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February 04, 2012

Comments

Rachael

Thanks for the tip. I will definately use that in some of my (bad) music composition.

Stoney McMurray

Try augmenting the Bb to Bb# -- OK: B, which is more classic train-whistle. But why do the Canadians specify the key? It would be interesting to know whether this was based on some study of human perception of train whistles, or just some arbitrary bit of bureaucratic over-reach. Certainly, the augmented triad is meant to be more jarring than a plain minor triad would be, and thus more attention-getting for anybody with an ear trained even minimally to Western music.

William Ketel

The whistles that we made in the shop to simulate a train whistle, which they did fairly well, used tubes that were 4,5,6,and 7 inches long. With the plugs taking up about 1 inch total, it was an interesting way to provide uniformity without needing any complex instrumentation. And they all did sound pretty much the same. It was a good use for scraps of hydraulic tubing.

John Dunn

From the group Technology Professionals of New York and New Jersey:

C.K. Leverett, PMP • John, I sent your link off to a group of railroad friends, including a couple of Canadians, and got this response back from one of them:

"The reason Canadian horns must be three tone goes back to the initial introduction of the EMD F-units in the 40's. The single tone (blat) horn was close to a moose mating call, and attracted them to the tracks where many were killed by trains."

So now we know the rest of the story.

-------------------

Thank you, C.K. Leverett.

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