded (at least at the frequencies we're
> talking about) but not as well as a proper AM ground system (or even a
> proper electrical ground system).

There is, further, a common urban myth of this kind at just about every 
college radio station that began as a carrier-current operation and had 
train tracks in plausible proximity. I even heard it about WLDB, the 
predecessor to WBRS, and anyone familiar with the Brandeis campus knows 
that it's quite the haul from the area where the studios would have been 
to the commuter-rail tracks south of campus.

Did the myth originate from a real event at Tufts? I suppose that's 

(And is it tied to the urban legend that a certain low-power AM outlet 
in the Boston area achieves its unusually good signal by hooking its 
ground system to the city water pipes?)


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