E-Bells everywhere

General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

E-Bells everywhere

Postby Amtrak706 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:04 am

The electronic bell, or “E-Bell”, has become extremely common on American railroads over the past decade or so. Being a solid-state part, they require almost no maintenance and don’t get clogged up by snow. From an operational standpoint (the only one that matters) they are an improvement on all counts.

Now for the (completely extraneous and inconsequential) railfan perspective. To me, the E-Bell takes away the “character,” if you will, of a locomotive. It sounds tinny and oddly nothing like a real bell, and it makes everything sound exactly the same as all railroads and loco manufacturers seem to have picked ONE model (Graham White 373).

From the (slightly less inconsequential) rider perspective, while waiting for a train at Newark Penn there is almost a constant cacophony of them all around you and it gets pretty annoying. With the mechanical bells, there were enough different types and even subtle differences among the same type to make the experience far less irritating. There’s something about hearing the same bell ring audio sample over and over again that causes a headache.

All of us have our own particular reasons for why we like trains, but I’m sure many of you would agree that the sounds of the railroad are a big part of it all. It would become a lot less impressive if you take were to take away the earth-shaking roar of the locomotives, or the whoosh of each set of trucks flying by on a fast passenger train. The bell may not be the most exciting of these sounds, but it is certainly capable of detracting from it all.

Does anyone else share my opinion? It can’t be that hard to throw a different audio sample in there.
User avatar
Amtrak706
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:57 pm
Location: NYC

Re: E-Bells everywhere

Postby D Alex » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:13 pm

Mixed reaction here. Yeah each horn has a particular sound, but once in a while one horn gets damaged and the chord it makes can be excruciating.
D Alex
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: E-Bells everywhere

Postby Amtrak706 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:43 am

D Alex wrote:Mixed reaction here. Yeah each horn has a particular sound, but once in a while one horn gets damaged and the chord it makes can be excruciating.

True, but I am talking about bells, not air horns.

Here is an example of a Graham White model 373 E-bell:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LScWYrHGVu8

For the record, my gripe is not with the particular sound of this bell. It's the fact that this same exact audio sample can now be found on something like half of all locomotives and cab cars in North America and it gets pretty grating.
User avatar
Amtrak706
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:57 pm
Location: NYC


Return to General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest