PennsyPride94 posted:

Hi everyone,

One month ago the Strasburg Rail Road hosted the first night of their annual Steampunk events. What made this night unique was the fact that the SRC would be pulling trips at 6 pm, 8 pm, and 10 pm. Knowing this my friend and I ventured out to the SRC to witness night time steam action. Below is a recording of the 8 pm trip back to East Strasburg that I made. Dave Domitrovich is running and Richie Maggs is firing. (Make sure to turn up the volume because it is quite faint in the beginning. The picture in the video was taken by me that night as SRC #90 pulled into the station after the last trip. Its a 13 second exposure and if you look close you can see the little dipper in the night sky.)

30253150881_d97f28c347_o

I have always been fascinated by the world of audio recording steam locomotives. Most likely due to my first time hearing O. Winston Link's recording at Rural Retreat on December 24th, 1957. There is something about the echo of the whistle, the bark of the exhaust, and the rumble of the train that really peaks the imagination and is completely different from normal railfan habits of taking pictures and video. 

As an added discussion point: What are your favorite recordings of steam locomotives? If you have some feel free to share!

Thanks for listening!

 

Very nicely done. I love audio recordings. Like radio, they allow the listener to create his own mental image of the scene, something no video can ever do.

Here are a couple of my efforts aboard some C&O 614 excursions.

Audio: C&O 614 Ridgewood Start and Fast Running 6-8-97

Audio: C&O 614 Highball after repairing the stoker 6/8/97

Audio: C&O 614 Climbing Shawangunk Mountain 10/26/97

One more. 

Audio: LIRR Eastbound in a thunderstorm, Bethpage, NY, Summer 1997

 

 

 

Rich Melvin posted:

In my opinion, the "Symphony of Steam" CD offered by the FWRHS is the absolute BEST recording of a steam locomotive I have ever heard. I have often said that when it came to recording the sound of steam locomotives, there was Brad Miller and then there was everybody else. His work was absolutely perfect. Sadly he is no longer with us, but his legacy lives on in this work.

Brad spent several days with us over a couple of years in the late 80s, recording the sounds of the 765. In the 14-track "Symphony of Steam" CD I combined some cuts to set up audio "scenes" which are described in the 12-page booklet that comes with the CD. I know it is a CD you will treasure. Just be sure you don't set the volume too high when you listen to it!

Now I need to get Symphony of Steam !

It may sound odd that a retired railroad official has such a fondness, but I sometimes listen to Brad Miller's recording of first generation diesels (don't shoot me) when I want to be transported back to the sounds of my youth.  Steam was gone from Santa Fe, the home road where I grew up, by the time I was in second grade, so early diesels were the locomotives I knew best.  It's all recorded on territory that I am familiar with, and I really do like the soothing sound of the F7-powered passenger trains meeting each other on single track.

But I only have two steam recordings, so Symphony of Steam will definitely be at the house before the end of the month.  Also, I will look into the Howard Fogg recordings he made on C&S and UP.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

I haven't played my favorite in years, and the sound quality is not "great", mainly due to the equipment used, I believe.  The person responsible for the recordings was John Prophet, and I understand that he used a recorder that used magnetized wire?  (The recordings were made between 1948 and 1953.)  The record is the "First Collectors Series, Volume 2, which was New York Central steam and issued by Semaphore Records.  One track is identified as the only sound recording ever made behind a live NYC Hudson from starting to track speed, which is just marvelous.  There are several classes of NYC steam that were recorded, but my favorite is a NYC "K" class Pacific with a NYC "long bell" whistle, which to me sounds better than any other steam whistle that I ever heard.  The record is like new, since the only time I ever played it (loud) was when my wife was out grocery shopping...!

Big Jim posted:
Hartman

As for most recordings I've heard, they have too much whistle or horn blowing.  I want to hear the locomotive and the train with a rare whistle or horn blowing.  That constant whistle & or horn noise is just too much..... noise.  And that's MY 2 cents worth.

Dennis

Exactly, and, that is the problem with a lot of model videos too! You can't hear the engine for all of the stupid whistle blowing!

 

 I cant stand all the happy whistle blowers in real train videos ,as well as model railroad videos.

It just takes too much out of what your really trying to enjoy and not the " throttle jockeys" ability of blowing that darn whistle !

Collin "The Eastern Kentucky & Ohio R.R."

mackb4 posted:
Big Jim posted:
Hartman

As for most recordings I've heard, they have too much whistle or horn blowing.  I want to hear the locomotive and the train with a rare whistle or horn blowing.  That constant whistle & or horn noise is just too much..... noise.  And that's MY 2 cents worth.

Dennis

Exactly, and, that is the problem with a lot of model videos too! You can't hear the engine for all of the stupid whistle blowing!

 

 I cant stand all the happy whistle blowers in real train videos ,as well as model railroad videos.

It just takes too much out of what your really trying to enjoy and not the " throttle jockeys" ability of blowing that darn whistle !

I like whistles, but when I'm recording, it often depends on how hard I expect the engine to work.

For example, in this video I recorded almost a year ago of the 765 in the Valley (time flies), at the Indigo Lake scene, I chose an angle I hadn't seen done before. I chose this for two reasons: first, I wanted a shot where you could see the locomotive coming from the distance, and second, because I wanted to avoid the sound of the locomotive working being drowned out by the whistle. The locomotive wasn't working quite as hard as I had hoped, but I'm still happy with the result.

In cases where I don't expect the engine to work very hard, I don't mind the whistle.

If you're unfamiliar, the Indigo Lake scene is featured in the opening scene as a black and white silent piece, and then a second time later on with color and audio.

Nick

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Pennsy Productions - Bringing you the best railroads of the Midwest

โ€œItโ€™s a good thing to let another generation know what a steam locomotive is.โ€ - W. Graham Claytor, Jr.

mackb4 posted:
Big Jim posted:
Hartman

As for most recordings I've heard, they have too much whistle or horn blowing.  I want to hear the locomotive and the train with a rare whistle or horn blowing.  That constant whistle & or horn noise is just too much..... noise.  And that's MY 2 cents worth.

Dennis

Exactly, and, that is the problem with a lot of model videos too! You can't hear the engine for all of the stupid whistle blowing!

 

 I cant stand all the happy whistle blowers in real train videos ,as well as model railroad videos.

It just takes too much out of what your really trying to enjoy and not the " throttle jockeys" ability of blowing that darn whistle !

I agree with all the comments above. Along those same lines, i.e. way too much whistle blowing, try and find ANY videos of UP 4014 with ANY exhaust music and NO whistling!

I'm late to the party but here is a recording I made of N&W 611 from April 2017 in Danville, Va. The 611 is starting a heavy 20 car passenger train in heavy rain up a near 2% grade with a few reverse curves. Engineer Sandy Alexander had his hands full but coaxed the big 4-8-4 up the hill without stalling while Fireman Tom Mayer had the fire white hot and the steam gauge right at 300 lbs. 

The boys from the East End Shops should have a big smile on their faces after the fight up the hill. I know I sure did and was lucky enough to witness it first hand! 

 

Hot Water posted:
mackb4 posted:
Big Jim posted:
Hartman

As for most recordings I've heard, they have too much whistle or horn blowing.  I want to hear the locomotive and the train with a rare whistle or horn blowing.  That constant whistle & or horn noise is just too much..... noise.  And that's MY 2 cents worth.

Dennis

Exactly, and, that is the problem with a lot of model videos too! You can't hear the engine for all of the stupid whistle blowing!

 

 I cant stand all the happy whistle blowers in real train videos ,as well as model railroad videos.

It just takes too much out of what your really trying to enjoy and not the " throttle jockeys" ability of blowing that darn whistle !

I agree with all the comments above. Along those same lines, i.e. way too much whistle blowing, try and find ANY videos of UP 4014 with ANY exhaust music and NO whistling!

The 4014 has become a bore to me. It's too much engine for too little train. I'd be surprised if it even produces much in the way of superheat the way it is being operated. 

I am completely over the incessant and gratuitous blowing of the whistle by a certain someone.

As someone once said about Reggie Jackson: "There isn't enough mustard in the world for that hot dog." 

It's probably to draw attention away from the fact that the locomotive isn't doing  Jack (no offense) most of the time.

I wouldn't waste my time or effort to make a sound recording or even a video of 4014. There is nothing worth hearing.

I hope they put plenty of diesel units behind her when she climbs Cajon pass. I wouldn't want her making that infernal racket that other steam engines make when they are hard at work.

If it ever comes to Memphis, I might make the six hour drive just to see it once in person but that's about it.

I have too many fond memories of 3985 and 844, as well as 4449, 2472, 611, 1218, 765, 614, 2102 etc, being operated properly by no-nonsense steam crews, to waste my time and money on this silly dog and pony show. 

 

 

 

Nick Chillianis posted:
Hot Water posted:
mackb4 posted:
Big Jim posted:
Hartman

As for most recordings I've heard, they have too much whistle or horn blowing.  I want to hear the locomotive and the train with a rare whistle or horn blowing.  That constant whistle & or horn noise is just too much..... noise.  And that's MY 2 cents worth.

Dennis

Exactly, and, that is the problem with a lot of model videos too! You can't hear the engine for all of the stupid whistle blowing!

 

 I cant stand all the happy whistle blowers in real train videos ,as well as model railroad videos.

It just takes too much out of what your really trying to enjoy and not the " throttle jockeys" ability of blowing that darn whistle !

I agree with all the comments above. Along those same lines, i.e. way too much whistle blowing, try and find ANY videos of UP 4014 with ANY exhaust music and NO whistling!

The 4014 has become a bore to me. It's too much engine for too little train. I'd be surprised if it even produces much in the way of superheat the way it is being operated. 

I am completely over the incessant and gratuitous blowing of the whistle by a certain person.

There isn't enough mustard in the world for that "hot dog" of an engineer.

It's probably to draw attention away from the fact that the locomotive isn't doing  Jack (no offense) most of the time.

I wouldn't waste my time or effort to make a sound recording or even a video of 4014. There is nothing worth hearing.

I hope they put plenty of diesel units behind her when she climbs Cajon pass. I wouldn't want her making that infernal racket that other steam engines make when they are hard at work.

If it ever comes to Memphis, I might make the six hour drive just to see it once in person but that's about it.

I have too many fond memories of 3985 and 844, as well as 4449, 2472, 611, 1218, 765, 614, 2102 etc, being operated properly by no-nonsense steam crews, to waste my time and money on this silly dog and pony show. 

 

 

 

I suspect that you have succeeded in raising the ire of numerous Big Boy aficionados with some of your comments yet I fully understand how you have become tired of seeing and hearing about 4014.   Iโ€™m sure many of us have.   It is obvious that the UP isnโ€™t using 4014 to her fullest capacity but then that is their choice.  Once the newness has worn off 4014 and her crews may settle into a more normal operating routine similar to other excursion steam locomotives.   For now the 4014 is enjoying being star attraction and thousands are enjoying seeing that.   If I am correct all the steam the 4014 produces is superheated regardless of how it is being operated.     

Allegheny48 posted: 

I suspect that you have succeeded in raising the ire of numerous Big Boy aficionados with some of your comments yet I fully understand how you have become tired of seeing and hearing about 4014.   Iโ€™m sure many of us have.   It is obvious that the UP isnโ€™t using 4014 to her fullest capacity but then that is their choice.  Once the newness has worn off 4014 and her crews may settle into a more normal operating routine similar to other excursion steam locomotives.   For now the 4014 is enjoying being star attraction and thousands are enjoying seeing that.   If I am correct all the steam the 4014 produces is superheated regardless of how it is being operated.     

No, that is not correct, i.e. your statement about superheated steam production in a steam locomotive. In oder for the steam passing through the superheater units to be heated well above the 300 psi boiler pressure temperature, the temperature of the firebox and fire gasses passing through each and every flue, MUST be VERY hot. In order for the firebox firebrick and oil flame to reach temps exceeding 2000 degrees F, a substantial load MUST be placed behind the locomotive, such that the Engineer uses the proper throttle setting and associated reverse gear setting to produce such a high, and steady, firing rate. 

Those conditions have NOT been present during 4014 operations, as can easily be witnessed by the lack of substantial exhaust sound. Also, note where the Walschaerts valve gear is set whenever the 4014 passes, as seen in the numerous videos posted all over the internet.

 

I've got a few steam recordings floating around.  One is a vinyl 45 or may a 33-1/3 on the smaller disc called "Recordings of 765" that I purchased at Steamtown when it was in Vermont still.  I think I was 9.

The second is a cassette tape of the NY&LB with recordings from the 50's of mostly K4's but I recall a few CNJ Camelbacks may be on there, perhaps #774?  I received it as a gift from my parents around age 14 with a copy of the "Unique New York & Long Branch" book.

Forgot about those until this thread.  Thanks for the memories.

Jonathan

 

Hudson5432 posted:

I haven't played my favorite in years, and the sound quality is not "great", mainly due to the equipment used, I believe.  The person responsible for the recordings was John Prophet, and I understand that he used a recorder that used magnetized wire?  (The recordings were made between 1948 and 1953.)  The record is the "First Collectors Series, Volume 2, which was New York Central steam and issued by Semaphore Records

I don't know which is more lame, a Niagara blowing a horn or a Niagara blowing a steam whistle! Both are on the album for comparison.

I would love to try to get some of the sounds of a steam engine audio recordings. Unfortunately, they are hard for me to find. Though I do have the symphony of steam CD, though I did copy the CD to my media player, so that may have compressed the audio a bit, but it works for me since I generally listen using headphones or a digital speaker to play it.

I like the sound of steam engines going, I just don't have many audio only recordings of steam engines. I would love to be able to find the album with the Thunderstorm and Steam Engine, though I forget what that is called, my wife may even like that one, since she likes the sound of thunderstorms. Not as big a fan of steam engines as me though.  

tcochran posted:

I would love to try to get some of the sounds of a steam engine audio recordings. Unfortunately, they are hard for me to find. Though I do have the symphony of steam CD, though I did copy the CD to my media player, so that may have compressed the audio a bit, but it works for me since I generally listen using headphones or a digital speaker to play it.

I like the sound of steam engines going, I just don't have many audio only recordings of steam engines. I would love to be able to find the album with the Thunderstorm and Steam Engine, though I forget what that is called, my wife may even like that one, since she likes the sound of thunderstorms. Not as big a fan of steam engines as me though.  

"Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies"

Currently available on Amazon on vinyl.

Rusty

We have the four record set of Twilight of Steam in the '60's on CD; also a good one, HIGHBALL, on CD, an excellent two record set of Steam Locomotives Del Va Por...something like that it is engines in Mexico on the NdeM also on CD. One of my favorites is an entire CD on the DM&IR Yellowstones. All recorded in the days. One selection is my favorite. It is of engine #230, recorded in Two Harbors in JUly 1959...I have one of the builders plates from this engine!! We also have some Soo Line and others. THis gives you an idea. Incidentally, I have 29, 33 rpm albums.

nathansixchime posted:

Nice work. I feel like the audio side of steam and rail preservation has taken a back seat in recent years because everything is so visual.

With that in mind, we created these pieces with the 765. The first is an excerpt from Listen for the Whistle: The Soundtrack. This project re-imagines the steam era using the guest whistles we've had on the 765 throughout the years.

This track - and the entire suite of recordings are available on our web site.

This next one is a favorite. With O Winston as inspiration, I borrowed a track recorded by one of our crew during a New River run and mixed in some wind and distant church chimes recorded during the holiday season...






We also have the classic "Symphony of Steam" CD featuring the work of Brad Miller and produced by Rich Melvin, available in our web store.

 

I just received Symphony of Steam and it sounds great. No distortion crisp and clean sound and it bothers the cats.

Also have Listen for the Whistle. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

 

Larry

โ€œWell, that didnโ€™t go as expected.โ€

 

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