Railroad investigating theft of locomotive horn

Published 4:59 pm Friday, January 4, 2008

Investigators from the Canadian National Railway are looking into the theft of a horn from a locomotive that was under repair in the marshaling yard in Brookhaven.

Officials said the three-part air horn has an estimated value of $2,000. CNR Special Agent Wayne Barfield said the horn was unbolted and stolen sometime Sunday.

“We don’t think kids stole this horn, and we don’t think it was carried to the scrap dealer,” Barfield said Wednesday. “We feel like it was probably stolen by some type of professional truck driver for his rig.”

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Barfield said the triple horn was probably taken by a trucker because, outside of trains, trucks are about the only other type of vehicle that can use the powerful horn.

“You’ve gotta have air pressure to blow these horns,” he said. “It takes about 100 pounds of pressure to make one blow — that’s why I think it’s going to a big truck.”

Barfield said the railroad is getting help from Brookhaven police in case the horn turns up at a pawnshop or somewhere else.

Barfield said the case is unusual because the thieves targeted a specific part.

“We get a good bit of vandalism, especially spray painting the sides of cars and putting stuff on the tracks. And general theft is a problem as well, because we transport a lot of stuff. Sometimes people will knock out some windows and break into the railroad offices.”

Barfield said the horn “wasn’t just lying around in the yard or anything, it was bolted onto the engine. Someone with a set of wrenches and sockets went in there and unbolted it.”

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said the theft of train parts was uncommon, but not unheard of. He said the department would handle the case like any theft, and he will assign an officer to the investigation.