Since I have a fascination with signals I recently have been viewing youtube videos in order to understand the NYC Subway signal operations.  I recently viewed one of R1-9M cars.  They seem to have a rather unique single note whistle.  Was a whistle such as this commonplace in the entire system?  Just for fun I'm thinking about digitizing it for some unknown project in the future.

Comments welcome.

Lou N

Original Post
SIRT posted:

Ah, had them for over 10 years now, never even notice them anymore...............

Lots of engineering, effort & work. 

Thanks; somehow I thought you'd be the first to reply. Since you mention engineering, is your system operational?  From what I understand the aspects are rather unique and it would be quite complex to make it realistic.  But then again, that's the way you do things.  

You may be the only one out there with this system in model use.

Lou N

bluelinec4 posted:


There is a pretty good Primer on the site concerning subway signals.  They also used to have a training ap called NXSYS at the bottom of the page .   Here is a link

The R1 whistle is great  I believe the Q-cars and the Lo-V's also have it

Thanks for that link.  I am going to create some sound files and wrap some code around them just for the fun of it.

Lou N

Yes, operational.

Joe P has posted some intense electrical / signal designs with circuit boards and has a super subway layout. Not sure if he ever finished it?

I’m just pointing out you can get wrapped up in the logistics of it for several years. Lots of wiring, time and effort just to light up and switch a few LED’s.

I guess it all depends on how deep you want to go. I kept it simple using one ITAD controller to switch both sides at the same time. I had to hand make everything, now the real looking signals are available. The best part is the old camera FLASH to simulate the 3rd rail arc! I will be doing a new updated photo shoot next weekend.


 Hope to see your finished layout someday, good luck.


Photos (7)


Thank you very much for your insight.  There's a lot of wisdom in what you said above.   I am working on a terminal area where I can switch out different signals depending on what I am running that day.  I have 3D printed PRR dwarfs and Cleveland Union Terminal dwarfs (which were specially made to resemble the outline of Terminal Tower).  I also have B&O dwarfs back from the Right of Way days.  

Regarding 3rd rail arc, the newest of the LED"s are smaller and brighter and are available in white, blue, and purple.  Contact me off list if you want some to experiment with.

Lou N

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653