Steam whistle signals...

When pulling a train with a steam locomotive running in reverse (tender-first) should you whistle twice before moving because the train as a whole is going forward, or whistle three times because the locomotive is going backwards? I've seen (heard) both ways, but on different railroads... I wonder if it is up to individual railroads, or if there is a general rule...

Original Post

Gregg & Steaming Jon

With all due respect, re-read the first line up to (tender first). As I inteperate it, it's about the engine! Now, when the cars are being pulled in either direction (north & south or east & west) with a locomotive & tender on one end or the other of the cars, the cars that are attached to the locomotive or tender( cars being pulled) are considered the "head end", whether the engine is facing forward or backward, and the opposite end is considered the "hind end". When the engine is pulling in a backwards motion (tender first), the engineer will give three short blasts (warning sound) as he is clear to leave the station or wherever he is , ex. (o o o). If the engine is facing forward (engine first) and he is clear to leave, he will give two short blasts (warning sound) ex. (o o ). His tender which is attached to a car, the car attached is considered the "head end" and the opposite end is considered the "hind end". Diesel loco's have the same example. The front of today's locomotives are usually marked with the letter "F" on the cab end. Everything changes when you push the train, but I'm going to stick with your subject. Again, I'm sure others will chime in!

  Steam Forever

         John

Kelly Anderson posted:

In our rule book the heading title is "Engine Whistle Signals", not "Train Whistle Signals".  Accordingly, we blow three shorts when the engine backs our of the station pulling a train.

Yep my rule book says the same thing...Another rule under  Signals .... A signal to move forward or move backward must be given in relation to the front of the controlling unit.

Some whistles would apply only to trains such as  sections etc.    ________ 00

 

Gregg posted:
Kelly Anderson posted:

In our rule book the heading title is "Engine Whistle Signals", not "Train Whistle Signals".  Accordingly, we blow three shorts when the engine backs our of the station pulling a train.

Yep my rule book says the same thing...Another rule under  Signals .... A signal to move forward or move backward must be given in relation to the front of the controlling unit.

Some whistles would apply only to trains such as  sections etc.    ________ 00

 

That seems like a very clear answer to my question! The direction of the "controlling unit" in my example would be reverse, making the correct signal 3 short toots...

Thanks guys!!

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