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Do Real Train Engineers Still Blow Their Horns For Kids?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by voltajtepes#7278, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. voltajtepes#7278

    voltajtepes#7278 Member

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    Weird topic, but when I was a kid back in the 1960s, if we were standing anywhere near a train track and waved at the engineer, he/she would always blow their horn for us.
    I'm wondering if that it still done.. maybe now we have regulations preventing it?
    I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of an engineer. If I saw a kid on the side, excited to see me, I would definitely blast the horn lol.
     
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  2. Blartthaniel42

    Blartthaniel42 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not too sure about other countries outside of the U.S., but they still do here.
     
  3. B3N

    B3N Active Member

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    I THINK that UK train drivers are allowed to do it
     
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  4. KyleL

    KyleL Well-Known Member

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    Not sure it's allowed in Germany, I'm pretty sure if you improperly use the horn you'll get fined.
    Someone can correct me though.
     
  5. diamondderp

    diamondderp Well-Known Member

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    It's here in The Netherlands isn't it illegal, but they prefer not to blow the horn for fun in the night in a big city. But sometimes they even blow the horn for their colleagues :D

    Keolis Nederland, likes always to blow the horn at colleagues. And most international and cargo do bow also their horn for us to jumpscare.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  6. xblackwolf90

    xblackwolf90 Well-Known Member

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    I recall seeing a video on YouTube recently of a person filming a 395 departing a station. Just as they were leaving, the driver blasted the horn for the camera and clearly gave the person filming a bit of a shock judging by how much the camera moved :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  7. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Polish kids are still happy :)
     
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  8. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    Some do, some don’t. Personally, I’ll happily do it.

    However, some train spotters have used rather unquestionable techniques to get drivers to blow their horn. I remember a year or so ago, I was going through a station at 125mph on the fast line. It’s a platform where very few trains stop a day so it’s peculiar to see anyone on this particular platform. As I was approaching it, I could see a boy who looked young hanging beyond the yellow line looking down at the tracks and looking withdrawn. Obviously, this was extremely alarming as I thought it could be someone contemplating suicide. So I gave several blasts of the horn and as I went past the platform, he stepped back and in the shadow of the platform canopy, I could see a camera setup on a tripod. I certainly wasn’t impressed. Unfortunately, these types of experiences are reasons why some train drivers can’t stand train spotters as well as the fact some of them think they are know-it-alls.

    Personally as I’ve said, I’ll happily do it though. Being a train enthusiast myself, I can empathise with train enthusiasts and I can imagine what a great feeling it is for a child (or an adult!) when the driver blows the horn for them. There’s also quite a few people with mental disabilities who like trains and it really makes their day too. Some of them are known to stand at at the end of platforms at big stations and like to talk to the driver.
     
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  9. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    True. Be my guest \o/

    In my town, a small coal branch is about to end - supplies for a large factory. I often stroll that way; I can spend hours watching railroad cars, sipping from a bottle. I often sit on the tracks thoughtfully, which is probably not very sensible...

    I also have my favorite train-spots in games!
    'almost forgot - about mental 'predispositions' You mentioned, yhm

    temp.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  10. HamioSamio098

    HamioSamio098 Well-Known Member

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    That once happened to me when I was stood at Doncaster filming a pacer. The driver just blew his horn randomly whilst stationary and it scared the living bejesus out of me!
     
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  11. kennyjamesscott

    kennyjamesscott Well-Known Member

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    As a person who once did climb up on a bridge to... You know. I'm not impressed either as using that technique to get a shot is just wrong.
     
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  12. formulabee#1362

    formulabee#1362 Well-Known Member

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    UK drivers have a restricted list of things they can sound the horn at, but their get out of jail free card is if they feel it is necessary
     
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  13. Mr heff

    Mr heff Well-Known Member

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    Allowed is perhaps the wrong word, won't get fired is the right terminology. Drivers can correct me if I'm wrong of course.
     
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  14. brfan#9132

    brfan#9132 Active Member

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    Well steam locos blow there whistle for kids on the mainline but rarely it is at dawlish you do get a horn because I got one from a 66
     
  15. Mr heff

    Mr heff Well-Known Member

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    I do see a few spotting videos where the person holding the camera is kneeling beyond the yellow line, I can imagine how distressing that is for the drivers. It's really a cruel thing to do. Personally I usually stand at the end of the platform where the train will enter first so that the driver may consider blowing the horn (because if the train enters below a station canopy the horn will be amplified and there could be passengers). Obviously I stand well back from the yellow line to cause the least concern, I wave with one hand so that it's not mistaken for a "STOP!" wave haha. Remember also that drivers have to concentrate immensely so do not assume that they're just grumpy if they don't sound a tone. As rail enthusiasts I think it should be in all our interests to always consider safety first.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
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  16. Horizelux

    Horizelux Well-Known Member

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    Here in India, drivers honking for children is a very common sight. For safety, and because there's a lot of trainspotters anyway :)

    But driving regulations differ across the country, where I live its allowed
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  17. Dougyhowzer

    Dougyhowzer New Member

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    Does hearing an 18 wheeler touting its own horn count :D
     
  18. Stockton Rails

    Stockton Rails Well-Known Member

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    ...really nice post, Olaf- thanks for sharing.

    I used to visit the Stockton tower area here in California many years ago (back when there was a Stockton tower) with my wife and daughter. We all practiced safe rail-fanning while we were there near the tower and diamonds- filming as many passing freight and passenger trains as I could in a 8-9hr day (typically 19-24 trains). Visiting Stockton in the summer was the worst... it can be very hot there, with basically little to no shade anywhere in the tower area at high noon. We always brought a cooler on every trip (left in our vehicle) with enough snacks/food/water to last us, until we visited one of our favorite nearby restaurants for a proper dinner at the end of the day before heading home. Once, an engineer on a passing ‘warbonnet’ Santa Fe freight (likely a Dash-8 or 9) actually tossed out several bottles of water for my daughter and I as I was filming next to the tracks on a hot summer day. Three bottles landed nearby, and needless to say we were both surprised (my daughter thrilled) that he did that! We also got the chance to meet one of the Stockton tower operators, who was a great guy... and I also talked to a DRG engineer once who gave me some insight into the workload they typically have to deal with in their jobs... that was a very interesting (and revealing) day-in-the-life conversation.

    So many fond memories for me and my entire family filming in Stockton and being part of rail-fanning in general. I do wish I had the chance at some point in my life to become a railroad Engineer (like you) and get a taste of that life... guess that’s why I found TSW 2020 so irresistible early last year (despite its numerous issues)- it’s about as close to that as I’ll ever get.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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