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  • Location
    South West Midlands or sometimes Wielkopolska
  • Interests
    Polish railways
    BR early - mid 90s.

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  1. The loadings on trains I see going by the window in Birmingham (Cross Country servics mainly) seem to vary for reasons that defy explanation. Trains at traditional work day travel times are empty, maybe around 20 on there at best. Trains at other rather bizarre times seem to be a lot fuller. Around 1730hrs on a Saturday seems to be peak loading now. Perhaps it's time to go home for tea after a hard days shopping. As a rule though and by nothing more than a rough count as they swish past I would say most trains are between 10 and 25% loaded (in relation to total seats on board) with the occasional one pushing the 50% mark. It is certainly a lot different to the beginning of April when the train crew were in the majority. Andy
  2. A former signalling colleague tells of the time he cadged a bit of coal off a loco crew for his stove. They left him what he descirbed as a filing cabinet sized lump in the cess for him. Loco coal seemed to come in all sorts of random size lumps. Andy
  3. Held at New St and after such a spirited get away from Landor St. Tsk I did wave. Andy
  4. Humbrol 64 for unfitted grey Humbrol 133 is OK for bauxite (perhaps better for the later freight brown colour) and is a semi gloss colour so good for adding decals before knocking back with a matt varnish. Andy
  5. But sticking to his guns hasn't solved the problem has it? My point that either could solve the problem quite easily stands He wants to cross but won't say where, the signaller won't give him permission till he does and refuses to confirm where the farmer is. The result we see in an on line video. The farmer already appears to have the gates open, what is his next move?. Revert to Stop look and Listen? If he does where does he look and listen from? The driving seat? How does he listen above the noise of the tractor engine? Where is the front end of his tractor whilst he is looking from the driving seat? The apparent obstinance of both parties has created a potential risk which with a bit of sense and communicating clearly between them without the ego clash would have made everyone's life just a little bit better. Both had the information required to facilitate the safe crossing of the railway. Neither wanted to divulge that to the other. We are not party to the procedure that was outlined when the phone was installed , we only have one side of the story. To me this is a mess and both sides are equally culplable. Caradoc has the right idea. Something has gone wrong here. We don't know where, but starting a complaint rolling will get the whole thing looked at from the crossing procedure (there is obviously a conflict of understanding here) through to the events on the day. This is not about blame, it's about making things as safe a possible Andy
  6. To be honest the actions of both are a little questionable if the account is a 100% accurate reflection of events free from exaggeration for the audience. Either of the sides in the conversation could have easily solved the problem, but both decided to be obstinate it appears. We don't know what exact instruction the crossing user was given on using the new phone. Perhaps they were told to make sure the signaller knew which crossing they were intending to use. That could go either way: they ask the signaller or they tell the signaller. Either way a mess has resulted that has the potential to introduce more risk into the system by crossing users just not calling in future as it's too much hassle Andy
  7. A former colleague of mine back in the mid 1990s, used to cause a minor disturbance of the peace at the local garage by popping in every month on his moped and asking for "a pound's worth of unleaded" The pre war 2 gallon can whilst quite a strong can, (unlike its WW2, 4 gallon cousin) but being purely a can with a screw top, it required some form of funnel or other device for dispensing if the contents were go where they were desired. . It also didn't have much room for expansion on warm days. taking the lid off in summer, I would imagine, could be quite a risky business. Andy
  8. The whole point of that video is to show some sort indignation when things don't go your way (very popular nowadays) when either side of the conversation could have been sensible and sorted it out. For the farmer to start the conversation as a quiz : Where am I? is not helpful or conducive to a sensible dialogue. It automatically raises the hackles and introduces an element of doubt as to his ability to use the crossing in a safe manner. If you don't know where you are how do you expect me to trust you to do as you are required to cross the line if you can't get a grasp on the most basic of information such as your location? (Let's not forget that everyone else who calls a signaller from trackside will announce invariably who and where they are at the start. Why a crossing user should have been given a different instruction, I don't know) The signaller to react with, well you tell me, causes a defensive response from the crossing user and if you don't know I'm not telling you as you should know that. Either side could have resolved this without getting on their high horse. Now both sides think the other is either reckless or incompetent Had the farmer announced where he was at the outset, problem solved. Had the signaller, (having not had that location information at the outset,) confirmed where the farmer was, problem solved I suspect the farmer had only one thing to deal with: crossing the line, the signaller possibly had a bit more on their plate. Net result, is frustration on both sides. What was the farmer going to do now? Sit there all night or take the risk? I sometimes despair how people can turn a simple task into something so complicated, especially when it would have been so easy to have not created a problem in the first place. Andy
  9. I see that as an added complication that could lead to further misunderstanding and frustration . The number of times I hear a 4 digit code read back with numbers mixed up is quite common. Even three consecutive numbers can cause problems For instance this week I have had 895 read back as 859 and 3110 as 3101. Even one person giving the same 4 digit number in three different orders in one conversation. Was it 7153, 7531 or 7135? and they had it written down in front of them You really do need to listen very carefully. Lea Green is different from Lea Green Hall, but the Lea Green is the bit that sticks. It's familiar, the bit at the end is overlooked by the brain that siezes on the familiar and discards the seemingly irrelevant. Our brains do things like this all the time. How many farmers have been trained to be aware of these things and to double check everything? Andy
  10. I would use the action of a switch to operate the points through the wire Easier and more reliable. Andy
  11. Was that you I saw trundle past Landor St on Thursday night, or were my eyes playing tricks on me? Andy
  12. 6 of one half a dozen of the other. The crossing user refuses to say where he is so the signaller is unable to confirm. The sigaller won't confirm where they have received a call from, so the user can confirm. Easily resolved with a bit of common sense from both sides. Only takes one of them to state the location. The best person to do so is the one making the call, they know where they are. or at least think they are. The risk with the farrmer asking the signaller where he is that the famer just agrees with whatever is stated without actually listening, after all the signaller can see where he is, who's to doubt their word? For instance . "Which crossing am I at?" "Lea Green No 2" " Yes, I'm at Lea Green, Can I cross?" The answer is yes, but the farmer only heard Lea Green and is actually at Lea Green Hall, 7 miles away. No clear understanding reached, No elimination of equipment fault or human error, just a half a conversation in which neither side has listened properly. Now consider this ""Hello signaller I want to cross the line with my tractor and crop sprayer" "Which crossing are you at?" " Lea Green " " Which Lea Green crossing? " "Lea Green Hall" Now if the signaller has Lea Green No2 as the location being called from, further action can be taken to make things safe, as something has obviously gone wrong here. Either the user is confused, or the equipment is faulty in some way The onus is on the signaller to ensure the safety of the crossing user and the trains. The farmer taking charge of the conversation removes that Perhaps the farmer could visit the signalbox in the middle of harvest season when there are hundreds of such calls every day and it is critical to get these things right as well as do all the other signalling stuff. Easy and safest answer is to close the crossing and the farmer goes the long way round by the local roads and then he wouldn't have to cross 5 times to cross once. Seems he already has the gates open though. Andy
  13. Cant say I've ever noticed that before, thanks, but I was thinking more of the loose end of the vac pipe being clattered by a couple of ton of coal rushing past. Andy
  14. I've always wondered how many times the buffers or vacuum pipe followed the coal during this operation. Andy
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