Do modern trains have quieter horns?

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Is it correct that recent trains built in the last 20 years, have quieter horns? When I use travel on trains built in the 1980s (321s, 150s etc), if I was sitting close to the front of the train, the horn would make me jump. When I am on a train built recently (350s, 377s etc), I hardly notice the horn being sounded, even if i am right at the front of the train.

Have train horns become quiter, or are modern trains better insulated?

I think the 150s have the loudest horns, of any train I have been on. They absolutely made me jump out of my skin, when I was young.
 
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In my area, it's the newest trains (the 755s) which seem to have the loudest horns!
 

bengley

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Yes. They do have quieter horns. The standard was changed a good few years ago to reduce the effect of horns on railway neighbours.
 

AM9

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I think the location of horns on the front of trains also has an impact on their audibility to passengers. When I travelled on GEML trains, their below coupling mounted horns sounded much louder than the roof mounted horns on SR trains. Maybe the reflection of the sound from the track increased the level whereas the roof horns were projecting the sound into air makin a more focused sound footprint.
 

Annetts key

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There is a minimum standard that all train horns have to equal or exceed in terms of “loudness”. All new and recent trains have to meet this requirement. They certainly do not appear to be any less loud when a driver sounds the horn when we are nearby on the line side!

Also, don’t forget that the intention is to project the sound forwards, so when combined with the different construction used for modern carriages, this could make a difference.
 

unlevel42

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I can see the railway at Queens Road, Sheffield at a distance of nearly two miles.
On calm still mornings I can hear the growling of the freights and the clanking of the track as they pull off but the horns seem to be rare and quieter and shorter.
The Supertram (emergency?) horns from the same location are much louder.

Similarly when I worked near Meadowhall where the non stop Cross Country and freight trains 'toot' before they pass through, at the platforms the noise levels seem the same but from the hill above the freights were louder.
Does this support the view that the sound are better directed?
 

hexagon789

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A lot of trains have a 'loud' and a 'soft' setting for each tone. Possibly drivers resorting to 'soft' normally and reserving 'loud' for when it's really needed?

(As well as the improved insulation reducing noise inside the train and thus perception of the loudness of the horn, as mentioned above.)
 

O L Leigh

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Cl379s certainly do have quieter horns, to the extent that the Orange Army were complaining that drivers were not sounding any warning on approach. But I do think that the lack of volume inside the train is down to the improvements in insulation, especially if you're comparing a "sealed" air-conditioned unit to an older design with opening windows/vents.
 

Deltic1

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Most units types I've worked usually all sound the same, the only exception was 323's which seemed to be much louder than anything else.
 

FOH

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I'm sure I read somewhere that BR had a job lot/design they'd used for many years. It was not too long ago they had a look at the performance and found it somewhat underperformed the required standard hence why new horns could be reduced somewhat after that to similar. (Could of course be rubbish)

Edited to fix over to under perform
 
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Fincra5

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Class 700's certainly have a different tone to Electrostars on around here
Yeah they use a Digital Horn, so a Speaker basically, I believe... Unlike 377s which use a good old fashioned Air Horn. 700s are definitely quieter.
 

bengley

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Yeah they use a Digital Horn, so a Speaker basically, I believe... Unlike 377s which use a good old fashioned Air Horn. 700s are definitely quieter.
I think you'll find the horn is a standard air horn. The depot whistle is a speaker.
 

driver9000

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A lot of trains have a 'loud' and a 'soft' setting for each tone. Possibly drivers resorting to 'soft' normally and reserving 'loud' for when it's really needed?

(As well as the improved insulation reducing noise inside the train and thus perception of the loudness of the horn, as mentioned above.)

Soft setting is supposed to be used on depots and the loud setting on the main line. The rule book covers which settings to use but the stock I work automatically switches from soft setting (if selected) at around 8mph. If soft setting isn't selected it will default to loud setting.
 

hexagon789

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Soft setting is supposed to be used on depots and the loud setting on the main line. The rule book covers which settings to use but the stock I work automatically switches from soft setting (if selected) at around 8mph. If soft setting isn't selected it will default to loud setting.
Thanks I wasn't sure what the relevant situations were that determined which setting to use and could only find a vague outline of what I mentioned above.
 
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