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

Proud member of the next generation of railroad preservationists.

Pennsy Productions - Bringing you the best railroads of the Midwest

β€œIt’s a good thing to let another generation know what a steam locomotive is.” - 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.   I’m sure many of us have.   It is obvious that the UP isn’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.   I’m sure many of us have.   It is obvious that the UP isn’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. πŸ‘πŸ‘

 

Larry

Everything is going according to plan.

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.  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...!

Hudson5432,
Thanks for the heads up about this NYC album. I was able to find a nice copy of the LP. It was then that I put two and two together and pulled out my CD "Living With Steam: The Sounds of Railroading in Buffalo & Western New York 1948 - 1955" that is also by John M. Prophet III. In the liner notes, there is a postscript telling about the wire recording machine and how the album came about. This is another recording one should have in their library!

I had been unaware of "wire" recordings until the double CD "Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall 1938" was brought to my attention. The liner notes are downloadable and are absolutely fascinating, telling the history of how this live recording came about! It's a great album. Again, one that should be in your collection...and, don't forget to get the complete liner notes!

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. 

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.

Getting offtopic, I know, but truthfully, a 10 car train just isn't going to tax that thing much, and chances of real tonnage ever being hooked up behind it are slim at best.  Same problem existed to a lesser extent with 3985 and 1218 as well.  Too much engine for the train by and large.  I am somewhat surprised by the complaining since we knew it was never going to make a lot of noise to begin with.

Sadly, the times to see big steam working hard are becoming far and few between.  Those opportunities just don't present themselves very often and getting up a 20 car train just isn't the easiest thing to do anymore.  261 and ten cars had the same issue going to Duluth or the trip to North Dakota in 2017, and getting any sounds out of 611 on some of the excursion lines that were operated could be a challenge.  There just aren't many hills between Lynchburg and Petersburg, VA.  Too much engine for the train.

That said, and somewhat back on topic, there have been times when the 4014 has actually been worked a bit. Peru Hill in Wyoming on the eastbound return sounded good--especially towards the bottom of the hill.  There weren't many people to see it, but there was a crossing coming south out of Boylston, WI where the exhaust was threatening to drown out the whistle.  It was impressive, and yes, video does exist.  That kind of performance just doesn't happen very often though.  There are some other videos out there on the Duluth trip where the engine was worked as well.  Maybe they will work it up Cajon.  It would be nice, especially since the train should be of a decent weight.

 

Big Jim posted:
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.

OK Jim, I'll bite. 

What's lame about a New York Central 6-chime. I think they have a beautiful sound.

Big Jim posted:
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.  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...!

Hudson5432,
Thanks for the heads up about this NYC album. I was able to find a nice copy of the LP. It was then that I put two and two together and pulled out my CD "Living With Steam: The Sounds of Railroading in Buffalo & Western New York 1948 - 1955" that is also by John M. Prophet III. In the liner notes, there is a postscript telling about the wire recording machine and how the album came about. This is another recording one should have in their library!

I had been unaware of "wire" recordings until the double CD "Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall 1938" was brought to my attention. The liner notes are downloadable and are absolutely fascinating, telling the history of how this live recording came about! It's a great album. Again, one that should be in your collection...and, don't forget to get the complete liner notes!

I have both recordings, Jim. The cut made while pacing the Niagara is one for the ages. I'm glad I got it when I did back in the day because it doesn't seem to be available any more.

Also, anyone who isn't moved by Jess Stacy's marvelous impromptu piano solo at the end of "Sing, Sing, Sing" has no soul.

kgdjpubs posted:
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. 

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.

Getting offtopic, I know, but truthfully, a 10 car train just isn't going to tax that thing much, and chances of real tonnage ever being hooked up behind it are slim at best.  Same problem existed to a lesser extent with 3985 and 1218 as well.  Too much engine for the train by and large.  I am somewhat surprised by the complaining since we knew it was never going to make a lot of noise to begin with.

Sadly, the times to see big steam working hard are becoming far and few between.  Those opportunities just don't present themselves very often and getting up a 20 car train just isn't the easiest thing to do anymore.  261 and ten cars had the same issue going to Duluth or the trip to North Dakota in 2017, and getting any sounds out of 611 on some of the excursion lines that were operated could be a challenge.  There just aren't many hills between Lynchburg and Petersburg, VA.  Too much engine for the train.

That said, and somewhat back on topic, there have been times when the 4014 has actually been worked a bit. Peru Hill in Wyoming on the eastbound return sounded good--especially towards the bottom of the hill.  There weren't many people to see it, but there was a crossing coming south out of Boylston, WI where the exhaust was threatening to drown out the whistle.  It was impressive, and yes, video does exist.  That kind of performance just doesn't happen very often though.  There are some other videos out there on the Duluth trip where the engine was worked as well.  Maybe they will work it up Cajon.  It would be nice, especially since the train should be of a decent weight.

 

I beg to differ. I rode behind and chased 1218 and she made plenty of stack talk. Ditto 3985.

 If all that was expected of 4014 was rods clanking then the UP wasted a boatload of money for nothing.  She clanked plenty enough when she was towed dead from California to Wyoming. Hit her with a coat of paint and push her around the system. You can blow he whistle continuously on compressed air for next to no expense.

Time for my two cents, once again.  As mentioned previously, the Mid-Continent Ry. Museum in North Freedom, WI. carries quite a few CDs of locomotive sounds. If you want to hear some real recordings, you have to go back to when steam was running. One favorite I have is a recording of the DM&IR Yellowstones, especially if you like the low throaty whistles on the Yellowstones. One CD has a recording made from the caboose, apparently right behind the engine (don't try and tear that remark apart...the RRs did do many things). In this scene you can hear the generator running on the Missabe caboose; you will hear a motor car passing; then you will hear the bell as the engine approaches a grade crossing. And then the whistle for the crossing, much less lots of exhaust etc.. I might add that the DM&IR placed bells on their tenders for back up and otherwise safety practices. Another scene is in the tower as the operator communicates, and  you hear the train as it approaches and passes. Another favorite of mine was recorded in July of 1959 in Two Harbors, MN. as #230 leaves with a train of ore cars, and the sounds of the fog horn as it was a foggy day. There are many more CDs out there, C&NW; UP; etc. all recorded in the days...including some by Brad Miller in the '60's. Let me know if you want to buy any of these.

Big Jim posted:
Nick Chillianis posted:

OK Jim, I'll bite. 

What's lame about a New York Central 6-chime. I think they have a beautiful sound.

Well, from the recording of the Niagara on the LP, it is pretty darn lame!

Keep in mind that these old recordings were made with the technology that was available at the time.  That technology does not compare to what has been available in the past number of years.   We should all be glad that someone  had the foresight to capture these sounds all those years ago so we can hear them today even if they are not as good as we wish they could be.  My first ever steam recording was Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate (1961).  It was available on both LP and open reel tape but only in monaural.  As good as it still is (to me) the sound is not of the quality of today's recordings.  But, the memories associated with that LP having grown up witnessing the end of steam on the NKP is priceless to me including the DM&IR track Jeff B. Haertlein wrote about in an earlier comment.  We had the same foghorns in the harbor here in northeast Ohio.

Try the fellow who has been releasing many old recordings on CDs....www.thetrolleydodger.com Many of what we have in our Museum's gift shop are from him. I have also gotten stuff from Folkways which has a few good CDs burned from LPs, and then there is another fellow Jay Winn from N.Y. @www.vintagerailroadaudio.com  You should fine your Niagara good luck.

When it comes to whistles I think every railroad had their own sound.You take 1225 you would think she would have a much deeper sounding whistle.But its a little higher pitched.While 611 has a really deep whistle.And while I did not see steam locomotive.How ever since seaboard and southern went through charlotte n.c.Seaboard has a deeper horn blast southerns was higher tone horn blast.But every rail road did their own thing.

Big Jim posted:

Nick,
Is there a better recording of a Niagara's steam whistle out there anywhere? Mr. Proffit"s are the only ones that I have heard.

Here is a video of Rizzoli Locomotive Works reproduction of a New York Central 6-chime on Virginia and Truckee 18.

It is made of cast iron, as was the original. It was very similar in design to the Nathan 6-chime but has different length chambers, which changed the tones.

One point to mention is that the New York Central used the Viloco Whistle Actuator which was sometimes called a "push-button whistle".  A small thumb lever in the cab controlled an air operated device that opened the whistle valve. This rendered the steam whistle an on-off device and did not allow for any whistle "artistry" by the engineer. 

This is the New York Central's shop pattern for the whistle:

Nyc 6 Chime

In case you can't enlarge this to be able to read the legend, the application data in the lower right corner shows

this whistle being used on classes S2a, S1a, S1b , L4a, L4b , K5a, K5b (Except Engines 4915 and 4917),

J3a, J2a, J2b, J2c, J1a, J1b, J1c, J1c (MC), J1d, J1e

4915 and 4917 were K5b Pacifics, streamlined for the Mercury trains.

Attachments

Photos (1)
Nick Chillianis posted:

One point to mention is that the New York Central used the Viloco Whistle Actuator which was sometimes called a "push-button whistle".  A small thumb lever in the cab controlled an air operated device that opened the whistle valve. This rendered the steam whistle an on-off device and did not allow for any whistle "artistry" by the engineer. 

 

Thank you Nick.
The use of the Viloco actuator is very apparent on the "Living with Steam" recordings

Big Jim posted:
Nick Chillianis posted:

One point to mention is that the New York Central used the Viloco Whistle Actuator which was sometimes called a "push-button whistle".  A small thumb lever in the cab controlled an air operated device that opened the whistle valve. This rendered the steam whistle an on-off device and did not allow for any whistle "artistry" by the engineer. 

 

Thank you Nick.
The use of the Viloco actuator is very apparent on the "Living with Steam" recordings

Went back and listened to the recording of "NYC Train 78 - Summer 1953" from "Living With Steam".

I hear only one steam whistle briefly at approximately the 2:36 mark. That is not the 6018's whistle. It sounds like a rather flat Hancock 3-chime. Additionally, it's not loud enough to be coming from the Niagara.

Looking at the area where he paced the train, in addition to the Central, there were the nearly parallel DL&W, Erie and Lehigh Valley main lines. Of those three, the Lehigh Valley used Hancock 3-chime whistles, so I am going to say that's where that sound came from.

You hear 6018's Wabco E2 air horn, loud and clear, at the Dick Road crossing, where Prophet ran out of road alongside the railroad.

Anyway, the Niagara had the same whistles as the Hudsons on that album. From what I've read, they were seldom used for crossings or to warn trespassers off of the ROW.  The same thing applied to the use of the steam whistles on SP's Daylights and Cab Forwards. I have read that they were mainly used for signalling to the train crew and helper engines.

I agree about "Symphony of Steam" but there is one other recording that I think is just as good. The train at the end of "How the West Was Won". Amazing sound. M-G-M and Cinerama went all out to record the sound in 5 track stereo. They had five microphones all over that train. Don

htwww-driversounda

htwww-mikearray

Unknown

hww041b

Attachments

Photos (4)

I tried my hand at locomotive audio recordings this past weekend on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The results were quite pleasing, and these are my two favorites. Enjoy!

Nick

Proud member of the next generation of railroad preservationists.

Pennsy Productions - Bringing you the best railroads of the Midwest

β€œIt’s a good thing to let another generation know what a steam locomotive is.” - W. Graham Claytor, Jr.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×