Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: 'Q' & train whistles
Re: 'Q' & train whistles
Mon, 22 Feb 1999 13:43:27 -0600
At 10:19 AM 2/22/99 -0500, you wrote:
>This is a Morse Code related question (to me anyway)....
>Late at night when the air is still, we can hear a train whistle in the
>distance as it approaches a grade crossing sounding the Morse Code letter
'Q'- -------, --------, ., -------.
>Question- Is there a connection? How was 'Q' chosen for this purpose?
Coincidence, I suppose. Whistle signals are used by the engineer to alert
the train crew, station agents & the public as the train approaches roads &
stations. Some of the signals seem to be Morse Code because there's only so
many combinations of longs & shorts.
The common one you heard
long, long, short, long
means "approaching public crossing at grade"
long, short, short, short
means "Flagman protect rear of train"
means "apply brakes. stop"
short short short
can mean either "back up" or "stop at next station".
Found this information in the railroading MB book.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library
311 N. Spring St. Outside of a dog, a book is
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 man's best friend. Inside of
(920) 887-4631 (fax 887-4633) a dog it's too dark to read.
Scoutmaster, Troop 736