The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

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2745CaptainCuttle
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The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by 2745CaptainCuttle » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:46 am

I've been noticing since the engine has returned from its 10 year hiatus that the bell whistle on Flying Scotsman sounds a lot squeakier and high pitched than it used to sound. In all the previous recordings of the whistle, from the early days of preservation in the 1960s, up until the Marchington Era before the fitting of the chime whistle, the old LNER bell whistle had a distinct tone to it, best heard in the BBC documentary on the 1968 non-stop run of the engine between London and Edinburgh.

Here's an example of how the whistle used to sound from the engine's 60th birthday celebrations:

https://youtu.be/SLC0gUpMuUY#t=13m38s

Was the old whistle replaced between 2005 and 2016?

2745CaptainCuttle
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by 2745CaptainCuttle » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:55 pm

I was just curious because the bell whistle now sounds so different to how it used to sound. The bell whistle on 60163 Tornado sounds more on par to how 60103's whistle used to sound. I also found a Super 8mm sound film on YouTube of GNR Stirling Single No. 1 in steam and its whistle sounds a lot like Flying Scotsman's used to sound. The only other time that I've heard a bell whistle sound like what Scotsman's sounds like today is when I watched a documentary from about 16 or 17 years ago when Green Arrow visited the West Coast Mainline.

third-rail
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by third-rail » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:13 pm

does the steam pressure alter the tone.like the blowing into a normal whistle it alters the tone depending on how hard you blow

paullad1984
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by paullad1984 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:40 pm

The bell whistle she originally had was replaced as it's valve was worn I believe with one bought at auction, in between she had that dreadful SAR chime whistle....
Stainmore forever!

2745CaptainCuttle
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by 2745CaptainCuttle » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:39 am

paullad1984 wrote:The bell whistle she originally had was replaced as it's valve was worn I believe with one bought at auction, in between she had that dreadful SAR chime whistle....
Ah, thanks! Yeah, I never liked that chime whistle, sounded too much like a wooden toy whistle to me. I guess nothing lasts forever. If they had to go with a chime whistle, they could have gotten their hands on an American Southern Railway 3 chime whistle like what Scotsman carried during her tour of North America. In terms of historical accuracy, I prefer the bell whistle.

Flyingbandit
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by Flyingbandit » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:01 am

Regarding the abysmal whistle heard recently on 60103: I visited Bridgnorth to see 60103 and, of all the engines there, Flying Scotsman's whistle was by far the worst: watery, squeaky and of a warbling, high pitch. It was the same when I watched the TV programme showing the loco from the footplate whilst running the length of the SVR. The whistle is the voice of a loco, and currently I find it grates on the senses, almost embarrassingly so. I'd rather the chime whistle! ANY old whistle! Very odd, considering the recent expenditure. Even if, as one commentator states, the current whistle was from auction, why should it not sound right? It's like when, as a child, we'd blow harder than we should into the school recorder to try and make a louder sound but only ended up with a discordant squeak. If the old (original?) whistle was worn, why couldn't it have been refurbished as part of the rebuild? And what happened to the original item?? There must be someone out there that knows the answers! Certainly the whistle sounded different prior to the rebuild. Surely only steam at full pressure can operate the whistle.....or are the whistles somehow throttled between manifold and valve to get the pitch right? I doubt that, so what's the answer!!
Richard Black

2745CaptainCuttle
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by 2745CaptainCuttle » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:53 am

Flyingbandit wrote:Regarding the abysmal whistle heard recently on 60103: I visited Bridgnorth to see 60103 and, of all the engines there, Flying Scotsman's whistle was by far the worst: watery, squeaky and of a warbling, high pitch. It was the same when I watched the TV programme showing the loco from the footplate whilst running the length of the SVR. The whistle is the voice of a loco, and currently I find it grates on the senses, almost embarrassingly so. I'd rather the chime whistle! ANY old whistle! Very odd, considering the recent expenditure. Even if, as one commentator states, the current whistle was from auction, why should it not sound right? It's like when, as a child, we'd blow harder than we should into the school recorder to try and make a louder sound but only ended up with a discordant squeak. If the old (original?) whistle was worn, why couldn't it have been refurbished as part of the rebuild? And what happened to the original item?? There must be someone out there that knows the answers! Certainly the whistle sounded different prior to the rebuild. Surely only steam at full pressure can operate the whistle.....or are the whistles somehow throttled between manifold and valve to get the pitch right? I doubt that, so what's the answer!!
Richard Black
From what I was able to gather, the "new" LNER A3 bell whistle was simply mounted on the engine with no restoration work done to it, at least that's what I read. I was told that the whistle probably needs to be cleaned and polished thoroughly, but again this is anecdotal evidence at best.

As for the original, I imagine that the NRM would rather find an authentic replacement than completely rebuild the old whistle and have it lose its originality, but that's just my theory. I think the original wore out during Tony Marchington's ownership (due to the pressure increase to 250 psi perhaps?) and that's why the engine actually carried a chime whistle for a short period before withdrawl for overhaul in 2005.

So many questions yet so few answers! It's frustrating, I know.

crispy
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Re: The LNER Bell Whistle on Flying Scotsman

Post by crispy » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:28 am

Captain Cuttle , I would happily answer all your questions and put a lot of myths and untruths to bed , but over a pint , I have no intention whatsoever of getting into a bun fight on here,the only comment I will make is that the last trip it did in anger before going off to the nrm was a Victoria to soton docks with the vose Pullmans , 12 Pullmans, support coach and if I remember rightly an ED on the arse , I was on the footplate for the return trip and we were slowed at Eastleigh to 35mph behind a leccy put out in front of us , we went into Litchfeild tunnel at the summit at 65mph , 18 miles of 1 in 252 , hardly a mechanical wreck !!!

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