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North Idaho Trains Bump Banner

November 29, 2011

During a simple grocery run into town I noticed a train stopped on a bridge over the highway. I guessed it might be leaving soon and I knew where to go to get close to it and changed my route. Once I got there I noticed another train was also waiting next to the one I saw on the bridge. I knew I did not have a lot of time before they started moving so I quickly grabbed my Sony D-50 out of the center console of my SUV and ran towards an area near the railcars. I was in postion no longer that 10 seconds and the far train on the other side of the train closest to me started to move. I then heard a huge metal shuttering sound as the cars started moving. The shockwave traveled in each direction down the line of railcars, very cool!

As this first train pulled away I pulled out my iPhone and began recording video while keeping the handheld held D-50 in place. Soon the railcars one meter away in front of me started moving. Now there were trains pulling away in each direction. I wish I had my MKH-8040ST setup with me but since I was only planning to go shopping I left it at the ranch. I am glad the D-50 was charged and ready to go.

Below is the sound of the two trains departing at the approximately at the same time in Ponderay, Idaho. Recorded with a Sony PCM-D50 and pitched down 1 octave. The demo contains selected sounds from the original three and a half minute recording and the download is over 7 minutes of heavy metal grinding and movement. Enjoy! -Frank

Here are some very close train passes recorded with a matched stereo pair of MKH-8040 microphones set in XY at 110 degrees. The microphones were placed less than 2 meters from the fast moving freight train. Five 24-Bit 96K train takes were shortened and edited together… each train takes 3 minutes to completely pass by. The location was in front of the Sandpoint Idaho train station. There is a new freeway opening soon right behind the station and this will most likely be the last time some clean recordings can be obtained there. Listening with headphones is a mind bending experience.

Extreme Close Up Train Recording – Nov 13 2011

PHOTOS

Train Recording 11-13-2011

Train Recording 11-13-2011

Train Recording 11-13-2011

Train Recording 11-13-2011

Train Recording 11-13-2011

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!
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