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Old 31st August 2019, 08:10
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aussiesteve aussiesteve is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Bathurst
Posts: 421
The End of the Train

Having squizzed a recent image by Chris, and made a comment about it, I am pondering the UK situation.
Freight trains and Driver Only Operations.
I have just snavelled the RSSB Gort 3056, aka working manual for freight trains.
And, will peruse it in detail later off line.
I have squizzed mention of the Tail Light.
But, have not noticed any mention of a so called End of Train monitor unit.
For DOO here and in Kiwiland, there must be a working ETU at the rear of the train.
This provides various information on the lead loco display monitor panel.
Including brake pipe pressure at the rear of the train.
The ETU being connected to the rear wagon brake pipe hose.
And communication with the lead loco via radio.
There is also a version of such now in use with ECP brake system freight trains.
But, normal two man freight trains operating here do not require the ETU, merely the ubiquitous red flashing tail light.
Or Battery Operated Guard, as we dubbed it when freight trains went to WB (without brakevan) working.
The ETU is mandated on ALL USRR freight trains operating on a main line regardless of crew numbers.
The FRA mandating this subsequent to an incident involving a freighter possessing mid train helpers.
The train became divided at the Mid Train Helpers SUSPICIOUSLY while the train was stopped.
Due to more weight trailing the mid train helpers, when the train took off, the two halves got further apart.
The brake pipe taps had been closed between the front portion rear wagon and lead mid train helper unit.
Hence NO air leak to the brake pipe to apply the rear portion train brakes.
Then SUSPICIOUSLY, the auto knuckle pin was raised to uncouple.
The train departed and continued merrily on it's way with the crew unaware that they were now being chased by their second section.
This event becoming public after a motorist whinged to the coppers that while stopped at a level crossing, a train rattled past with NO head lights or honking hooters.
Was the crew asleep ?
NO, they were then miles away ahead of the second portion.
The crew were able to eventually halt the rampaging second section by radio control of the mid train helper throttle and engine brakes.
The FRA quickly mandated the ETU which would display both the rear brake pipe pressure plus ALSO permit an emergency application of the brakes from the ETU.
After squizzing the system in Kiwiland in 1999, I was impressed by the equipment.
At home, I recommended to management plus the union that such a system be employed here.
Alas, management whinged about the cost, and the union whinged that DOO would quickly occur if the system was adopted.
Sadly, our NSW normal air brake freighters continue to rattle today with just a BOG.
Has the system ever been trialed in the UK ?
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