Trains running with a loss of power

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Trains running with a loss of power 21/03/2021 at 20:04 #138025
hotwellian
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Hi,

When a train is running with a loss of power, thus slow, I have noticed that if there is a next train created when the loss of power train reaches its destination, the loss of power is not carried over to the next working. Surely in real life the train would still have a loss of power. That is course if there is no fitter called out.

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Trains running with a loss of power 21/03/2021 at 23:13 #138030
GeoffM
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That's the thing: since we don't (yet) have the concept of a fitter, it's not unreasonable for the sim to have a semi-broken train fixed when it has a few minutes at its destination for the driver and/or fitter to diagnose and hammer appropriately. There are cases when it's right, and there are cases when it's wrong.
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Trains running with a loss of power 21/03/2021 at 23:16 #138031
andyallen4014
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Indeed - that old "Switch it all off and leave it for 5 minutes then see how it goes" fix which does often do the trick!
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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 00:16 #138035
DonRiver
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Had to do that with buses quite often. We had one bus which, it turned out, that if the engine was started while the doors were open, the transmission would silently refuse to go into gear and would stay in neutral. First thing the driver notices is when they release the parking brake and the bus rolls backwards... took me by surprise to say the least.

Turning it off and on again was the first thing I tried... then starting the engine from the engine bay, calling the traffic office... took about fifteen minutes to figure the solution out by chance.

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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 09:29 #138038
Late Turn
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GeoffM in post 138030 said:
That's the thing: since we don't (yet) have the concept of a fitter, it's not unreasonable for the sim to have a semi-broken train fixed when it has a few minutes at its destination for the driver and/or fitter to diagnose and hammer appropriately. There are cases when it's right, and there are cases when it's wrong.

Not so much a hammer as a watering can. On our units at least, a loss of power is more often than not down to coolant issues, easily (if only as a short-term fix) by a quick top-up. There's other times, though, when the coolant pours out the bottom as quickly as it's put in the top! How about a random probability of the loss of power being carried over to the next working, with a phone call to confirm either way? That said, they'd invariably look to get a set swapped out at the first opportunity if it couldn't be fixed and was likely to lose significant amounts of time, so it's maybe not as simple as that.

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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 09:34 #138039
trolleybus
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I always associate watering cans with Pacers. Is that fair?
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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 10:42 #138041
Late Turn
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trolleybus in post 138039 said:
I always associate watering cans with Pacers. Is that fair?

15x, 170 too...they’ve all got a strong association with watering cans, WD40 and “Tyseley tape”!

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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 11:46 #138042
DonRiver
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Hmm, I have a thought. Looking at Kings Cross with its handy EMU depots and captive trains as an example.

The WTT could include a timetable, 5Z01, for a replacement EMU to emerge from the depot and go to Kings Cross. And a timetable 5Z02 for the return working. These timetables would not normally run but would be mentioned in the WTT notes.

2B42 is an EMU service to Kings Cross which usually forms 2C70 after it terminates, but you're informed 2B42 has a loss of power, and you (the SimSig player) have decided that Control have elected to replace the unit with a spare from the depot. So you (the player, acting as Control) duplicate the 5Z01 timetable and alter its entry time to five minutes from now, and set it to form 2C70 when it terminates. It duly appears, runs to the station, forms that working, and runs off to Cambridgeshire. And when 2B42 staggers into the platform, from the F2 menu you instruct the driver they're to run to the 5Z02 timetable and stagger on to the depot. Or, you could hold the train somewhere earlier, pick up the phone (by pressing F2 and altering 2B42's timetable) to change "N: 2C70" to "N: 5Z02" as the action to take at the last timing point.

Presumably on the real railway they have formal or informal contingency plans to cover this kind of unit swapping and this is how we could do that in SimSig with minimal fuss!

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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 13:34 #138043
geswedey
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To all intents and purposes that is exactly what happens, a TOC will request to Network Rail for paths to and from a depot or similar and they would be created as a VSTP in TRUST (same as creating a new timetable F4 in SIMSIG) by a NR Train Running Controller. or a standby train at a terminus would have a timetable assigned to it and the faulty train becoming the standby either for the fitter to work on or for a later move to depot. similar moves can be made when units need to have their diagrams altered to change the end of day locations for maintenance or changeover purposes.
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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 13:39 #138044
DonRiver
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Yep, the point is that if there's a dormant timetable already in the WTT set up for these purposes to serve as a template, it's quicker than making a new timetable from scratch or determining which of the scheduled ECS moves to duplicate.
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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 14:52 #138045
bill_gensheet
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DonRiver in post 138044 said:
Yep, the point is that if there's a dormant timetable already in the WTT set up for these purposes to serve as a template, it's quicker than making a new timetable from scratch or determining which of the scheduled ECS moves to duplicate.
or the timetable author could set up a few with low %age decisions and the incoming train type be set as 'EMU-failed / v.slow / 65mph'.
The decision will provide the 'control' phone call.
There's a couple for HST's in Edinburgh 93, and some 27's will go pop in Edinburgh 84.

What might be interesting is a way for a decision %age to be linkable to difficulty level.

Bill

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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 16:02 #138046
postal
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bill_gensheet in post 138045 said:
DonRiver in post 138044 said:
Yep, the point is that if there's a dormant timetable already in the WTT set up for these purposes to serve as a template, it's quicker than making a new timetable from scratch or determining which of the scheduled ECS moves to duplicate.
or the timetable author could set up a few with low %age decisions and the incoming train type be set as 'EMU-failed / v.slow / 65mph'.
The decision will provide the 'control' phone call.
There's a couple for HST's in Edinburgh 93, and some 27's will go pop in Edinburgh 84.

What might be interesting is a way for a decision %age to be linkable to difficulty level.

Bill
And then at the termination point use the decision to define the next working which would be the scheduled working or 5XNN ECS working to depot. Lots of TTs have a hot spare sitting for large parts of the day and it would then be the control decision to step that to the scheduled working. The thing to remember whenever getting into control decisions like that is that missing one next working may impact right through the rest of the day as trains in the chain downstream of the missing working will not appear.

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Trains running with a loss of power 22/03/2021 at 19:05 #138050
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postal in post 138046 said:
bill_gensheet in post 138045 said:
DonRiver in post 138044 said:
Yep, the point is that if there's a dormant timetable already in the WTT set up for these purposes to serve as a template, it's quicker than making a new timetable from scratch or determining which of the scheduled ECS moves to duplicate.
or the timetable author could set up a few with low %age decisions and the incoming train type be set as 'EMU-failed / v.slow / 65mph'.
The decision will provide the 'control' phone call.
There's a couple for HST's in Edinburgh 93, and some 27's will go pop in Edinburgh 84.

What might be interesting is a way for a decision %age to be linkable to difficulty level.

Bill
And then at the termination point use the decision to define the next working which would be the scheduled working or 5XNN ECS working to depot. Lots of TTs have a hot spare sitting for large parts of the day and it would then be the control decision to step that to the scheduled working. The thing to remember whenever getting into control decisions like that is that missing one next working may impact right through the rest of the day as trains in the chain downstream of the missing working will not appear.
The latter issue is why I have chosen to put all the 'control' aspects into the rules and decisions. So the 27 example goes something like this :

Decide at Markinch $1L2100 becomes $1L2101 (OK) or $1L21X1 (failed, v slow, 35mph)
At Kirkcaldy $1L21X1 becomes $1L21X2, dwell = 5
A 100% decision also generates a message 'Driver advises loco problems'
At Burntisland $1L21X2 stops to await rescue.
A 100% decision also generates a message 'Control advise 1L21 failure at Burntisland, assisting loco arranged'
Rule on 1Z99 to enter Townhill 5 minutes after $1L21X2 arrives Burntisland
1Z99 joins $1L21X2 (care needed to choose locations where this is possible)
Proceed Edinburgh as $1L21X3
$1L2101 and $1L21X3 BOTH join 0L22 to become $1L22 as the 'Next' so any chains / re-entry rules northwards are kept clean.
$0L21X3 to Haymarket (2 loco)
Rule 5 mins to $0L21X4 entering Haymarket
$0L2101 and $0L21X4 BOTH become $0L24 as the 'Next', the loco for 1L24

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Trains running with a loss of power 03/01/2022 at 21:08 #143323
chrisdmadd
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What I find more frustrating is when a train is running low on power the sim seemingly reduces speed by a percentage of the linespeed. So if you put said train on the slow lines the train goes even slower. This is obviously not how a train with reduced power works in real life. Id find it more realistic if there was a decrease in acceleration rather than percentage of line speed. If ive ever ran with low power the train would get up to a certain max speed regardless of the running line it is on.
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Trains running with a loss of power 04/01/2022 at 01:14 #143331
jc92
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chrisdmadd in post 143323 said:
What I find more frustrating is when a train is running low on power the sim seemingly reduces speed by a percentage of the linespeed. So if you put said train on the slow lines the train goes even slower. This is obviously not how a train with reduced power works in real life. Id find it more realistic if there was a decrease in acceleration rather than percentage of line speed. If ive ever ran with low power the train would get up to a certain max speed regardless of the running line it is on.
Perhaps instead it should be a percentage of the trains max speed, rather than line speed?

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Trains running with a loss of power 04/01/2022 at 02:43 #143332
Chromatix
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The actual effect on train performance would also depend on the type of train, and this is probably something that should be encoded into the individual performance profiles.

Some trains (notably 185) are hilariously overpowered for normal running, to the point where they routinely shut down one or more engines for large parts of their journey. Having one of those engines be out of commission entirely would almost be a non-event, resulting only in a 33% reduction in acceleration, not in top speed. The driver might start getting worried if two engines go out...

At the other end of the scale, a 1st-generation DMU is typically a bit underpowered from the start - but many sets will have several engines, so losing just one of them isn't too much of a disaster. The worst affected type would be a 2-car set including a Driving Trailer (which only has two engines); the least affected might be a pair of power-twins running together (with 8 engines between them). The more typical scenario would be a 3-car set with four engines.

Conversely, a HST is normally equivalent to a strong Type 5, but if one power car goes down, it turns into a Type 3 or even a Type 2, depending on how much of the remaining power is sapped by the ETH load (which you can't turn off without cooking the passengers). It would be reasonable to expect a large (say 50%) impairment to acceleration and also some noticeable impairment to top speed. Indeed I believe the rules say a HST isn't allowed to run at 125mph on one power car, due to details of the braking performance relying on double-ended control of the brake pipe.

There aren't really all that many ways to get a partial failure of an AC electric loco, except by having to cut out one traction motor, which would be a 25% impairment to acceleration for any UK type besides the 89 or 92 (which have six motors). Note that the 91 is capable of 140mph running by design, and tractive effort requirements generally scale with the square of speed, so losing one traction motor should still leave it capable of 120mph, a barely noticeable deficit from the practical line speeds available on today's railway. A passenger service hauled by a 90 shouldn't expect any real problems from one bad TM, as that's still a very powerful loco with a more modest design speed.

An interesting case is when you have an overheating 50 - not at all unknown at the height of summer. It was recommended (and I think in some cases enforced by the control logic) to "baby" the loco in the case of overheating by limiting to Notch 5 (of 7). This is effectively a true "partial loss of power" which wouldn't have much effect on accelerating from a stop, but might affect top speed and hill-climbing ability. Most diesels would be susceptible to a similar effect in case of a blown turbo; the exceptions I think would be the two-strokes, which are more likely to pack up entirely if they don't have positive intake pressure.

What SimSig currently models seems to impose a worst-case HST power car failure effect on every type of train, including those that should be significantly more resilient.

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Trains running with a loss of power 04/01/2022 at 10:33 #143336
Jan
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jc92 in post 143331 said:
chrisdmadd in post 143323 said:
What I find more frustrating is when a train is running low on power the sim seemingly reduces speed by a percentage of the linespeed. So if you put said train on the slow lines the train goes even slower. This is obviously not how a train with reduced power works in real life. Id find it more realistic if there was a decrease in acceleration rather than percentage of line speed. If ive ever ran with low power the train would get up to a certain max speed regardless of the running line it is on.
Perhaps instead it should be a percentage of the trains max speed, rather than line speed?

I thought that's already the case, and a quick test run seems to confirm my memory.

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Trains running with a loss of power 04/01/2022 at 17:38 #143345
bill_gensheet
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Chromatix in post 143332 said:


A passenger service hauled by a 90 shouldn't expect any real problems from one bad TM, as that's still a very powerful loco with a more modest design speed.

A fair proportion of the Anglia 90's were just left running on 3 and only got fixed when down to 2.
You noticed if you got a 4 motor one.

As for the main posting, I think the concept 'reduced power' is always going to be too simple for most of the real life scenarios.
If a timetabler wants more control then it will need customised train types.

Some adjustment to how it works might help - maybe by setting weight / acceleration down not just top speed.

Bill

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