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Air Whistles on Japanese Locos (ホイッスル)


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I've asked small queries about smaller but still interesting railway materials and apparatus, such as tablets and numberplates, but one thing I've always like about Japanese diesels and electric locomotives (DL and EL, as I like to call them), is their supposedly unique tendency to sport air whistles that make a nice, spine-chilling shriek instead of air horns that sound like a goose with a bad frog in its throat. 
A classic air whistle of choice for JNR diesels and most electrics seems to be the AW-2, which is my favorite, as it's used by the DE10, including the ones owned by JR Kyushu. 

Did any other countries use similar warning signs on their modern locomotives? I can't think of any.

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On 10/6/2023 at 10:31 AM, SL58654号 said:

Did any other countries use similar warning signs on their modern locomotives?


Italian locomotives have both whistles and horns. The whistles are used for ordinary signalling, especially around urban areas, while the horns are used more in emergency cases.


Cheers NB

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I’ve actually wanted to ask about this for some time.  I love the steam whistles and Shinkansen horns, but I never understood the choice of those air whistles on diesel and electric locomotives.  They sound like a sixth grade band student overblowing a flute or clarinet.  

(No offense to any sixth grade band members on here: keep it up!  We all started somewhere!)

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They are a carry-on from Steam days, since air was freely available via the compressors in the old-time electrics several countries installed air whistles, and many rural environments were more conducive to have pleasant sounding warning systems instead of the blaring horns we have nowadays.

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