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Old 07-15-2007, 03:55 PM
inactive user 02 inactive user 02 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I don't know much about it other than most of the whistles are Thomas J Nichol vintage stuff. Some of them were manufactured to complete the set by the same person who built to steam whistles (operated on compressed air) on the COPY CAT and the BORDER STAR. They are made of aluminium and this is why the rest of the set were have symetry in the set.

The Thomas J Nichol whistles I am told came from a private collector. The builder of the fill-ins was a guy out of Evansville, IN (his name escapes me...however every steam whistle he ever made has the inlet off to one side instead of the traditional in the center). I have never had one of these whistles apart to see why this is done. I assume this is for some form of increased flow...but, don't quote me on it since I really don't know.

It seems to me some while back David Morecraft told me Fred Dahlinger at the Baraboo Circus World Museum was involved in the creation of this one.

Originally the calliope used Gould electronic diaphragm selonoid valves. Because of the neoprene diaphragms they had a horrible propensity to flutter when the key was released, they also were rather slow to respond to the keyboard.

Later they were replaced with Magnatrol brand valves like we have on the DELTA QUEEN , BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, and NATCHEZ. These are much more accurate, reliable, and servicable...a wise choice in my book!

The one time I have played the thing was at St. Paul at the end of the 2004 Grand Excursion. it was very accurate to play, a little sapped for steam, but perforrmed rather well. The manifold is rather small for 32 is about 6 feet long, 2" diameter with whistles sprouting off both sides in a diatonic arrangement. The service line appears to be 1 1/2" perhaps smaller. It would be nice to see a 2" service line coming to the manifold and I suspect this would cure the lethargic problems of it.

Here is a video of it posted online for you to look at

I will ask around and see what further info I can dredge up on it. I am sure there is more floating around out there!


Last edited by inactive user 02; 07-15-2007 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Adding a picture
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