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Model Railroading > Help needed: original PA audio recordings


Date: 10/17/20 16:39
Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: rapidotrains

Hi guys,

We're working to finalize the sounds for our Alco PA and PB, as we expect our first samples from the factory in the next few weeks. Does anyone have original audio recordings of the PA in service for any railroad other than D&H after 1975? Most vintage railroad films have dubbed audio and can't be relied upon. (D&H rebuilt their PAs in 1975 with newer 251 prime movers.)

We need to hear clean recordings of the 16-244 prime mover in action, and then we can recreate those sounds by modifying our recordings of the 12-244. We've been told by people who remember them that the 16-244 sounded considerably different, but we need something a little more concrete than 50-year-old memories... :-D 

Any help would be appreciated. 

Thanks in advance,

Jason



Date: 10/17/20 17:35
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: M-420

Hi Jason:I assume you are aware of this CD, but if not "First Generation Diesels, Volume 2" has recordings of D&H PA's before the rebuild.

One sequence in partcular might be of use as a pair of PA's make a station stop somewhere.
You hear them braking to a stop, then a nice idle segment and then accellerating away from the station.

The CD also has a Santa Fe clip, but the train is just passing at about 80 MPH, so it's unlikely that one would be of any use.

The 16-244 has a deeper sound than a 12-244.

Good luck in your search.

Brian E



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 17:36 by M-420.




Date: 10/17/20 18:53
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: Frank30

Boston area PA fans:
Don't forget the (T) leased some or all of D&H's PAs in the mid 70's and they were used primarily
on the Framingham commuter rail line and did they look great!
Frank30



Date: 10/17/20 21:37
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: Kemacprr

Jason good luck on that search.  The last operable 16-244 was at Philadelphia Gear in King Of Prussia Pa. It was out of a PRR RSD-7 and was used to test gear trains that Philly gear built. It was offered for sale but ended up being parted out a few years back.  If there is a saved RSD-7 that would be your only hope in a U S based locomotive.  Did you get my pictures of the ex LIRR FA ? ---- Ken . 



Date: 10/18/20 05:59
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: pilotblue

I can't help you but...

So many manufacturers fail to reach out to the railfans and modelers to assure accuracy of their products. Between individuals, clubs, historical societies and museums, the information can usually be found. The community is more than willing to do the extra digging as a favor, challenge or competition. Sometimes the info comes out of left field as a Wow! moment.

So I applaud your efforts and wish you luck!



Date: 10/18/20 08:29
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: mcdeo

Good luck with the search, but I can give a plus 1 to the difference of a 12 vs. 16, or even 20 cylinder prime mover. The EMD's that I grew up with, are clearly different sounding. 

I remember several nights at Cajon Pass and noting the difference of the SD40's vs. 45's. And later with the F59's out of Southern California with 12 cylinders compared to the SD60's/70's of the day with their 16 cylinder prime movers. I'm glad that people are as passionate about sound as they are with details. Keep up the great work Jason. 

Well...this might help: Mister D's Machine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHveIIYcQxg I looked, and didn't see any PA/PB's listed, but the 4th track talks about  DF 12-15's. Now, not sure what exactly that is (I'm no Alco expert), but looking up SP's roster, they did have RSD12's, at 1,800hp using a 12-244 prime mover. Which, the album says, 1,800 hp per locomotive. So...could be close. Looks like SP also had RSD15's, with the 16 cylinder prime mover, but rated at 2,400hp. Hmmm...listened to track 4, not much there to get the engine sound, bummer.

However, the other part of the mention is that 'Mobility Fidelity Sounds' that produced the album might have other recordings of what you're looking for. Maybe that lead will pan out. 

I've always loved the last track on side B, with the cab ride and listening to EMD 567's notch up and have to go through transition. 

Now...just need the oil and diesel smell in the basement. :-) Maybe not so much with the toxic fumes though. 

Mike ONeill
Parker, CO
Colorado Photos



Date: 10/18/20 09:35
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: koloradokid

pilotblue Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't help you but...
>
> So many manufacturers fail to reach out to the
> railfans and modelers to assure accuracy of their
> products. Between individuals, clubs, historical
> societies and museums, the information can usually
> be found. The community is more than willing to do
> the extra digging as a favor, challenge or
> competition. Sometimes the info comes out of left
> field as a Wow! moment.
>
> So I applaud your efforts and wish you luck!  

I don 't know.  I gave them a lead on a largely unmodified front end of a PB-1, and all they saw was a heater car.  Guess they had their blinders on.

Robert



Date: 10/19/20 05:30
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: dh1205

Frank30 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Boston area PA fans:
> Don't forget the (T) leased some or all of D&H's
> PAs in the mid 70's and they were used primarily
> on the Framingham commuter rail line and did they
> look great!
> Frank30

Unfortunately, they had been rebuilt with 12 cylinder 251s by then.



Date: 10/19/20 15:49
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: E25

Don't forget to add the "ground shaking" feature during start-up from a station stop... ha ha

If you were standing within 30 feet of the ROW, that was one of the hallmarks of the PAs.  Very impressive machines, visually and sound-wise.

Here's an account that I penned a while ago:

"Watching the Espee’s ALCO PA locomotives take off from an intermediate station stop was indeed a memorable experience, in both sight and sound.

During the summers of my early teen years, in the mid-1950's, I would sometimes hitch a ride to the Salem, Oregon Southern Pacific passenger depot with my dad, who worked downtown.

The "event" that I always looked forward to was the 9:30 a.m. arrival of the southbound passenger train #9, Southern Pacific’s premier Portland to Oakland "Shasta Daylight."

After observing the single target signal mounted on a cantilever tower at the north end of the station platform go from green to yellow and then to red, the oscillating headlight of a Daylight-painted PA would suddenly appear around the corner as the train left Twelfth Street and eased up along the station platform, with the PA's prime movers still in "run-1 or 2" up to the stop line.  

After the train’s brakes had overcome the remaining tug of the locomotives and it had come to a very smooth halt, the engineer would notch the throttle lever back to "Neutral."  This was actually a very impressive event in its own right, sort of like watching a snorting bullock pulling a plow until it is overcome by the friction of the plow in the dirt and finally gives up.

Then, following the ages-old ritual of unloading and loading the passengers, their baggage and the US Mail, the eventual closing of the vestibules and a flowery waive-off to the locomotive engineer from the Conductor at the rear of the train, the engineer would start the bell and the sanders, whistle for the departure, waive at me, and then notch the throttle out to "run 1", causing the PA's (...usually 3 to 5 of 'em) to "come alive" with a low rumble. The engineer would then ease-off the train brakes and the Shasta Daylight would begin a very smooth, gradual acceleration out of the station.

After the brakes were fully released and the train had traveled about a hundred feet or so along the platform, the engineer would notch the throttle incrementally out to about “4" or “5", at which point the ALCOs would have begun their trademark display of smoke, thunder, ground shaking and forward motion in a truly magnificent display of brute force.  After the train had proceeded another 500 feet or so, the engineer would move the throttle handle to what seemed like "run 8" (the last throttle notch) and then pull on the Nathan M5R24 five-chime organ-like whistle for the first of two or three road crossings. Now, more smoke and thunder with more music from the five-chime whistle. To a young boy, this was better than the ending to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture!

By the time the observation car passed by me, the Daylight was moving right along at about a 35 mph clip, with the pall of smoke and the throbbing chant of the PAs gradually fading away into the distance.

Soon the oscillating red tail-light on the rear of the Daylight's observation car disappeared down the tracks and the lone bridge-mounted target signal located near the yard office eventually turned from red to yellow and then to green.  

The last sounds of the five-chime harmonics finally trailed-off as the Daylight was fast approaching its designated “track speed” of 79 mph and then there was silence for a few moments.  Often, a lone Baldwin switcher or passing “black widow" EMD SD9-powered freight train showed up in the wake of #9's departure.

That was more than sixty years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday."

 

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Date: 10/20/20 11:21
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: rapidotrains

Thanks for that great summary, Greg! It sounds like an amazing experience.

-Jason



Date: 10/22/20 03:25
Re: Help needed: original PA audio recordings
Author: SD40T-2

Hey Greg:  Your story of the memories of the PAs on the SP is the finest piece of writing that I've ever read on Trainorders.  If you have more memories like that, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE write a book.  If you have memories of the camaraderie of the start-up of trains pulled by Cab Forwards, or the GS-4s with their booster trucks helping them get started, or any of the early Baldwin diesels etc, then you will have all of us foaming at the mouth in awe. You capture the essence of why we're all railfans.  Maybe find one of the better publishers like Morning Sun and have them interview you for several sessions.  Then they can write the book for you (although your writing is amazing, so if you have a full tank of gas, better you than them.)  Either way, your memories would be golden for all of us.

I'm just floored at the greatness of your writing...

Cheers, Mark Robinson



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