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 Post subject: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Milford,Ma
Are there any steam whistle enthusiasts on this forum?
The Ashton Valve Company made a line of steam whistles for locomotives, boats, factory buildings, etc.
Tell us about your whistle?

Here's an Ashton Valve being tested.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtuMlzU3W9w

https://www.steamlocomotive.com/appliances/whistle.php

https://www.classicsteamengineering.com ... info.1387/


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1214
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I don't know if they are still doing it, but for years there has been a "whistle blow" the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the old B&O station in Youngstown, OH, using access to the municipal steam supply. I believe one of our moderators, Rick Rowlands, of Youngstown Steel Heritage was involved with it, so he might know more. I went one year, 2011, because a couple of Midwest Railway Preservation Society members brought the whistle from GTW Mike #4070 to blow. I hadn't heard it for at least 20 years, plus they were allowing onlookers the chance to blow any of the whistles for a nominal donation, so I couldn't resist that.

Anyway, they had so many whistles that they would put 10 or so on the trailer mounted muffle - is that the right term? - at a time, which took about 30 minutes or so between sessions to set up. So the event went most of the day. I was greatly surprised at one point when they announced a Southern Pacific homemade five chime whistle, and what came out was the exact sound of the "Hooterville Cannonball" from the 1960's TV show Petticoat Junction, which was stock sound from the studio on the show's soundtrack, and not from the whistle on Sierra Ry. #3. I've never heard that sound from any other steam whistle. I'm guessing that because they were homemade and hand-built there was some variation in the tone of the chambers? I'd be interested in knowing how many have that particular sound - and if there are any others in existence?

That was also a year, or the year, that Jerry Jacobson dropped by for an hour or so in the afternoon. One of the sponsoring organizations was raffling off a model of his GTW Northern #6325 in Ohio Central lettering, and he posed for photos with it. I don't believe Jerry brought a whistle with him, he was just there to take in the event.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Massachusetts
PaulWWoodring wrote:
Anyway, they had so many whistles that they would put 10 or so on the trailer mounted muffle - is that the right term?


I've been to an event similar to the one you describe (bring earplugs!), and I think the term you are looking for is "manifold".......meaning a conduit or pipe with a steam source at one end, and screw-in connections for a number of whistles.

/Kevin Madore


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:18 pm
Posts: 3
The Youngstown Whistle Blow is going to be at Youngstown Steel Heritage this year. Rick will be using J&L 58 to provide steam. He can give more info on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Milford,Ma
A great page of Crosby whistle sounds.

http://www.crosby-steam.com/csw.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:16 pm
Posts: 103
http://www.steamboats.org/whistle-calliope/eblow2.html

Although these are big whistles on river plying steam boats, they're impressive. You can navigate through that website and listen to others.

I've got a big 8" Lunkenheimer "fire alarm" whistle. It's fed by a 2 inch pipe. I took it to a whistle blow with a big stationary boiler for power, to blow it. I had 3 other regular locomotive chime whistles that we plumbed in to blow, too.

I had ear plugs jammed in, plus great sound deadening earmuff hearing protection.

I could run the whistle from afar, but the movable disc inside the whistle, which gives it the variable pitch it's built for, needed to be controlled from right below it.

I can tell you that the hearing protection was definitely needed and worked great, but the effect of being so close to that thing as it was operating.... it was awful.

One man pulled the cord to blow the whistle, and I kneeled below the thing operating that movable disc. The vibration from the deep, bellowing sound.. the sound waves.... vibrated my entire body... it kinda gave me a queasy feeling in my stomach, made me dizzy feeling as I stood up!

I only did that once... after that, no more variable pitch, just straight sound.

The locomotive whistles had quite a melodius sound. I had one 3 chime, and two 5 chime loco whistles. The 3 chime was also a Lunkenheimer... I think they call them a "steamboat" whistle, too.

Years ago, for a local railroad festival (back when I had a lot of whistles), I built a nice, big manifold... out of a long piece of 10" heavy pipe. I welded 6, two inch female pipe fitting onto the manifold, and made provisions to plumb air from a portable air compressor to the manifold.. and borrowed a diesel powered compressor from a local construction company.

I took the manifold and the compressor to the festival, out away from the crowds... but in sight... and got it all going. I blew the whistles myself for a while, and pretty soon, here came the kids.
I had long ropes fastened to the whistle levers, so they could stand 15 or 20' away and blow them to their hearts content.
It was a big hit.... and eventually, the grownups came over to see what was making all the noise... and they got in to it, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Milford,Ma
Great story. The physical effects of being that close to a whistle are scary. It reminds me of the time back in the mid 1970's when I had 4 th row seats to a LOUD concert and it felt like the bass sound was thumping me in the chest.
Do or did you have any Ashton Whistles in your collection? Where did you get them?
I'm off to the yankee Steam-up in Rhode Island this Saturday and I can't remember many steam whistles at all. It's too bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1140
Location: Pacific, MO
Growing up in the 40s in St. Louis County MO, there were many whistles around besides the railroads. The natural gas plant had one, a chemical company in Webster Groves had one, the Frisco roundhouse at Lindenwood had one and Mississippi Valley Steel had one. We could hear the one from Scullin Steel at our house in Maplewood too.
Usually at shift time, noon and afternoon they would all sound off.
One more thing of my youth that this post triggered.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:50 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 37
Are you asking us to share our experiences solely with Ashton whistles, or whistles in general?

I ask because I gather from your posts that you have an Ashton bias (no problem with that whatsoever!), so not sure if we are discussing a focused topic or a very broad topic.

I am a steam whistle enthusiast, and I have material to add in a broad scope but not Ashton-oriented so I will hold off on that until I understand better the scope of this post :-)

-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:14 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1214
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Rick A wrote:
Great story. The physical effects of being that close to a whistle are scary. It reminds me of the time back in the mid 1970's when I had 4 th row seats to a LOUD concert and it felt like the bass sound was thumping me in the chest.


Reminds me of the first hard rock concert I went to. A series of extremely fortunate circumstances. January 1, 1979, the late Richfield Coliseum between Akron and Cleveland (just West of Peninsula on State Route 303, for those familiar with the Cuyahoga Valley railroad), the second of two concerts by Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band. What I didn't know was that these were the last two shows of the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, and that the night before (New Year's Eve) someone threw a firecracker at the stage, narrowly missing Bruce. The second show was an add-on because the first sold out in minutes (this was after Bruce had played Cleveland once before on the tour, plus the WMMS-FM tenth anniversary concert at the Cleveland Agora in August of '78 that was broadcast live regionally (and rebroadcast - and bootlegged - many times after that) - well over two hours. I had scored a floor seat, the only time I ever managed to do that for a major arena event. When I got there, I found out that where my seat was supposed to be was where the sound board had been set up. So, an usher escorted me to a group of seats set aside for those ticket holders - within the first 20 rows from the stage! Incredible luck. Anyway, the germane part of this is that when they struck the first chord of Badlands, I thought it was going to knock me off my feet and my chest was going to burst. This also was the beginning of Bruce's now familiar tradition of ending a tour with a marathon show. According to the record books, the show ran 3 hours and 45 minutes, and was the longest show he had ever played to that point, or would play for several years. Needless to say, my hearing took beating that night, and probably is part of the nearly continual ringing in my ears that I now experience. But it was an incredible night. Oh, and the ticket cost much less than $20!


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Milford,Ma
I don't want to think about ticket prices these days.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Milford,Ma
mrwalsh85 wrote:
Are you asking us to share our experiences solely with Ashton whistles, or whistles in general?

I ask because I gather from your posts that you have an Ashton bias (no problem with that whatsoever!), so not sure if we are discussing a focused topic or a very broad topic.

I am a steam whistle enthusiast, and I have material to add in a broad scope but not Ashton-oriented so I will hold off on that until I understand better the scope of this post :-)

-Mike

Mike, I suppose I should have explained my Ashton Valve bias sooner. My ancestor started the Ashton Valve company in 1871 and over the past few years I have been researching the company's history on the internet. I also have started collecting gauges and other products on ebay. I'm always hoping to learn something new about the company and have recently started to post on Railroad forums in the hope of finding out information. It's been a wonderful journey so far and I've met some amazing people at the museums and steam shows I go to. And I'm just getting started.
To answer your other question, I am interested in all whistle and railroad related stories as I'm quickly becoming fascinated by the whole Railroad culture, which I previously didn't know existed to the extent it does. I hope that this helps you understand my interest in whistles and I hope you will share some of your stories with us.

Check out the Ashton Valve thread on this site and you'll learn what I now about the company at this point in time.


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:16 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Youngstown, OH
The Youngstown Whistle Blow is on October 12 at Youngstown Steel Heritage starting at 11 am.

_________________
Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:55 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 962
Location: Tucson, Arizona
When I was with TVRM, a few engineers had their own whistles and would use them on whatever steam locomotive was in service. The only rule was that if you swapped the current whistle for your personal whistle, you put the current whistle back on when you were done.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: Steam whistles anyone?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:48 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Milford,Ma
Rick Rowlands wrote:
The Youngstown Whistle Blow is on October 12 at Youngstown Steel Heritage starting at 11 am.


Rick, how many whistles are typically brought to the whistle blow? Sounds like a fun afternoon although I assume it could be a little tough on the ear drums!


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