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Thread: Use of the HORN?

  1. #11
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    How much longer is a long blast, than a short one? Are all movement signals long blasts? Per Toot, the all stop signal is a single short blast, is that correct?
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NP2626 View Post
    How much longer is a long blast, than a short one? Are all movement signals long blasts? Per Toot, the all stop signal is a single short blast, is that correct?
    The all stop (from either direction) is just a toot, same for each of the 3 reverse signals as well. On an NCE cab, the F3 button gives that short signal, quite a clipped sound. Forward, with my Tsunamis on throttle step control the two are not over long, but I would imagine it could be up to the driver in real life. Nothing to stop you giving longer ones for dramatic effect. Scaring little kids on the platform.
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  3. #13

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    Horn and whistle signals, are rarely used except at crossings or in MW work areas. In fact use of the horn is prohibited in certain areas, per Railroad policy, or local government operation. These signals were meant to alert crew and other railroad workers of the impending movement of a train. However, since the inception of automatic block, radio communication and other modern conveniences, the use of horns is situational, and less frequent.

    The front of the locomotive is designated by a small F. That applies whether or not the leading end of the locomotive is the F end. Push pull cab cars are considered locomotives, even though the are generally not powered. They come under the same general rules and practices as locomotives, vs. passenger train cars. In practical terms, the direction of the locomotive for hand signal purposes is determined by the direction of the train, and / or crew job briefing, where points of confusion are resolved.

    Being that we are talking about the railroad industry, all of this is determined by a complex intermingling of laws, regulations and policies that vary from location to location, road to road, and country to country. That's why all operating employees are required to be qualified not only on the rules, but the special instructions, that modify the rules to conform to local practices. When I retired, nine years ago, most railroads in the Northeast, used NORAC Rules, while Railroads in other parts of the us used either GCOR or Proprietary Rules established by individual carriers.

    From a model railroad standpoint, do what suits you...
    I survived the Penn Central

  4. #14
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    WJLI26, You have assumed I model the modern era. I don't, I model the transition, so the rules that apply then, are in effect. There is no problem telling the front of Steam Locomotives and I was not asking what is the front end of a diesel as I know that it is marked with an "F". I'm interested in generally how things were/are done, as I am the Chief, Cook and Bottle Washer of this outfit, so I agree it is a model railroad and I can do it however I want! On the Northern Pacific, RS-1s ran long hood forward and on RS-3s, it was short hood forward. I say this to further confuse the issue. So, to be completely correct, I suppose I need an N.P. Rule book pertaining to the period I model, which is 1953. However, having things completely right, is sort off the screen for me!
    Last edited by NP2626; 11-14-2017 at 07:26 AM.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  5. #15

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    When it comes to the use of the horn, I don't think there is a rule as to how long a short or long blast should be. I spent a lot of time riding with my relatives on the MILW and NP growing up and to me it seemed to be up to the engineer how long the blast were. After years of riding, with the help of my relatives, I could tell (sometimes) who the engineer was by the way he used the whistle or horn. Each engineer had their own "style" of using the horn.
    ................................ Chet


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  6. #16

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    Mark: Hard to believe that nearly sixty years have passed since the "end" of the transition era. My entire 42 year career was spent in the "Modern Era". Generally, road switchers, had a designated F end, which varied by railroad. On the PRR and the Reading, RS3s were long hood lead, as were GP7s and GP9s etc. On Western Railroads, most lines operated "Short Hood lead" In most cases, the direction the locomotive faced was determined by the assignment, so the engine was turned to conform with the requirements of the job. Regardless of what end was designated as the F end, the engineer's controls were on the "Right" side, based on the F end, and he faced "forward". Ergo, all signaling was based on this premise, whether or not the engine was properly pointed for the job. The other point to consider is that back in the day, (prior to 1965), there were firemen employed on all assignments, so there was someone to pass signals, from the opposite side, when necessary.

    If you can find them. It's always a good idea to get your personal copy of the rule book used by, in your case, the NP. It would also be helpful if could get your self a NP Employee Timetable / Special instructions, covering the district you are interested in. Items like that are useful in understanding operating practice.
    I survived the Penn Central

  7. #17

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    Living near, 1.5 miles away, I can hear in winter the CN trains and the locomotive horns. Each engineer has their own style of using the horn. Same applies to UP which is south of me about 2 miles.

    On a time table almost everyday, I can almost recognize each local engineer by their use of the horn.

    Greg
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  8. #18
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    I must assume one locomotive and one car is a train then?
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  9. #19

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    A train is defined, as a locomotive, with or without cars, displaying a marker. The locomotive would consist of a steam locomotive and tender, or one or more diesel or electric engines, under a single control. If you have a copy of a Rule Book, these are found under the Definitions section. It makes for some interesting reading.
    I survived the Penn Central

  10. #20
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    Central Minnesota, Park Rapids area.
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    Yes, a role book would be nice. The NPRHA has no such animal.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

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