Wednesday, September 21, 2011

222 - Hired out 2/22/88 on MRL / Do Deer Whistles really work?

222 days to retirement. I hired on MRL on 2/22/88... never dreamed I'd still be here. Best RR in the USA to work for.

I changed the date of this old post to revisit this as we hit about 8 deer all at once last night. At the last minute they ran in front of the train. Got all ground up and separated the air hose between the first two units causing us to go into emergency brake application. You would think that all the noise we make at 29 mph wide open with two big 4400 hp GE's on Winston hill would be a deterrent but obviously not

Do Deer Whistles really work?

It's an issue that keeps coming up on both of the motorcycle touring forums I attend. These guys are my very best friends. I am fond of all of them (some more than others) Some are morons (not nec the same some)

Some think deer whistles work, or a least hope deer whistles work. Or deer avoidance system. Can I say 4 words?
Anything for a buck. Get it? Sorry.

Can I say just a few words? Nope. Don't have the ability to remain silent.

OK... here goes, I have hit about 800 deer... I hit on the average about 20- 25 deer every year.

I am a locomotive engineer, that's right I run the train in Montana

The locomotive is equipped with a 165db whistle... we call it a whistle 'cause horn does not begin to describe how loud it is. Get in front close and it will damage your hearing forever in one 8 sec blast.

The locomotive also has a very loud bell AND 4 70V headlamps that put out 300,000 candle power EACH... that's right, 1.2 million candlepower. The heat from these actually hurts as we walk into the front door.

Now, add to all this the 90+db from the engine itself plus the high pitched squeal from the steel wheels on the steel track.

Deer respond in any number of ways.
1. They completely freak and jump 30+ feet, zig, zag... fling themselves into a river etc.
2. They do absoulutly nothing
3. They don't even break stride, just continue slowly step by step into the path of the locomotive which at 60 mph puts out a bow wave that will nearly tear your unbuttoned light jacket off
4. Look up, hesitate, turn, turn again, stop, either step in front of the train enough so just the head gets hit and is thrown 300 feet down the track in front of us. (OK, just one time)

Now the abuse that will get me the boot from Mellow possibly... bear in mind I am trying to save a life here and emphasize how STUPID it is to rely on deer whistles. Nothing works, Deer have very primitive brains and are even stupider than people who believe in deer whistles.

They do however work against elephants, giraffes, zebras etc. I have never hit one of those.

I have had close calls with Eagles, Hawk, numerous birds.

They do not work against elk, dogs, oppossom, porkupine, black/brown bear, people (standing or sitting), snakes, turtles, owls, ducks, white pelicans, rabbits, but most of all they do not work against cows, sheep and (drum roll).....Deer. I have hit all of those so many time I lost count. Many times multiples at one time.

Get real people, everyone here is smarter than this, just cause we would like 'em to work does not make it so. Sorry Jack.


MTengr said...

no, really... comment

NHHA said...

enjoyed your deer whistle post. I drive a fire truck and have the same problem. wife thought she needed deer whistles but didnt believe me when "I" told her they didnt work. Now, after reading this she believes "you"...