• Crime Alert -Horn Thefts

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by thor88
 
This is not exactly news, but given the rise in theft of locomotive horns from both active and stored equipment, it's worth making a note.

This is a new fad. You put a little air tank on your car and go around blasting a locomotive horn at unsuspecting people and take video of their reaction.

Just search "train horn" on YouTube and you'll find over 1500 videos and many of them are of people with train horns mounted on their car going around blasting their train horns. And now, just about every teenager wants one.

Example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpa8whzwAE

Their are legitimate aftermarket and replica horns for sale on sites like hornblasters.com, but with prices running between $300 and $1500, some have decided it would be cheaper to just liberate the horns off of parked equipment.

There no way to stop a truly determined thief, but most thieves are opportunists. The thing to do would be to remove opportunity. Realizing that not every owner of locomotives has a private police force, a locked engine house or even a fenced storage yard; there are steps that can be taken to lessen the chance of losing a set of irreplaceable from a historic locomotive.

Some people have suggested removing the horns from stored locomotives and when the locomotive is going to be run, it's put back on and removed again when the locomotive goes back into storage. This is fine, but it can be troublesome and there is a chance of losing the horn when it is in storage as well.

Another possibility is to remove the horn and then treat all the bolts and air fittings with red Loctite. This way, the horns cannot be removed with heat or special tools which opportunist thieves will likely not have.

Whatever the case, just be on the watch for horn theft.

  by Noel Weaver
 
I think a lot of horns are stolen by pros who then sell them to truckers
as truckers have air for their brakes and have ample air to use the
horns.
I have heard a number of them here in South Florida.
Noel Weaver

  by scharnhorst
 
There is a guy that I went to school with got a large number of Locomotive horns from Amtrak (I beleve 20 in all for free!) He went as far as putting a large air compressor in the back of his truck and puted 2 5 chime air horns on it along with 2 strobe lights and a Bell off an Amtrak unit. He now works for Amtrak in upper managment some where between Albany, NY and Washington D.C. Area?

  by 3rdrail
 
scharnhorst wrote:There is a guy that I went to school with got a large number of Locomotive horns from Amtrak (I beleve 20 in all for free!) He went as far as putting a large air compressor in the back of his truck and puted 2 5 chime air horns on it along with 2 strobe lights and a Bell off an Amtrak unit. He now works for Amtrak in upper managment some where between Albany, NY and Washington D.C. Area?
(Was he in San Francisco in 1989 just before the earthquake ?)

Do these horns usually have a serial number imprinted on them anywhere ?

  by MEC407
 
Bear in mind that collecting of locomotive horns and whistles is also a legitimate hobby, not to be confused with these morons who do it solely for the purpose of scaring the $#!T out of people.

Many collectors purchase their horns from dealers, buy them at auction, purchase them from locomotive scrappers, etc. The majority of those in the horn/whistle hobby choose to only blow their horns in remote areas, and/or at horn/whistle collector get-togethers.

For what it's worth, Nathan Airchime -- the leading locomotive horn manufacturer in North America -- is now selling genuine K3LA and K5LA locomotive horns directly to truckers. A bad idea, if you ask me, but what can you do...

  by scharnhorst
 
3rdrail wrote:
scharnhorst wrote:There is a guy that I went to school with got a large number of Locomotive horns from Amtrak (I beleve 20 in all for free!) He went as far as putting a large air compressor in the back of his truck and puted 2 5 chime air horns on it along with 2 strobe lights and a Bell off an Amtrak unit. He now works for Amtrak in upper managment some where between Albany, NY and Washington D.C. Area?
(Was he in San Francisco in 1989 just before the earthquake ?)

Do these horns usually have a serial number imprinted on them anywhere ?
No I some how don't think he would have been in San Franciscoas as he would have been 8 or 9 years old in 1989.

  by GN 599
 
Darn kids with your mtv and your pac-man video games! Stay off my grass you whippersnappers. Kids are always going to be doing stuff like that. Most thiefs are probably guys who are ''railfans''. Foamers are the biggest thiefs when it comes down to it.

  by MEC407
 
GN 599 wrote:Foamers are the biggest thiefs when it comes down to it.
Gee, that's a broad paintbrush you've got there...

  by GN 599
 
I just think a lot of things get swiped by people who call themselves railfans. I dont think truckers and teenagers have much use for builders plates.

  by MEC407
 
In regards to builders plates and things of that nature, you're probably right. Which is unfortunate. But let's be clear: there are thieves who are railfans, but not all railfans are thieves.

I personally know two railfans who were instrumental in helping a railroad police department track down some pieces of railroad property that were stolen.

  by 3rdrail
 
MEC407 wrote:In regards to builders plates and things of that nature, you're probably right. Which is unfortunate. But let's be clear: there are thieves who are railfans, but not all railfans are thieves. .
I'm not sure that that's true now, especially when we get into the "high-end" as we are discussing. I'll give you that that was true prior to the explosion of Ebay. There are many thieves who research what the supply and demand is for various types of items, and what these items can bring in on Ebay. High demand, low supply, high profit, easy accesibility (nearby unguarded railyards, etc.) = larceny in these small minds. Extremely popular are items which lack serial numbers which could be traced to criminal activity. I believe that such a thief (not being a railfan) would make no distinction between a stolen E8A horn and a stolen set of Toyota wheels if both could bring in the same $. All the familiar "high-end" rail buff stuff that is collected, be it horns, bells, signs, lanterns, etc. will eventually find it's way to a well-paying rail buff or 2nd merchant, and these thieves know it. Clearly, most RR items sold are from legitimate sellers, however there is a certain percentage that are not. Often times you can tell that a seller is not knowledgeable about the item that they are selling by their description of the item. That's a red flag. Also, we have seen an apparently new market comprised of truckers and mobile adolescents who represent another interested group regarding the horns who more than likely, are not rail fans.

  by NV290
 
MEC407 wrote:
For what it's worth, Nathan Airchime -- the leading locomotive horn manufacturer in North America -- is now selling genuine K3LA and K5LA locomotive horns directly to truckers. A bad idea, if you ask me, but what can you do...
Where did you see that? (Not doubting you, just wondering if maybe it's a site i did'nt see??)

I went on their site and right at the top it says they only sell to builders and fleet owners (railroads)

http://www.microprecisiongroup.com/nathan/kHorns.asp

  by MEC407
 
NV290 wrote:
MEC407 wrote:
For what it's worth, Nathan Airchime -- the leading locomotive horn manufacturer in North America -- is now selling genuine K3LA and K5LA locomotive horns directly to truckers. A bad idea, if you ask me, but what can you do...
Where did you see that? (Not doubting you, just wondering if maybe it's a site i did'nt see??)

I went on their site and right at the top it says they only sell to builders and fleet owners (railroads)

http://www.microprecisiongroup.com/nathan/kHorns.asp

I guess they haven't finished updating their site yet. If you go to this URL:

http://www.microprecisiongroup.com/shop ... sp?catid=3

It has a category called "truck horns" and says that they aren't currently available online, but will be soon. However, they do have an official eBay Store that has been up and running for the past few weeks, and they are now marketing the K3LA and K5LA as a line of over-the-road truck horns. Here is a link to their K5LA order page on eBay:

http://tinyurl.com/2kzgv6

E-mails sent directly to Micro Precision Group have confirmed that this eBay store is indeed an official Nathan AirChrime/ Microprecision venture.

Conversely, it also appears that railroads and locomotive builders are not going to be able to spec K5LAs anymore, due to the whacky new FRA horn regulations. The K5HL and K5LLA are the only Nathan horns that meet the new regs... hence, that's what's being applied to new GE and EMD locos. And they sound like crap, in my opinion.

  by 3rdrail
 
Their K5LA truck horn has reduced volume from their locomotive horn.

  by uhaul
 
Goodness gracious those horns are pricey and cost more than my car. I will stick with the stock horn thank you very much.

Kwanzaa
12/26-1/1