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  #11  
Old 19th July 2016, 18:53
richard thompson richard thompson is offline  
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My feeling is that the downgrading of the guards is just the first step towards Driver only trains. If one TOC gets DO trains accepted the rest will be pushed to follow. Richard


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  #12  
Old 26th January 2018, 05:58
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aussiesteve aussiesteve is offline
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G'day,
Driver Only commuter trains exist in many countries, including some regions of Australia.
And, next year, Driverless commuter trains will commence operation in smog hollow Sydney.
One facet of Driver Only commuter train operation, the need for the driver to stand up to check the platform being a physical benefit.
The ongoing obesity epidemic afflicting the so called civilized world also now pervading railway staff.
Is the guard really necessary for modern day safe working systems ?
Manual train protection in suburban smog hollow is virtually impossible due to traffic density.
Bunging the track shorting clip down on an adjacent running line being about it before another train appears.
In smog hollow, the guard is situated in the middle of the 8 car train to perceive curved platforms.
Can't go dragging cattle jammed in doors not espied around the curved platform.
Only on Waratah sets is the guard returned to the rear, the 8 car A set being indivisible and therefore no midtrain cabs.
However, with interurban trains plus suburban trains operating outside the Inner Metrop region, the guard must be at the rear.
Differing signal format found in the Outer Metrop region necessitated suburban guards changing locations at places like Berowra.
Hence a delay to the Outer Metrop suburban train occurs at such locations.
OK, for such services today, A sets could be utilized thereby negating any delay as the guard is permanently at the rear.
But, prior to the introduction of the A set, all other 8 car suburban trains required the guard to relocate.
Management had also concocted that the guard should become mobile within the train, to assume security duty.
But, the union quickly kyboshed such notions.
Plus, to be fair, during peakhour periods, the guard would have difficulty moving through the crammed full trains.
There are NO guards remaining on regional country passenger trains operating in NSW.
Mind you, we don't got very many regional pas jobs here in NSW today.
The driver being responsible for all necessary safe working procedures.
The onboard Passenger Services Superintendent only assisting with basic duty under direction of the driver.
And, with many PSS staff being female wearing high heeled shoes, one does wonder how manual train protection would be implemented.
Back in them good ole days, the Guard aboard the Silver Streak could not hoof through the train.
His caboose not provided with an end vestibule door.
He would need to jump down and sprint along beside the train.
Naturally NO Guard remains on that Silver Streak today, it being a designated WB (without brakevan) train.
I would presume that if and when ATP (PTC) is actually installed on the smog hollow Metrop, that the guard will become history.
Regarding Driver Only freight train operation, yes, this I have participated in, I have not participated in Driver Only pas operation.
DOO is perfectly OK, providing that the necessary infrastructure is in place.
This was generally not the case where I was performing DOO.
The combination of dilapidated track, locomotives and rolling stock did result in some unsavoury situations.
Manual train protection was not feasible, and such equipment was not provided.
Providing that all staff knew where they were at all times on the network, then potential collision was not a drama.
But, attempting to divide a stalled train during darkness by yourself on a 1 in 40 grade with NO walkways was a DRAMA.
OR, working underneath a wagon when the brake rigging had collapsed, during darkness also on a grade, likewise.
The rigmarole of a break-away, and the SIX times that you hoof the train to restore the situation by yourself.
Go back to find the situation, crank on handbrakes on the rear portion, return to the locomotive to hurl the brake valve into emergency.
OK, you coulda done that upon loosing the air, BUT, if it be just a burst hose, you ain't gunna find it especially in the dark.
You cannot close the brake tap on the wagon of the front portion of a break-away without the brake valve being in emergency.
The back pressure created can release the brakes and away it might go UNSTOPPABLE.
Hoof back to then shut that brake tap, and return to the locomotive to restore the air and then commence setting back.
ARE WE THERE YET ?
Bang crunch whallop, OK, snagged it, so give it a stretch to make certain.
Put the brake valve into emergency, and hoof back to hopefully where you remembered the break-away wagons are.
Yes, you jotted down the wagon code numbers.
Connect the hoses and open the air tap.
Wind off any hand brakes applied, to what was the rear portion.
Hoof back up front and restore the air and check the ETU monitor to ensure that you have legal pressure at the rear.
Make a service application to ensure that the system becomes fully equalized after that release, noting the ETU monitor.
Hallelujah, you can now resume the voyage.
If however, the auto knuckle had broken or pulled out, then you have even more hassles.
Naturally Train Control is blowing in your ear frequently about the now massive delay incurred.
I guess that the Lac Megantic DOO incident in Canada would proffer the worst case scenario possible.
Though, the same result could have occurred with two man crewing.
Again, providing that the necessary infrastructure is in place, then DOO is not a nightmare.
I am though a tad wary of DRIVERLESS train operation.
Steve.
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doo, gatwick express


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