Meeting Reports


Friday 3rd May 2019

‘Sounds like Trains’

David Bousfield

Our speaker had set himself a tough task as he was attempting to illustrate railway sounds with matching images. David introduced his session by outlining the different types of engine in terms of cylinder numbers and arrangement in exemplary style with some good examples of 2, 3 and 4 cylinder engines working hard. Obviously these different engine arrangements produced varying sound patterns and David explained all these in a very lucid for the 4 cylinder example he used Lord Nelson working upgrade on the Settle Carlisle railway

In similar style moving onto the diesel era he was very enthused about the Sulzers as they produced some superb sounds reflected in their nicknames. Who could fail to be moved by the wonderful sound of a class 37 growling away hence the nickname “Tractors”, we had an example of a 37 toiling away at Spean Bridge in Scotland. Next we had a class 40 making lovely noises reflected in their nickname “Whistlers”. David wrapped up part one with the evocative sound of Deltic 55016 Gordon Highlander @ Doncaster. Who could forget that amazing sound of sheer power?

David continued in similar style in part 2 by illustrating the sounds of some engines in trouble particularly a G2 shunting at Bletchley yard with a distinct wheeze. He then moved to Austria to outline the sounds of a rack and pinion railway with an illustration of one system that uses 2 cylinders on the level but 4 cylinders on the 1 in 14 grade. This could be clearly heard in the accompanying sound. Mixing things up nicely David moved onto the sounds from Kirkby Stephen signal box illustrating the different activities undertaken by the signalman. Moving through several more good examples we could clearly hear a class 3F in real problems on Beattock Bank, the shed master says” do you want a push up Beattock?” to which the driver in a heavy Scottish accent shoutrs”No I want another engine”

David wrapped things up with D200 on the Settle – Carlisle to round off a superb presentation. He has to be given absolute credit for achieving something so tricky with complete aplomb and giving us a fascinating evening imparting a considerable amount of technical knowledge.


Last updated: 6th May 2019