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Whistle I designed undergoing tests on locomotiveViews: 540
Oct 07, 2009 3:01 pmWhistle I designed undergoing tests on locomotive#

Richard Weisenberger
For the past 60 years, the air horn has virtually replaced the steam whistle on all locomotives. Things may be about to change! This is the first test of my new K5LA chime whistle on a locomotive. I designed it to duplicate the frequencies of a popular air horn on air.

It uses no more CFM than any steam whistle of the same dimensions but uses a mere 35 PSI to achieve full output. This gives a severalfold increase in efficiency and when regulated, greatly increases the full power blowing time on a given size tank. It was built by Mike Daugherty of MD Whistles who arranged this test. We now have it on Youtube!

Private Reply to Richard Weisenberger

Oct 07, 2009 5:27 pmre: Whistle I designed undergoing tests on locomotive#

Thomas Holford
Interesting, and arguably innovative.

But, who is going to buy it and why?

What is the "value proposition"?

Admiral Gorshkov once said: "Better is the enemy of good enough". Isn't the existing train whistle "good enough"?

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Oct 07, 2009 8:52 pmre: re: Whistle I designed undergoing tests on locomotive#

Richard Weisenberger
Mike Daugherty of MD Whistles has built what, if promoted and demonstrated to the right people in the railroad industry (as well as the general public) could return the sound of real whistles to passenger and freight locomotives. Bob Swanson did just that for his air horn in his 1949 demonstration.

1) Real whistles use no moving parts and require very little or no maintenance

2)) We have the same chord already used on Amtrak in their K5LA horn

3) With all of the complaints about locomotive horns and more cities banning their use, we could promote this as a more pleasant sounding alternative, free of the irritating high harmonics of a horn

4) Horns have to be heard inside of cars at all railroad crossings. There won't be any problem hearing this whistle from inside a car at a railroad crossing. In fact the stronger fundamental tone of this whistle should carry and penetrate better for a given dB rating.

5) Swanson used the argument that horns are more efficient. The truth is that this whistle will be much more efficient than old designs by simply using a wider slit width and lower operating pressure to obtain an equal flow rate. Operating at a mere 35 PSI with its scale of about 2:1, it will sound equally as loud as a much less efficient high pressure whistle on steam.

Private Reply to Richard Weisenberger

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