377 Joining and Splitting

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Deepgreen, 27 Aug 2015.

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  1. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    I haven't noticed this covered elsewhere yet, but if it has been, please direct me accordingly.

    I am interested in the procedure when splitting/joining trains formed of class 377s. I travel via Redhill, where many workings undergo this process and it is very unusual for it to take less than about five minutes, especially when joining, and even when the train is running late.

    My query stems from last evening, when the 1659 London Bridge to Horsham/Tonbridge, which joins at London Bridge and usually takes the customary five or more minutes to do so, was joined in around two minutes. The first portion was in the platform (with some passengers already aboard) and the second portion arrived, disgorged its passengers in about 30 seconds and some passengers then boarded before the doors closed and locked. We coupled up, and the doors were released again after only another minute or so, making it by far the quickest I have known this to happen.

    The question is, if it can be done this fast, why is it almost always not, even when running late?
     
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  3. 156441

    156441 Member

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    Easy answer is safety. If you rush a attachment and it goes wrong only one person is getting the blame and that's the driver.
    So yes it can be rushed but the question is would you risk your job to save an extra 3 minutes?

    To add a little more meat my TOCs couple procedure has 20 steps including leaving and locking the cabs up to 3 times dependant on location.
     
  4. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    There's a difference between trains joining up and doors open, and trains joining up and being ready to roll. The second train arrived @1651, so would have been joined up and doors opened, quickly, but it wouldn't have been ready to go straight away. The trains still has to do certain things in its brain.

    What you see at Redhill is the full procedure.
     
  5. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Thanks BR - I imagined it would be along those lines. I think the thing that seems to gall some passengers is the length of time taken to release the doors after an attachment more than anything else (especially in the rain).
     
  6. andy19_64

    andy19_64 Member

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    Southern allow 4 minutes to attach/split a train and have it on it's way. You usually find that if you have a good driver on the front and once he has been told he can put his key back on you can get the train out in about 3 1/2 minutes. Sometimes the conductors will help you by doing the cab doors on very busy trains just before it arrives on the platform to stop the passengers trying to walk through, this will then reduce the time even more.
     
  7. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Is the process for attaching an Electrostar of the 'old school' variety? I.e, requiring a pull test and so on? A Desiro, as much as I find them terminally dull in every other regard, will hook up in the blink of an eye!
     
  8. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    At my company we cannot re-release the doors from the now middle cab following an attachment, and even when I get to the other end I've first got to make sure the train displays its new length correctly from that cab (once the TCMS has loaded) and then tell the SDO and the train where it is located again all of which can take a while hence the doors not being re-released as soon as they're coupled as you may find done on something like a 317. The biggest pain in the neck are the fly screen doors, all of the gangway doors for that matter!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    At my company we still do a pull away test with our Electrostars but once this is done you can press the couple button straight away, there are no 'tell-tales' to check, just check the other cab has a blue couple button light illuminated and then check your new formation on the TCMS.
     
    Last edited: 27 Aug 2015
  9. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    Often the bit that can sometimes take the longest is the re-configuration of the mitrac systems. It used to be windows 95, not sure if its been upgraded since then.
    Plus some places are faster than others. There have been times at some stations where they dont do it much that when you go through afterwards something like a cab door has not been secured correctly.
    HHE do it best. I'm not saying who are the worse.
     
  10. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Can I respectfully ask why not? Surely once the 'couple' has been confirmed (pull away test, blue light, etc) everything is good to allow passengers on the platform to join those already onboard?
     
  11. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I'm almost the same as SPADTrap but I think the push on is for Tightlocks. Do any Delner's require a push on ?
     
  12. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Maybe a Desiro that spadtrap works, iirc from another thread once the computers of the two units have detected that two units have coupled they shut the cabs down and only the uncouple button will work
     
  13. al.currie93

    al.currie93 Member

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    I have to admit that the 377s do still divide quite quickly in spite of that, or at least when I see them at Horsham they do so pretty quickly. I doubt much time will be saved by doing it any faster - although this is based on observations only!

    On a very loosely related side-note about 377s Deepgreen, our lovely siding at Dorking station that we both were wondering about is home to a 337/6 overnight night now (just in case you hadn't noticed :P ), so it's good to see that finally being used!
     
  14. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Indeed - I have seen it used occasionally. I only use Dorking once or twice a week, and usually before what I assume is a late-night stabling move.
     
  15. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    Of course, to the best of my understanding it is to do with the integrity of the doors and they way the trains are designed. Similar to a Desiro once you have completed the attachment fully the now middle cabs are to be regarded as 'dead', the Desiro shuts the desk down automatically while the Electrostar doesn't but we are to regard it as such because if you were to release the doors from the middle it creates a string of fault messages that appear when someone keys into the leading cab.
     
  16. al.currie93

    al.currie93 Member

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    I don't commute any more so I don't use the station too often either, but from what I've seen it seems to get stabled overnight, leave the siding at about 0720 after the 0716 from Horsham has left, reverse just after the Horsham-End points then pass through platform 2. I think it then forms a service from Epsom but I can't confirm. Just a bit if loosely related interest :)
     
  17. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Is a long time since I signed 377s but I'm sure I remember them telling us that releasing doors from the middle cab mucked up the SDO, something to do with SDO counting back from the active cab. May have that slightly wrong though as its a while since I was trained on them.
     
  18. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    Yeah I think you are right, seems to be the same on our 'lectrostars despite being newer!

    Confusing the SDO could lead to a loss of door integrity and incorrect door releases which is why releasing from the middle cab is not permitted.
     
  19. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    Is all door opening on 377s done by the driver then, and not the guard?
     
  20. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Always opened by driver. Some are closed by guards via saloon panels or by '10 bells' from the back cab.
     
  21. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    I'll just add that is while in DOO mode, never operated in non DOO mode sadly so can't comment on that.
     
  22. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    Out of interest how long does the 17:32 Horsham/Tonbridge/Reigate service take to decouple?
     
  23. Southern313

    Southern313 Member

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    A software update at some point appears to have fixed this issue (at least for us) as we quite often bring another portion in at a terminus, (Littlehampton on a regular basis) attach and can then correctly release from what is now an intermediate cab.
     
  24. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    According to RTT, the front portion leaves 4 minutes after arrival (the arrival time is 18:09). 4 minutes after that, the Tonbridge portion leaves then there's a 2 minute gap before the Reigate part leaves. So that's 10 minutes in total.
     
  25. causton

    causton Established Member

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    From watching Southern guards who are still sitting down when the doors are released, I would guess that the driver releases them when a guard is present too ;)
     
  26. redbutton

    redbutton Member

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    In my experience it's hit or miss. Some units can indeed release from a middle cab, but the rule remains in place and I've been told by management never to attempt it.

    Officially, the procedure is this:

    • Arrive at station, stop 6 ft short of front portion. Open doors and cab window.
    • Make safety announcement while passengers alight. (Takes as long as it takes.)
    • Platform staff checks it's safe then driver closes doors.
    • Draw forward to 2 ft, stop.
    • Draw forward and bang together.
    • Pull away test.
    • Press couple button, wait for computer to configure. Takes up to a minute.
    • Check for correct configuration of units, then key off and switch lights off.
    • Call other driver to confirm key off. (He'll then key on and set up the computer and cab desk- It takes about a minute and only then can he release doors.)
    • Configure internal doors for gangway. (Takes about a minute if you're quick. Longer if you rarely do attachments. Most platform staff will do this to save time while you're waiting for configuration, but technically it's the driver's responsibility.)
    • Exit the cab, check the telltale indicator on the coupler is in the correct position and the lights are all off.

    Like others have said, we're allowed four minutes but even that can be tight depending on how quickly the units configure and how quickly staff can get all the gangway doors set. Many of them have bent locks that require a lot of "manual persuasion" to get open or closed.

    And under no circumstances should how late the train might be make any difference to how long it takes. This is a safety-critical procedure that must be done correctly every time; rushing or cutting corners is a false economy when someday you have a train failure (best case) or a major catastrophe (worst case) as a result of bad coupling.
     
  27. VP185

    VP185 Member

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    Coupling Turbo's is so quick and simple compared to a 180 with its TMS.

    • PA announcement on approach to station.
    • Pull into station
    • The official method is stop 6ft, then 2ft but some rarely do that, and its straight on and bang 'em together (provided the front unit is locked up).
    • Pull away test.
    • Press couple button
    • Release doors
    • Ensure brake release
    • Key out and blast the horn in the middle cab which is the signal for the driver at the front to key in.
    • Change over lights in both cabs
    • Train is ready to depart.

    All in all, we do it in under 2 minutes even if you do stop 6ft and 2ft and even then, there's a quick method of doing that which involves leaving power applied and using the hill start button to stop at 2ft.
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2015
  28. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Hmmm, the last driver I know of who came in and coupled up without the 6' 2' manoeuvre was accused of a collision and spent a while suspended. As stupid as the 6' 2' may seem, it shows in black and white on the data recorded and CCTV that you did not have a collision but a controlled attachment.
     
  29. VP185

    VP185 Member

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    The data recorders aren't that reliable i.e. you can stop and start straight away but the data recorder will not show you as stationary. Same as releasing the doors as soon as you come to a stand, the download will still show the train as moving!
     
  30. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    That's very much dependant on the type of stock. As I say, I know a driver who was accused of a collision and the data recorder backed up that there was no pause 6' & 2'. Some data recorders pick up a lot more than people think.
     
  31. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    Desiro coupling is similar in that it's usually done with passengers staying on board & on the platform whilst the trains are combined or divided. You need to consult with the guard as to how you're going to do it.

    Some prefer to let passengers on/off first before attachment, others just activate the automated announcement and let you do the attachment first, standing by the GOP in the first set of doors behind you, so that they can see & hear you.

    Usually I do it with passengers on board & on the platform as it's quicker and it goes something like:

    1. Stop 6' short.

    2. Draw forward to 2' short, then draw forward & couple up.

    3. Wait for the computer to do the coupling & for the coupling check sequence to complete.

    4. Make sure no warning lights are on the warning panel, if there are you have to uncouple & try again. (Max 3 attempts)

    5. If the warning light panel remains blank & desk goes dead and the vestibule lights come on, then you know it has coupled mechanically & electrically, just acknowledge the TMS configuration & key off.

    6. Do the 5 sets of doors & steps on each set (Nose fly, two cab doors, steps & vestibule/saloon.) Done!

    7. Release doors & passengers!
     
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