SD70ACe Air Start

The new crew of Union Pacific train MSSPR at Butler has climbed aboard and is ready to head south. First item of business is to start up the engine in the lead locomotive, SD70ACe 8506 (the second unit, another SD70ACe, was already running). These locomotives utilize an air start system, which makes a surprisingly loud air burst when cranking the engine.

Recorded on an iPhone at Butler Yard.

SD70ACe Air Start
This audio copyright © 2009, Mike Yuhas

 

Northbound Canadian National Train at Night

The beauty of making audio recordings of trains is that you can do so at night, long after the photographers have gone to bed. This recording (direct to Macintosh iBook hard drive via a Digidesign Mbox) was made along Canadian National's former-Wisconsin Central mainline near Theresa, Wisconsin, at 9:33 pm on May 4, 2002.
Northbound Canadian National Train at Theresa, Wisconsin
This audio copyright © 2002, Mike Yuhas

 

Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 261

Here's a short audio clip of Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 number 261 on a ferry move from its home base of the Twin Cities to Chicago, on the Wisconsin Central at Slinger, Wisc., 8:40 am, June 25 1998. The train had stopped to pick up a few additional passenger cars for the Chicago-Galesburg excursions the following weekend.

There's a lot going on in this segment. Birds are chirping. A 1990's-era electronic bell is clanging to warn motorists of the approaching train. Sporting an acoustic bell, a 1940's-era steam locomotive is charging upgrade with a load of passenger cars.

For more info on the 261, visit www.261.com.

Milwaukee Road 261 at Slinger, Wisconsin
This audio copyright © 1998, Mike Yuhas

 

Radio Defect Detectors

I've always been fascinated by talking radio defect detectors. Typically, a train will pass by a hot axle or dragging equipment detector, and the detector will announce, over the railroad's radio frequency, that there are no defects. Occasionally an overheated bearing will be encountered, brake rigging might have come loose, or a load may have shifted. When that happens, the detector sounds an alarm, which prompts the crew to stop the train and inspect the problem area.

Here are a few sample audio clips of defect detectors at work.

CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 144.6near Lomira, Wisconsin (announces Wisconsin Central)
CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 131.3near Allenton, Wisconsin (announces Wisconsin Central)
CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 131.2near Allenton, Wisconsin (announces CN)
CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 120.2near Ackerville, Wisconsin (announces Wisconsin Central)
CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 108.8near Sussex, Wisconsin (announces Wisconsin Central)
CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 94.0near Waukesha, Wisconsin (announces Wisconsin Central)
CN Waukesha Sub Milepost 78.7near Honey Creek, Wisconsin (announces Wisconsin Central)
CP Watertown Sub Milepost 159.9near Doylestown, Wisconsin
CP Watertown Sub Milepost 137.3near Reeseville, Wisconsin
CP Watertown Sub Milepost 108.2near Pewaukee, Wisconsin
CP C&M Sub Milepost 72.7near Oak Creek, Wisconsin
CP C&M Sub Milepost 57.6near Somers, Wisconsin
UP Shoreline Sub Milepost 128.6near Belgium, Wisconsin
UP Shoreline Sub Milepost 128.6near Belgium, Wisconsin -- integrity failure
(this clip contains some static)
UP Geneva Sub Milepost 78.8near Flagg, Illinois
UP Geneva Sub Milepost 95.0near Nachusa, Illinois
BNSF Aurora Sub Milepost 71.3near Lee, Illinois
BNSF Aurora Sub Milepost 95.5near Chana, Illinois
BNSF Mendota Sub Milepost 85.5near Mendota, Illinois

 

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