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Nostalgia & History > Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?


Date: 10/25/10 17:14
Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: HRGXguy

I guess we'll file this one under History - does anyone know where the Rule 14L whistle/horn pattern of two longs a short and a long originated? I got asked at work, and I'm expected to know these things, I guess....

HRGXguy,
It's the letter "Q" in Morse Code...



Date: 10/25/10 17:34
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: 1372

My UNDERSTANDING is it originated in the 1890s, and was originally two longs and two shorts. Sorry, the exact who's and where's I do not know. Kurt.



Date: 10/25/10 17:50
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: LarryDoyle

HRGXguy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I guess we'll file this one under History - does
> anyone know where the Rule 14L whistle/horn
> pattern of two longs a short and a long
> originated? I got asked at work, and I'm expected
> to know these things, I guess....
>
> HRGXguy,
> It's the letter "Q" in Morse Code...


It hasn't always been that way.

My 1913 Omaha rulebook specifies Rule 13(L) (Yes 13(L)) as _ _.. "Approaching public crossings at grade. To be prolonged or repeated until crossing is reached."

My 1917 Chicago, Milwaukee and St Paul book also says _ _ .. Note, this is 14(L) in this rulebook.

My 1922 American Railroad Association recommendations also specifies 14(L) as _ _ ..

I have a gap in my texts until 1939 when the Consolidated Code specified _ _ . _ for 14(L).

Sometime, between 1922 and 1939, it changed from _ _ .. to _ _ . _

I'm not sure exactly when it was changed, but I suspect it was because engineers were prolonging the last blast 'till they reached the crossing and the rule might have been changed to make reality legal.

Any other thoughts?


-Larry Doyle



Date: 10/25/10 19:03
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: CT97

I had heard once that it is the first four notes of "The Funeral March" song.

I does match kinda

Ct97



Date: 10/25/10 19:24
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: LarryDoyle

CT97 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I had heard once that it is the first four notes
> of "The Funeral March" song.

I think I'd throw that away as serindipidy. Don't know which funeral march you're thinking of - but, "Here Comes The Bride" also fits.

-Larry Doyle



Date: 10/25/10 21:37
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: norm1153

"It's the letter "Q" in Morse Code..."

Or "sses" ...



Date: 10/25/10 23:48
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: patd3985

I was told that it was started by the AAR in the teens to reduce crossing accidents and to standardize all crossing whistle signals for safety reasons.



Date: 10/26/10 04:09
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: skrambo

or 5 5 T 5 in railroad morse



Date: 10/26/10 13:57
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: cct24

Now and then, the Queen of England would take a cruise in the Royal Yacht down the River Thames, when encountering other maritime traffice, the Yacht's crew would blow the letter Q on the steam whistle to tell the other craft. "The queen is on board, clear the way"

Dunno if that is related, but it sounds good to me.



Date: 10/26/10 16:33
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: Notch16

As does "Oh, Mein Papa"...



Date: 10/27/10 00:55
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: lwilton

As a non-railfan for many years, it absolutely never occurred to me that trains making noise had any code to them at all; I didn't discover it until a few years ago when I read thru a rulebook out of curiosity. It was certainly never mentioned in Kindergarden when they were teaching railroad crossing safety. It was just "Stop, look, listen. If you can hear it or see it, DON'T CROSS!".

I have a feeling that if you polled a random 100 people off the street about what pattern a train sounds when it comes to a crossing you might get two correct answers. And they would probably be by chance.

Which makes me wonder -- WHY is it a standardized signal, since the code conveys absolutely no useful knowledge to the vast majority of the intended audience?



Date: 10/27/10 08:04
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: TAW

lwilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a non-railfan for many years, it absolutely
> never occurred to me that trains making noise had
> any code to them at all; I didn't discover it
> until a few years ago when I read thru a rulebook
> out of curiosity. It was certainly never
> mentioned in Kindergarden when they were teaching
> railroad crossing safety. It was just "Stop,
> look, listen. If you can hear it or see it, DON'T
> CROSS!".
>
> I have a feeling that if you polled a random 100
> people off the street about what pattern a train
> sounds when it comes to a crossing you might get
> two correct answers. And they would probably be
> by chance.
>
> Which makes me wonder -- WHY is it a standardized
> signal, since the code conveys absolutely no
> useful knowledge to the vast majority of the
> intended audience?

Actually, the intended audience (as opposed to the people being warned) were the train crew. The whistle was the communication device before radio. It was necessary to have standardized signals that all crews could understand and that would not be mistaken for a different signal. Somewhere
I have an article written by Peter Josserand that describes the care that an engineer must take in whistling to ensure that the signal was not mistaken for another, considering weather and terrain that might muffle or echo signals over long distances.

The last long continued through the crossing was added for the benefit of those being warned, but the signal was still standard as before. The current federal regulation for the signal is a requirement for the standard use of the standard whistle signal at crossings.

TAW



Date: 10/27/10 11:25
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: switchlock

Seems like I heard that the Morse Code for Q meant "emergency" in some line of work...



Date: 10/27/10 12:28
Re: Where did "--- --- - ---" originate?
Author: TAW

switchlock Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Seems like I heard that the Morse Code for Q meant
> "emergency" in some line of work...

...but it isn't Q on a railroad

TAW



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