11 Types Of Horns And What They Mean In Indian Railways

Have you ever-heard a train whistle closely? Well, they are not just for the arrival or departure but every horn and its duration has a meaning behind it. Here are eleven types of horns and what they mean, according to Indian railways. 

1. One short horn

A small horn means the motorman would take the train in the yard where it would be washed and cleaned for its next trip.

2. Two short horns

When the motorman gives two smaller horns, he is signalling the guard to ask railway signal for starting the train.

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  • 3. Three smaller horns

    Motormen rarely press the horns thrice because if they do, it means they have lost control over the motor and that the guard has to immediately pull the vacuum break. 

    4. Four smaller horns

    The four smaller horns denote that there is a ‘technical’ issue with the train and that the train would not go ahead. 

    5. One long horn and a shorter one

    This horn means that the motorman is signalling the guard to set the brake pipe system before they start the engine.

    6. Two long horns and two short horns

    The motorman is signalling the guard to take control of the engine.

    7. A continuous horn

    A continuous horn is blown for alerting the passengers that the train is passing non-stop through many stations. 

    8. Two horns with two pauses

    This signal is to alert the passersby that the train would be running through a railway crossing.

    9.  Two long and short horns

    If the motorman blows these horns, it means the train is changing the tracks.

    10. Two short and one long horn

    This sound means that a passenger has pulled a chain or the guard has pulled a vacuum break.

    11. Six times, short horns

    It’s a trouble signal where the train is stuck in a dangerous situation.


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