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Steam & Excursion > A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally


Date: 04/19/17 13:01
A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: MaryMcPherson

I keep an eye on eBay for certain items, but this wasn't one I was looking for. An I.C. whistle turned up about a month ago, and I added it to the watch list just for curiosity's sake... and then I got to thinking.

I called up a friend up at Monticello and started the conversation with something along the lines of "Good morning! I have a hair brained scheme to run by you..." The long and short of it is I ended up buying the whistle since it would have a place to see some use. What good would it be otherwise? It would be rather silly to bring it home and try to blow it like a Coke bottle... I've been told I'm full of hot air a time or two, but I doubt I could provide that sort of volume.

This whistle is a genuine Paducah made long bell whistle, reputed to have come from a soon to be scrapped 4-8-2, but in changing hands multiple times over the years the actual locomotive it was saved from has been lost to history. It has been around over the years, having been used on a Mike at Dollywood (video of it in use is online at the video site that must not be named) and as recently as 2012-13 on Western Maryland Scenic #734 (video also online at the aforementioned).

I managed to break my ankle while the auction was ongoing, and won it from my hospital bed; at least it gave me something to do to stave off the boredom! I had it shipped straight to the museum, and it actually arrived at its new home a few hours before I got back to mine.

While it is technically "my" whistle, I really don't see it as such. It's just passing through me, and will become the property of the Monticello Railway Museum. Since the museum's mainline is a former I.C. branch, it will be a homecoming of sorts and the sound of it will be right at home. I doubt it will be the regular whistle on #401, but will share time with the Southern whistle that is currently on it.

They'll wait until I'm mobile enough to make its to the museum before putting it on the engine, which I'm hoping will be in June. I'll post for sure if anyone is interested to know when it will be making its maiden voyage on home rails.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions




Date: 04/19/17 13:10
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: MaryMcPherson

I've mentioned elsewhere of my affinity for the I.C. steamboat whistles, having grown up with one in use on the Crab Orchard & Egyptian near where I grew up, including a cab ride at age 12. This was only reinforced by sound recordings entering my possession at a young age of Southern 2716 from Arkay Records and I.C. steam from the Railroad Record Club. I had never even thought about buying a whistle before, but the idea of "repatriating" one became too enticing to pass up.

Some good friends of mine are old enough to have seen the last of I.C. steam, and I told them I think of this as our whistle rather than mine; ours meaning any I.C. fan who is interested. I didn't want it for myself, but rather to bring it home for all to enjoy.

That said, I can't deny it's cool that I own it; at least for a while.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/17 13:14 by MaryMcPherson.



Date: 04/19/17 13:13
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: Spoony81

Great job Mary, I look forward to heading to Monticello in September for Railroad Days and hearing it



Date: 04/19/17 13:19
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: MaryMcPherson

I really look forward to it as well. The last time I heard one in person was in Marion, Illinois, in June of 1985.

Needless to say I will be making liberal use of my recording gear!

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Date: 04/19/17 13:32
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: Tominde

Mary, that is an incredibly selfless act that will bring joy, and a bit a railroad history to a whole lot of folks. I know you will be trackside with video rolling recording that melody. We will all take pleasure in hearing it. Thanks, and sure hope that heel heals.



Date: 04/19/17 17:41
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: MaryMcPherson

Tominde Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mary, that is an incredibly selfless act that will
> bring joy, and a bit a railroad history to a whole
> lot of folks. I know you will be trackside with
> video rolling recording that melody. We will all
> take pleasure in hearing it. Thanks, and sure
> hope that heel heals.


Compound fractures are not all they're cracked up to be! 🤓

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Date: 04/19/17 19:11
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: exprail

That's pretty funny, Mary.

Thanks, for providing that IC whistle for MRM I am sure they appreciate it.

I started a 50 year, railroad career on the IC back in the mid 60s not too long after they stopped using steam but there was still plenty of steam "atomoshere" around in those days.

Maybe I'll see your whistle this weekend down at Monticello when I help out on a rules class.

Hope you feel better soon.

exprail



Date: 04/19/17 19:59
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: MaryMcPherson

I was talking to K.M. on the phone today. They are getting ready to do a hydrostatic on the 401 in preparation for the FRA visit in preparation for the year's operations. We're hoping the whistle might drive a few extra folks through the ticket office. It might, at least until the novelty wears off.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Date: 04/19/17 21:36
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: crackerjackhoghead

Mary,
Does that one have "ICRR" embossed in the bowl? Just curious. These whistles were actually produced by Nathan, not the IC. Some of them have the "ICRR" on them and others don't. Sometimes they have an "N" inside of a circle cast into the bowl. Other railroads used them as well, like the Wabash and I have one from the ACL, which actually has "ACL" embossed on the bowl.



Date: 04/20/17 05:52
Re: A new voice for Southern 401, at least occasionally
Author: MaryMcPherson

The bowl has "ICRR" cast into the bowl on one side with "0 5595" on the other side, and the latter can be made out in this picture. These are cast into it. There is no "N" in a circle to be found. I knew the IC originally bought their whistles before making their own copies in-house.

If this makes it a Nathan product rather than one made in-house, that's a good thing to know. I'm not an expert on the finer points of whistles, and it's always good to learn more. Plus it would be good to know that this is one of the originals that IC based their own copies on. I think there is a lot of assumption that the ICRR cast into the bowl was the IC marking their own work. That's true on my part.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/17 06:17 by MaryMcPherson.



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