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Author Topic: Pasengers stuck overnight on DC EMUs due to ice.  (Read 3112 times)
broadgage
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« on: March 02, 2018, 07:13:01 pm »

It has been well reported that during the recent severe weather, that significant numbers of passengers have been trapped on DC trains in the cold for many hours.

These units are of course electrically heated using current from the conductor rail.
I doubt that the traction current failed, but presume that it could not be picked up due to ice.

I therefore suggest a minor modification so as to ensure heating in such circumstances in future.
Provide means to electrically* heat the pick up shoes in an emergency, manually controlled by the driver to select which shoes are to be heated.
A kw or so of heat should soon melt the ice and allow current to be collected to provide internal heating, lighting and other services.
This would NOT permit the train to move of course, the idea is to make conditions on board a bit better.
Once contact has been made the heater can be turned off, more ice or snow ON TOP the shoe or each side of it wont stop the current.
*The power for this heating would have to be from batteries of course.

An even simpler approach would to provide a propane blowtorch for manual defrosting.
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stuving
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 07:34:41 pm »

All London Underground lines have a fraction (a quarter or more) of their trains equipped with deicing sprays. That is perhaps suitable where services are quite frequent, and lines not too long, so trains can be run all night when necessary. It does seem odd that LU have been doing this for decades, so the equipment must be pretty standard by now, but heavy rail in London has never made any use of this kind of equipment (as far as I know). The numbers and mode of use would need to be adapted to the circumstances, but for services across the New Forest wouldn't be worth doing?
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 08:46:49 pm »

In the back of my mind I have a feeling that some 'Southern' units are fitted with de-icing equipment Huh
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 08:52:40 pm »

In the back of my mind I have a feeling that some 'Southern' units are fitted with de-icing equipment Huh

I did find mention of some fitments to passenger stock, as well as conversions to special de-icing trains and even trailers to hitch to an EMU. But I think they were all pre-war, or at least ages ago.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2018, 09:03:27 pm »

I did find mention of some fitments to passenger stock, as well as conversions to special de-icing trains and even trailers to hitch to an EMU. But I think they were all pre-war, or at least ages ago.

For example - a January 1939 build: http://www.bloodandcustard.com/HAL001.html

Quote
Unit withdrawn 22‑Jun‑67 after collision damage at Lovers Walk and disbanded 30‑Dec‑67. DTC 12193 to 2 BIL 2123 from Jan‑68. MBS 10726 converted to de-icing motor coach at Stewarts Lane and renumbered DS70268 and to unit 001 from 10‑Feb‑68, formed temporarily with a 2 EPB MBS.
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paul7755
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 09:31:58 pm »

In the back of my mind I have a feeling that some 'Southern' units are fitted with de-icing equipment Huh

I did find mention of some fitments to passenger stock, as well as conversions to special de-icing trains and even trailers to hitch to an EMU. But I think they were all pre-war, or at least ages ago.
It is Southeastern that have a subset of class 375 EMUs fitted with deicing equipment, added a few years ago after a issues in Kent.
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bobm
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 09:33:39 pm »

In the case of the train to Weymouth stranded in the New Forest last night the traction current *did* fail despite repeated attempts to reset it.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2018, 09:44:48 pm »

In the back of my mind I have a feeling that some 'Southern' units are fitted with de-icing equipment Huh

I did find mention of some fitments to passenger stock, as well as conversions to special de-icing trains and even trailers to hitch to an EMU. But I think they were all pre-war, or at least ages ago.
It is Southeastern that have a subset of class 375 EMUs fitted with deicing equipment, added a few years ago after a issues in Kent.

Thanks for that Paul.  Not quite time for the knackers yard just yet then..... Wink

Just out of interest I have asked the 'experts' on the WNXX Forum (which I know you look at).
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stuving
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2018, 11:00:32 pm »

Of course the real counter to loss of external power, for any reason, is big batteries! Also works with OLE.
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broadgage
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 12:27:54 am »

Of course the real counter to loss of external power, for any reason, is big batteries! Also works with OLE.

Or a diesel engine ? A ton of diesel fuel contains a lot more energy than a ton of batteries, and even with the weight of the engine is probably lighter and cheaper for emergency use.
Batteries are fine for short term use, but for heating an EMU for 16 hours to say 20 degrees when it is below zero outdoors I am a bit doubtful.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
grahame
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2018, 12:38:57 am »

Of course the real counter to loss of external power, for any reason, is big batteries! Also works with OLE.

Or a diesel engine ? A ton of diesel fuel contains a lot more energy than a ton of batteries, and even with the weight of the engine is probably lighter and cheaper for emergency use.
Batteries are fine for short term use, but for heating an EMU for 16 hours to say 20 degrees when it is below zero outdoors I am a bit doubtful.

What would these items cost?

How often would they be used?

How would they be maintained to ensure they were in order when actually needed?

What if they were spec'd for 20 degrees but the temperature went down to 15?
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broadgage
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2018, 10:18:41 am »

I doubt that fitting diesel engines to existing EMUs would be worthwhile except as part of a project to turn them into true bi-modes and permit of regular operation on routes not electrified throughout.

I feel however that new electric trains should include a relatively small diesel engine for proceeding at much reduced performance when the wires come down or the conductor rail ices up.
Also to provide heating and lighting when the train can not proceed due to signal failure, flooding or problems ahead.

Although in general I don't think much of the new IEPs, one of their few saving graces IMO is the fitting of limited diesel power to the nominally electric units.
Such a facility should IMO be considered  a requirement for all new EMUs.

It would be simple to keep the equipment in working order by regular uses in depots and sidings.

It seems that "the railway" is willing to spend vast sums of money to further reduce already very small risks to safety, yet totally ignores the real risk of cold injury, or in summer the risk of heat stress, during entirely foreseeable and regularly occurring breakdowns.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
Adelante_CCT
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2018, 10:27:56 am »

Although in general I don't think much of the new IEPs,

Really?? I thought you loved them!  Cheesy
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bignosemac
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2018, 12:23:19 pm »

More footage has emerged from the SWR train that was stranded overnight in Hampshire.



Start at 1m39s.
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