SAL E Series Horn Type : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I would like to know the type of horn that was used on the SAL E units. IE: N5, M3, etc. Thanks for your help!

There is a web-site that shows all the different type of horns and you can play their sound ...go to

-- Carey Stevens (, January 30, 2003


Paul is right in that a good number of the SAL E units had Hancock Air Whistles. These whistles were popular on the New Haven, but were also used by SAL, NYC and others. Hancock whistles were also mounted on the SAL SDP-35 units. A very vivid memory of mine was the night I stayed up in a vestibule of the "Sunland" trying to make up time late at night. That Hancock whistle blowing for the numerous grade crossings made a powerful impression on me.

Most Hancock air whistles were taken out of service in the mid 1980's because they did not meet the decibel requirements of the FRA for grade crossing whistles. My employer, Metro-North, replaced all of the Hancock air whistles on its ex-New Haven FL-9 units with Nathan 5 chime units. I am lucky to have a Hancock whistle in my office!

Should a Seaboard E unit ever be restored, I would be happy to donate the whistle!

-- Michael W. Savchak (, February 05, 2003.

Another horn type used by SAL and other roads(NY,NH&H comes to mind) was the Hancock air whistle, developed to sound very similar to a steam whistle,but activated by compressed air. However, the sound,to my ear,was more like a lovesick cow(or bull,as the case may be),but was enjoyed by most railfans for its novelty.

-- Paul B. Coe (, February 01, 2003.

I went to the site and played a M5.Sure sounded sweet.

-- Joseph Oates (, January 31, 2003.

Ron, thanks for your answer. I went to the web-site and looked at the M-5 and you're right. Here's the M-5 desription, "The M5 was the common horn on the Western Pacific, Southern, Atlantic Coast Line, Seaboard Air Line, Richmond Fredricksburg & Potomac, Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, and other eastern railroads. Southern Pacific had M5's on many of their passenger service locomotives. The Western Maryland Railroad had pairs of M5's on many of their cab units". It really does have that passenger engine sound. Thanks!

-- Carey Stevens (, January 31, 2003.

I believe they were M-5.

-- Ron Dettmer (, January 30, 2003.

This was fun, it brought the office running.

-- Buck Dean (, January 30, 2003.

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