LIRR Diesel Horns 

GE 44T LIRR #400

LIRR #400 GE 44 tonner in Tichy scheme
Archive: Don Fisher

The A-2 was a single-note horn used primarily on switchers, locomotive cranes, self-propelled railcars, and the like. It was available in both a 15 inch "long bell" version and a 11-5/32 inch "short bell" version both  pictured here. Wabco also produced a two-chime AA-2 horn which combined a long and short bell A-2 on a common manifold. The A-2 was fairly common on Alco switchers of many railroads. Photo: Don Fisher, RMLI Info/Horn sound file: Five Chime Consultants

A-2 Horn

Alco RS1-3 and C420

LIRR  RS3 #1556  Close-up  Nathan M3R1  Riverhead 9/01/2005 
Photo: Paul Strubeck

Nathan M3R1 Photo: Paul Strubeck

C420 #216 and RS1# 464 Nathan M3R1 roof mounted horn locations
5/1965 zoom Photo: Vincent Alvino Archive: Arthur Erdman

C420 Nathan M3R1 horn

C420 #222 Nathan M3R1 Farmingdale  08/31/85 Photo: Al Castelli 



The Leslie RS2M are on both M-7s and M-3 units. There are some M-7s with horn swaps: One has an RS2A, one has an S3L, and two have K3LA horns. SW1001s have a single chime, (Leslie RS-25?), but also have the K5LA.  The cab cars have the Leslie RS2M and K13A. The M9s use a Nathan K2H model horn, bells 2 and 3B.The DE/DM30 class sport the Nathan Air Chime K5LL, K5LLA and K5LA. The MP15 Fleet sport the K5LA horn. 

DE30AC Horns:
403 departing Glen Head June 2019 (K5LL)
406 departing Mineola November 2018 (K5LL, fouled)

408 rolling past Mill Neck in a storm September 2018 (K5LL)
409 demolishing S. Oyster Bay Road Jan 2018 Hicksville (K5LA)

407 plays Jingle Bells few days before Christmas. Glen Head, December 2016, K5LA (bled)

412 roaring through Bethpage July 2018 (K5LL)

415 flying through Mineola June 2019 (K5LL)

502 blasting through Sayville June 2019 (K5LL)

504 making noise at Meadow Glen Road, Kings Park February 2019 (K5LLA)

509 showing off its new Air Chime K5LLA at Glen Head November 2019

511 flying through New Hyde Park February 2019 (K5LLA, dead 1L bell)

517 approaching Glen Head June 2019 (K5LL)

519 tearing through Glen Head June 2019 (K5LL)

521 destroys Glen Street November 2018 (K5LLA)

 DE/DM30 class horns recording courtesy: Joe Stroppel

Horns for NYA Engines:

SW1001 were delivered with Leslie S-31s
101 - Nathan K5LA

105 - Nathan K5LA
106 - Prime PM990

MP15ACs  were delivered with Nathan P5A horns (mixed cast)
151 - Nathan P01235 (old cast)
155 - Nathan K5LLA
156 - Nathan K3LA (K5LA with two ports blocked off)
159 - Nathan P5 (new cast) 

GP38-2 were delivered with Leslie S3Ls, the 1977 order of GP38-2s with Nathan P5As
259 - Replaced with "diesel Dan horn mods" Nathan K5L, Equipped with Canadian 5 chime horn 
261 - Replaced with  "diesel Dan horn mods" Nathan K5LA modified (missing 1 bell [deepest sounding] in favor of an additional 3A
268 - Prime PM990
270 - The 271 mod ended up on this unit: Nathan K5LA
271 - Replaced with "diesel Dan horn mods" Nathan K5L

LIRR DE/DM30AC units have a mix of Nathan K5LL, K5LA, K5LLA horns.

The FA1/2 powerpacks arrived on property with a mixture of Nathan M5s (some former WM units), Nathan P3s (some former SP&S/BN units), or M3R1s. These were all eventually replaced with Nathan M3R1s from retired units, and eventually all FAs received K5LAs.

The MP15ACs, SW1001s, GP38-2s, FAs, F7s all were eventually fitted with K5LAs which had been the case for the majority of the fleet by the mid 1980s. Over the years, this has varied as certain units would receive other horns, but the mainstay of the 1980s and 1990s was either the K5LA or P5A, ultimately concluding with an almost-uniform fleet of K5LAs.
Due to their close proximity to the crew in the cab, the MP15ACs for the most part had their K5LAs restricted
(DE30AC #418 3/2018 Archive: Joe Stroppel) to quiet them down a bit, as opposed to the GP38-2 or FA/F7 which were largely unrestricted, with full airflow reaching them.

251 has a Nathan M3 ( M3R1 ) and 274 has a P5lentorney.jpg (68024 bytes)
LIRR #251 has a Nathan M3 ( M3R1) and #274 has a P5
Photo: Len Torney
259hunt1978 with a Leslie RS3L hornjoetischner.jpg (131962 bytes)
LIRR #259 Huntington 1978, a Leslie RS3L horn Photo: Joe Tischner


259_Port Jefferson in the 90s with the Nathan K5L horn joe tischner.jpg (139799 bytes)
LIRR #259 Port Jefferson in the 90s Nathan K5L horn as the only GP38-2 equipped with Canadian 5 chime horn 
Photo: Joe Tischner    
lirr619StJamescirca1979_NathanP3LenTorney.jpg (64516 bytes)
LIRR  #619 St. James c.1979 
Nathan P3 horn Photo: Len Torney
 lirr604StJamesFreshPaint_NathanM3R1lentorney.jpg (37317 bytes)
LIRR #604 St. James fresh paint with Nathan M3R1 Horn Photo: Len Torney
a2001Leslie A-200 on Eng 271.jpg (96692 bytes)
NYA #271with Leslie A-200 Close-up

Nathan Airchime K5LA Morris Park Tour 2009

Photo: Mark Edelman   

NYA_MP15AC-155_Nathan-K5LLA_Pine-Aire-Yard_8-20-14_ChrisJAllen.jpg (93444 bytes)
NYA MP15AC #155 Nathan K5LLA Pine Aire Yard 8/20/2014 
Photo: Chris J. Allen 

DM508mikeMcdermet04-08.JPG (71106 bytes)
LIRR  #508 04-08 Photo: Mike McDermet

lirr511_hornK5LA-3rdGen_markedelman.jpg (28327 bytes)
LIRR #511 K5LA 
Photo: Mark Edelman

lirr513_hornK5LLNathanAirchimeCanadianTuned.jpg (32790 bytes)
LIRR #513 K5LLA Nathan Air Chime Canadian Tuned.  Bell order from left to right 3-1-1L-2-4A Photo: Mark Edelman 

NYA-268_Prime-900_GP38-2_Riverhead_3-01-13_ChrisJAllen.jpg (86910 bytes)
NYA #268 Prime 900 Riverhead 3/01/2013 Photo: Chris J. Allen


NYA-261_Nathan-K5LA_GP38-2_Fresh-Pond_6-25-13_viewW_ChrisJAllen.jpg (106317 bytes)
NYA #261 Nathan K5LA GP38-2 Fresh Pond 6/25/2013 view W
Photo: Chris J. Allen

 a2002Leslie A-200 on Eng 271.jpg (92764 bytes)
NYA #271 with Leslie A-200  

EMD DE30AC #422 #421 Photo: LIRR/MTA

EMD DE30AC - K5LLA Nathan Air Chime horns  Photo: LIRR/MTA
LIRR Engine, Horn, Bell Sounds 

C420 #216 ALCO 251 prime mover Bay Shore c.1964
Photo: Steve Hoskins  Engine/Bell/Horn 

SW1001 #100 drilling Fresh Pond c.1976
Photo/Archive: Mike Koehler
  Horn    Engine

GP38-2 #252 EMD 645 prime mover- Morris Park as
delivered 1/1976 Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell

RS3 #1552 with New Paint on a push pull leaving Mineola in 1977
SW1001 switcher idling at LI City. Freight cars moving.
Sound/Photo: Tim Darnell



FA #608 Oyster Bay 1973 Photo/Archive: Richard Glueck
FA idling, then departing, C420 on the rear. Next, a C420 flying thru
Mineola with horn. c.1976 Engine/Horn
Tim Darnell

PNC GP7 #1505 LI City 11/21/1976

Leaving Sea Cliff  with FA #608 and the engineer leaning
hard on the PNC geep! Engine
Tim Darnell

MP15AC  #151 EMD 645 prime mover Oyster Bay 8/1983
Photo/Archive: John Volpi - Bell 
   Horn    Engine

MP15AC  #152 9/22/2003 Photo: Joe Tischner
Archive: Steven Lynch - Switching/Horn/Bell

MP15ACs #172-165 westbound stone train on the Lower Montauk,
Morris Park  8/24/2022 Photo/Archive: Joe Vila    Bell 

 M7 Announcement 1111 Off-Peak train to Penn Station, NY
  Bell   M7 #7245  Photo: Bombardier

DE30AC #411 Photo/Archive: Paul Strubeck

DE30AC #421 4/12/2004 Photo/Archive: Joe Tischner
Whistle/Horn Use  

Legend:  =  long duration, o short duration 

Succession of short sounds:  Used when an emergency exists, or persons or livestock are on the track. When crews on other trains hear this signal, they must stop until it is safe to proceed.
= When train is stopped. The air brakes are applied and pressure is equalized.
= = Train releases brakes and proceeds.
o o Acknowledgment of any signal not otherwise provided for.
o o o When train is stopped: means backing up, or acknowledgment of a hand signal to back up.
o o o o A request for a signal to be given or repeated if not understood.
= o o o Instruction for flagman to protect rear of train.
= = = = The flagman may return from west or south.
= = = = = The flagman may return from east or north.
= = o = Train is approaching public crossings at grade with engine in front. Signal starts not less than one quarter mile before reaching the crossing, if distance permits. If distance does not permit, signal starts soon enough before the crossing to provide warning. Signal is prolonged or repeated until the engine occupies the crossing. This signal is used to warn employees when the view is restricted.
o = Inspect the brake system for leaks or sticking brakes.   

I'd like to thank Mark Edelman for his invaluable help in providing technical help, audio, and video clips. Steven Lynch

LIRR Rules of the Operating Dept
Engine Whistle Signals pages 17-18  -  7/01/1966

LIRR Rules of the Operating Dept
Engine Whistle Signals pages 19-20  -  7/01/1966