Ever Wondered What These Different Train Horns Mean?

Myths busted, here!

Ever Wondered What These Different Train Horns Mean?
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"Life is the train, not the station."- Paulo Coelho

I feel the same!

As Indians, trains have been a part and parcel of our life, since childhood. We have fond memories attached to them. We have memories of making new friends on trains, of sharing food with strangers, of playing those fun games. Awwww, how much I miss my childhood in trains when there was no tension to reach the destination ASAP, when I used to revel in the journey more than the destination. 

With all these fond memories and nostalgia, I am also reminded of the signature characteristic sound of the train horns. I can still hear the horn resonate in my ears and take me back to the train compartment where I used to love the upper berth, where we used to play cards and laugh our hearts out cracking funny AF jokes.

Train journeys, my favourite!

#1. One short horn.

#1. One short horn.

This means that the motorman will now take the train to the yard, where it will undergo cleaning procedures for its next trip.

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#2. Two short horns.

#2. Two short horns.
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The motorman signals the guard with two short horns to ask for a railway signal for starting the train.

#3. Three smaller horns.

#3. Three smaller horns.
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If the motorman presses the horn thrice, it is a message that he has lost control over the motor and also that the guard has to pull the vacuum brake immediately. 

#4. Four smaller horns.

#4. Four smaller horns.
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When four smaller horns are pressed, this is a sign that there is some technical issue with the train and that the train will not go ahead, due to the problem.

#5. One long horn and a shorter one.

#5. One long horn and a shorter one.
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This is a signal for the guard by the motorman to set the brake pipe system before they start the engine.

#6. Two long horns and two short horns.

#6. Two long horns and two short horns.
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Here, motorman signals the guard to take control of the engine.

#7. A continous horn.

#7. A continous horn.
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This is a signal for the passengers, signalling that the train is passing non-stop through many stations. 

#8. Two horns with two pauses.

#8. Two horns with two pauses.
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For the passersby, to inform them that the train would be running through a railway crossing.

#9. Two long and two short horns.

#9. Two long and two short horns.
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These horns mean that the train is changing its tracks.

#10. Two short and one long horn.

#10. Two short and one long horn.

Signal that a passenger has pulled a chain or the guard has pulled a vacuum brake.

#11. Six times, short horns.

#11. Six times, short horns.
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It is a signal of trouble when the train is in a risky situation.


We hope this piece was informative for you.

Now, you will surely be able to understand the train horns.


Happy journey, folks!

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