Railroad Sound Files

Years ago I used to record the action on the scanner. Here are some of the sounds from the old tapes. Most of these were recorded in the late 1980s-early 1990s and with a cheap tape recorder (and even cheaper tapes) so the audio is not always the best..

Defect Detectors

Most (but not all) of these defect detectors have been replaced by newer equipment, so you won't be able to hear many of these anymore!


Arnold, OH detector on the Scottslawn Secondary. This is when the DD did not list axle count or speed.

Arnold, OH detector on the Scottslawn Secondary Subdivision (under CSX rule). This was recorded about a year before the name "Conrail" was scrubbed from the voice announcement.

Brice, OH detector on the West Virginia Secondary.

Clintonville, OH detector on the Columbus Line. Here it finds dragging equipment. I wonder who the lucky person was who recorded all of these detector messages?

Glade Run, OH detector on the Cincinnati Line. This detector has since been moved to single track at 157.8.

LaCarne, OH on the Water Level Route just west of Oak Harbor, OH. Amtrak 44 is the Pennsylvanian which used to run during across Ohio during daylight hours.

Lewis Center, OH on the Columbus Line.

Lewis Center, OH on the Columbus Line. DD gives an error through the interference on the frequency.

Slicks, OH on the Indianapolis Line (now the Mt. Victory Subdivision). Slicks is just east of Marion.


MP 5.3 on the Columbus Subdivision. Right after it was installed it announced a safety message.

MP 5.3 on the Columbus Subdivision. This clip has the DD finding a hotbox.

MP 5.3 on the Columbus Subdivision. This clip catches the DD with an axle count malfunction.

MP 5.3 on the Columbus Subdivision. The DD has found a defect but it doesn't know where it is!

MP 5.3 on the Columbus Subdivision. Either the DD is malfunctioning big time, or there's a major derailment taking place in front of the DD!

MP 20.3 on the Columbus Subdivision.

MP 20.3 on the Columbus Subdivision, this time with an apparent defect. This could be an inspection train as sometimes the train would be set up to purposely trip the detector to see if it was working properly. The fact that it finds a defect at axle nine on both sides is a clue that this might be the case here.

MP 20.3 on the Columbus Subdivision. Here's another recording of it reporting two defects on the same axle.

MP 38.7 on the Columbus Subdivision.

MP 31.1 on the CSX Willard Subdivision. Amtrak 41 heads west through the Bascom, OH detector. I thought the speed limit for passenger trains was 79 mph?

MP 74.0 on the Northern Subdivision. This is one of a few detectors which would announce a leading zero for the milepost location.

MP 133.7 detector on the Columbus Line. This replaced the Clintonville, OH detector listed above.

Norfolk Southern

MP 4.4 main two on the Sandusky District.

MP 275.4 on the Fostoria District. This is east of Fostoria at the railroad point Ilers.

MP 285.8 on the Fostoria District. This is near Arcadia, OH.

MP 693.0 westbound track on the Columbus District.

MP 693.0 eastbound track on the Columbus District.

A few Conrail split sound files...

During the evening of May 31, 1999 to June 1, 1999 I had the computer recording the train activity on the scanner. I was hoping to capture some "farewell to Conrail" sound bites or something like that. While I did get a couple similar to this, I also got some other goodies.

Here's former Conrail train PICO-1 passing the Clintonville, OH detector on June 1.

I was lucky to hear COLT pass the East Alton, OH detector on May 31.

A big surprise was to hear the Circus train on June 1! So, where do you want them elephants set off?

I doubt if this was this guy's last "Three step applied.", but he mentioned that it might be. This is YSCO-39 switching cars.

Finally, a good luck message from the Conrail dispatcher on May 31.

Other misc sounds

Here we hear several things which no longer exist: CSX Columbus Dispatcher, C&N Local, and a Conrail reference.

The yardmaster at CSX Parsons Yard used to be in four story building called "Hi-Tower". This clip has the yardmaster giving some specific instructions, probably because of a recent switch run-through or yard derailment.

Here's a friend of mine, former CSX Parsons Yard yardmaster Jack Mills talking to the airman. Not sure what he's getting out of the drawer for the airman.

The CSX Parsons Operator used to reside in the "Blue Building" at Parsons Yard in Columbus.

CSX train G261 talking to LM Cabin.

Y222 talking to the IF Dispatcher. In the clear on the Bussssccchhhh lead!

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