Horn Whistle and the Great Eastern Railway: A Historic Combination

Great Eastern Railway Horn Pea Whistle Railwayana Antique 1880s

Great Eastern Railway Horn Pea Whistle Railwayana Antique 1880s

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Discover the fascinating story behind the iconic horn whistle and its connection to the Great Eastern Railway. Explore the rich history and significance of this historic combination.

Uncover the secrets of the Great Eastern Railway's distinctive horn whistles and their role in shaping railway history. Dive into our blog to reveal the captivating tales waiting to be told!

The Great Eastern Railway heraldic device is depicted at Liverpool Street station.
Image: The Great Eastern Railway heraldic device is depicted at Liverpool Street station. The device consists of shields arranged clockwise, starting from 1 o'clock, representing the following locations: Maldon, Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge, Hertford, Northampton, Huntingdon, and Middlesex.
Source: By Oxyman - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1752995

The Great Eastern Railway (GER)

The Great Eastern Railway (GER) was a pre-grouping British railway company, formed on August 7, 1862, through the merger of the Eastern Counties Railway and several smaller railway companies. Its main line, which commenced operations on June 1, 1862, linked London Liverpool Street to Norwich, with additional routes extending throughout East Anglia. The GER served various significant destinations, including Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich, King's Lynn, Lowestoft, Norwich, and Southend-on-Sea, which was opened by the GER in 1889. It also played a pivotal role in connecting East Anglian seaside resorts such as Hunstanton, contributing to their prosperity. The GER served a suburban area encompassing Enfield, Chingford, Loughton, and Ilford.

In 1923, as part of the grouping of British railway companies, the Great Eastern Railway was incorporated into the London and North Eastern Railway.

The image shows a map of the lines of the Great Eastern Railway from 1920.
Image: The image shows a map of the lines of the Great Eastern Railway from 1920. The map displays the extensive network of railway lines operated by the Great Eastern Railway company during that time period.
Source: By The Railway Year Book for 1920. The Railway Publishing Company Limited, London., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=143285592

Train Whistle Code

  • Going to reverse: Three short whistles in a row.
  • Going to move forward: Two short whistles.
  • Approaching a street: Two long whistles (3-10 seconds each), then one short whistle, then one more long whistle (3-10 seconds).
  • Stopping: One short whistle.

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