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Rule books - old or new?

Discussion in 'Railway Operations M.I.C' started by Neil_Scott, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. aldfort

    aldfort Well-Known Member

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    Don't know. was a feature of gala's in past times to do shunting demo's at Dunster and the old boy that did it used a pole.

    As you have said nearly all of our stock is now vacuum fitted so shunting poles are not practical any more.
     
  2. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    The SVR is based on the old BR rule book (Which in turn, was only based on the 1933 edition of the rule books that the big 4 had, and was presumably an RCH / HMRI standard), our new revised rule book, I belive, should bea modernised version of that, to suit the SVR's needs, but don't hold me to that, as i have not seen it yet!
     
  3. Devonbelle

    Devonbelle New Member

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    On the Avon Valley Railway - the rule book is based on what was/has been in the national rule book over the past 5 years - modified to suit needs of the AVR. This means all current (national network) handsignals are used, key rules are included such as a shunt move stopping when sight lost of the shunt staff member by the driver - which I dont recollect was in 1960s R.B.s and came about of some terrible accidents in the 70s and 80s when ground staff were injured by their own trains, unbeknown to the driver. Devonbelle
     
  4. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member Friend

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    Strange that a Railway bans shunting poles, which, as well as providing quick and efficient coupling/uncoupling of loose - coupled trains, were also far safer, in that the shunter did not have to go between. I have seen several very dexterous users of poles over the years and I usd to be quite handy myself, although I'm long out of practice and a lot older.

    For 3 - link and Instanter couplings, they cannot be beaten, if you know what you're doing and are strong enough. For screw - link and vacuum - fitted vehicles, obviously you have to go in between and do your stuff. I saw on one of these posts about a new rule that said you should stop if the shunter goes out of sight during the move. I don't know about the rest of you, but, on the Severn Valley, we've been doing this as long as I've been shunting, which is well over 30 years.

    My drivers drummed into me, "If in doubt, ******* stop! If you lose sight of your mate, *******stop!" I have passed it on to my firemen, in the same terms.

    regards,

    jtx
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Current Group Standard rules require the driver to bring his loco to a stand two metres away from vehicles before easing up. OK with diesels, but what do others think about doing so with a steam loco. i think it can be most dangerous, especially with a vac only braked loco.
     
  6. Axe

    Axe Member

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    Why do you believe it is dangerous to bring a vacuum braked loco to a stand?

    Chris
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Vacuum brakes are relatively slow in their action. If you give a steam loco a whiff of steam, it also takes time to build up sufficient pressure to move and the steam passages also fill up. All this steam can create a problem in moving a loco a couple of feet. OK, it's one of the skill of driving to control it but it is far easier, and IMHO safer, to creep up to the stock rather than stop and start again. Steam braked locos are much easier in this respect.
     
  8. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member Friend

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    Yes, I once had an Inspector tell me, quite seriously, that on the Big Railway, my nicely - executed move on to the stock would be counted as a "controlled collision," which, when you think about it, is probably a fair, if a little OTT, description of the event. I pointed out, reasonably enough, that we were on the Severn Valley, not the Network and we could do without importing that nonsense, thank you very much.

    The problem with stopping short, and it grows exponentially with superheating and the size of the engine, is the danger of "grabbing too much," when you open the regulator again, thus filling the superheaters with a load of steam, which only has one way out and can easily overcome the brake. The safest way round the problem if you have stopped short, is to open the cylinder drain cocks. This gives the steam somewhere to go and saps the power delivered, giving you much finer control. I always do it if I stop short, which isn't very often these days.

    Incidentally, I was once shown a brilliant technique when reversing on to stock with a buckeye - fitted engine, (the only one we had was 60009 when that was here) If you roll up to the stock at the correct speed, which should be just enough to compress the buffers; with a shackle - fitted engine, you aim to hit the brake at just the right point, which stops the engine with the buffers compressed, but without jolting the coach: on the buckeye - fitted engine, you don't touch the brake, the engine compresses the buffers and engages the flap of the buckeye, then, as the buffer springs push the vehicles apart, the movement locks the buckey closed. No easing up, no steam on to tug the buckeye. I've seen it done and I've done it myself. It's quite beautiful when you get it right.:smile:
     
  9. Edward

    Edward Member

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    I fully agree with what you are saying, and have argued the point at length we people that we both know well. The idea behind the rule is to lessen the impact of any possible collision, and it's fair enough with Wescode braked units, but it does not reflect the reality of the steam loco. Especially vacuum braked ones, or those with a very high degree of superheat. To be honest, it's not ideal with certain types of high powered modern locomotive either.

    The rule has the effect of increasing the possibility of a collision, even though it may reduce the speed of any impact.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Another thing that makes the logic of it a bit absurd to me is the fact that, if you're not in control of your loco when you come to couple up, 6 feet/2 metres isn't going to make much difference; you're still going to hit the stock. It's also been put to me that you can stop further away (there's no maximum distance) but this kind of defeats the objective of the rule!
     
  11. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Surely the point that's being made by this rule is that by having the locomotive buffer up straight away may be because the train isn't ready for the locomotive or there is some need for the guard's authority before allowing it to buffer up.

    Take, for example, fitters working on the stock could be affected by an engine buffering up without the guard's permission. I assume that's why the rule exists.
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It's a bit vague on whether a driver must await a guard or shunters permission (and what is meant by the shunter being with you). The rulebook actually says the Driver must:

    • stop at any distance set out in the instructions for the class of
    traction unit involved
    • always stop the traction unit 2 metres from the vehicle
    • move forward only when authorised by the shunter (or when it is
    safe to do so if a shunter is not with you).
    Fitters should not be working on stock unless a not to be moved board (or similar block) has been placed. On the NYMR the instructions say that you can come on to the stock when running round unles there is a not to be moved board or tail lamp on. We frequently use radios and the guard will give authority from wherever he happens to be well before you approach the stock.
     
  13. Nigel Clark

    Nigel Clark Member Loco Owner

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    I think you'll find the WSR Rule Book is essentially based on the BR 1972 RB with inclusions from the 1950 (1961) book to fit heritage operation, much the same as the Swanage RB (which has just been re-issued and looks even more like the BR 1972 version).

    I suspect use of shunting poles has been banned because hardly anyone these days is skilled in their use, and inexperienced use could be dangerous to the individual. Whilst we are still permitted to use them at Swanage I haven't actually used a pole in anger for a while (I was taught at work on BR in 1981).
     
  14. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Well-Known Member

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    Having a look at the new SVR rulebook, shunting poles are permitted but the rule makes it clear that the person must be 'suitably trained and certificated' to use it.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Cripes! Does the same apply to a brake stick?
     
  16. Nigel Clark

    Nigel Clark Member Loco Owner

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    It's a shame actually as surely this is all part of what a 'heritage railway' is about. I recall on a 'working visit' to the Bodmin & Wenford a few years ago ending up showing a young volunteer shunter how to use a shunting pole. He was walking around with it using it as a brake stick but then going in between to couple & uncouple with instanters! the SDR used to (and I think still do) do proper shunting displays at their Gala's, we should be teaching the new generation of shunters the old arts before they die out (sounds like another job I could be letting myself in for at 71B!), blimey I can't be that old....can I?
     
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  17. Rumpole

    Rumpole Well-Known Member

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    I recall being given a crash-course in using a shunting pole by Cattman back when I was a boy cleaner, but like you the issue these days is that I don't get the opportunity to practice - pretty much all of our rostered shunters turns these days involve purely screws and buckeyes.

    I quite fancy a day on the ground up at Eldons some time though, plenty of stuff to use a shunting pole on up there; that's if the damn stock doesn't disintegrate first!
     
  18. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member Friend

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    On the SVR it's the same when running round, or when approaching stock first thing in the morning. A red board or tail lamp means stop short, then the fireman walks forward to find out what is happening. One would then be called on to the stock, but not until the offending item had been removed. In addition, with dining trains, we are mandated to stop short, then go and check with the dining crew that we are OK to come on. Common sense, really.
     
  19. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Well-Known Member

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    A sort of an update on the shunting pole issue. Although the SVR rule book does and will allow it, my shunting instructor says that they do not teach how to use one, so it could be seen as a bit pointless, you have to qualified to use one but you wouldn't helped to do so.
     

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