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MTH HO Subway: Beautiful cars, but an observation regarding Sound Scheme

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    December, 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
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MTH HO Subway: Beautiful cars, but an observation regarding Sound Scheme
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Monday, December 26, 2016 12:23 AM

Hi guys,

Just sharing an observation.

I'll preface the following by stating that I rode the prototype "classic" New York City subway trains very often back in the day and still enjoy hearing recordings of the equipment.

I'm impressed with the appearance and lighting of the new HO MTH IRT subway cars and am interested in acquiring several. They're beauties, however, the sound I've been hearing on several YouTube clips has me a bit puzzled!

On each MTH subway vid, where a train is stopped and idling, I hear a rather harsh, whirring-type sound.  On the classic prototypes from the R-17 to R36 the most prominent and noticeable sounds were the Westinghouse (WABCO) air compressors pumping, and the louds sounds of the brakes engaging/disengaging when stopping and starting.

Additionally as the motorman releases the brakes, you hear a slight "Huff" and then a prolonged "Tsssssss" as the train starts to roll. As it starts rolling the traction motors make a slight "whine" that levels off in a few seconds. At the end of the line, the motorman would engage what mechanics called the "ICC brake", which produced a very loud "CHAAAA!" sound from every car. He'd leave the cab and walk to the opposite end of the train for the return trip. Those sounds are etched in my memory! Yet, I hardly hear these sounds on the MTH vids.

I realize that, to be fair, one should hear a sample in person. However, even with the limitations posed by listening on line I expected to hear a few familiar sounds.

Bear with me. Here's an MTH HO sound equipped IRT subway train:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LIzpFKjLN0

Now here are the prototype IRT units: Warning, on this video, unfortunately the trains are trashed with graffitti but for the sounds just move the play arrow to time index 0:40 and listen thru to time index 2:10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpqUL8xPP48

You hear those WABCO 2 series compressors pumping hard and stopping, and the "Huffs" and "Hisses" of brakes releasing. As a kid (and today) these sounds were sweet mechanical music to me.

On this vid go to time index 2:04 listen carefully, and you'll hear the slight "whine" of the traction motors as a #7 IRT train takes off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy5-wYNRxF8

I'm not here to bash MTH as I'm glad to see these subway cars and would like some. But I'm questioning the source for the sounds or, perhaps, how they were mixed and equalized. Even if it was the "Train of Many Colors", I can understand the absence of the Wabco compressor sounds but the other sounds (brakes, traction motors, whine, ICC or emergency brake) should, imho, still be there.

It's funny how many of my fellow New Yorkers would say "Man those trains were loud!" not thinking that it was the wheels clacking on the jointed rails and squealing as the flanges "attacked" the rails on curves. Unlike the Lo-V trains, the R-17 thru R-36 trains were actually much quieter when stopped at stations, especially after the WABCO series air compressors cut off.

I realize that most of the IRT units had their air compressors replaced during their twilight years, but from my understanding some still retained their WABCO'S.

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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