377 'rebooted' to get the doors open

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Railcar, 11 Jan 2019.

  1. Railcar

    Railcar Member

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    Last night (Thursday January 10th) our Victoria - Sutton 10-car 377 got to West Croydon Platform 4 and the doors would not open. After a 20-25 minute delay and various mutterings over the PA, the whole train was powered down. Everything off except the emergency lighting. Then the various electrical systems were brought back on one at a time. With everything back on, the doors worked again and the train was sent fast to Sutton (leaving out Waddon, Wallington and Carshalton Beeches).
    I can only imagine the chaos that was occurring behind us, since all the slows out of Victoria would have been stacking, together with anything south of New Cross Gate on the London Bridge slows.

    Is this 'Microsoft Windows' solution (turn it off and turn it back on again), the standard procedure? Are all the 377 systems so interconnected that it needs a 'reboot' to get the doors open? Or was this just "let's give it a try, we've got nothing to lose" ?
     
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  3. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    Yes. If the doors don't open, you can try an emergency door release. If that does not work, a reboot will be next. Often when you phone fleet, it will be one of the questions. (I guess you have seen the IT crowd)
     
  4. Railcar

    Railcar Member

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    Thanks Sarah.
    The other occasional 377 door problem is with interconnecting doors which fail to shut again after someone has been through. The fix there (from what I've seen) is to open the panel above the door with a T-key and tweak something. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. If it doesn't, the resulting noise when travelling at 70-80mph is enough to make a move to another carriage worthwhile.
     
  5. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    So an emergency door release might not work?
     
  6. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    All you are doing there is turning the sensor off then on, it's just a switch. I've often found a quick wipe of the sensor and the 'glass' bit on the panel can help.

    I'm not a driver, so all I know is being told by a driver that they had tried a emergency door release. Obvs, you could open the doors manually at the doors. The software on the trains was a bit old, when I joined about 10 years back it was still ME from when the trains were new back in 2000. More and more functions are being placed onto MITRAC and like all computers it sometimes needs a off/on. These days I mainly work 313's whose electronics are a bit more basic. The addition of Wi-fi has led to massive filing cabinets in each coach, but at least they have labeled the trip switch for it. :lol:
     
  7. physics34

    physics34 Established Member

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    was it really 20-25 mins? I wouldve thought fleet wouldve decided on a reboot (Aux off and on) before that...
     
  8. theking

    theking Member

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  9. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    Sometimes folks get stuck in a 'I can fix it' mode. I've had control phone me to go and find the driver to get them to phone fleet, or the signaler. Not saying this is what went on here, but... Southern did put posters in cab trying to get folks to ring fleet with a picture of a crying 377 and a engineer. He even had pens in his pocket. Some drivers, do like to draw things on them...anyway...
     
  10. physics34

    physics34 Established Member

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    ha ha yeh ive seen them in 377 cabs. Im surprised people didnt start egressing the doors. That normally occurs when doors dont open, people get impatient. In theory when in a station platform passengers should have the right to pull those handles after an "abnormal" amount of time...as they are basically being held "prisoner" otherwise.
     
  11. Val3ntine

    Val3ntine Member

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    Yeah that’s right let self egress become a norm. Very slippery slope that, when passengers witness others doing it they decide they will do it too when they feel like and then another passengers sees and so on and so fourth. Only a matter of time before your 25mins turns into hours and hours of delays across the rail network frequently.
     
  12. Railcar

    Railcar Member

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    SarahJ,
    Are you saying what I think you're saying? That a 377 runs under the control of Windows Millennium Edition? One of the 'bargepole'* versions of Windows? Oh dear.

    * 'Don't touch with a bargepole ' versions of Windows are usually thought to include Windows 98, Millennium Edition, Vista and Windows 8.
    'Generally OK' versions of Windows are usually thought to include Windows 98SE, XP , Windows 7 and Windows 10
    Note the way that the versions alternate between the bad and the good. Are there any parallels in the manufacture of trains. I wonder?
     
  13. physics34

    physics34 Established Member

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    im not saying it should become the norm, but being held for 25 mins whilst on a station platform is beyond silly....especially if its the station you want! What if u have a meeting/appointment to go to or need the toilet (not a 377 of course).....
     
  14. aleggatta

    aleggatta Member

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    Electrostars are equipped with 'Windows embedded' which is a *very* cut down version designed to do the core function and nothing else, it is a very efficient way of working. there are regular versions brought out by Microsoft but they all typically have the on screen design of earlier versions of windows, as the microsoft UI is not used in day to day use. SDO issues and door release issues do occur, normally a bad read from an SDO beacon as a one off event causing chaos in Mitrac.
     
  15. Val3ntine

    Val3ntine Member

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    Oh don’t get me wrong I totally empathise with that it’s not acceptable to be held at a station with doors locked it’s not even acceptable to be held outside of stations let alone. But is it really such a frequent occurence for it to become standardised for passengers to self egress if they are held at a station for 20 mins+? It’s pretty rare but we have to understand things can and do go wrong from time to time. Problem we can come across is why don’t we make it 10 minutes? Scratch that why not 5?
    You see the issue that starts to arise.

    Not being funny but if someone has an important meeting or connection to make 30 seconds won’t even be suitable to them at that point in time.
    There’s so much more to the egress being operatined that just a simple close doors and go again. If the situation arises where someone decides to use the egress it’s more than likely a fault or something has gone/is going seriously wrong on the network, an egress will only ever make that 100x worse there’s never a case it helps the situation.
     
  16. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    You can add Windows 2 & 4 to the "forget it" list.
    Windows 3 was OK, but Version 3.1 was much better, and Version 5 was "OK".
    I don't think there was ever a commercial version called Windows 6 - instead they issued Windows 95, also not too bad - but - like most versions - not exactly perfect.
     
  17. TRAX

    TRAX Member

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    A crying 377 ? Haha I’d like to see that picture
     
  18. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    You must have missed all the hoo doo when XP first came in.
    It only became good because manufacturers made their products good and the OS matured. It was also the dominant system in place when there was a mini explosion in computers controlling things.
    Windows Vista was always doomed considering what it had to follow, but it changed the way Windows worked forever. Same with Windows 8.

    That's why Windows is now a service rather than a big release every few years.
     
  19. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    The embedded OS on Mitrac (the train management computer on Electrostars) is certainly a world away from any Windows OS that the general public will have experienced. Like any system, it has its wobbly moments, and I can’t say it’s any better or worse than any other embedded system I’ve come across - and most trains have some sort of electronics which can cause a nuisance, even if it’s just a GSM-R radio. There has been a bit of a rise in door and passcom faults, anecdotally, over the last couple of weeks, but I am sure this will end up getting reversed if there’s any truth in it, since these trains are the mainstay of a very busy area of the country and it would be rather stupid not to prioritise such things. The Mitrac systems in newer variants of Electrostars, in particular the 387s, do feel to me to be better designed.

    As for the comment about Emergency Door Release... rather confusingly, there are two such things on Electrostars, the first being the patently obvious green handles by each passenger door. These will work unless the door is physically disabled for whatever reason.

    The second such thing is a mode within Mitrac, which is designed to allow the driver to override the GPS and beacon based door system and to therefore open whichever doors they need, all from the touchscreen in the cab. The driver should be well on the way to being on the phone to Fleet Control by this point and they will generally talk you through. You can either select your location on the network manually, to open the pre-set number of doors for the shortest platform at thar location, or even select each individual door in turn. The touchscreen controls for this are quite fiddly and small, so it is possible for it to go wrong, especially if the driver is unfamiliar with it.

    If the touchscreen door selection does not work, the next “official” step always used to be that passengers would be asked to get out by using the green egress handles at the doors, this being relatively easy since there aren’t any break-glass panels in the way (not that this generally stops people...). But it’s really very tempting to reboot the train (known as aux off / aux on) instead, since door egress is time consuming to reset on any scale, plus you don't really want people egressing on the wrong side - you may laugh, but it is exactly the sort of thing which does end up happening. Unfortunately a full aux off / on can take the best part of 10 minutes, with no PA and very little lighting for most of that time, and that’s added to whatever existing delay there is, by which time you are very lucky if people haven’t taken matters into their own hands and forced the doors anyway. And no, you can’t use the toilets during an aux off/on anyway. For a start, the doors on a big bog will unlock by themselves if they were locked...

    I will try to find a picture of a crying 377 which hasn’t been defaced...
     
  20. JohnMcL7

    JohnMcL7 Member

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    You should add a disclaimer that such claims are a total load of rubbish if you know anything about technology although I will say it's a useful way to quickly gauge how knowledgeable someone is about PC's. For all the hate Millenium Edition got, it was just 98SE with a few additions and while long term the NT kernel was better, Win2K in its early days...oh boy. Vista's main problem was its image, rather ironically for its reputation even in beta it was a far more stable operating system than XP was on release and Vista was incredibly ambitious as it wasn't just a complete kernel change but it added 64-bit support as well. Windows 7 is fundamentally the same operating system underneath and benefited from being newer so manufacturers had more time to change to 64-bit and time for ram prices to drop, too many vendors underspecced Vista laptops which I suspect is how it initially got its bad reputation.

    Similarly almost all the improvements people praise in Windows 10 were actually introduced in Windows 8 and all the aspects people claim about in Windows 10 (no control over updates, forced data telemetry etc.) were not in Windows 8. Unfortunately again the damage was done so when MS did fix most of the 8 issues in 8.1, the bandwagon were too busy criticising it to actually pay attention to the software itself.

    All that aside, I don't even know why anyone is bringing Microsoft in this. I work supporting manufacturing and can assure you that when working with low level PLC's, the diagnostic restart process existed long before Windows did. It can work in some cases although it masks what the actual problem is and I find many engineers are far too quick to immediately restart before doing any checks. Then if it doesn't work, they want to restart, then restart again and keep doing it even though there's clearly a more fundamental problem
     
  21. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

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    Hmmm you clearly show you don't know what you are talking about. You're mixing differing technologies. I could go on with a lengthy post but I'd be going way off topic.
     
  22. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    What a load of nonsense! Windows 95 is Windows 4
     
  23. GLC

    GLC Member

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    Pedenatry note: XP was available in 64-bit flavour, although that 64-bit version was really Win Server 2003 with some extra XP bits. Vista was the first version which offered 32 and 64 bit on par with each other, but it wasn't the first version overall.
     
  24. DEAN MURPHY

    DEAN MURPHY Member

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    I was told years ago when I worked on the railway that they were ran on windows 98. This is when they first came out
     
  25. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

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    I think he was thinking Windows NT 4 was Windows 4.... Hence my post
     
  26. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I think Bombardier is more consistent. They're ALL bad. :D
     
  27. danielnez1

    danielnez1 Member

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    The relationship between Windows 95 and NT 4.0 is a bit blurred, as they look very similar but their underlying arctecture and code is very different (NT 4 is more stable and is the grandfather of Vista/7/8.x and 10) whereas most of the underlying code for Windows 95 (which is based on the primitive DOS and Windows 1.x and up) was largely dumped after Windows Me came out. Windows 95 actually presented itself as Windows 3.95 to maintain compatibility with older programs .

    Anyhow the embedded OS area is pretty interesting in terms of how prevalent old Operating Systems are still used, by the virtire of how they are well tested and verified. For example, a few plants at Sellafield still use Windows NT4 and IBM's OS/2 Warp 4 (which can be found in some cash points too). Other embedded systems still make use of DOS as well as Windows 3.1 or the likes GEOS to provide a graphical environment.

    The reason why they use these older technologies is not because they do it "better" but rather they are well tested and verified and don't require beefy hardware. Though for modern (and usually ARM) based embedded systems, Linux (which powers most servers and Android) is very peavelent, with a lot the programs been written in the free and cross platform toolkit called Qt.
     
  28. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    No it didn't. '95 is 4.0, but '98 is 4.1, and ME 4.9.

    This was also done with XP (NT 5.1, following on from 2000's NT 5), and with 7, 8, and 10 (NT 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3, following on from Vista's NT 6.0).
     
  29. danielnez1

    danielnez1 Member

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    f you run winver.exe on Windows 95 Systems, the version number returned was 3.95. Certainly on a API level, it was essentially on parity with Windows NT4 (while Windows 95 used MS-DOS 7, (7.1 for 98 and 8.0 for Me). It was necessary for the 3.95 number to be reported for 16 bit programs, just like how OS/2 will report it's self as version 2.0 to ensure backwards compatibility.
     
  30. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    It was a lot of mess, I was also there waiting for an Overground which couldn't get into West Croydon, at least two of them ended up being cancelled. Watching from the other platform I was surprised how long it took to decide to just reboot.
     
  31. Railcar

    Railcar Member

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    Since I didn't know then that there was a reboot procedure, my guess when we'd been stuck for about 10 or 12 minutes was that the train (fairly lightly loaded at that time in the evening) would be evacuated through one set of doors using Emergency Door Release and the train (still driveable, of course) would be taken forward onto the reversing siding immediately to the west of the station, then run back ecs through Platform 3 to Selhurst for attention.

    While we were waiting (but only a very few minutes after the problem was realised), the next train due in through Gloucester Road Junction (a 10-car 377 Victoria - West Croydon via Crystal Palace) was brought in to Platform 1, the bay, and sent out again (since May 18 these trains have normally used the reversing siding). As West Croydon is controlled by Three Bridges there must have been some very nimble footwork once the first phone call was received.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2019

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