Jay A. Winn’s
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About Us
For nearly 50 years I have been a fan of railroad sound. I started personally recording train sound in the late 1950s. The early recording equipment was rudimentary by today’s standards and the sound quality was average, but I kept at it over the years, always experimenting with the latest and best recording equipment I could afford. I have personally recorded many hundreds of hours of railroad sound. Accompanying these recordings are data inserts distilled down from carefully kept notes regarding the source of each sound clip.

Starting in the late 1960s I began collecting railroad sound recorded by other railfans. Although most of this collected sound was poor quality and amateurish there were on occasion some astonishing recordings from the steam era as well as some great material from the early diesel age. Today my railroad audio library of consists of well over 1000 hours of original railroad sound. The majority of which is well documented and appropriately categorized.

In 1985 I began what was to become a lengthy process of editing and organizing this sound into 60 minute programs. This programming was initiated simply as a tool to help in the organization of so much sound. i.e.: organize the sound clips by railroad, or era, or location, locomotive type etc. By 1995 I had created some 75 different audio programs on compact cassette.

As a consummate collector of railroad sound I began to sample commercial sound offerings in the 1990s and I was astounded at what I perceived as marginal sound quality and dismal descriptions of the sound tracks. These sound tracks were more often than not poorly or incorrectly labeled if they were labeled at all. The only exceptions were a few excellent recordings offered on LP records by one or two companies.

With the sudden explosion in popularity and use of the internet I started to offer some of my programs on auction sites like eBay with astonishing success. It turned out that there were many more railroad audiophiles out there than I ever would have imagined.

Success often builds on success and I spent the next 10 years creating more programs from my archived sound to meet the growing demand. Additionally advances in editing and sound technology enabled me to now conserve old sound that I once thought irretrievable. At this point the list of audio cassette programs had grown to well past 200.

Two years ago I began the conversion to digital and this newer technology has enabled me to both improve on the quality of the existing programs and enable me to save even more of the valuable sound for new programs. This conversion process has required the reediting and reprogramming of all of the original cassette offerings with the necessary result of reconstituting of some programs and eliminating others. The list is ever changing and you will find the current version elsewhere on this website. The audio CD programs represented on this web page are the result of a virtual lifetime of effort.

I have made it my mission to record and acquire as much old original RR sound as I can locate and then to work it and remaster it into programs for others to enjoy.

I have been blessed with many hours of raw steam recordings by made by fellow railfans, many of whom I have chased trains with over the years, and sadly most of whom are now deceased. Some of this sound is absolutely priceless in view of the fact that the very machines that made this sound no longer exist. I have made it my personal quest to salvage as much of it as possible for future generations.

This editing and programming of old sound has been a daunting task. Most of the older recordings are noisy and fraught with people talking and other extraneous sounds, not to mention the result of just plain poor recording equipment and technique.

Over the years I have learned techniques to edit, remaster and clean up a great deal of the old sound recordings. The steam programs on the Erie, D&H, N&W, CB&Q and B&O represent just such an endeavor. It is only recently that I was technically able to clean up some of the original sound enough to make it usable to showcase in some of my programs. It historically requires a minimum of 2 weeks of conserted effort to put together a 60 min program of acceptable quality and since I am a “one man operation” you can see that I have been doing it a while.

I have made a real effort to maintain ever increasing high standards for quality sound reproduction and informational accuracy that has directly resulted in the discontinuation or consolidation of over 100 existing 60 minute programs simply because they did not meet my current standards. I have always been a sound aficionado and I started this whole endeavor because I was more often than not bitterly disappointed with the quality and accuracy of some of the “commercial” sound that was available for purchase. I promised myself that if it wasn’t quality, I would not produce it.

I have outgrown the internet auction venue due to the increasingly cumbersome and unnecessary rules, not to mention ever increasing fees. At this point I have decided to provide all of the necessary information and program data in a single accessible location for all who have a similar interest to view and rediscover this wonderful sound. Therein lies the reason for this website. Jay Winn