Skip to comments.Train Whistle heard at night though not near any tracks for miles
Posted on 02/25/2012 7:04:02 AM PST by Beowulf9
At night I hear a train whistle where I live, only occasionally and actually rarely. Have heard it about 3 or 4 times in about 7 years.
Thing is I live about 7 miles from a train track. Is it possible to hear a train whistle that far away?
and it does sound kind of ghostly, echoey, resonates.
I wondered if anyone else hear knows how far a train whistle can be heard.
I live in Phoenix Az, by Camelback Mountain.
If the wind is in the right direction, we hear a train that is about nine miles away.
Yes, it is possible to hear a train from that far away, especially if the wind is blowing favorably. We have a rail line about 7 miles north of our farm and I hear the whistles every now and then.
If you were really alert, you’d see a light, too.
Different layers of air can reflect sound a long ways.
For me it’s six miles as the crow flies to any train track. I hear the trains all the time. Much depends on atmospheric conditions and the shape of the land. Sounds are odd: there are reported cases of people who lived on the other side of a hill from a Civil War battle unable to hear anything of the artillery, yet people many miles away thinking the battle was in their back yard.
Is that 7 miles as the crow flys or via roads....Train whistles travel far, I live as the crow flies about 4 miles from the track and can hear the click-clack of the wheels if the winds are blowing just right..
Ducting of sound is caused by a temperature inversion, i.e. it gets warmer with altitude.
I'm sorry. It won't happen again.
See, it was a total train wreck.
New, Unexplained (Trumpet Like) Sounds
I have heard trains that were 20 miles away. I can hear traffic 5 miles away sometimes. Too bad that cell phone does not work here.
Happens here in Mississippi all of the time. One track is a mile away and the other 9 miles away. Depending upon the wind, temperature, and humidity whether I hear it well or not.
i, too, am many miles from train tracks but i can hear trains plain as day at night . they can be best hear right after a snowfall
Really makes it apparent that most vehicle/train collisions are a result of people trying to "beat" the train at the crossing.
Heavy fog can do strange things...I went out one night to check the fence line to see if any goats were caught and the fog was heavy...I needed my husband to help untangle one and the neighbor across the street heard me, but the fog would’t let my yelling be heard in the house....she yelled over if I was in trouble...I had to have her call my house and tell my husband to come out and help....The comment that the fog was as thick as pea soup is real. I bumped into the goat and couldn’t see her....
or they could be ghost trains . maybe your house or apartment was built over deserted train tracks
I grew up 4 miles from a Zoo, and when the wind was right we could hear the lions roar. Talk about spooky. Today I live about 5 miles from Union Pacific tracks, and 7 from BNSF tracks. We can hear them wind or no wind.
My brother collected them and would touch one off every once in a while in the evening over a Maduro wrapper and single malt.
“Different layers of air can reflect sound a long ways.”
Correct. Sometimes I can hear the train very loudly. Not the whistle, but the train! There’s no crossing. It’s sometimes louder at my house, 3 miles a way, than it is a block in the other direction from the tracks. Combination of different layers and wind I guess.
I’m in Phoenix too and sometimes I hear the train going through Tempe. Some days it sounds like it’s right outside my door... most times I can’t hear it at all. Same with the airport traffic.
If I call them to come out, I'm sure it would not run at the time they are here.
Long ago there was someone that liked to play practical jokes. One was getting his own park bench built. He took it to the park, set it up, laid down and pretended to sleep. When a cop rousted him, he got up, picked up the bench and started walking off. The cop was a bit consternated. Fortunately the guy had a bill of sale for the bench.
One of his other tricks was driving to a town with no railroad anywhere close and playing the sound of a train going through town in the middle of the night. That always got lights turned on.
He also had a trash can made out of an elephant’s foot that he used to make tracks around water supply reservoirs. Then he called the water company and complained about the taste of the water.
If I call them to come out, I'm sure it would not run at the time they are here.
Your train saw your face, which made it take a dirt road.
Unplug it and plug it back in when they arrive.
In the morning, my cousins and I walked to the end of the road...to the zoo.
We live about 5 miles from Miami International Airport. Usually (warm.hot summer weather) we don’t hear planes on the runway. But in the winter, after a cold front (well, in Miami “cool” would be a better term) passes through, they can actually be heard quite clearly. Radiational cooling after the front passes through and the sky is clear causes an inversion near the ground, and the sound is trapped there.. In this case I think it is more temperature than wind since the wind after the front is from the north and northeast, while the airport is well to the west-northwest of us.
wow. spooky idea. just got called into work, darn, these answers are fascinating!
I’m more or less, maybe less than 7 miles but more than 4, and not as the crow flies, but still over 4 miles away.
ghost train...hmmm, it is awfully spooky. Heard it at midnight, why would a train whistle blow at midnight? I read that in Tempe they actually made a law they can’t blow the whistle because of complaints.
Tempe is run by Democrats, of course;)
We lived about eight miles from the closest train when I was a kid and heard trains on a regular basis. A buddy of mine got and air compressor, a train horn and mounted them under his hood. That made people move over!
There are some guys in Mesa that have a fully functioning train air horn mounted under their car with a large compressor system in the trunk.
We live in the hilly foothills of California and sounds bounce all over the place here. We’ve heard roofers pounding on nails from blocks away that sounded like they were in our backyard. I not only hear trains and the clak-clak of the rails from a few miles away, I hear simis downshifting on a grade miles and miles away.
My grandparents lived a block from a major freight crossing, as a child I was deathly terrified at night because I could hear the trains and SEE the lights from my bed. I thought the trains were coming through the house.
Grandparents are long gone but the sounds of trains at night at strangely comforting now.
Wind has a remarkable effect on the propagation of sound. I didn’t understand the phenomenon until a few years ago; before that time I was skeptical.
When wind blows, it creates a “wind shear,” which means that the air closer to the ground moves slower than the air above it. There is a continuous increase as you go up from the ground. Of course, it is disturbed by turbulence, particularly when there are obstructions.
So when the wind is blowing from a sound source towards you, the waves are travelling faster towards you at the higher altitudes than near or at the ground. This causes the sound energy that would otherwise dissipate into the sky to ‘bend’ towards the ground and be concentrated there.
Under these conditions, the inverse-square effect that would otherwise diminish the sound at distance is partially negated, so you can hear sources of sound at longer distances than under the condition of still air.
It could be a Ghost Train. We had one near our house about 20 years ago.
When I was just a baby
My Mama told me “Son
Never eat green hamburger
Or you will get the runs”
But I took a bite in Reno
Just to give it a try
Now when I hear that whistle blowing
I hope my underwear’s dry.
She was drunk.
Oh the stories. Normally that drive home takes an hour and a half. She did it in forty-five minutes. Needless to say she no longer parties that hard. Anymore.
By the way, was it a whistle, as in a steam engine, or a horn, as in a diesel?
Don’t forget that there’s a narrow gauge steam railroad at Scottsdale and Indian Bend in the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.
We have some idiot locally who equipped his pickup truck with a horn that sounds like a train whistle. Scares the carp out of you if you hear it close by in traffic. Perhaps he is driving in your neighborhood too.
Or perhaps he inspired it.
When I was a kid, my parents had a record of train sounds; one side steam, the other side diesel-electric.
Maybe one of your neighbors has a copy of it.
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Thank G-d she is still with us. She is luckier than many others...
I don’t know about the mounting of it, but there is a car in our area that has a horn that sounds like a train whistle. Weird when he hits that at night when everything is relatively still.
There are lots of you tubes of people driving around scaring pedestrians half to death with these kits.
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