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The Remembrance Line- The campaign to save the Folkestone Harbour Branch

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Austerity, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Sounds a modern day variant of the late Victorian "stud contact" systems used where residents couldn't stomach the look of overhead wires but there was not enough money for a conduit system. The trouble was that with horse manure around to jam up the works, the studs sometimes remained live which had shocking results. Hastings used the Dolter stud contact system.

    Doubtless present day technology could sort things.

    PH
     
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  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Torquay adopted the Dolter system but found that too many horses were getting electrocuted so it was abandoned in favour of overhead supply. It would be interesting to know if the French system mentioned is 100% reliable - as far as the protection of pedestrians in concerned. We have all experienced some issues with technology on occasions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  3. As well as everything you have said, 35B, there is also the fact that preserved railways rely heavily on volunteers and the outcry in local media and such about 'volunteers' being 'in charge of an open ground level electrical supply that can kill' would mean any such proposal would be a complete non-starter. The preservation scene has plenty of people who object to many aspects of it as it is and the inevitable foot high headlines along the lines of "Just because a few train spotters want to play electric trains our children are put at risk from a third rail that can kill" would mean it would never be sanctioned in the corridors of power. Even if it was only energised while trains were running.

    (You can all debate the rights and wrongs of such arguments at length. And probably will)

    Secondly, you can be sure that a condition of any such scheme would be that the whole route would have to be very securely fenced, which would have to be very securely maintained. Not only is there the cost implications of that, but it would set the photographers off on a meltdown of epic proportions.

    As I say, it's never been and never will be remotely likely to happen. The preservation of electric trains is just too niche an interest to be attractive enough to make all the battles, hoops and red tape financially viable to negotiate.
     
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  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I do take the idea of complacency very seriously, as does the "big railway". The rule is to treat electrical supplies as live at all times, and I'd be wary of anything that undermined the safety of that assumption, particularly with top contact 3rd rail.

    As for the mechanics of current collection, there are plenty of ways that trains could collect current. The challenge is that this conversation is in the context of the preservation of southern region 3rd rail DC units. While I have no problem with battery operation, or loco haulage, of 3rd rail units, I struggle with the idea that one of the fundamental features of their design should be changed like this.
     
  5. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Oddly, there are a number of instances in mainland Europe of volunteers operating electric railways or tram ways, albeit the ones I can immediately think of have overhead wires rather than 3rd or 4th rail. In fact, I can think of at least 3 locations in the UK where the same is true for overhead wires.

    I believe overhead often is higher voltage, although, as the old adage goes 'it's not the voltage that kills you, its the current'.

    Steven
     
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  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Beamish, Crich and Sandtoft (tram and trolleybus respectively) operate d.c. overhead, though the ground level 'stud contact' system remains extinct, so far as full sized working examples in the UK go.
     
  7. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Overhead wires are not accessible by the public or staff without some effort (i.e. a ladder). Ground level conductors can easily be tripped over by staff / trespassers. Hence why the DfT / ORR / HSE are relatively relaxed about the likes of Crich, but have stated many times that they will not permit top contact conductor rail to be operated by anyone other* than BR / LU.

    *(Note Volks electric railway at Brighton is exempted because (i) It is owned by the local authority who are deemed 'competent' to manage such an installation, (ii) It only uses a maximum voltage of 110V and (iii) It has been constantly operating for over a centurary. Were it being proposed as a new build today it would never receive authorisation.
     
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  8. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    It doesn't matter what you or any other enthusiasts think.

    The Government (or their agencies) have decreed that top contact 3rd rail MUST NOT be installed ANYWHERE. Even Network Rail are not allowed to install it any more (other than for track layout modifications and new sidings) and if the likes of the Uckfield / North Downs / Marshlink get electrified it MUST be with Overheads.

    Read and digest https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwio3afSq5XWAhXIVRoKHWBbCaoQFggoMAA&url=http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/17621/dc-electrification-policy-statement.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHXfUA6UhrStVVc5V83grXpV8SiFA

    Also note that DC Conductor rail is fundamentally incompatible with many bits of legislation including the 1989 “EAW Regulations ” (which require precautions to be taken to
    avoid death or personal injury from electricity at work activities).

    In such an environment there is zero chance of preservationists being allowed to play with it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  9. Fireline

    Fireline Well-Known Member

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    If anyone sees my will to live, can you please let me know? I've lost it....
     
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  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    That interpretation of ORR's is questionable, but I agree with the effective impact of it for preserved railway operation.
     
  11. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    So that will be a complete and absolute no - until it's cheaper and more politically expedient for the Government to say 'Yes', of course!

    In this life, there are few absolutes - it all depends on how the procedures are written and a realistic assessment as to whether what is written is what will happen.

    Steven
     
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  12. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    As I remember it was always the rule on the Southern and on LT not to step on any rail so you made sure you never stepped on the wrong one. Certainly we were told this at the time of a visit to Neasden to photograph the Pannier Tanks back in 1969, imagine that today, a group of enthusiasts wandering around a working EMU depot! I'm pleased to say we all survived.
     
  13. Peter Wilde

    Peter Wilde New Member

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    I think Tom's point was more about the potential of a dummy third rail to create complacency in the general public - kids trespassing, etc - rather than to staff. I think it has validity. Children living near a heritage line with dummy third rail might well not understand that on Network Rail a bit further down the road, the third rail was deadly.
     
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  14. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    Is it time to suggest that EMUs could run on the Ardingley branch if connected to some form of steam or diesel power generation yet? This conversation normally follows that loop at some point…

    Simon
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    3rd rail i would say will be a step to far for any preserved railways insurers, as well as the ORR, the only way you will see any EMU work electrically is if its coupled to a motor luggage van, on battery power, then you will have to have recharging facilities, one possible option may be to convert some MLV'S to Deisel electric by fitting a deisel generator set to power traction motors that way, you still have the outline and the ability to create the power to power an EMU ,
     
  16. Why is this 'oddly', given that we are discussing ground level supply, not OHL? Oh, hang on, thankfully here comes some common sense...
    Exactly.
     
  17. You may find it when Steven proposes OHL between Tenterden and Bodiam :p
     
  18. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Returning to the original subject of the thread, I haven't visited since the last train ran but from the photos the area looks like it is now an asset to the town and the station looks like it is being developed to a standard that will also be an asset. So looks like a success to me and should be celebrated.
     
  19. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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  20. brmp201

    brmp201 Member

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