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Do Amtrak Locomotives have horn volume control?

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Do Amtrak Locomotives have horn volume control?
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, October 24, 2021 12:34 PM

Do Amtrak Locomotives have horn volume control?    I seem to remember on some Amtrak trips with P42 locomotives, specifically the Capitol Limited where the locomotive engineer seemed to be able to turn down the volume on the horn a bit at night.   Is there a volume control somewhere?    Can they do this by reducing the compressed air sent to the horn?     Is this even possible?

If the answer to the above is yes then my next question is do the Siemens locomotives have this ability as well?    Is it up to locomotive engineer descretion if this ability exists or is a practice followed?

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 24, 2021 3:34 PM

P42 has explicit 2-stage horn volume control.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SRValOA7TZo

15:18

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 1:18 AM

OK, do you know if the new Siemens Locomotives have a horn volume control?     My Sister is using the Texas Eagle to travel between Chicago and Dallas and sometimes on that leg they forget to dial it down at night.    I am a heavy sleeper so it never bothers me but I have heard other passengers complain.    They also locate the sleepers on the head end behind the baggage car on most trips I have been on.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 10:34 AM

CMStPnP
OK, do you know if the new Siemens Locomotives have a horn volume control?

I do not; I don't even know offhand if the CFR contains explicit language about how to provide it (if I remember correctly, not only does Canada require it but they actually require a split manifold in the horn that only blows specific bells on 'low' setting)

I don't have a reference at hand for either the Sprinters or Chargers that covers the horn control -- my interest was with other technical details.  It would seem obvious for training integrity alone that all Amtrak locomotives have a common control... but we've already seen far more massive differences in the as-designed difference in more important controls... like which way you move the 'combined power handle' or brakes!

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Posted by adkrr64 on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 3:56 PM

I don't know anything about the Siemens locos, but if the horn is actuated with a lever that directly controls air flow to the horn, it should be possible for the engineer to feather the horn volume somewhat by varying the amount of preasure they apply to the lever. That won't work on desktop control stands with a button for the horn, but that doesn't preclude them from having some method to control the amount of air to the horn, and thus the volume.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 4:09 AM

Overmod
CMStPnP
OK, do you know if the new Siemens Locomotives have a horn volume control?

I do not; I don't even know offhand if the CFR contains explicit language about how to provide it (if I remember correctly, not only does Canada require it but they actually require a split manifold in the horn that only blows specific bells on 'low' setting).

Regarding Canada, see sections 11.1.1 and 11.1.4:

https://tc.canada.ca/en/rail-transportation/rules/railway-locomotive-inspection-safety-rules/locomotives-design-requirements-part-ii

This was news to me because freight locomotives don't have this option.   

All the controls are electronic now, you can't vary the sound level or play a tune like you could with the older manual valves.  On or off, nothing in between. 

There will be a horn cutout switch in the cab somewhere, and the cutout cock on the horn's air line is usually somewhere in the engine compartment, but I've also seen it under the frame near the cab and in a couple other places.  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 6:44 AM

SD70Dude

 Remember the cab car that had two full 5-chime horns that was discussed here a few years ago?  I'll bet 11.1.4(b) is  the true explanation...

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 9:53 AM

Overmod
 
SD70Dude

 Remember the cab car that had two full 5-chime horns that was discussed here a few years ago?  I'll bet 11.1.4(b) is  the true explanation...

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/785351/

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 10:23 AM

Over a decade after the P42 design was finalized,  FRA standardized the 'horn rule' as requiring 96 to 110dB for safety; the rule is silent on whether a quieter horn or setting could be provided for some other purpose.

As of the periodic review of regulations at the end of February 2016, the 'official' FRA position was to require the 96-to-110dB horn on the equipment; if any jurisdiction wanted a 'quieter blow' it was to be provided with 'wayside horns' only.

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FRA-2016-0010/document

There is a note in the PRIIA spec (to which the Siemens Chargers were designed) that says new designs should confirm haptically to older Amtrak locomotives -- this might include the two-stage horn from a button.

http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/PRIIA%20305%20DocSpec%20and%20other%20NGEC%20Documents/PRIIA%20Locomotive%20Spec%20305%20005%20Approved%20Initial%20Release.pdf

 

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