Author Topic: Which horns on which locos?  (Read 514 times)

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RBrodzinsky

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Which horns on which locos?
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:09:15 PM »
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As I have been merrily installing sound decoders into my locos, I have come up against an interesting conundrum: how does one know which horn sound to use? I have found web sites which describe in detail the different horns, and will list which railroads used them, and there are other sites which may indicate which horn was the default factory horn; but how does one find out, for example (based on this weekend's needs) what horn was used on WP's F3s and what horn on D&RGW's PA1s?

I will take a flat out answer to my example, but is there a resource somewhere to look these up? As I start on my UP and SP fleets, I would anticipate plenty of variations within them.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

jdcolombo

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Re: Which horns on which locos?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 04:02:00 PM »
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Hi Rick.

I think your best resource would be a Historical & Technical Society or some such.  I vaguely recall that the NKPHTS had an article about horns in one of its quarterly magazines some years ago, though I may be hallucinating this.  But if the WP and D&RGW have similar societies (I'm pretty sure they do), there might be resources there.

BUT . . . horns were one thing that changed early and often on locomotives, and the horn "as delivered" on any unit probably wasn't the horn on it 5 years later.  The NKP GP7's were supposedly delivered with the Leslie A200 (the single-chime "duck" horn), but Tony Koester, who lived for a while right across from one of the NKP main lines, once told me that he recalled hearing multi-chime horns like the Nathan P3 or M5 or similar ones from Leslie.  In theory, the horn you pick probably should match the horn detail on the model: if it's a single horn (true of a lot of the PA-1 models), then something like the Wabco or Nathan single chime would be appropriate.  If the detail part shows 3 horns, then maybe a Nathan P3 or its equivalent Leslie.   And if there are five of those things on the detail part, well, a Nathan M5 or similar would be called for.

So . . . I'm not sure that you can really get perfectly prototypical with this unless you have a photo of a specific unit that you are modeling, for a specific year, that shows the horn detail.  And even then, unless the historical society has records from the prototype that specifies this information, you might not know if the horn is a Nathan or Leslie or custom job.

As a result of all this, I've gotten to the happy place of just picking a horn I like, and to heck with everything else!

John C.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 05:45:46 PM by jdcolombo »

nsbob

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Re: Which horns on which locos?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 05:00:18 PM »
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http://www.soundtraxx.com/choose/choose4.php

Try the above website.  There is a list of which railroads have used which horns at the bottom of the page.

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Which horns on which locos?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 06:29:23 PM »
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I did find this site, which gives some excellent examples of what the different horns sound and look like. http://atsf.railfan.net/airhorns/

John, I like your idea... what sounds good!
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

tehachapifan

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Re: Which horns on which locos?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 10:12:41 PM »
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I did find this site, which gives some excellent examples of what the different horns sound and look like. http://atsf.railfan.net/airhorns/

John, I like your idea... what sounds good!

Good find! Great resource! :D
Russ

lajmdlr

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Re: Which horns on which locos?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 10:28:24 PM »
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In my day on the RRs if we said horn for whistle we'd get time off. You have to know which whistles were used on which engines. Many RRs used different ones on different engines. So check the RR historical societies & also the Five Chimes website.
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
LAJ Modeler

ryan_wilkerson

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Re: Which horns on which locos?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 12:09:51 AM »
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I did find this site, which gives some excellent examples of what the different horns sound and look like. http://atsf.railfan.net/airhorns/

John, I like your idea... what sounds good!

The 5 Chime website is by Jim Evans who I met on an excursion train ride at Niles Canyon.
Local resource for you if you had a particular question.