About Us

The Rizzoli Locomotive works was started in 1975 by a Tool and Die Maker in Northern California, that was trying to build a whistle for a 1.5″ scale 4-4-0 American.  There were no good plans available and the “off the shelf” whistles that the locomotive suppliers were selling all sounded the same.  So the challenge was to create a distinctive sounding whistle that would represent the locomotive well.  After a lot of looking at full size blue prints, talking to others in the hobby and a shelf full of “research”, we realized that building a good sounding whistle that would fit a 1.5″ scale locomotive was not as easy as it appeared.  There are quite a few variables that don’t scale and operating parameters that must be accounted for in the final design and that took quite a bit of research and testing.

After all the research, testing and refining, The Rizzoli Locomotive Works is pleased to offer steam whistles for the Live Steam hobby.

In 1999, The Rizzoli Locomotive Works added a line of amusement size whistles to the catalog for 15″, 16″, 18″ ,24″ and 36″ gauge railroads.

Full size whistles were always a fascination and in 2012, we were in the right place at the right time to meet Tom Gray, owner of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. He allowed us to build two full size whistles for his engine, the McCloud River No. 18. This started us on the way to experimenting with full size whistles and their physics.

In 2014, RLW acquired MD Whistles of West Virginia and we began producing full size whistles on a large scale.

Shortly after we started to produce full size whistles, we introduced repair work as part of our service. We have repaired and restored more than a hundred whistles in the last few years, it is an absolute privilege to be part of so many projects!

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