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1  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HST derailment, near Stonehaven, 12th August 2020 on: August 12, 2020, 02:20:05 pm
I don't think appropriate to post that photograph on here.  Its been removed from lots of other sites.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Parlimentary Transport Committee Meeting 26/02/2018 - Infrastructure Investment on: June 24, 2020, 08:25:12 pm

So, less than eight years to go then.  Cynical me says no way, based on recent trials on even the most basic of lines (aka CROSSRAIL)!  However, I really do look forward to having the experience of travelling up and down the ECML (East Coast Main Line) without a single signal in sight..... Roll Eyes
3  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Metrowest Status on: June 24, 2020, 05:52:10 pm
Well, I hope they have done a good study into the new Bristol East Junction layout as thats going to be a real 'pinch point'.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Parlimentary Transport Committee Meeting 26/02/2018 - Infrastructure Investment on: June 24, 2020, 05:42:03 pm
Well, good luck to them.  Its LEVEL 3 if they are going to remove all lineside signals.  Hope the freight companies and other users are aware of that..... Tongue
5  Journey by Journey / Chiltern Railways services / Re: Incident at Chalfont and Latimer - 21 June 2020 on: June 24, 2020, 10:18:33 am
No.  Not on the TfL» (Transport for London - about)/LU owned part of the route.  There is AWS (Automatic Warning System) between Marylebone and HotH (exclusive) and north of Amersham (exclusive).

Thank-you. The challenges of inter-running heavy and metro rail. I foresee some material changes ahead between Mantles Wood and Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Mantles Wood. Now there's a place name I haven't heard mentioned for over 50 years now.  I helped errect some of the last new railway telegraph poles there at the begining of my railway career. Grin
6  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Parlimentary Transport Committee Meeting 26/02/2018 - Infrastructure Investment on: June 24, 2020, 10:08:02 am
I'm intrigued by the description that trains will be able to talk to the track. Although I suppose Thomas and his friends have been doing it for years, so maybe I shouldn't be.

The announcement that £12m is being spent on equipping 33 new EMT» (East Midlands Trains - about) trains for digital signalling is also a bit of a revelation. So that's £360k per train. Presumably it costs less as the trains are new. How much extra will it be to retrofit older trains.

At that rate, how much will it cost to equip the majority of the fleet, assuming the plan is to eventually roll this out over most of the network? Feels like a lot to me. 

Wont Cross country trains, local services using the route and freight locomotives also have to be so equipped?

Depends which level of (E)TCS they (eventually) decide to go for. Its not mentioned in the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) announcement. If its going to be a real 'Digital Railway' then it will be Level 3 which completely abolishes all trackside equipment, but then all traction units using the line will need to be fitted, highly unlikely.  It will most likely be Level 2 which retains existing trackside train detection systems, but for fitted traction passes the movement authorities to the cab, but can retain lineside signals/signs if needed for non-fitted traction.  Thats how the current HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel)/THAMESLINK works (i.e. conventional signals on the outer shared sections but cab display authorities in the core section with fixed block signage for other non-fitted traction use).

By the way, I understand we are not allowed to call it the European Train Control System now.  Perhaps it should be called BTCS (BREXIT Train Control System)..... Roll Eyes
7  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Misuse of level crossings - highlighting but not limited to Marlow branch on: June 23, 2020, 07:09:29 pm
From this weeks NR» (Network Rail - home page) operating notice:

Quote
GW185 MAIDENHEAD TO MARLOW
BETWEEN MAIDENHEAD AND MARLOW UNTIL FRIDAY 02 OCTOBER 2020
An additional whistle board has been provided above the existing one, in both direction at the crossings shown below, requiring drivers sound both the high and low tones on the horn
Spade Oak at 0m 58ch
Vineyard 2 at 1m 08ch
Ivory Field at 1m 76ch
Mill Lane at 2m 29ch
8  Journey by Journey / Chiltern Railways services / Re: Incident at Chalfont and Latimer - 21 June 2020 on: June 23, 2020, 03:56:49 pm
The RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) report will make interesting reading though (well, for me at least).

For me too. I am interested to know how many holes there were in this particular cheese. Never a single cause.

Edited to ask S+T-E: In addition to trainstops, are there AWS (Automatic Warning System) ramps on this part of the route?

No.  Not on the TfL» (Transport for London - about)/LU owned part of the route.  There is AWS between Marylebone and HotH (exclusive) and north of Amersham (exclusive).
9  Journey by Journey / Chiltern Railways services / Re: Incident at Chalfont and Latimer - 21 June 2020 on: June 23, 2020, 12:47:05 pm
The Metropolitan Line between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham is signalled to normal main line practice, using three or four-aspect signals.  As its TfL» (Transport for London - about) infrastructure there is no TPWS (Train Protection and Warning System) fitment, and as standard LU trainstops are fitted to the signals, the Chiltern trains are fitted with tripcock apparatus instead.  The Chesham branch (to the left in the photographs taken by II) is signalled with two-aspect signals to LU standards as the line is not used by 'Mainline' services.

I think I have a good idea what might have happened in this instance, but won't speculate on here.  The RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) report will make interesting reading though (well, for me at least).
10  Journey by Journey / Chiltern Railways services / Incident at Chalfont and Latimer - 21 June 2020 on: June 22, 2020, 07:59:02 pm
Apparently there was a serious operating incident at Chalfont and Latimer station last night (21 June 2020).  Details a bit scant at the moment but apparently a Chilterns Turbo was close to head on collision with an Northbound MET Train stood in the platform.  The Turbo stopped not more than a carriage length from the MET Train.  Trying to search out some more details.

Edit to add. Found a photograph here: https://twitter.com/BBCTomEdwards/status/1275110168104239110
11  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Parlimentary Transport Committee Meeting 26/02/2018 - Infrastructure Investment on: June 22, 2020, 02:18:25 pm
Well, first of all, a 'Digital Railway' is nothing new.  Mechanical interlocking lever frames have been around since the late 1800s and they are essentially a mechanical computer, all 0s and 1s, but processed with lumps of metal rather than electrons.

"Cynic mode" on....

...and I suppose it will lead to the abolition of the need to point lots of coloured lights, or wave bits of wood or metal at train drivers, and end up with lots of bits of reflectorised metal signs to point at them instead....

We have also had electronic interlockings since the early trails in 1960.

I really get annoyed by all the NR» (Network Rail - home page) claims of being a first.  But perhaps they don't have anybody left who remembers what was achieved in the past.

"Cynic mode" off  Roll Eyes
12  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Parlimentary Transport Committee Meeting 26/02/2018 - Infrastructure Investment on: June 22, 2020, 01:32:57 pm
...well its taken over two years to get this far.  I'll comment later.

From the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) website.

Quote
Thousands of hours in delays to be saved as UK (United Kingdom)’s first mainline digital railway introduced

The East Coast Main Line is set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link with £350 million of new investment to install state-of-the art electronic signalling designed to cut journey times and slash delays.

This huge cash injection – on top of £1.2 billion already earmarked to upgrade one of the country’s most important rail arteries – will fund the replacement of conventional signalling with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track. This will smooth the flow of trains, make journeys safer and reduce signal failures that every year result in thousands of hours of delays.

The upgrading of the line is just one element of the government’s plan for a 21st century rail network that will help spread prosperity to all parts of the country. A third of the United Kingdom’s population lives within 20 minutes of an East Coast Mainline station and together they produce 41% of GDP.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accelerated the roll-out of digital signalling to speed up Britain’s economic recovery as we climb out of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s part of a wider national plan aimed at introducing digital signalling on to the entire rail network in Great Britain.

The new technology allows signallers to know exactly where each train is at every minute of every journey. The East Coast Main Line is a mixed-use railway, with trains of different sizes and speeds, both passenger and freight, all using the same tracks. This smart signalling recognises these different trains, allowing train and track to talk to each other continuously in real-time. This ‘in-cab’ system will mean an end to conventional signalling at the side of tracks – first used in the Victorian era.

The introduction of digital signalling is also set to create high-skilled jobs across the supply chain, helping boost the economy as the country builds out of COVID-19.

More than 80 million journeys are made each year on the East Coast Main Line, linking London with Edinburgh, with congestion on the route compounded by signalling nearing the end of its useful life. The upgrade, between London King’s Cross and Stoke Tunnel in Lincolnshire, will ensure that more travellers reach their destinations on time. Delays in the south of the route have a knock-on effect further north, so the modernisation work will make life easier for people along the entire length of this vital national asset.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

As the country recovers from COVID-19 we want to speed up our economy and reap the benefits of new transport technology. The Victorians gave us the world’s first great rail network and now it’s our turn to be modern transport pioneers and build on that great tradition.

Upgrading this country’s conventional signalling system, and giving drivers technology fit for the 21st century, will boost train performance, cut delays, improve safety and support the supply chain.

This is just the beginning. In time, we will digitise signalling right across the country to make good on our promise of better reliability and punctuality for passengers.

Passengers shouldn’t have to worry about missing connections or being late home to see their children, and I’ve been clear that getting the trains to run on time is a personal priority.

Today’s funding comes on top of the government’s investment of £1.2 billion between 2014 and 2024 to improve passenger journeys on the East Coast Main Line, creating capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, speeding up journeys and improving reliability for passengers.

Development work is already underway with Network Rail to roll out digital signalling on further routes including sections of the West Coast Main Line, Midland Main Line and Anglia from 2026, leading to safer, more reliable, more resilient railways. The government also announced today that £12 million is being invested in fitting out 33 new trains for the Midland Main Line with digital signalling equipment.

Toufic Machnouk, Programme Director of the East Coast Digital Programme, said:

Today’s announcement is a big step towards transforming the network for the millions of passengers that use the East Coast Main Line and a welcome endorsement of the partnership approach that the rail industry has adopted to deliver Britain’s first inter-city digital railway. The funding detailed by the Secretary of State is very significant and will enable the vital building blocks needed to build a modern, right time railway.

David Horne, London North Eastern Railway (LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about)) Managing Director and Chair of the East Coast Digital Programme’s Industry Steering Board said:

After LNER and other operators on the East Coast successfully introduced brand new fleets, in-cab signalling will be the next exciting step we take to maximise the benefits of the technology that Azuma (Brand name for Class 80x trains on LNER) and all the trains on this route offer. This investment is good news for all customers, who will see even more improvements in services, reliability and sustainability.

Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said:

This vital signal investment is great news for the Midland Mainline and all the passengers we serve. Our new state of the art bi-mode trains will now come into service during 2023 with digital signalling technology ready to take advantage of the greater efficiency and flexibility this route upgrade will offer.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with the Night Riviera sleeper - December 2014 onwards on: June 22, 2020, 10:40:56 am
Night Riviera to start running again Thursday and Friday nights only from 25 June 2020, but no sleeper berth accomodation: https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/journey-information/on-board/night-riviera-sleeper

Quote
From 25 June we will start to run an overnight service again on Thursdays and Fridays only, in both directions.

For the first three weeks we won’t be selling cabins, just seats.
After this, we plan to increase the frequency, and start offering cabins, on a gradual basis.

When customers arrive, they will see that the train includes a sleeper carriage and the café. These won’t be used but are there to help keep colleagues up to date with their training. We recommend that you bring drinks and snacks with you.

Services will show in online journey planners as an overnight train, rather than a sleeper.
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: June 21, 2020, 09:31:53 am
Everybody should have the right to protest (peacefully) about what they believe is wrong, but don't have the right to impose their particular viewpoint on others by physically disruptive activity.  I suspect the HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) protests will just fizzle out once people get bored with it all, and things will move on.  For example, why don't they put their energies into asking about the money advertised on the big red bus that was promoted during the last election?  Thats quite likely to get huge backing from the general public.....

Just a personal view.
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Future NR Engineering Occupations on: June 19, 2020, 01:39:55 pm
This cropped up elsewhere.  Never seen it before: http://www.gensheet.co.uk/ROTR.htm
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