Dangerous Driving?

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by williamn, 22 Feb 2020.

  1. williamn

    williamn Member

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    I’ve just taken a trip on a heritage railway which I won’t name for now.

    I was on a DMU and everytime the driver needed to pick up a token he left his seat while the train was still in motion to pick it up from the other side of the train. During this time the train had no one at the controls but was going maybe 5-8mph.

    Surely this is dangerous?
     
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  3. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    I can't imagine it's a standard operating procedure or approved of but on the face of it at low speed wouldn't imagine it's immediately dangerous. Obviously, something could possibly happen to the driver while out of seat which could end becoming a dangerous situation.

    Was anyone else in the cab at all?

    I assume being HR it had a traditional guard on the train somewhere?
     
  4. williamn

    williamn Member

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    No one else was in the cab, no. There was a guard but he was in the other carriage.
     
  5. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    The guard would be fully trained to operate a emergency brake if they had concerns.

    I've never worked for a HR, but certainly on the big railway it would be a very serious incident.
     
  6. williamn

    williamn Member

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    Just doesn’t seem very safe to me for a driver to leave the controls of a moving train, even if it’s just 5-10 seconds.
     
  7. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    I can't see much risk in this. It's not like the train's at risk of going in the wrong direction (unlike with a road vehicle when you release the steering wheel), and if the train has the road there's no risk of derailing on catch points either.

    The biggest risk I see is the driver failing to grab the token, having to stop the train and doing the embarrassing walk of shame back to the signalman.
     
  8. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    I'm not condoning it but I doubt the driver would have done so if they thought there would be any type of incidents.
     
  9. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I'm sure this was done normally in BR days, a DSD holdover being fitted to certain units so that drivers could cross to the opposite side of the cab to collect tokens. Assuming they aren't isolated, the DSD triggers in about 8-10 seconds iirc
     
  10. adamskiodp

    adamskiodp Member

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    stupid question . . .

    Don’t DMU’s have dead a mans handle?
     
  11. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Yes, they do. The throttle controller must be held down.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's somewhat old fashioned and presumably wouldn't be allowed on the big railway, but in the context of a 25mph preserved railway I doubt it poses much of an actual risk.
     
  13. adamskiodp

    adamskiodp Member

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    So would it be coasting or would the driver have his foot on it? :lol:
     
  14. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    In what sense? I don't quite get the joke! ;)
     
  15. adamskiodp

    adamskiodp Member

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    I just had a vision of the driver with a foot stretched out on the controls and reaching out of the opposite window for the token. Just my warped mind I guess ;)
     
  16. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Oh right! I don't think even the most practised of contortionists could manage that!

    All the driver would need to do is, set the throttle to off, release it and thus the DSD. They then have 5-7 seconds to cross the cab. Hold the DSD holdover button on the secondman's side down, lower the window, collect tocken, close window, release DSD holdover, cross cab, depression throttle handle again. Simples! ;)

    That's my understanding of the process anyway. I think the railcar website explains it in one of the manuals you can find on the site.
     
  17. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    When I was a Trainee... I was shown the 'shopping bag' method.
     
  18. williamn

    williamn Member

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    I still wonder what would happen if a child, animal or object was on the tracks - you wouldn't have time to react and even at that speed could still do significant damage. Sorry to be a H+S bore...
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If a child, animal or object was that close you're going to hit it anyway. Trains can't stop like cars.

    (And unusually for someone whose job isn't a train driver, I have actually done an "emergency" stop in a Class 101 set - and it wasn't that quick!)
     
  20. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    Wasn't that why BR fitted speed sensing to nearly everything, specifically to stop coasting and bypassing the DSD? I did once ride up front on a Hampshire unit from Eastleigh Works to Selhurst, simply because the driver had to be accompanied if there was no guard. The unit had no SSF.
    By today's standards this driver has been a bit naughty (and nul points for doing it in full view).
    Pat
     
  21. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    You'd release the DSD holdover to initiate a full brake application, I'm not sure that the overall effect would be any different to driving normally and destroying the vacuum immediately using the brake handle though. You'd maybe gain a few seconds more of a brake application but as Bletchleyite says, I doubt you'd avoid hitting anything that close.
     
  22. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    The method I outlined isn't bypassing the DSD while driving as such, it's using a holdover to prevent it from going off while collecting a token which would be done at slow speed near a station/signalbox rather than out on the 'mainline'.
     
  23. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    Well, that child/animal/object would likely already be there upon the driver approach the station/box. The driver would adopt their driving style to it (i.e. come to a stop and tell the child to go back to mommy).

    It's statistically rather improbable for a child to appear out of nowhere in the couple of seconds between the driver leaving their chair and walking to the window to pick up the token.
     
  24. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    Got you. :D
    Pat
     
  25. big all

    big all On Moderation

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    theres a holdover button for the dsd on the secondmans side half way up the wall
    as said about 8 seconds to allow an across cab move
     
  26. big all

    big all On Moderation

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    holdover button at 15 mins on this video

    sorry cant embed it ??
     
  27. bassmike

    bassmike Member

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    _____s_ What a performance just to couple two units!!
     
  28. 37057

    37057 Member

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    DSD holdover in use at the 01:00 mark...
     
  29. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Drivers passing/received single line tokens have always had less than absolutely full control for the few seconds it takes - I don't think that will change until physical tokens disappear. While taking a coach trip up Vesuvius many years ago, the journey back down was memorable for an awkwardly-executed change of drivers while on the move on a section of road with hairpin bends! A number of passengers were bemused/horrified to varying degrees, depending on how familiar they were with Italian driving!
    Some of the things I've seen drivers doing while driving (UK main line) trains would be considered far more potentially dangerous than token exchange, although still low risk.
     
  30. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Would it have to be a child - what upper age limit would you apply to ignore the issue? If there's something on the line, the driver will either see it well before token exchange, or it will appear too late to do anything even if driving with 100% control and attention. Has there, I wonder, ever been an injurious accident during token exchange?
     
  31. williamn

    williamn Member

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    Doesn’t have to be a child. While I take your point, I’m never going to feel 100% comfortable with a train being in motion and there being no one at the controls! Why can’t the train stop for token collection? It’s not as if speed is of the essence on a heritage line.
     

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