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Train horns may seem like a strange thing for one to collect but the truth is that many people do just that. Train horns from years gone by are a unique little piece of history to have which is why this community is here to begin with.
Use our neat little community to find Train Horns, Steam Whistles Air Horns for Sale. We also have loads of useful and interesting Information, Kits and more as well as tons of Locomotive Train Horns to buy!

Train Horns For Sale and More
We've got Train Horns, Steam Whistles Air Horns for Sale, Information, Kits and much more, including Locomotive Train Horns for your collection.

Attention Collectors of Train Horns!
We've got Train Horns, Steam Whistles Air Horns for Sale, Information, Kits and more. Find Locomotive Train Horns and much much more right here!

Train Horns - Music to Some People's Ears

A big noise may have blown in from Winnetka, as an old song goes, but to some hobbyists, the big noise is their collection of train horns.

Train horns, also known as air horns, are those screaming audible devices heard on most locomotives to tell listeners that a train is coming. They’re also used for acknowledging signals from railroad crews, such as during switching operations. Their sound is made by sending compressed air through a collection of trumpets, or horn bells, in the same way that trumpets in a band or symphony make sounds.

Train horns can definitely be a pain in the…ear. In fact, that’s kinda’ their purpose – no, not to irritate, but rather to capture the attention of passers-by, especially drivers and warn them that thousands of pounds of steel is about to cross a railroad track. Annoying as the sound can be, this is a vital safety function, because experts have likened the impact of a locomotive with an automobile as similar to that of an automobile running over a soda can! Yikes!

When used at a crossing, the standard pattern for blowing a train horn remains two long, one short, and one long. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, this signal is to be repeated as necessary until the lead locomotive has fully entered the crossing. Locomotive engineers retain the authority to vary this pattern as necessary for crossings that are close to one another, and are allowed to sound the horn in emergencies no matter where the location.

The jarring noise of the train horn has put railroads into conflict with nearby neighborhoods that have grown up around the railroad tracks. Some states’ railroad commissions have established “quiet zones” where the train horn is to be muted or not sounded at all. However, such a ban in Florida was lifted immediately after statistics showed a marked increase in traffic accidents at railroad crossings.

For collectors, however, it’s the romance of their unusual sounds that makes train horns so valuable. Some collect audio recordings of the train horns; one online group’s web site listed nearly four dozen different audio files of train horn sounds from famous makers. Other hobbyists collect the actual horns themselves, often showing off their beauties with ear-splitting results.

One of the biggest markets today for train horns or air horns surprisingly is automobile drivers, especially young guys who drive pick-up trucks. Kits to build air horns, or train horns, are popular items in online stores. One outlet offers four different kits, with sets of bells ranging from one to five that could then be used independently or attached to a vehicle. Imagine how irritating that would sound! Ha! It’s almost worth a try isn’t it?!

Just for fun, there’s a really popular online video floating around that shows a guy driving around town scaring the bejesus out of people with the train horn on his pickup truck. Sure, it may seem a little mean and even stupid, but damn it sure is funny!!