Steam Whistle notes/sounds/etc

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Steam Whistle notes/sounds/etc

Post by chucketn » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:14 pm

As I'm not a train builder of renown, or at all, I don't expect this thread to go very far. But, I am a steam enthusiast, I build model steam engines, I'm an amateur machinist, and I have a big interest in steam anything. And, my Grandfather was a RR man, a Fireman and Brakeman on the Erie-Lackawanna RR. And I do remember Steam Locomotives running the rails near my childhood home in Upstate NY in the 50's. I have a family reunion coming up at the end of the month, and hope to visit Steamtown in Scranton, PA.

That said, and having heard many steam whistles over my lifetime, I start this thread as a repository of known steam whistle sounds, specs, and drawings. if you are musically inclined(I'm not) and can identify the notes hit by a known loco, please speak up. If you have designed/ built a steam whistle, please share...
Yes, I might try to build a steam whistle from what ever info is posted here.

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Re: Steam Whistle notes/sounds/etc

Post by michaellynn2 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:13 pm

I have some experience with whistle chamber lengths
Class A and Y N&W hooter whistle has a 12" whistle chamber
N&W class J steam boat whistle is a HANCOCK three step with a 10" chamber, a 12 1/2" chamber and a 15 1/2" chamber. This whistle is also used by the UP big steam.
michael george

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Re: Steam Whistle notes/sounds/etc

Post by paralleler » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:52 am

Rizzoli Locomotive Works builds steam whistles and their web site has examples of the wonderful sounds they create. There are the sounds of roughly forty steam whistles under the tabs: 3 Chime, 5 Chime, and 6 Chime. Select a tab, scroll down to the photographs, and click on them to play. Their web site is found here:

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Re: Steam Whistle notes/sounds/etc

Post by dnevil » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:28 pm

Here are a couple of articles on building scale whistles, and the frequencies involved. ... am_Whistle

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Re: Steam Whistle notes/sounds/etc

Post by Kimball McGinley » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:18 pm

I think there will be lot on this over on the "trainorders" website. Several poster there have restored and/or run many famous modern 4-8-4's etc.

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