Railway Preservation News

Norfolk And Western Whistles
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Author:  Greg U. [ Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Norfolk And Western Whistles

Does anyone have a diagram or the dimensions for an N&W hooter Whistle? I have heard that they were made from both brass and boiler tubes. Were the brass ones made by the N&W? I'm sure that the ones made from boiler tube were never exactly the same but was there a difference between the hooters on the Y and the A? Also, what type of whistle did the J carry? Did the 611 use the same type of whistle in excursion service as she did in regular service? Thank you to anyone for helping to answer these questions.Greg

Author:  jasonsobczynski [ Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles, the J

The J's carried a Hancock "3 chime longbell steam boat whistle". I have seen them by several different names but this seems to be the most common.

Author:  Dave Stephenson [ Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

The final N&W freight whistle was made from brass tubing, 5.5" diameter (N&W drawing C29837). The bell was 12-1/8" long. There was no difference in the Y6 or A (or S1 or K1 etc..). All had the same whistle. There is a bit of a story behind N&W whistles, even if they were highly standardized. Originally the N&W freight whistle was a single note hooter made from 5-1/4" tubing with a 7" bell (N&W drawing C29836). This had a slightly higher pitch than the final version we're familiar with. Originally, the 12" hooter was N&W's passenger whistle. Based on photos, N&W apparently was fairly diligent about changing all locomotives to fit the final freight whistle standard. I believe that Class M 475 at Strasburg, has a whistle similar to the original 5" N&W freight whistle.J 611 had its original whistle (Hancock) during the excursion program. It was on loan from Robert Claytor. The whistle location was changed two times. In 1982 it was moved from the turret to a location further forward. In 1990-91 it was returned to its original location on the turret.

Author:  JohnHillier [ Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

I just found this thread after doing a quick search, and I was curious if anyone had some closeup photos of the newer hooter used on the 1218 or the like. We have some scrap boiler tube laying around and I would really like to make a copy in my spare time. I need to know the spacing between the valve and the bell, how deep the bell is, and what size valve I could use. I've read the diameter is 5 1/2", the same as the tubing we have, but since the valve would be much more involved to make, could I get it to work with a generic Hancock or Crosby valve?

Thanks! One day I'll be able to afford a genuine whistle..

Author:  Gary Gray [ Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

We have reproduced dummy N&W "hooters" for both 1134 & 1218, and have a pattern for the base casting. If anyone wants to build a repro, PM me, we can arrange to get you a casting made. Machining & fabricating the bell is up to you. One of the most beautiful sounding whistles I've ever heard is the famous "Nichols-Abingdon Branch" whistle made famous by O. Winston Link's recordings. Interestingly enough, it is a rather crude looking welded 3 chime bell on a hooter base. Supposedly it was fabricated in the Bluefield Shops.

Author:  Loco112 [ Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

Buy and use the original drawings,

they are avaiablle from the N&H Historcial society http://www.nwhs.org/about_nw.html

Its affiliated with N&W

Author:  dinwitty [ Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

http://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/listdocs ... rd=whistle

quick check gets you this..

Author:  Steven Ashley [ Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

There is a question I have had about the N&W hooter whistle, the later one used on the S1a's, K1, A's and Y class locomotives. I have listened to clips of a Y whistle on a shay at Cass on YouTube and the 475 carrying both the earlier 7" and later 12" inch hooter whistles in addition to seeing the 1218 in person. It seemed to me that even though the 12" whistles were the same, the volume of the whistle seemed the loudest on 1218. Is this mere perception or due to the fact that 1218 was a larger locomotive with a higher boiler pressure (300 psi) than a shay or the 475? I've always been curious as to what the 1218 would have sounded like with 611's Hancock whistle (Much to the dismay of most N&W fans I know).

Author:  dinwitty [ Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

I would think higher pressure may get you more volume.

Have to listen to O Winston Links Fading Giant album, it has a passage of a J at night around christmas with some nearby church playing tunes. What a scene.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Norfolk And Western Whistles

This is somewhat of a no-brainer.

Take a whistle. Any whistle--a recorder, a tin whistle, a "police whistle," or even a soda bottle blown across the top.

Blow lightly. Then blow as hard as you can. Difference in sound volume? You betcha.

The simple fact is that 1218 was the largest pressure vessel most of have ever encountered with a plain, or single-note, whistle, with the highest pressure (300 psi) to boot. During one train chase in the 1980s, I swear I heard 1218's whistle from four miles away over the roar of 70-mph traffic on Interstate 66......

I've always wondered what fun could have been had if someone had rigged a PRR "Banshee" single-note freight whistle to the 1218.......

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