Train an unusually long time in section

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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 04:40 #120359
TUT
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Deliberately stupid question coming up.

I've always assumed that 'an unusually long time' is deliberately broad and open to interpretation. It's a judgement call, based on experience.

But, since I was asked 'how long is an unusually long time' I thought I'd check: is there any guidance given, perhaps buried somewhere, as to what should be considered an unusually long time. I know we like to have everything in black and white these days.

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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 09:22 #120360
kbarber
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TUT in post 120359 said:
Deliberately stupid question coming up.

I've always assumed that 'an unusually long time' is deliberately broad and open to interpretation. It's a judgement call, based on experience.

But, since I was asked 'how long is an unusually long time' I thought I'd check: is there any guidance given, perhaps buried somewhere, as to what should be considered an unusually long time. I know we like to have everything in black and white these days.
When I was at signalling school (autumn 1978... yeah, I know, back before Noah went in to the Ark) there was absolutely no formal guidance.

In reality, formal guidance would be quite a problem. One section I personally worked (as a trainee, it was abolished before I passed out) was under 250 yards long. It was a toss-up whether Train Entering Section or the train itself would arrive first. At the other extreme, when Chelsea Basin was switched out (which was most of the time) the section from Kensington South Main was nearer 10 minutes. And that's just tbe boxes I signed. There was one night shift, sometime in 1979 IIRC, when Leytonstone High Road was out of switch and we were on the block from Junction Road to South Tottenham (and probably way back round the North London as well) because we could only pass about 4 trains an hour. And as for the Central Wales line (a section in excess of 30 miles...)!!!

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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 13:16 #120362
Steamer
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kbarber in post 120360 said:
And as for the Central Wales line (a section in excess of 30 miles...)!!!
Which section was that?

I thought the record holder was the 25 miles from Carnforth North Jn to Settle Jn.

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 14:52 #120363
GeoffM
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I had in mind four minutes (extra) in a section but I don't know where I got that from. I'm also not a signaller! But with the 25+ mile sections others have mentioned, that doesn't seem sufficient in those cases.

But are we talking about from the signaller's perspective or the driver's perspective? In the latter case after being delayed, they should approach the next signal as if it were on, whether that's half a mile away or 25 miles away.

SimSig Boss
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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 15:24 #120364
Ron_J
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There’s no formal guidance issued currently nor has there ever been to my knowledge but if a signaller knows that a class 1 usually takes 6 minutes in an Absolute Block section and it has been 15 minutes and counting then he knows something is up...
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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 16:04 #120365
GeoffM
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GeoffM in post 120363 said:
I had in mind four minutes (extra) in a section but I don't know where I got that from. I'm also not a signaller! But with the 25+ mile sections others have mentioned, that doesn't seem sufficient in those cases.
I remembered where I got that 4 minutes from - caffeine must have kicked in . it's the default IECC alarm time for a track occupied longer than expected (an ARS alarm).

SimSig Boss
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Train an unusually long time in section 12/09/2019 at 16:44 #120367
TUT
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GeoffM in post 120365 said:
GeoffM in post 120363 said:
I had in mind four minutes (extra) in a section but I don't know where I got that from. I'm also not a signaller! But with the 25+ mile sections others have mentioned, that doesn't seem sufficient in those cases.
I remembered where I got that 4 minutes from - caffeine must have kicked in . it's the default IECC alarm time for a track occupied longer than expected (an ARS alarm).
Interesting, thank you

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Train an unusually long time in section 13/09/2019 at 08:20 #120377
Giantray
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As a Signaller, you will know the area you work, the length of Signal Sections and time taken for trains of varying types to traverse those sections. You get a feel for it. Then you will notice if a train takes longer than usual to traverse a section. There is no set time limit because as mentioned above, Signal Sections/Block Sections can vary from a few yards to several miles, also line speeds vary, TSR/ESRs are imposed, and trains travel at different speeds dependent on type.

Geoff, we do not have ARS at TBROC, is the alarm you mention standard for ARS or is it peculiar to IECC?

Professional Railwayman since 1981. Railway Historian (SER, LCDR)
Last edited: 13/09/2019 at 08:22 by Giantray
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The following user said thank you: kbarber
Train an unusually long time in section 15/09/2019 at 10:43 #120428
KymriskaDraken
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Giantray in post 120377 said:
As a Signaller, you will know the area you work, the length of Signal Sections and time taken for trains of varying types to traverse those sections. You get a feel for it. Then you will notice if a train takes longer than usual to traverse a section. There is no set time limit because as mentioned above, Signal Sections/Block Sections can vary from a few yards to several miles, also line speeds vary, TSR/ESRs are imposed, and trains travel at different speeds dependent on type.
Indeed. It's part of your training when you are learning the box. After a while you just "know" when something isn't quite right.

In this instance you advise the Signalman in rear (send 6-2 to the box in rear under old school SGIs), place or maintain signals on the opposite/adjacent line to Danger and caution the Driver of the next train and ask him to report what has happened to the train. You can also try and contact the train by GSM-R, smoke signals or telepathy.

Kev

Kev

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Train an unusually long time in section 15/09/2019 at 11:23 #120429
Late Turn
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KymriskaDraken in post 120428 said:
Giantray in post 120377 said:
As a Signaller, you will know the area you work, the length of Signal Sections and time taken for trains of varying types to traverse those sections. You get a feel for it. Then you will notice if a train takes longer than usual to traverse a section. There is no set time limit because as mentioned above, Signal Sections/Block Sections can vary from a few yards to several miles, also line speeds vary, TSR/ESRs are imposed, and trains travel at different speeds dependent on type.
Indeed. It's part of your training when you are learning the box. After a while you just "know" when something isn't quite right.

In this instance you advise the Signalman in rear (send 6-2 to the box in rear under old school SGIs), place or maintain signals on the opposite/adjacent line to Danger and caution the Driver of the next train and ask him to report what has happened to the train. You can also try and contact the train by GSM-R, smoke signals or telepathy.

Kev

Kev

6-2 was, in latter days at least, only intended for use where there were more than two running lines (so that a second train could be signalled from the box in rear, on another line, whilst the first was busy being an unusually long time in section) *and* where a train had already been accepted but not yet entered the section. It's come out of the regs altogether now, but I'm not sure whether it's still contained in special instructions at the few locations with multiple running lines?

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Train an unusually long time in section 15/09/2019 at 16:22 #120430
Zoe
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Late Turn in post 120429 said:
6-2 was, in latter days at least, only intended for use where there were more than two running lines (so that a second train could be signalled from the box in rear, on another line, whilst the first was busy being an unusually long time in section) *and* where a train had already been accepted but not yet entered the section. It's come out of the regs altogether now, but I'm not sure whether it's still contained in special instructions at the few locations with multiple running lines?

I've just had a look through the various regulation books and amendments and it seems that (on the GWR at least) 6-2 was first introduced in 1937 in relation to intermediate block signals where it was to be sent to the box in advance if a train should an unusually long time elapse between the train entering the intermediate block section and it arriving at the intermediate bock home signal. The modern usage related to lines in the same direction seems to have been introduced in 1960.

Last edited: 15/09/2019 at 16:25 by Zoe
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