Jump to content

Eurostar test train on the SED


Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I read somewhere that when the Eurostar test train with 73205 + 83301 and the TC set ran on the South Eastern Division into Kent it had an RTC allocated class 47 attached. Does anyone know why this was, and why it couldn't just run 47-less like it could on the SWD please?

 

Thanks in advance 

 

Graeme 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

Are you sure it was a Eurostar set because they had very limited route clearance on the SWD. (basically only North Pole - Waterloo via either the WLL, or Kew junctions for diversionary purposes).  As far as I know there was only ever a single test movement via the latter and the set was hauled by 2 x Class 73.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Fat Controller said:

Was this the train used to test third-rail pick-up at high speed, prior to the delivery of Eurostar?

 

third rail at high speed????!!!! Generally not much above 100mph, about half the normal TGV speed!

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, retbsignalman said:

Hi,

 

I read somewhere that when the Eurostar test train with 73205 + 83301 and the TC set ran on the South Eastern Division into Kent it had an RTC allocated class 47 attached. Does anyone know why this was, and why it couldn't just run 47-less like it could on the SWD please?

 

Thanks in advance 

 

Graeme 

 

I think at the time the explanation was that there was sufficient running over non-electrified lines/sidings to require something with more the 600hp.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Are you sure it was a Eurostar set because they had very limited route clearance on the SWD. (basically only North Pole - Waterloo via either the WLL, or Kew junctions for diversionary purposes).  As far as I know there was only ever a single test movement via the latter and the set was hauled by 2 x Class 73.

 

It wasn't a Eurostar.  It was a test train for the bogies/shoe gear intended for the Eurostar power cars.  It was formed of a 33/1 which was fitted with the test bogies, a modified 73 which took power from the shoe gear on the test bogies under the 33, and TC vehicles.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold
On 24/07/2021 at 12:28, JohnDMJ said:

 

third rail at high speed????!!!! Generally not much above 100mph, about half the normal TGV speed!

On BR a line speed of 100 mph or greater was officially 'high speed' (and I think without checking the Rule Book that remains the case).  Thus Eurostar trains ran at high speed on some parts of the SED 3rd rail network.  The UIC definition of high speed used on most of the major European mainland networks starts, if it hasn't been altered, at 200kph.  Hence all the initial new build.  'high speed lines' on DB count as high speed because they have a line speed of 200kph despite the maximum permissible speed being much lower than it is on SNCF LGVs.  

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mike!

 

2 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

On BR a line speed of 100 mph or greater was officially 'high speed' (and I think without checking the Rule Book that remains the case).  Thus Eurostar trains ran at high speed on some parts of the SED 3rd rail network.  The UIC definition of high speed used on most of the major European mainland networks starts, if it hasn't been altered, at 200kph.  Hence all the initial new build.  'high speed lines' on DB count as high speed because they have a line speed of 200kph despite the maximum permissible speed being much lower than it is on SNCF LGVs.  

 

It had often puzzled me how the NeuBauStrecke in Switzerland could be classified as 'High Speed' at only 200 kph!

 

Am I correct in thinking that, usually, lines are rated at at least 10% over line speed? (320kph tested to at least 352kph, for example)

 

For the distance of 540km London to Edinburgh, a TGV at 320kph could cover that in 1hour 42minutes non-stop! But that's a discussion for another thread! (Several HS2 threads are available!)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, JohnDMJ said:

It had often puzzled me how the NeuBauStrecke in Switzerland could be classified as 'High Speed' at only 200 kph!

 

 

When you look at the curvature & gradiants in Switzerland 200 kph is pretty "high" speed.

  • Agree 1
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a while since I needed to know, but I recall slightly different PTS rules for line speeds above and below 100mph.

 

I think the official 3rd rail record is (was?) about 114mph, by a 442. I imagine a 4REP on it's own could have bettered that, but may not have been measured. Don't know if eurostars or any more modern traction ever beat that.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A 4REP on its own could certainly better that, and did, which is why they were limited to 60 mph when running "light". My long-deceased informant who was on the test train concerned wouldn't tell me the actual speed (as apparently the whole process was meant to be kept secret) but did say that, surprisingly given the third-rail power source, they would have shown Mallard a clean set of heels.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

4 hours ago, SamThomas said:

When you look at the curvature & gradiants in Switzerland 200 kph is pretty "high" speed.

 

But aren't most of the NeuBauStrecke built in flattish tunnels?

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold
18 hours ago, Zomboid said:

It's been a while since I needed to know, but I recall slightly different PTS rules for line speeds above and below 100mph.

 

I think the official 3rd rail record is (was?) about 114mph, by a 442. I imagine a 4REP on it's own could have bettered that, but may not have been measured. Don't know if eurostars or any more modern traction ever beat that.

The matter of protection Rules and Lookoutmen etc was the original reason for the introduction of  the definition and the 'step' to '= high speed' was set at 100mph.

 

I'm not sure about this 10% overspeed business which as crept in more recently.  BR lines were always signalled to maximum line speed off the usual charts and braking curves with no allowance above the quoted speed.  SNCF have certainly tested some of the LGVs at a 10% (or more) overspeed but whether or not that was a later idea I don't know.  However SNCF LGV speeds need to be seen against the background of what is possible in terms of speed ranges that can be included in TVM and it might well have been the case that some lines were built with change later to a higher speed in mind when something came along to replace TVM.  But SNCF long ago found that the limiting factor on LGV running speeds is actually power consumption - so I have often wondered if HS2 will use a different version of physics in view of the speeds that are bandied about and why spend money to get a 10% overspeed if you aren't going to use it?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

The matter of protection Rules and Lookoutmen etc was the original reason for the introduction of  the definition and the 'step' to '= high speed' was set at 100mph.

 

I'm not sure about this 10% overspeed business which as crept in more recently.  BR lines were always signalled to maximum line speed off the usual charts and braking curves with no allowance above the quoted speed.  SNCF have certainly tested some of the LGVs at a 10% (or more) overspeed but whether or not that was a later idea I don't know.  However SNCF LGV speeds need to be seen against the background of what is possible in terms of speed ranges that can be included in TVM and it might well have been the case that some lines were built with change later to a higher speed in mind when something came along to replace TVM.  But SNCF long ago found that the limiting factor on LGV running speeds is actually power consumption - so I have often wondered if HS2 will use a different version of physics in view of the speeds that are bandied about and why spend money to get a 10% overspeed if you aren't going to use it?

 

IIRC the latest LGV build standard is 350Km/h (217mph) even though SNCF have said they have no plans to routinely run faster than 300Km/h (186mph)

 

The decision to opt for 250mph in the UK (and the extra costs* that brings in terms of slab track,etc) is therefore basically a bit of willy waving by Whitehall which is overcompensating for being a good 30 years late to the high speed rail party.

 

*Note:- A slightly lower speed would make virtually no difference to permissible curvature or tunnel dimensions and thus the route HS2 takes.

Edited by phil-b259
  • Like 1
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is perhaps worth remembering that there is an important historical difference in driving standards between the UK and France. UK drivers tend to drive up to the speed limit rather than keep to the timetable, French drivers, on the other hand, drive strictly to the timetable (which is always based on lower speeds than the line limit) and only accelerate up to the line limit when a train has been delayed en route. IIRC, SNCF drivers' bonuses were related to their ability to keep within plus/minus two minutes of the booked time. In the early days of Eurostar when I was typically making six or seven return trips a month, I quickly discovered that I could work out who was crewing the train just from the way it was driven, and with a French driver one rarely got the "this train is now travelling at 300 km/h" announcement on the LGV because the timetable was based on 270 km/h.

 

Eurostar had to pay regular "fines" to Railtrack following early arrivals at Waterloo but never for trains which had SNCF drivers.

 

One other point about LGVs is that they were always tested before they opened at much higher speeds than would be permitted once they were opened to traffic , sometimes 50% plus higher. I don't know whether this has changed since the fatal accident on the LGV-est extension, but I was told by a senior SNCF manager that one of the reasons that it was done was to highlight any unforeseen design problems - a legacy of the first LGV route through Bourgogne where some of the vertical curves proved to be too tight and speed limits had to be imposed to prevent trains from taking off as they breasted summits.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bécasse said:

It is perhaps worth remembering that there is an important historical difference in driving standards between the UK and France. UK drivers tend to drive up to the speed limit rather than keep to the timetable, French drivers, on the other hand, drive strictly to the timetable (which is always based on lower speeds than the line limit) and only accelerate up to the line limit when a train has been delayed en route. IIRC, SNCF drivers' bonuses were related to their ability to keep within plus/minus two minutes of the booked time. In the early days of Eurostar when I was typically making six or seven return trips a month, I quickly discovered that I could work out who was crewing the train just from the way it was driven, and with a French driver one rarely got the "this train is now travelling at 300 km/h" announcement on the LGV because the timetable was based on 270 km/h.

 

Eurostar had to pay regular "fines" to Railtrack following early arrivals at Waterloo but never for trains which had SNCF drivers.

 

One other point about LGVs is that they were always tested before they opened at much higher speeds than would be permitted once they were opened to traffic , sometimes 50% plus higher. I don't know whether this has changed since the fatal accident on the LGV-est extension, but I was told by a senior SNCF manager that one of the reasons that it was done was to highlight any unforeseen design problems - a legacy of the first LGV route through Bourgogne where some of the vertical curves proved to be too tight and speed limits had to be imposed to prevent trains from taking off as they breasted summits.

The bonus for 'on-time' running was known as the 'prime du charbon', and was based on readings on the Flaman recorder, which not only indicated speed, but recorded it. This was at a time where many UK locomotives didn't even have a speedometer. These days, a driver's performance is recorded on ATESS, and the data is carefully followed by the driver's line manager.
The problem with planned over-speeding is that TVM has to be isolated to avoid the driver having a SURV (sur-vitesse/ overspeed) . This needs a great deal of concentration on the line ahead; one of the contributory causes to the LGV-Est accident was, it was suggested, was that the driver had too many people in the cab, distracting him from his task. I mentioned the 'SURV'; this involves an emergency brake application, lowering of pantographs, Emergency Call to the control centre, and where possible the relief of the driver, followed by an examination of the driver's ATESS.

I had heard about the aerial exploits on LGV-SE from an old boss of mine, who had been involved in the tests. I believe they took place near Cluny, where the line leaves the Morvan plateau and descends the side of the Saone valley to Macon.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Evening.

 

 

I'm not sure about this 10% overspeed business which as crept in more recently.  BR lines were always signalled to maximum line speed off the usual charts and braking curves with no allowance above the quoted speed.  SNCF have certainly tested some of the LGVs at a 10% (or more) overspeed but whether or not that was a later idea I don't know.  However SNCF LGV speeds need to be seen against the background of what is possible in terms of speed ranges that can be included in TVM and it might well have been the case that some lines were built with change later to a higher speed in mind when something came along to replace TVM.  But SNCF long ago found that the limiting factor on LGV running speeds is actually power consumption - so I have often wondered if HS2 will use a different version of physics in view of the speeds that are bandied about and why spend money to get a 10% overspeed if you aren't going to use it?

 

When certifying anything as being 'fit for purpose', it is usually tested beyond its intended normal use; lifting hoists will have been tested above their rated capacity as a safeguard that they can handle their rating.

 

The LGVs are no different; by testing to 10% overspeed, it is known that the line will handle running speed.

 

IIRC, TVM430, the TGV's initial cab signalling system, was designed for 430kph. I can not speak for ETCS which seems to be taking over.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, JohnDMJ said:

Good Evening.

 

 

When certifying anything as being 'fit for purpose', it is usually tested beyond its intended normal use; lifting hoists will have been tested above their rated capacity as a safeguard that they can handle their rating.

 

The LGVs are no different; by testing to 10% overspeed, it is known that the line will handle running speed.

 

IIRC, TVM430, the TGV's initial cab signalling system, was designed for 430kph. I can not speak for ETCS which seems to be taking over.

The original in-cab system was TVM300 (initially designed for 270 kph maximum), installed on LGV Sud-Est and Atlantique. TVM 430 was a version which could transmit information in a less 'granular' form, with more steps of speed; it didn't relate to a 430kph maximum speed.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)
On 28/07/2021 at 13:02, bécasse said:

It is perhaps worth remembering that there is an important historical difference in driving standards between the UK and France. UK drivers tend to drive up to the speed limit rather than keep to the timetable, French drivers, on the other hand, drive strictly to the timetable (which is always based on lower speeds than the line limit) and only accelerate up to the line limit when a train has been delayed en route. IIRC, SNCF drivers' bonuses were related to their ability to keep within plus/minus two minutes of the booked time. In the early days of Eurostar when I was typically making six or seven return trips a month, I quickly discovered that I could work out who was crewing the train just from the way it was driven, and with a French driver one rarely got the "this train is now travelling at 300 km/h" announcement on the LGV because the timetable was based on 270 km/h.

 

Eurostar had to pay regular "fines" to Railtrack following early arrivals at Waterloo but never for trains which had SNCF drivers.

 

One other point about LGVs is that they were always tested before they opened at much higher speeds than would be permitted once they were opened to traffic , sometimes 50% plus higher. I don't know whether this has changed since the fatal accident on the LGV-est extension, but I was told by a senior SNCF manager that one of the reasons that it was done was to highlight any unforeseen design problems - a legacy of the first LGV route through Bourgogne where some of the vertical curves proved to be too tight and speed limits had to be imposed to prevent trains from taking off as they breasted summits.

Well that looks like a pretty good misunderstanding of things for a start (apart from LGV overspeed testing)

 

1. SNCF driving technique is different from Britsih and SNCB technique in a number of ways and driving on a TVM equipped line, such as LGV Nord, is slightly different again because the Driver has a cab indication telling him what speed is required.  That speed is what is required to maintain time and LGV train timing used a part of the programme in the SNCF THOR train timing system which graphed the train based on permissible speed.  How do I know that - simples - having ridden in the driving cab on Eurostar trains in France with both SNCF and British Drivers (and Traction Inspectors) and by seeing the THOR program being used to retime a train to run a greater distance at full line speed.  Yes there is slack built in in certain places but it is done by timing the train at a lower speed than line speed, not by driving it more slowly that the timetable states.

 

2. SNCF driving technique is basically defensive driving and as it happens TVM effectively works on that basis as well.  An SNCF Driver reacts to a caution signal in a slightly different way from British and SNCB practice in that he reduces power and brakes immediately on seeing a caution aspect - and when sighting is really good that can cause a train to lose time (and it did).  That is the main way you could tell the difference between British/Belgian and SNCF Drivers but all drove to the timetable and Livre Ligne in France including on LGV routes - because they had to.

 

3.  SNCF Drivers don't get timekeeping bonuses and haven't for a long while (nor do they get a litre of wine a day any more - I'm not certain but I think both went at the end of .or not long after, the steam age).  They've definitely never got timekeeping bonuses on Eursostar and in one or two cases, especially one particular train, they would be well out of pocket if they had. 

 

4.  The Eurostar 'fine' to Railtrack was a Railtrack 'interpretation' of the penalty system and it only happened in respect of one train - the 17.10 PNO - LWO (on which I was a regular passenger).  The train inevitably got a clear run through the Tunnel which allowed it to pick up time and in addition it was given a run at Tonbridge by Railtrack's 'Signallers'.  The net result was that it got into an empty Eurostar path and ran in that path (and occasionally slightly ahead of it) into Waterloo - which invariably allowed me to catch the 19.30 from Paddington.  Railtrack counter charged it against the delays they were causing but in the end the whole thing was settled and no money actually changed hands although early running had to cease except in empty paths where a train coming through teh Tunnel with a clear run could get into an unused Eurostar path.

 

PS One thing forgot to mention earlier was the way Train Managers worked Eurostar trains.  On Eurostar Uk all TM duties were covered by Train Managers including the TM2 group who were trained to drive in an emergency in the Tunnel.  And of course all of them only worked on Eurostar services and had been carefully selected for that work with very few coming as former BR Guards.  On SNCF the Drivers and TMs were covered from wider links and did other work apart from on Eurostar ( one Lille turn was part of a lodge turn which worked outward from Lille to Lyon on a freight train).  SNCF TM2s were Drivers because the French unions would not accept anyone other than Drivers being trained to carry out driving duties however they only carried out the emergency (if needed) driving part of the TM2's job.    I will admit to a degree of bias but some of teh SNCF TMs were nothing like as good as Eurostar UK personnel when it came to such things as announcements or indeed showing their faces around te train while the Drivers covering TM2 duties only moved from where they were sat when it was necessary to get into the rear cab  before entering the Tunnel.

 

When you do something for your living you generally tend to have a greater and wider knowledge and understanding of what is planned and happening than is the case from simply riding on the train, especially when it is part of your daily responsibility for the best part of five years.

 

 

 

Edited by The Stationmaster
Correct typos+ add PS
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...