Airchime K3L and K3H
These horns were introduced in 1954 as a low maintenance alternative to the M3H
. They were a derivative of the derivative the K5H, using the #1, 2, and
3 bells from that horn to produce the D# minor chord required for use in Canada at that time.
Early K3H's used the same pyramid-shaped manifold as the J3; later horns used
either the high profile H manifold or the low profile L manifold. The horn pictured above
is an early, sand cast K3L produced by AirChime licensee Holden Ltd. Horns produced after 1974
are die cast, and have a much smoother finish.
|Rear view of the Holden K3L.|
Some K3H's cast by Holden between 1957 and 1969 came with adjustable back caps, as shown at left (note the adjustment nuts at the centers of the caps). Most K horns are not adjustable. Note also the high profile H manifold, which features a short "neck" below the middle of the manifold.
An American-tuned K3LA illustrating the later die cast finish. The K3H and K3L are primarily Canadian horns, but do occasionally show up on American railroads, notably on the BNSF 960-series Dash 9-44CW's. Subsequent new BNSF locomotives have come with the American-tuned K3LA. All horns and photos courtesy Brent Lee.
Factory tuning is: D# minor (D#,F#,A#)
The K3H and K3L are the predominent horn on Canadian Pacific, Canadian
National, and VIA Rail Canada. They are relatively rare on US railroads.
K3H or K3L sound samples:BNSF 960-series Dash 9-44CW:
Sample 1...41kB...1 second
Sample 2...198kB...9 seconds
Sample 3...114kB...5 seconds
CP Rail, various locomotives:
Sample 1...157kB...7 seconds
VIA Rail Canada F40PH:
Sample 1...203kB...9 seconds
River Terminal SW1001:
Sample 1...162kB...7 seconds