How Often Do Trains Use The Horn Where You Live?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Horizelux, Oct 19, 2021.

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  1. Almost never

    22 vote(s)
    23.2%
  2. Rarely

    18 vote(s)
    18.9%
  3. Occasionally

    10 vote(s)
    10.5%
  4. Often

    19 vote(s)
    20.0%
  5. Very often

    14 vote(s)
    14.7%
  6. A train's horn is a melodious tune to which everyone enjoys hearing 24/7

    5 vote(s)
    5.3%
  7. Who cares?? I enjoy blasting the horn in all its glory in the middle of the night

    7 vote(s)
    7.4%
  1. Horizelux

    Horizelux Well-Known Member

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    I'm quite curious to know how often the horn is used in your country/region. We all know that the USA loves its horns, while Europe in general uses them sparsely. However Eastern Europe uses horns a lot more, from what I've noticed. How is it like where you live? Feel free to post videos too, your participation is welcomed.

    (apologies for the horrendous poll options ;) )
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
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  2. MYG92

    MYG92 Well-Known Member

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    We have to use horn when entering and leaving a tunnel and also with the “S” sign which means to blow the horn, also at the end of an incoming train to warn people especially workers on the tracks that another train is coming on the opposite track. We don’t use it on densely populated areas but where I’m they don’t really care lol
     
  3. KoeleKoen

    KoeleKoen Well-Known Member

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    In belgium it's used in 5 scenarios:
    -entrance of tunnels
    -Malfunctioning crossing (blow horn with intervals at 5km/h)
    -workers
    -people waving
    -idiots
     
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  4. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    Where I live we have a no horn at all of our crossing unless in emergency cases only.
     
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  5. cyrill.kroonstuiver

    cyrill.kroonstuiver Well-Known Member

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    Rarely, though that's also got to do with my exact location in the Netherlands.
    I live in the Netherlands and horn use is generally only for when the driver sees something dangerous like someone walking too close to the tracks or something, or for the few that there are, unprotected crossings. At a specific sign for the use of a sound signal.
    However, in my personal case, I live right next to a railway crossing right next to a station, with slow moving trains over that crossing it happens quite often that the driver needs to sound the horn. Though "quite often" is still relative, so it's still probably less than once a day on average while there's relatively frequent traffic of at least one train going by every 5 minutes during day time.
     
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  6. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    I live less than a mile from a Union Pacific mainline, I hear em every time one goes by if my window is open.
     
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  7. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Since I live close to Erie Lackawanna now Norfolk Southern Phillipsburg Branch train horn sounds it's used 24/7 When approaching a railroad crossing.
     
  8. zefreak

    zefreak Active Member

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    I live in Vancouver Washington (USA) very close to the Empire Builder line, I hear them all day and night and love it
     
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  9. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Me too. Day and Night. I actually find it rather soothing when I'm falling asleep. I grew up very close to a sorting yard and the clanking of rail cars and even the chuffing of steam engines sent me to sleep many a night. ( Yes, I'm that old. :) )
     
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  10. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    I hear them most often near stations, it's not rare to see people getting a bit too close to the tracks. Often when I was trainspotting (particularly when I was a little kid) they always sounded it when they spotted me, good times...

    Very rarely near level crossings.

    BTW why at the entrance of tunnels? I didn't know about that.

    Southern Italy
     
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  11. Stephen Crofts

    Stephen Crofts Well-Known Member

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    Where I am at the moment in Japan horns are only used when entering a station and that only occasionally. When I hear it (I’m quite close to a station) we know that it’s been a near miss at rush hour…

    where I hail from in east Kent UK, horns are used very often across the marshes as there are a lot of farm tracks and footpaths crossing the rails. The trains there are hard to spot sometimes.
     
  12. kenobi#1878

    kenobi#1878 Well-Known Member

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    Where I live (in Oxfordshire) there are a fair few crossings so fairly often. Also the occasional plonker goes in front the yellow line so that gets a horn too
     
  13. CrazyHorseyMan

    CrazyHorseyMan Member

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    In my area two regional trains meet at mitnight close to the station. On new year they always use the horn ;)
     
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  14. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    IIRC there is one Foot Crossing left with Whistle Boards in my home city - you'll often here a low toot as trains leave St Davids over the crossing as drivers acknowledge the crossing guard. The other crossing closed earlier this year as a new Station is being built nearby and as a result the footpaths around there are being rerouted via the station bridge.
     
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  15. Blu

    Blu Active Member

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    In the UK I believe in the 2020s The horn must only be used at designated places and only the low tone, And between certain times so not to upset people who moved within ear shot of the railway. (to satisfy NIMBYS even though the railway was there long before them). In an emergency or situation where the driver deems its needed horn of either high or low can be used, Is how I understand it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  16. Blu

    Blu Active Member

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    Same as here in the UK. There was a fad with young spotters a few years back, using a hand signal like an American trucker or train driver pulling on the rope for the horn. And some drivers would do it. But I think now with data recorders on most trains and a move not to offend people living near to the tracks a driver maybe asked why he sounded a horn at a certain location! Especially if a complaint has been made.
     
  17. Blu

    Blu Active Member

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    I love the Horns in the USA The howling in the night of a train passing through. However id find the clanging bell too much.
     
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  18. Jinoss17

    Jinoss17 Well-Known Member

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    In Italy a lot, for different reasons: trains running fast through stations, railworkers on the line and last but not least for idiots crossing the tracks or standing too close to the platform edge.
     
  19. pdxmark77

    pdxmark77 Active Member

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    I live 1 block from a steel mill and I hear trains all night going to / from the steel mill blowing it's horn. It's music to my ears! Although, often when I am playing TSW and I hear the real train I get confused to why am I hearing another train. I am also in the US

    But the sad thing is they are wanting to make it a quiet zone.
     
  20. Rybnicki

    Rybnicki Well-Known Member

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    Here in Poland we have a lot of unsecured level crossings with no barriers (and sometimes not even lights), so trains have to slow down and sound the horn when approaching them. There's no curfew on when they have to do this, so if you live in a tower block like me, it echoes round all night. Not great, really.
     
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  21. Geth_2234

    Geth_2234 Well-Known Member

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    I live just under a mile from Level crossing on the Great Western Mainline and when everything is quiet at night you can hear them blowing there horn as they cross, it really is a nice sound. I noticed the 170 has the most noticeable but you get regular GWR class 800s come past and tfw 175 and 170 and the EWS class 66s usually carrying deisel from the refinery in Pembroke Dock.
     
  22. chacal#2181

    chacal#2181 Well-Known Member

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    In France it is used, at least for what i have seen : entering tunnels, passing smaller stations without stop, crossing other trains, but i feels that it is less used in that way. About Road crossing i wont comment as there is less and less for safety reasons.
     
  23. grdaniel48

    grdaniel48 Well-Known Member

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    First of all I would like to comment about other countries as I usually see train videos from USA and Europe mainly

    About USA, they trains are famous about its very "high volume" horns, as other members have mentioned.

    I had a personal unexpected experience about it, but in Canada, which they have mostly same trains.
    I visited that country, due to a relative which have a farm around 200 kms north of Toronto.
    The first night when sleeping, I was literally abruptly awakened at 4 AM due to several strong noises.
    Which I realized there where train horns, and were so loud I believed the train will pass over me!
    I did not know at the back of the farm there was a CP line. So it seems the wind caused the noise to go directly to the house, then that caused that situation.

    In USA trains when approaching a level crossing must use the horn 4 times! 2 long ones + 1 short one + 1 last one long one.
    This last one, must start few meters before the crossing, and must end when the locomotive passes it.
    I do not know if this happens in Canada too.
    There also when you use the horn, usually the bell it also start sounding too.

    On Europe as mentioned by other members here, - I noticed on videos- each country it have different rules where to use it.
    But definitively they use the horn much less then American ones. Even horns are of much lower sound volumes.

    I have traveled on train in the USA, Canada, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Japan and Argentina
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  24. grdaniel48

    grdaniel48 Well-Known Member

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    This thread is about where do you live, but in my country - Uruguay - we have a very special situation now about trains:

    - There are almost no trains running now. Only few ones at the north of the country
    - This is due to the "Central Railway" - which is the main line- , is being completely redone from zero!
    - The new route is being built by our government
    - So the line will be brand new, with several modifications, including high speed, cement sleepers, higher tonnage allowed, and several new different level vehicle crossings..
    - This is mainly due to a big investment by a Finland company which is installing a very big factory in the middle of the country.
    - Very good news - already confirmed- is that company has hired "DB" -yes, the German rail company - to runs their trains.
    - They will have 8 heavy long freight trains on each way everyday, running at 80 km
    - So what it is not yet announced which brand new trains they will purchase.
    - The line will not be electrified - this could be done in the future - so diesel trains will run there.
    They could be European considering it is DB, or as there are locomotive factories in Brazil - neighbor country which produces both GE and EMD locomotives, similar to the ones in the USA - then this will be another interesting option.
    - Of course apart of the mentioned trains, other companies can run their own trains there, - also passenger ones too.
    This is completely new in our country, as always it have been national government train company.

    So I have great expectations about it.
    Unfortunately due to Covid situation the work it suffered some delays but it is expected it will be ready at the beginning of 2023
    Then I will inform about horn use.
    On the past horn was used always on road crossings, arriving and leaving stations, and other possible dangerous situations.
     
  25. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    Why is there a never option as my rail line is abandoned and has been for about two decades.
     
  26. highland beastie

    highland beastie Well-Known Member

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    In New Zealand from what I've seen they are used when approaching level crossings, going through stations the train isn't stopping at and in emergencies.
     
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  27. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    Mine is literally still being torn up.
     
  28. dosto762

    dosto762 Well-Known Member

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    In Germany trains horns are used to warn people and engineers but that's pretty much it, train drivers will sometimes blow their horn at a trainspotter as well
     
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  29. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    That’s so dumb people in the UK care that much about the horn to make complaints well I mean Ik UK horns are nothing like U.S. horns no offense I rather hear Americans horn all day then the UK one or really any other country to be honest them horns suck it’s a cringe sound I don’t wanna hear it doesn’t have any nice sound or pitch to it
     
  30. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    Are you rich?
     
  31. MYG92

    MYG92 Well-Known Member

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    The main function of the horn is not to sound nice but to be functional and heard by its surrounding
     
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  32. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    Why are European whistles so high pitched compared to those in North America.
     
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  33. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    Yes but a man by the name I forget said he rather the horn sound in nice tones then just a lot of noice like in most countries
     
  34. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean whistles or horns?
     
  35. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    Whistles. Seriously, what did y'all do, stick a dog whistle on it and call it good.
     
  36. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    Are we talking about steam engines
     
  37. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Whistles are only used in yards, ie when someone might be stood within 10 yards of you and you're about to start moving.
    Horns have their place, but rearranging someones cranial innards isn't a necessary thing just to alert them to some danger
     
  38. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    Yeah I really hate Euro horns I rather have sand paper rub on my face that to bare them horns over there
     
  39. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    Hors and whistles here in the US have been used for the same thing from what I know.
     
  40. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    This right here, beautiful.
     
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  41. pipanminuta#9703

    pipanminuta#9703 Well-Known Member

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    If maybe someone is inside
     
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  42. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    Almost always. The nearest crossing to me that I can think of that doesn't require a horn is an hour drive away from my home.
     
  43. charlesleek

    charlesleek New Member

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    In the states, relatively few travelers choose the train as a means of transportation cause fares often match the cost of airline tickets.
     
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  44. mattk#4569

    mattk#4569 Active Member

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    I see a lot of people using the trains on NEC
     
  45. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Because the NEC is at least feasible for commuter rail and has good passenger volumes. But if someone is traveling from DC to LA, it makes much more sense to fly than take a train. Both in time and costs. (Not to mention the size of the US compared to Europe.)
     
  46. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    And the fact that having any kind of passenger train is next impossible as they also have to pay there competitors
     
  47. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    The NEC is one of a handful of places in the US where the urban density approaches European levels, and the only route on Amtrak that runs in the black. There's a reason why the Feds stepped in and took it off the RRs' hands in 1971: it was bleeding money and killing them financially. As soon as air travel and the Interstate highway system were established there simply weren't enough passengers to keep it viable, and that became an even greater gap when airline deregulation made tickets far cheaper and available.

    On the day Amtrak came into existence, at noon, one RR (the Milwaukee Road IIRC) stopped a New Orleans-bound run at St Louis, debarked the passengers, and gave them bus tickets. All twelve passengers.
     
  48. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Well-Known Member

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    I know. I didn't know about the Milwaukee Road train though.
     
  49. charlesleek

    charlesleek New Member

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    In the states, relatively few travelers choose the train as a means of transportation cause fares often match the cost of airline tickets. I recently moved to Germany and things are different here. Trains are one of the most popular ways to travel. Regarding horning, the situation is similar to that in the Netherlands. In general, I even stopped paying attention to the humming. Btw, there`re also very handy services here, e.g. I often use tourist information, cause I have to travel a lot for work. And in general local trains are super comfortable.
     
  50. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    But take as long as or longer than driving.
     

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