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Some thoughts about the railway

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18 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

These coaches are the same basic design as the new Caledonian Sleeper.  Have there been any complaints about noise and rough riding on that? 

 

Yes I believe there have

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                                                                                                                    Nova 3 Update

 

After last weeks experience on this train I thought I would give it a second go. I'm glad I did.

Forget everything I said about the last one, this was completely different. The ride quality was as good as could be expected. No knocks or bangs. I think the other one was a Friday afternoon bogie, there was definitely something wrong with it.

 

The only things that are the same are the seats. Very hard cushions and seat backs. I hope the mattresses in the sleepers have more give in them.

 

But the biggest selling point is that it is a rake of trailers and a locomotive. It raised the roof of Huddersfield station when it pulled out. I shall have to go up the valley to hear them when at full bore.

 

Today's train was set 11 propelled by 68026 Enterprise from the Scarborough end.

 

So its a thumbs up for the new trains.

 

Peter

 

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                                                                                                                      Steam locomotives on the main line

 

Back in the days of BR and SLOA there was a 60mph speed limit and designated steam routes and if a line was electrified, steam traction was automatically banned.

 

Now we have steam loco`s authorised to run at 90mph on the main line, so what has changed.

 

Have the overhead wires been lifted up? Are the loco`s lower? Are they using anti-flashover water?

Or was it that BR was being too cautious?

 

Your thoughts please.

 

Peter

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My thoughts are that experienced gained in running steam trains on designated routes in the BR/SLOA era showed that the trains could run faster than 60mph in perfect safety and that there was a very good case for allowing them to do so, as there were many instances in those days of late running steam trains causing havoc with the timetables.  The designated routes were chosen for the facilities to turn and service the locos on an out and back run, so there were usually suitable triangles at each end or a turntable.  Tender first running was restricted to 40mph in steam days and AFAIK this still applies.  BR was being cautious but not IMHO too cautious.

 

There is no reason not to run a steam loco that conforms to the loading gauge on a line with OLE.  Flashovers are less likely to be caused by exhaust steam than by heavy rain, and electrified railways do not cease to operate when it's raining!  There's an argument that sulphuric acidic matter in the smoke of coal fired locos is damaging to the OLE, but to no greater extent than that in the diesel fumes of the normal traffic that uses such routes.

 

The overall speed limit for steam hauled trains was raised to 75mph some years ago, to give the trains, which were still timetabled for 60mph running, some recovery leeway for dealing with late running.  It is, AFAIK, still the general limit with a few locos cleared for 90mph running.  Further speed restrictions are applied according to driving wheel diameter; I believe the 6' diameter Halls, Black 5s, and B1s are restricted to 60mph and 8Fs and other smaller wheeled locos to 50mph.  I'm not saying that enthusiastic crews on a well running loco that is riding comfortably don't go over a little sometimes, but steam operation on main lines has a very good safety record; the only incident I can think of at the moment is a SPAD and near miss at Wooton Bassett, sorry, Royal Wooton Basset, which was a driver error, and not to do with the loco or it's speed.  In fact, not that it is an advisable way to test brakes especially when you are about to foul the Badminton cut off which has a down South Wales HST crossing your path, the train pulled up very well on a full emergency 'put the lot in' brake application.  The loco in this case was accelerating off a TRS, and the driver erroneously cancelled the AWS warning.  He was doing just over 60mph, a good performance for a Bulleid Light Pacific that had just climbed Dauntsey Bank.

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A feature of SLOA rail tours that doesn't happen now was the run-past. It allowed passengers on the train to get a lineside shot of it as well A corral was built at Appleby for the purpose. The Welsh Marches trains also did a run-past at Craven Arms.

 

Peter

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19 hours ago, The Johnster said:

My thoughts are that experienced gained in running steam trains on designated routes in the BR/SLOA era showed that the trains could run faster than 60mph in perfect safety and that there was a very good case for allowing them to do so, as there were many instances in those days of late running steam trains causing havoc with the timetables.  The designated routes were chosen for the facilities to turn and service the locos on an out and back run, so there were usually suitable triangles at each end or a turntable.  Tender first running was restricted to 40mph in steam days and AFAIK this still applies.  BR was being cautious but not IMHO too cautious.

 

There is no reason not to run a steam loco that conforms to the loading gauge on a line with OLE.  Flashovers are less likely to be caused by exhaust steam than by heavy rain, and electrified railways do not cease to operate when it's raining!  There's an argument that sulphuric acidic matter in the smoke of coal fired locos is damaging to the OLE, but to no greater extent than that in the diesel fumes of the normal traffic that uses such routes.

 

 

There was a flashover at Liverpool St caused by a B1 a few years ago.

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32 minutes ago, DY444 said:

 

There was a flashover at Liverpool St caused by a B1 a few years ago.

I don't see that flashover from the OLE is a serious a safety issue provided the protection devices on the overhead line work as designed, to cut the power quickly before damage results that could bring the line down.  A train is very definitely earthed by virtue of sitting on the rails, so anybody touching it isn't in danger.  It's more of an operational inconvenience and if steam operation causes one every few years then that ought to be tolerable.  They happen reasonably often from things like pigeons landing in places where they can short the OLE to an earthed structure, vapourising themselves in the process. 

Edited by Edwin_m
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6 minutes ago, Edwin_m said:

I don't see that flashover from the OLE is a serious a safety issue provided the protection devices on the overhead line work as designed, to cut the power quickly before damage results that could bring the line down.  A train is very definitely earthed by virtue of sitting on the rails, so anybody touching it isn't in danger.  It's more of an operational inconvenience and if steam operation causes one every few years then that ought to be tolerable.  They happen reasonably often from things like pigeons landing in places where they can short the OLE to an earthed structure, vapourising themselves in the process. 

 

I wasn't implying it was a serous safety issue merely pointing out that it happened

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30 minutes ago, DY444 said:

 

I wasn't implying it was a serous safety issue merely pointing out that it happened

No problem, I just thought that some people might conclude otherwise as it sounds quite alarming! 

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1 hour ago, DY444 said:

 

There was a flashover at Liverpool St caused by a B1 a few years ago.

In believe that shortly before or after the Shenfield electrification was energised in 1949, a B1 in Liverpool St. station went into a slip on starting, and the resulting blast brought the wires down

 

 

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43 minutes ago, 62613 said:

In believe that shortly before or after the Shenfield electrification was energised in 1949, a B1 in Liverpool St. station went into a slip on starting, and the resulting blast brought the wires down

 

Would it be fair to say though that the technology of electrification has moved on significantly since than and protection is more robust?

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16 hours ago, RRU said:

A feature of SLOA rail tours that doesn't happen now was the run-past. It allowed passengers on the train to get a lineside shot of it as well A corral was built at Appleby for the purpose. The Welsh Marches trains also did a run-past at Craven Arms.

 

Peter

And Abergavenny, where the line could be clearly observed from laybys on the by pass; it's way too overgrown now!

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10 hours ago, DY444 said:

 

There was a flashover at Liverpool St caused by a B1 a few years ago.

2007 (might of happened again since then)

 

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11 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

I don't see that flashover from the OLE is a serious a safety issue provided the protection devices on the overhead line work as designed, to cut the power quickly before damage results that could bring the line down.  A train is very definitely earthed by virtue of sitting on the rails, so anybody touching it isn't in danger.  It's more of an operational inconvenience and if steam operation causes one every few years then that ought to be tolerable.  They happen reasonably often from things like pigeons landing in places where they can short the OLE to an earthed structure, vapourising themselves in the process. 

I am sure the 25kV going through the loco to earth wont affect any of the (now required to run on NR) electronic equipment (GSMR, AWS, TPWS etc) to go pop at all.

 

Unfortunately steam engines are no longer the 'dumb' locos they once were.

Edited by royaloak
more info.
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19 hours ago, Reorte said:

 

Would it be fair to say though that the technology of electrification has moved on significantly since than and protection is more robust?

No, it actually brought the wires down.

 

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2 minutes ago, 62613 said:

No, it actually brought the wires down.

 

 

Did then but that was 1949, I'm assuming the engineering and protection methods have changed in the meantime.

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15 hours ago, ajwffc said:

2007 (might of happened again since then)

 

 

That's the one

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13 hours ago, royaloak said:

I am sure the 25kV going through the loco to earth wont affect any of the (now required to run on NR) electronic equipment (GSMR, AWS, TPWS etc) to go pop at all.

 

Unfortunately steam engines are no longer the 'dumb' locos they once were.

 

True.  All of that might be damaged and the locomotive thus becomes a failure.  A total PITA and potentially very disruptive but not a safety issue in the sense that I believe was meant - ie the flashover itself creating a direct danger rather than it causing collateral damage to on board equipment.

Edited by DY444

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On ‎16‎/‎09‎/‎2019 at 12:52, 62613 said:

In believe that shortly before or after the Shenfield electrification was energised in 1949, a B1 in Liverpool St. station went into a slip on starting, and the resulting blast brought the wires down

 

 

 

13 hours ago, Reorte said:

 

Did then but that was 1949, I'm assuming the engineering and protection methods have changed in the meantime.

It would have been 1500V not 25kV for a start.  The arcing distance is a lot less but because the normal operating currents are higher on DC it's more difficult to detect a fault so it may have taken longer to shut off the power. 

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9 hours ago, DY444 said:

 

True.  All of that might be damaged and the locomotive thus becomes a failure.  A total PITA and potentially very disruptive but not a safety issue in the sense that I believe was meant - ie the flashover itself creating a direct danger rather than it causing collateral damage to on board equipment.

Has the failure bit ever actually happened?  I'd have thought the current would go through the metal body not through any internal wiring, rather like a plane can survive a lightning strike. 

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10 hours ago, DY444 said:

 

True.  All of that might be damaged and the locomotive thus becomes a failure.  A total PITA and potentially very disruptive but not a safety issue in the sense that I believe was meant - ie the flashover itself creating a direct danger rather than it causing collateral damage to on board equipment.

It should be no worse than the contact wire being brought down onto the top of any other train. The locomotive as a whole is a solidly earthed mass and the fault currents will pass round, rather than through, the various items of on-board equipment.

 

Jim

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8 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

Has the failure bit ever actually happened?  I'd have thought the current would go through the metal body not through any internal wiring, rather like a plane can survive a lightning strike. 

 

7 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

It should be no worse than the contact wire being brought down onto the top of any other train. The locomotive as a whole is a solidly earthed mass and the fault currents will pass round, rather than through, the various items of on-board equipment.

 

Jim

 

No idea which is why I said "All of that might be damaged".  FWIW my view is that it is unlikely but I guess the question should be directed at the person who raised it rather than me.

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I am not aware, from my Control career, of a train being crippled by an OLE trip. What we did have one day was, in Glasgow, a train coming off the Springburn branch at Bellgrove Junction which picked up a tree branch in the pantograph. This left the train stranded across the junction, blocking all lines, and the trip blew the SSI signalling modules in the area ! This was at the start of the evening peak, and took a while to clear up.......

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I remember the signalling equipment at Queens Park being damaged years ago, when an ambulance crew used a defibrillator on a failed suicide who was touching the S&T rail. 

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