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Live Steam Railroading Whistle
and Hand Communications Signals

Engine Whistle Signals:
o indicates short sound. - indicates long sound.
o Apply brakes, stop.
- - Release brakes, proceed.
- o o o Trainmen protect rear of train. (stand with red flag a safe distance from the train)
- - - - Trainmen return to train. From West or South
- - - - - Trainmen return to train. From East or North
o o Answer to any signal not 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 Call for signals. Request for a signal to be given or repeated if not understood.
- - o - Grade Crossing.
-------- Approaching a station or junction. (One really long signal)
- o o Warning that a second section of a timetabled train is following.
- o Approaching other trains. (if your train is moving)
- o Inspect the brake system for leaks or sticking breaks (when train is not moving)
o o o - Calls the brakeman forward.

Succession of short signals warning to people or animals on the track.

Communication Signals:
To be given by the trainman with a whistle. Engineer and trainman will insure they understand the signals and answers before leaving the station.
o o When standing, start.
o o When running, stop.
o o o When standing, back up.
o o o When running train has parted.
o o o o When running, reduce speed.
- When running, look back for hand signal.
Hand Signals for Train Movement:
The hand, or flag, moved the same as the lanterns as illustrated gives the same indication
Swung at right angles to track STOP
Slight horizontal movement at arm's length at right angle to track REDUCE SPEED
Raised and lowered vertically PROCEED
Swung slowly in a circle at right angle to track BACK UP
Held at arm's length above head, when equipment is standing RELEASE AIR BRAKES
Swung horizontally above the head when standing APPLY AIR BRAKES