Thursday, June 17, 2010

Train Whistles!!

The train whistles were one of the thrills for Levi yesterday! He smiled and giggled EVERY time they blew. When Amber and Benjamin were little we found the neatest library book on the meanings of these train whistles. Levi and I could NOT locate it again on our recent trip to pick up some books. However, in this day and age all you have to do is google something and the information is right at your fingertips! SO...THIS is what we found out about Train Whistles!

"Despite the advent of modern radio communication, most of these whistle signals are still used today:

- One short: Stop or stopping; apply the brakes

- One long: Approaching railroad station or junction (if moving), or apply air brakes and equalize pressure (if standing)

- Two short: A general answer signal or acknowledgement; identical to the "roger" or "10-4" radio terms

- One short, one long: Inspect the train

- One long, one short: Visibility obscured

- Two long: Train is about to proceed forward; release the brakes

- One long, two short: Additional section follows signaling train

- Two long, one short or two short, one long: Train is approaching a meeting or waiting point

- Two long, one short, one long: Train is approaching a grade level crossing (i.e. a road crossing). This is a widely used safety signal used to warn motorists and is blown at every grade level crossing, except where local noise ordinances prohibit it. Known in railroad rulebooks as rule '14L'

- Three short: Train is about to proceed in reverse (if standing), or train is about to stop at the next station (if moving)

- Three long: Train cars have come unhooked; train has come apart

- One long, three short: Flagman, go protect the rear of the train

- One short, three long: Flagman, go protect the front of the train

- Four short: Request for signals

- Four long: Flagman, return to the train from the west or north

- Five long: Flagman, return to the train from the east or south

- Four short, one long: Fire alarm; fire on the train

- Multiple short: Danger, get off the tracks! Used to warn pedestrians or livestock who are on the tracks in front of the approaching train.

We heard several of these yesterday as when we got off apparently there was some difficulity with the doors and the flagman was pretty busy! It is kind of interesting to know the 'language' the trains are speaking!

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