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 Post subject: Re: Steam locomotive whistles
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:43 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:09 am
Posts: 88
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Go find this recording--I think they have re-mastered it on CD:

https://railroadrecordfanclub.wordpress ... srlp-2102/

Or 21:00 into this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEt7dPIm7kc


Thank you, Alexander. That was very helpful.

Listening to the whistle, I'm a little confused. To me, it sounds similar to a Southern Pacific 5 chime (which is one of the few whistles that I, personally, am not a fan of). If that is a Baldwin 3 chime, why does it sound so different than usual?

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Chris H.

- Diesels are boxcars with an engine, but steam is an iron horse.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam locomotive whistles
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9184
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
I've said this before; I'll say it again:

Always remember that steam whistles were considered interchangeable parts by most railroads, and that there was little to no motivation to remain consistent with "factory-built" or original-issue parts. As long as the whistle fulfilled the function of warning people, and in at least some cases was acceptable to passengers' ears (you tried to not put a high-pitched screaming whistle on a flagship passenger train, for example), AND the whistle could fit the steam outlet pipe or valve, they weren't terribly concerned.

There were exceptions, of course. CP whistles reportedly had a different thread type from most locomotive hardware. And some of the last whistles made were designed for higher boiler pressures (N&W articulateds, UP 4-8-4s and articulateds, etc.). Also, some Southern railroads persisted in allowing engineers to customize their locos, including whistles.

But it's like replacing a starter in a car. Do you insist on factory-issue from the same manufacturing run, do you use the "name brand" part the dealer and factory shop manual call for with a stiff price but a one-year warranty, do you go get the aftermarket starter with a lifetime warranty at half the price, or do you take one out of a junkyard for $10-20? And all for a car that you just want to keep running for another year or two, not 50 years and going to car shows? The same thing happened with whistles back then, and it continues today with air horns.

The concept of "the original whistle" is at times a farce, even if you have original documentation.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam locomotive whistles
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:47 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Arizona
BLW 60000 did run on the Southern Pacific. Maybe that's where it got that whistle.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam locomotive whistles
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 155
Location: Philadelphia, PA
If you look at 60000 it has an SP-style smokebox front and an SP-style Vanderbilt tender as well, although on the SP it used an SP oil tender, rather than convert 60000's coal tender to oil.

Earl's note is a good point. The whistle is one of the easiest things to change on a steam engine, and makes a big change in how the engine presents itself.

RDG built the T-1's with a high-pitched single-note whistle (possibly inherited from the I-10 2-8-0 donor engine) and in Ramble service RDG usually substituted a Reading passenger chime on one of the T-1's, and the 60000's whistle on some Rambles. After the Rambles, I've heard recordings of 2102 with a PRR passenger chime.

Interestingly, 60000 has an SP-style 5-digit numberboard next to the stack, but since the engine has a 5-digit number itself, there's no place to put SP's "X" for an extra train!

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Steam locomotive whistles
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:03 pm
Posts: 153
Location: Pennsylvania
Looking at this pic, it very well seems as though 60000 has a Star Brass/SP Desert 5 Chime.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1146013


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