Train Whistles and Buzzers

This page was suggested by Yaakov Hollander.

Go to the Buzzer Signals


Train Whistle signals and their meanings.

The long whistle photo is from a LIRR MP54. The short whistle photo is from an IND R-1.

Rule Graphic WAV file Indication
Many of these have become less used because the train crews can communicate by radio.

(a)

Apply Brakes immediate and stop train

(b)


Used when passing caution lights or flags (usually two yellow) where a track crew is working to warn them of the approaching train.

(c)


Answer to any signal.
Most often following the flagman hand signal to proceed with caution through the work area.

(d)



Road Car Inspectors (RCI) are stationed throughout the system to assist when a train is experiencing mechanical trouble.

(e)


Signal Maintainers are stationed throughout the system to assist when signals malfunction.

(f)




Call for police assistance.

(g)




Request for tower operator to set up switches and clear signals. This is now obsolete since many junctions are controlled automatically or remotely from central locations.

(h)



Repeated as needed

Warning to persons near the track or in stations when a train is not stopping or making an unusual move.

N/A




Not used on the subway, but mainline railroads for automobile grade crossings. The last blast must be held until the engine or first car passes the crossing. The sign telling the engineer to sound the whistle may be either
W
or
_
_

.
_


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Crew buzzer signals and their meanings.

Return to whistle signals

These signals are used between the train operator and conductor when the cab to cab intercoms are not needed.
= Long buzzer sound
= Short buzzer sound

Rule Graphic WAV file Indication
Many of these have become less used because the train crews can communicate by radio or intercom.

(a)

Apply Brakes immediate and stop train

(b)


Proceed when signals and track conditions are favorable. This is always given at the start of a trip from a terminal and after any emergency brake application.

(c)


Answer to any signal.

(d)



Conductor request to have the train operator call a Road Car Inspectors (RCI) at the conductor's position.

(e)




Conductor request to have the train operator call for police assistance at the conductor's position.

(f)





Conductor to come to the train operator's position.

Return to whistle signals

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New York City Subway Signals
New York City Subway Signs
New York City Subway Chaining Codes
Train Whistle Signals


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Friday January 6, 2012
Copyright © 2012 by Joseph D. Korman
- The JoeKorNer