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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Thorg wrote:
Typical arrogant Brit with incomplete information jumping to conclusions. The areas mentioned see a grand total of a dozen and a half trains a day. These are near empty infrequent trains that run in areas where it's very common for road traffic to be held up by farm tractors.

They are an inconsequential fraction of hundreds of daily trains.

Being arrogant with saving people is good. Being arrogant about securing yourself isn't.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Do I get popcorn or say that we should leave this conversation here?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:17 am 
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Ameecher wrote:
Geo Ghost wrote:
Thorg wrote:
Typical arrogant Brit with incomplete information jumping to conclusions.


Hey, none of that please.
Totally unnecessary :roll:
It's fine. I like to be arrogant about not dying.

Best response ever.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Ameecher wrote:
18 trains a day? We have lots of lines here with much less than that with some very strong safety features. I don't call that arrogance, I call it sensible.
You can't run a passenger carrying train in the UK without them and frankly I'm amazed that you actively defend it.
If that's arrogant then whatever.

Okay, quiet day, so I want to expand on Ameecher's response here, with an example of one of the least used (but still somewhat regularly used) lines in the UK: Fort William - Mallaig. The Fort William - Mallaig line sees 4 trains, per direction, per day (8 total) under the current timetable. This increases to 6 trains, per direction, per day (12 total) in the Summer Months when the Jacobite (twice-daily steam services run by West Coast Railways) is running. It is located in the rural Scottish Highlands, and links a town of 10k people, with a port town, which has a population of just 800. The journey generally takes about 83 minutes from end to end.

The line is single track from Fort William Jn to Glenfinnan (15 miles out of Fort William), where there is a passing loop, it's then single track until Arisaig (32 miles from Fort William, 7.5 miles from Mallaig), where there is another passing loop, and the line is then completely single to Mallaig. The signalling on the line is provided via the Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) system. This is basically a development of the physical token system (which itself still sees limited usage in the UK).

Effectively, under RETB, a driver of a train will radio the signaller, tell them where they are (and where they want to go where applicable), and if the section ahead is clear, the signaller will issue the respective token for the next section, which is shown to the driver on an electronic display in the cab. A second token can then not be issued, which ensures a signaller cannot accidentally clear two trains onto the same section.

However, what happens in the event of a train not cleared for the section trying to enter it? Well, the majority, if not all the block sections are now also protected via TPWS, which will, in the event of attempting to pass onto the section without a Token, cause the brakes on the train to apply. TPWS can be manually overridden, so doesn't prevent a case of drivers intentionally passing onto a section, however, one would hope no driver would want to do such.

So yeah, these are the safety systems in place for a line that sees just 8 trains per day, so the fact that the US justifies lack of safety by the fact it sees "only" 18 trains per day is a bit silly in my personal opinion. After all, these trains on the Mallaig line are an inconsequential factor of the roughly 22,500 trains run each day in the UK.

If you want to read more about RETB: click here
Source for number of daily trains in the UK (does not include Metros/LU): click here
Mallaig Timetable: click here (Note: those labelled SHIP are actually ships, and therefore not included in this).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:44 pm 
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Most reasonable and interested persons in the US don't 'Justify' anything about our rail safety measures or lack thereof. I'd say we have a mix of desperate outrage, exasperated frustration, practical realism, and finally resignation, and I think the article I had shared articulates that.

We have many miles of railway here, particular in heavy rail metro systems, that are quite safe, with sufficient measures and at least ok records. However, there are thousands of miles that are lacking. In this case, as in many others in North America, this stems from regulatory capture and lax operations by railroads without much incentive to improve. Apart from a few industry lobbyists or freight railroad foamers, I don't think any Americans would argue against the need for better safety systems.

Ameecher, et al by no means do I want to argue against your point, but I do want to make a note that it might help to take on a bit of nuance. While the LIRR is a very busy operator, most of the traffic is on the inner 3rd rail EMU network on the western half of the island. The far outer single line diesel branches are a totally different beast. They definitely need serious infrastructure and safety improvements, but I don't think I've seen any bit of track with no signalling at all. As that portion of the wikipedia article lists no sources, I am not sure what branch they are referring to, if revenue track at all. It is somewhat misleading though to imply that some of the busiest commuter rail traffic in the country is traversing that track.

Pilot wrote:
So yeah, these are the safety systems in place for a line that sees just 8 trains per day, so the fact that the US justifies lack of safety by the fact it sees "only" 18 trains per day is a bit silly in my personal opinion.


Again, I think this is a bit of a fallacy to assume that all of the US constitute a monolithic block that is arguing to prevent the installation of safety measures.. I don't think any US agency has actually articulated that as their policy/justification, just one forum member with only 9 posts..

I'd hoped that this incident would spur a hastening of rollout for the already Federally mandated but unimplemented systems that would have prevented the crash, but unfortunately it's already been forgotten in our state constant emerging absurdities and crises

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:25 am 
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Ameecher wrote:
It's fine. I like to be arrogant about not dying.

Save the melodrama and let's talk about the facts.

Pilot wrote:
So yeah, these are the safety systems in place for a line that sees just 8 trains per day, so the fact that the US justifies lack of safety by the fact it sees "only" 18 trains per day is a bit silly in my personal opinion

There are two sections that are in dark territory. One section sees 11 trains, the other 7 a day. In the course of a century, neither section has seen any deaths that stemmed from the status quo. What has caused dozens and dozens of deaths over the years has been grade crossings.

Is it so wrong that efforts to reduce genuinely active causes of death via grade crossing elimination have taken priority over a theoretical risk that has been checked with operating procedure? Perhaps services in the UK are operated by crews that are incapable of consistently following procedure and it is necessary to prioritize a much more active danger.


supermop wrote:
Again, I think this is a bit of a fallacy to assume that all of the US constitute a monolithic block that is arguing to prevent the installation of safety measures.. I don't think any US agency has actually articulated that as their policy/justification, just one forum member with only 9 posts..

It's a fallacy in of itself to dismiss an argument based on an appeal to authority.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:55 am 
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Thorg wrote:
Is it so wrong that efforts to reduce genuinely active causes of death via grade crossing elimination have taken priority over a theoretical risk that has been checked with operating procedure?

Most railway lines in Britain doesn't feature any level crossings at all. The line Pilot mentioned only features them in the hand-countable numbers.

More than that, it even starts to feature flying junctions - forget interlocking points and signals.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:06 pm 
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Had a fun experience with British Transport Police earlier. After having a stanley knife in my back pocket. Which I briefly pulled out with my ticket to show the inspector. Didn't realise there was a BTP officer behind me on the train, and he was suprisingly not happy.

Anywho, he demanded a lawful reason for me to be carrying it. Thankfully I had taken a picture of the work I did earlier in the day on a combat robot (think Robot Wars & Battle Bots) - which he thankfully deemed lawful excuse and then ordered me to 'go straight home' <.<

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Redirect Left wrote:
After having a stanley knife in my back pocket.

I had no idea that's a name.

In any case, it's best to store such stuff in backpacks or other forms of bag rather than pockets.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:48 pm 
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YNM wrote:
Redirect Left wrote:
After having a stanley knife in my back pocket.

I had no idea that's a name.

In any case, it's best to store such stuff in backpacks or other forms of bag rather than pockets.

Other places probably cally it a utility knife or a box knife. In the UK its often named a Stanley Knife.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:08 am 
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Redirect Left wrote:
Other places probably cally it a utility knife or a box knife. In the UK its often named a Stanley Knife.

We just call them "cutter" despite that being a legit english word.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:47 pm 
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It's fine, I once tried to take one through security at Edinburgh airport by accident once.

That was a fun 20 minutes.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:43 am 
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The computers are here for your jobs!

The first driverless* train in public service has operated. New digital signalling betwen London St Pancras & Blackfriars allows automated trains to run at 2 minute frequencies.

BBC News

* the trains have drivers onboard to do safety checks and door operations.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:56 am 
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Redirect Left wrote:
The computers are here for your jobs!

The first driverless* train in public service has operated. New digital signalling betwen London St Pancras & Blackfriars allows automated trains to run at 2 minute frequencies.

BBC News

* the trains have drivers onboard to do safety checks and door operations.


Automated, not driverless :P
Driverless is, in a rough sense, what the DLR is. The TL-Core route is a combination of ATO and L2-ETCS :)
The system is actually rather simple but also pretty clever. But the trains will still only move when the driver tells them to, and when it is safe to do so.

It'll never expand out of the core though as it becomes far too complicated to handle. We'll still have drivers on mainline trains for the next 30-50 years at the very least. We will never have full unsupervised automation.

From a technology point of view, the 700s are massively impressive, even if a bit over-complicated in places.
However, the whole ATO through the core and trains every 2 and a half minutes will still cause problems because of course the biggest factor is passengers. It's a very dangerous gamble this plan, and it'll only pay off on very good days. One small hiccup anywhere is going to shake things up catastrophically.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Geo Ghost wrote:
Driverless is, in a rough sense, what the DLR is. The TL-Core route is a combination of ATO and L2-ETCS :)
I've always found the DLR to be a bit of a rough ride. I forgot which station it is, it may have been corrected by now, but DLR trains would approach the station, slow down, realise its no where near the platforms, and abruptly speed up again until its nearer.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Redirect Left wrote:
I've always found the DLR to be a bit of a rough ride. I forgot which station it is, it may have been corrected by now, but DLR trains would approach the station, slow down, realise its no where near the platforms, and abruptly speed up again until its nearer.


Aye this is one of the downsides to automatic operation. Computers don't really have any kind of ability to judge passenger comfort :P
I believe in testing the trains were a bit.. 'over-keen' when braking and accelerating.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:09 pm 
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I find it somewhat bizarre that it's deemed we need automation to maintain a 2.5 minute headway on the Thameslink Core, especially when Piccadilly to Ashburys on the Easterns has a 2 minute headway without automation!

Ameecher wrote:
It's fine, I once tried to take one through security at Edinburgh airport by accident once.

That was a fun 20 minutes.

A former classmate of mine once tried to take a single dart through the security at Manchester. That was funny to watch, especially when the excuse was "I didn't know it was there, it's my dad's coat" :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:10 pm 
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2.5 minutes does seem a bit much. The 700s aren't exactly sluggish and a good dwell time shouldn't close that too much. But then 2.5 minutes is still low enough to screw everything if a problem occurs.
I was going to point at the Victoria line as a good ATO example but that's completely isolated from other routes, unlike Thameslink, which is far more complex. I find it funny that they say we're getting the first direct Cambridge-Kent/Brighton trains since it's not like there's been a huge demand (that I've known of) previously.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:33 pm 
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2.5 minute headways up north are done not on Greens and are actually really just a bodge.
ATO enables 2 minute headway, but is timetabled to 2.5.

Consistency is the key. It is possible to know exactly how each train will behave and when it will present itself allowing Train Management Systems to be better informed and make better regulating decisions.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:52 pm 
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Redirect Left wrote:
Had a fun experience with British Transport Police earlier. After having a stanley knife in my back pocket. Which I briefly pulled out with my ticket to show the inspector. Didn't realise there was a BTP officer behind me on the train, and he was suprisingly not happy.

Anywho, he demanded a lawful reason for me to be carrying it. Thankfully I had taken a picture of the work I did earlier in the day on a combat robot (think Robot Wars & Battle Bots) - which he thankfully deemed lawful excuse and then ordered me to 'go straight home' <.<


Quite embarassing to get in trouble just for a retractable knife found in offices or public schools.
I once carried a Swiss knife in my pocket, and it fell while i was taking the ticket i got earlier to take an airport shuttle. Damn how the Transport Police of this people mover (it's the PisaMover in Italy) bawled out at me. I told them i was going to be late for the plane, they told me airport security will take care of me. And this, for an object used in everyday's life.

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