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Milwaukee Road Hiawatha Streamlined Hudson

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  • Member since
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  • From: Dallas, TX
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Milwaukee Road Hiawatha Streamlined Hudson
Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, April 17, 2017 6:20 PM

Recently bought a brass HO Scale Streamlined Hiawatha Hudson and noticed next to the steam whistle was and old one chime air horn.   Did they ever use these vs the steam whistle at grade crossings and why would they have both?

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  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, April 17, 2017 6:53 PM

We kinda-sorta had a discussion like this a while ago.  The SP's GS-4 series locomotives had air horns in addition to the steam whistle, supposedly an air horn penetrated ground fog better than a steam whistle did so the SP found air horns useful on the coastal runs the Daylight trains operated on.

The NYC's Niagaras had air horns too, but I'm not sure why, although the "Water Level Route" did run along rivers so possibly sound dissipation in fog was a problem for them as well.

Why did a Hiawatha have an air horn?  Good question, maybe for the same reasons the others did?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, April 17, 2017 7:48 PM

It is hard to actually see the air horn on the F7 Baltic, but here is an F6 with the horn clearly visible...

Image result for milwaukee road hudson

MILW 261 also has an air horn that can be seen just to the right of the bell in this picture...

Image result for milwaukee road 261

All SP Northerns from GS-2 through GS-6 had air horns mounted on the fireman's side under the Skyline casing...GS-2 units...

Image result for southern pacific daylight locomotives

Image result for southern pacific daylight locomotives

GS-3...

Image result for southern pacific daylight locomotives

GS-4...

Image result for southern pacific daylight locomotives

GS-5...

Related image

GS-6...

Image result for southern pacific gs-6 locomotives

I have been unsuccessful locating the air horn on the NYC Niagara, but I am sure it is there somewhere, and boy, it sure looks good with or without...

Image result for new york central niagara locomotive

 

 

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, April 17, 2017 8:53 PM

Oh the F6 class... what a beautiful locomotive except for that pony truck Ick!.

Inboard bearing is the way to go!

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, April 17, 2017 9:56 PM

The Milwaukee had 22 of these Baldwin-built 80-inch-drivered speedsters with 14 delivered in 1930 and 8 delivered in 1931...

Image result for milwaukee road 4-6-4

RME
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Posted by RME on Monday, April 17, 2017 10:37 PM

For those of you with questions about MILW F7 horns:

 

MILW A class 4-4-2s prominently featured air horns just above the headlight, in that 'leaf-nosed bat' trim panel.  IIRC the later SP cab-forwards had one in the front cab panel, with its bell close to automobile-driver-ear height. 

As noted in the earlier thread, the Niagaras got their air horns as retrofits, starting in 1947.  The horns are consequently in a rather unsurprising location minimizing the cost and complexity to 'plumb' them, perhaps:

If you blow up this photo (I believe originally a Harold Vollrath image) you can clearly see the horn just ahead of the turret on the engineer's side.  This cannot have been fun to blow in many locations in the Hudson Highlands where reflections back to the engineer's ears might be fairly strong and immediate!

One thing that surprises me is the almost exclusive use of single-bell horns instead of chime horns -- the only road I know that I have seen using chimes was Lackawanna, and even then not 'exclusively' (the Hudsons, for example, had comparatively dainty horns perched atop the boiler when delivered).

One 'advantage' of horns in motor-train and steam-locomotive use that hasn't been well discussed here is 'directionality'.  The typical steam whistle is inherently omnidirectional, and on a shrouded engine (or if installed in a weird location or attitude to fit clearance) it may not emit sound to the distance needed for effective high-speed warning unless it is very, very loud (and probably uses a corresponding amount of water and heat to be loud).  On the other hand, a horn is a glorified megaphone, and puts much of its sound energy where the intended 'ears' would be...

Single-bell horns were directional enough, in fact, that some roads used two styles of horn on their (diesel) locomotives: one facing forward, for grade-crossing warnings and such, and one facing backward to signal crews (Jersey Central six-motor Alcos were set up this way, with the crew-signal horn considerably lower-pitched...)

 

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 5:33 PM

OK, thanks for the input.    Fog is a problem in SE Wisconsin at times due to Lake Michigan and I'll bet it is as well along the Mississippi River on the Milwaukee Mainline in Minnesota.

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Posted by pajrr on Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:39 PM

Air horns were also present on DL&W Hudson locomotives, too.

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  • From: Roanoke, VA
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Posted by BigJim on Monday, April 24, 2017 3:23 PM

Firelock76
The NYC's Niagaras had air horns too, but I'm not sure why, although the "Water Level Route" did run along rivers so possibly sound dissipation in fog was a problem for them as well.


I have a recording where a Niagara was paced for maybe five minutes until the car came up on a road crossing. Hoping to here what a true NYC whistle sounded like blowing for a road crossing, I was very much disappointed to hear a horn instead.

I think that in some other discussion someone (maybe Ripley) said that the reason for the horn was to save on steam. The fog senario might make a little more sense. 

I sadly understand that the Niagara used a trigger to operate the whistle, so, no whistle artists could make them talk like on the N&W!

.

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Posted by EUGENE F KNOL on Monday, April 24, 2017 6:03 PM

[quote user="CMStPnP"]

Recently bought a brass HO Scale Streamlined Hiawatha Hudson and noticed next to the steam whistle was and old one chime air horn.   Did they ever use these vs the steam whistle at grade crossings and why would they have both?

 

I lived at Lake City, MN in the 40's and don't recall ever hearing the steam whistle sounded on the Baltics. In addition, it was very seldom the steam whistle was sounded on the S2's and S3's, nearly always the horn.   Gene Knol

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