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Train Stopped In Section

Discussion in 'Railway Operations M.I.C' started by basher, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. basher

    basher Member

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    Heres a question for you....

    ....if a train stops in section (for whatever reason: failed locomotive, obstruction on line etc), the rulebook states that the driver and guard should confer, by walking towards each other on the right hand side of the train.

    The question is - is this the right hand side in the direction of travel, or the right hand side (ie the firemans side)? My railway do not operate ex-GWR locos, so the fireman is on the right - should the driver cross the footplate, and walk down the right side in the direction of travel?

    As a trainee guard being relatively close to passing out (especially with impending "scenarios" in the guards exam - ie train failed in section etc) any advice appreciated. Its certainly caused a lot of debate from the people I've asked in the mess-room!

    Discuss...
     
  2. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    The answer is actually in the question here, it states the right hand side of the TRAIN, not the right hand side of the locomotive, so, in short, yes, it is the right hand side of the train in the direction of travel.
    The side that the loco is driven from is not really relevent as the loco could also be running tender / bunker first.
    There are, how ever, occasions where in practice, it is more sensible, and practical, to walk down the left, when you are on a severe left hand bend, on the proviso that the driver or fireman can actually see you, as walking down the correct side, could result in you not being seen and having a long walk out of the section.
     
  3. mick wilson

    mick wilson Member

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    It all comes down to "coming to a clear understanding".
    Over the years just how many accidents/near misses could have been avoided if misunderstanding hadn't occured.

    Here's the first - Aylesbury - Loco in section, token returned to machine. Bubble car driver has a very nasty surprise on his way to Quainton Road.
     
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  4. Edward

    Edward Member

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    The rule is more aimed at the double track scenario, and to ensure you are not walking alongside an adjacent live running line. An updated version would ensure that you had arranged for the signaller to block any running line you were walking alongside to be closed to trains.

    The RHS rule applies to direction of travel, as correctly stated above. In this day & age, why mess about - use mobile phones!!

    As a matter of interest, what rule book are you working to?
     
  5. boldford

    boldford Member

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    On a double track railway the right hand side of the train is more often than not adjacent to a live running line. The main thrust of the rule is to ensure both driver and guard are on the same side. In a situation of poor visibility and or a noisy environment they could pass each other without knowing it if on different sides.
     
  6. Sponge Cake

    Sponge Cake New Member

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    As Mr Oldford states the RHS of the train on a double track section of railway will be the line in the opposite direction. Normal running of trains is from right to left as you look at that line from the cess.
    of course this changes on 4 track systems where it gets more complicated.
     
  7. sigsnguard

    sigsnguard Member

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    Then someone goes and introduces bi-directional working...

    Essentially its that good old "clear understanding" that means that at least the fireman and guard will meet their untimely end on the same track...

    I've experienced the need for both crew to get out the same side myself, once you're out of the van you need to know that somebody at the front is coming to meet you before both enginemen decide that there is now enough steam and pile off into the distance with your train!
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You should have put the handbrake on first!
    Easiest is to wait for the guard to walk up to the loco. Saves the loco crews shoe leather and any confusion!
     
  9. Sponge Cake

    Sponge Cake New Member

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    Indeed, the chiltern line is Bi Di on both lines in places. ideal for being run over.
     
  10. basher

    basher Member

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    Many thanks for the responses chaps.

    I was always told/taught that it was to prevent the potentially confusing situation of the driver walking down one side of the stock, to confer with the guard...who in turn is walking towards the loco, on the other side. Easier to do that it sounds!

    Oh and regardless of putting the handbrake on etc....I've had one driver who pulled up "in section" (reason now lost in the midsts of time) - after checking both sides, I applied the handbrake, donned the hi-viz and clambered down from the van, onto the ballast. Half way up the train, theres a sudden "pop" on the whistle, he creates vacuum, and away he snorts, downhill, regulator open, and the van handbrake still on! Luckily I managed to clamber on, and release it without too much trouble.

    Many thanks for your responses guys - especially Olly5764, which seems a fairly comprehensive viewpoint on it. Thanks!
     
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  11. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    One reason for not using mobile Phones is that on large sections of the Severn Valley, and I am sure the case is the same on other lines, they just don't work due to lack of signal.
    As for the rule book, most railways have their own, although a lot of them, including the one the severn valley work to, is based on the BR 1950 one.
     
  12. Sponge Cake

    Sponge Cake New Member

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    from what i hear from a contact in NR who is involved on the SVR the rule book is being revised and brought up to date.
     
  13. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    Eventually, but that has been the case for a few years now.
     
  14. 34007

    34007 Part of the furniture

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    The Fireman is always and has always been told to get out the drivers side....
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    LH drive or RH drive? Or either? Or facing which way? ](*,)
     
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  16. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    That is all well and good on a line where all the loco's are driven from one side, but not sattisfactory when you have a mix of left and right hand drive locos, as the guard has no reason (normally) to know from which side the loco is driven.
    As stated above, the right hand side rule is to ensure that the guard and footplate man are on the same side, and done end up chaseing each other round the train.
    As has also been stated earlier, the MOST important thing is that you COME TO A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING, and indeed, this rule is important in every aspect of railway work.
     
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  17. 5914

    5914 New Member

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    My understandin has always been that the righthand side (in direction of travel) was always specified on the mainline for two reasons (both applicable to two or more tracks):
    1. The walking surface is generally better, and a place of relative safety can be gained as your own train should not be moving. (This in the days before modern specified safe distances); and (probably more importantly),
    2. Should the reason for the train stopping have affected the other running line, it will be seen by the crew and action can be taken to warn other traffic.
     
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  18. boldford

    boldford Member

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    Perhaps harmonisation of rules is a task the HRA should address now the boiler CoP seems done. Seems sensible to me to agree and follow "best practice".
     
  19. hassell_a

    hassell_a Active Member

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    While I agree with 'best practice, I'm not so sure that this would ever be practical. As I understand it, one of the aims behind the very long running project to re-write the SVR rulebook is to remove some of the rules that are perceived as not being needed for SVR operation (generally, I'm not keen on this approach, as the rules currently are there if they are ever needed - you would be surprised at what situations can arise...). Now what one railway may not need, another railway may well use frequently - e.g. banking, absolute block working, ballast train working etc... So either the rule book will be huge to cover every railway's requirements, or it won't be comprehensive, and we'll all carrying round local supplements to cover these things.
     
  20. Sponge Cake

    Sponge Cake New Member

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    if you started to try to standardise the rule book you end up with something resembling GE/RT8000 which, in my case has spread from 1 very thick A5 folder to 2 folders full of small modules which build up to make one rule book. the rule booki have to play with at the weekends is one A5 booklet approx 10 - 15 mm thick that includes all the rules for that line
    people on NR are only issued the modules that affect them but its still a big document to play with my role demands i have most of the modules, some people only have a PTS and get a PTS handbook.
    the operation of every private railway is different. as long as a the safe operation of trains is achived does it matter which rule book is used. one signalling system works well on one line and other systems suit others. trying to make one book fit all will confuse and complicate the operation of each individual line.
    Dont fix what aint broke.
     

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