Train Recording 3-13-2011

It’s been about 12 years since I recorded a train. When I lived in Seattle I was able to get some great recordings of all kinds of trains in many environments. When I moved to Idaho in 1997 I soon realized that trains were everywhere. North Idaho is the main Northern route from East to West. 60+ trains a day pass through here so there is always a chance to get recordings year round. I recorded many trains back in the late 90’s but they were with a DAT machine and now I wanted to start recording all theses trains at high resolution. So, it begins!

Sunday, March 13th 2011 was a beautiful day. Spring is just around the corner and the snow is melting off fast. This is a great time of year to record outside. Most of the birds have not yet migrated back from the South and the general activity outside is minimal. I packed up the gear and headed out to one of the many locations where there are secluded rail road tracks and waited. I did not have to wait very long. As soon as I found a spot I heard a train in the distance. I was not ready to record yet so I scrambled to get my CSS-5 and SD 702 up and running. I was lucky because the one thing I did do prior to leaving the house was put the mic on the stand and plug everything into the recorder. All I had to do was unload quickly and stick hte mic stand out there.

The first location I found was about 20 feet from the road and 50 feet or so from the tracks. The tracks where at a lower elevation than me by quite a bit. There were two sets of tracks on a slight banked turn. I stood in the trees and got ready as fast as possible as I could hear the train off in the distance. I thought my level was good but on playback I noticed that the limiter had kicked in even though the peak level was 3 dB below 0. I guess I recorded a bit hot so the train has a slight growl to it as the engines first pass by. The train had 3 engines and was very loud…. I forgot how loud trains can be.

Check it out:

Train Pass By 3-13-2011 Number 1 by therecordist

Right after the 1st train passed there was another train coming from the other direction. I did not see or hear it and was waiting for the last train car to fade out and then suddenly it was roaring by. This second train made a sad wailing sound as it carved the turn and was slowing down. Nice!

Check it out:

Train Pass By 3-13-2011 Number 2 by therecordist

Video of a train

(I had some time to set up and record some foootage)

Photos:

Train Recording 5-30-10

Train Recording 5-30-10

Train Recording 5-30-10

Train Recording 5-30-10

Train Recording 5-30-10

Train Recording 5-30-10

Train Recording 5-30-10

Comments

  1. Paul Virostek  March 16, 2011

    Nice work Frank. Love the sound of the rail scraping. And the wail on the second track is especially evocative. Cheers!

    reply
  2. Colin Hunter  March 17, 2011

    Great recordings Frank. I love train number 2, especially the tail off at the end!

    reply
  3. Ryan  March 28, 2011

    Amazing audio quality! Your samples are top notch, Frank. Having a blast watching all of your ‘making of’ video footage and listening to the resulting samples. Clearly a guy who’s passionate about his craft – great to see (and, more importantly – hear!)

    reply

Add a Comment