Y6b shrill whistle

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun May 2 16:49:43 EDT 2010

I have always been intrigued, many times over, by that shrill whistle sound
recorded by Link in "Thunder on Blue Ridge". Now I know it was from the
same "Hooter" whistle on the Y that produced the familiar lower tone.

So, am I correct to presume that the "shrill" note is simply a higher octave
multiple of the familiar fundamental frequency?

On this topic, back in January I was watching an old Tom & Jerry short and
was quite surprised and delighted to immediately recognize what I believe to
be a short sample of this same Link recording! After reading the postings
in this thread, I listened to it on my "Thunder on Blue Ridge" CD and
re-watched the cartoon, which I saved on my DVR. Sure enough to my ear,
it's the same sound sample, though the sound quality is much better on the

On "Thunder on Blue Ridge", you'll find the whistle blast transitioning from
the normal tone to the shrill tone at about 6:45 into Track 6. About 5 sec
of this is used as a sound effect in the 1961 (produced in 1960) Tom & Jerry
cartoon titled "Switchin' Kitten", which I found on YouTube at the link
below; the whistle blast sequence is at about 6:15 into the cartoon. Check
it out!


David Rice

-----Original Message-----
From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 5:30 AM
To: NW Mailing List
Subject: Re: Y6b shrill whistle

Well,, I am also one of those old heads who would lay awake at night,
growing up next to the Bluefield yards, to hear the different whistle
sounds. You can also hear that Y6 shrill on O Winston Link's recording of "
Thunder on Blue Ridge" . I always thought that sound was caused by improper
steam adjustment. I can't believe that was really an engineered sound? Mr.
Newton, what say you sir?

Gene A.

----- Original Message -----

From: NW <mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> Mailing List

To: 'NW <mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> Mailing List'

Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:29 PM

Subject: RE: Y6b shrill whistle

Mike, you must be too young to have heard the real thing. N&W's mallets
had unique high whistles that echoed up and down the valleys through which
the N&W ran. They were a beautiful contrast to the deep chime whistles of
Class J and K passenger locomotives.

As I grew up, seventy and eighty years ago, I would lie awake at night
listening to the long-drawn-out whistles from freight trains running up and
down the Scioto River valley in southern Ohio. N&W's whistles - freight
and passenger - were different yet from those of the B&O that crossed the
N&W in my home town of Chillicothe, Ohio.

Bob McKell

From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:46 AM
To: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Subject: Y6b shrill whistle

I bought a Y6b from Broadway and it has an alternate whistle which I
couldn't stand until I watched Sunday River's N&W Articulate video
again--there it was. It is very shrill. Any idea what it is and how it was


Mike Shockley


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