Coasting without power

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unlevel42

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I was on a XC train today from the south and terminating at Derby.
As we entered the south end of the station there was a rather loud 'clunk' and then silence as we coasted along without engine. The lights remained on and we braked normally to a halt. Is this normal?
PS the connecting EMT service north to Leeds was an old 125. The passengers made many favourable comments including "...what a lovely big new train...", "plenty of seats" ..."plenty of leg room"
 
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michael769

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Last year I was on a 156 whose engines kept stalling. The route is downhill all the way so at each station the driver would start the engine which would last just long enough to get it moving and then stall. Once moving he simply coasted to the next station.

By Kirknewton the lights had gone off and hilariously someone got stuck in the loo with the power door out of action.

The driver must have called ahead normally my train gets stopped or slowed to a crawl approaching Haymarket, instead this time we got a clear run and raced through the Edinburgh suburbs and into Haymarket, where a fitter managed to get the engine in the rear carriage running and used that to limp us into Waverly.

I was quite impressed that the train managed to make it all the way from the City Bypass (where the line flattens on) to Haymarket with no power. I was half expecting us to run out of air and end up with the brakes locked on though!
 

eMeS

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And all this leaves me wondering whether it's physically possible to get enough people physically pushing any form of heavy rail rolling stock to make it move - on the flat. My gut feeling is that it would need too many people, and that without a rope, there wouldn't be enough space for the required number of pushers.

(I've been watching too many TV films of people pulling stone replicas towards Stonehenge...)
 

DXMachina

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Pretty sure I've seen a youtube of passengers pushing a failed (gapped) electric railcar along the track.

Difficult to find though as the main search result is people pushing 'into' trains

ahh here we are: news coverage: my memory is at fault, it wasnt a railcar and may have not been video'd. http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-73025.html
 

Bevan Price

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And all this leaves me wondering whether it's physically possible to get enough people physically pushing any form of heavy rail rolling stock to make it move - on the flat. My gut feeling is that it would need too many people, and that without a rope, there wouldn't be enough space for the required number of pushers.

Not exactly a whole train, but I read somewhere that a handful of people once pushed a steam loco tender (typically 40 to 50 tons) inside a loco works, to demonstrate the low friction obtainable using roller bearings on all the axles
 

YorkshireBear

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There isn't an awful lot of friction on the wheel rail interface so it is quite easy to start rail vehicles moving with minimum power. Hence why the power/weight ratio is much lower for trains compared to cars and yet still go the same speed. ( i think my calculations are correct)
 

Cherry_Picker

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A train will cost for miles without power. Im sure history is littered with examples of runaway coaches, especially in the days when wagons were loose coupled.
 

Lrd

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Wasn't there a story a little while ago of a freight train doing about 50mph (in reverse?) without the driver even noticing it was moving?
 

brillopad

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And all this leaves me wondering whether it's physically possible to get enough people physically pushing any form of heavy rail rolling stock to make it move - on the flat. My gut feeling is that it would need too many people, and that without a rope, there wouldn't be enough space for the required number of pushers.

(I've been watching too many TV films of people pulling stone replicas towards Stonehenge...)

Done it - many years ago I was involved in building a viaduct inspection unit on a well type bogie wagon - was done in the old sheds at Long Rock, Penzance.
We got a contract from Holmans to finish a two tier drilling platform and the viaduct unit was in the way so we pushed it out - the wagon was enormous and the hydraulic unit mounted on it was ballasted with steel perforation waste from Pools perforaters in Hayle.
 

Dieseldriver

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The only reason for that would be that with no power the compressor would stop running and the train would run out of air and the brakes would kick in.
 

ash39

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Suppose a train could run for miles with no power, as compared to, say, a modern car, there is very little rolling resistance. Take 1 coach of a dmu, 2 bogies, 4 axles, 8 wheels, but very little friction as they are very thin compared to a car, and running on metal not concrete.

Do train wheels have tyres? Never thought about it. Suppose they'd have to be tiny and no need for them on unpowered axles
 

Cherry_Picker

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Yes, they do have tyres. Though you are right they are very small. You could probably better describe it as a collar than a tyre if you were trying to paint a picture with words.
 

lincolnshire

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There was the case on the Isle of Axholme Light Railway where the shunter, guard etc push started the the shunting loco to get it restarted rather than wait for another loco to come and rescue it. Its in a book I think it s about a relief station master who did the stations in the Goole area.
I don,t think they will be able to push start many locos these days
 

LE Greys

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Wasn't there a story a little while ago of a freight train doing about 50mph (in reverse?) without the driver even noticing it was moving?

I believe it was a 66 at Shap. The driver may have been asleep at the time, but I don't really know. It was the middle of the night and he had been working for quite a few hours. There have been similar incidents with broken couplings on unbraked freight trains before.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-14535464

<EDIT> Sorry, missed the second page again. :oops: Still, it's a different source.
 

RichmondCommu

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I was on a XC train today from the south and terminating at Derby.

PS the connecting EMT service north to Leeds was an old 125. The passengers made many favourable comments including "...what a lovely big new train...", "plenty of seats" ..."plenty of leg room"
Ok, one suspects that you didn't actually hear passengers say this but your dislike of Voyagers makes you wish that you had. In other words you made this bit up. As fibs go this is not very convincing!
 

junglejames

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Ok, one suspects that you didn't actually hear passengers say this but your dislike of Voyagers makes you wish that you had. In other words you made this bit up. As fibs go this is not very convincing!

Either that, or your love of voyagers means you are hoping this wasnt said!
To be fair, the comments werent that far fetched. Only the modern bit when you see the slam doors. The rest is plausible.

Crikey, ive overheard passengers on a 1980 built ferry, thinking this was the new ferry the company had been talking about. HSTs look modern, and its quite possible the lack of a throbbing vibrating coach is seem as progress by some people.
 

unlevel42

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Ok, one suspects that you didn't actually hear passengers say this but your dislike of Voyagers makes you wish that you had. In other words you made this bit up. As fibs go this is not very convincing!

We were a group of mainly elderly folk returning from a visit to the south we were quite anxious that we had to change trains at Derby because of Sunday engineering. We had had a pleasant through journey south. As we had no reservation from Derby we were relieved to be on a longer and emptier train for the remaining part of the journey. The comment made by my father-in-law which I added as a PS was to me faintly amusing as he linked "bigger/longer" with "newer".
When I pointed out the age difference of the trains his friends added the other comments.
Mostly I travel on my own to Bristol and Bournemouth and I am very happy with the newer trains. I don't "dislike" any model of train-I don't care or know enough about them anyway.
If I am on a train going somewhere then I am not working and that is very good.
 
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