Driving a Class 37: throttle control

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Inversnecky

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Has anyone here driven a real Class 37? (And perhaps also has some familiarity with Train Simulators?)

Can I beg the forum’s forgiveness for posting this request here, as I’m looking for some expert first hand knowledge to answer the below query :)

 
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Wyrleybart

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Like most of the English Electric designs the class 37 controller is normally in the "off" position when the loco is idling. There is a notch to move the controller to the "on" position and the loco will move with the controller in this position. It is very unhealthy to close the controller right back to "off" so good practice when easing off power is to move the controller to the "on" position, wait for the ammeter to zero, then move the controller to the "off position.

There are no other notches on the controller and you move the handle as you need the power, being mindful of where you ammeter is. Applying too much power to an unrefurb 37 will audibly and physically overload it, needing you to close the controller and reapply power. Not driven a refurb but I believe their electronic load regulator is much less dramatic..
 

hexagon789

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Like most of the English Electric designs the class 37 controller is normally in the "off" position when the loco is idling. There is a notch to move the controller to the "on" position and the loco will move with the controller in this position. It is very unhealthy to close the controller right back to "off" so good practice when easing off power is to move the controller to the "on" position, wait for the ammeter to zero, then move the controller to the "off position.

There are no other notches on the controller and you move the handle as you need the power, being mindful of where you ammeter is. Applying too much power to an unrefurb 37 will audibly and physically overload it, needing you to close the controller and reapply power. Not driven a refurb but I believe their electronic load regulator is much less dramatic..
You can overload un-refurbushed ones fairly easily as I understand it, refurbished ones can theoretically take full power from the get go though it might be enough to slip the wheels of course.

Has anyone here driven a real Class 37? (And perhaps also has some familiarity with Train Simulators?)

Can I beg the forum’s forgiveness for posting this request here, as I’m looking for some expert first hand knowledge to answer the below query :)

I don't know exactly what you want to know, but you can find the generic BR diesel-electric loco driving instructions (which apply to Class 37s) on locodocs here:


Might answer some of your questions
 

Llama

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Wait for first weak field at 9mph then wring its neck.
 

hexagon789

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Wait for first weak field at 9mph then wring its neck.
Is that why 37s in older videos start off with a murmur and then after gaining a bit of speed suddenly roar into life and get thrashed to hell? ;)
 

CW2

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Occasionally problems would occur when a driver had been on 37/4s for weeks and was suddenly presented with a 37/0. The standard 37/4 start technique of opening the handle wide would result in a sudden overload. A smart driver would switch the cab light on at this point, look at the loco number, and change his driving technique accordingly. Not all drivers were that smart, and repeated overloads being blamed on a loco fault were sometimes the result, whereas the fault lay with the driver not the loco.
 

hexagon789

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Occasionally problems would occur when a driver had been on 37/4s for weeks and was suddenly presented with a 37/0. The standard 37/4 start technique of opening the handle wide would result in a sudden overload. A smart driver would switch the cab light on at this point, look at the loco number, and change his driving technique accordingly. Not all drivers were that smart, and repeated overloads being blamed on a loco fault were sometimes the result, whereas the fault lay with the driver not the loco.
So straight to full power from the off for a 37/4? Does that still apply?
 

Inversnecky

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Like most of the English Electric designs the class 37 controller is normally in the "off" position when the loco is idling. There is a notch to move the controller to the "on" position and the loco will move with the controller in this position. It is very unhealthy to close the controller right back to "off" so good practice when easing off power is to move the controller to the "on" position, wait for the ammeter to zero, then move the controller to the "off position.

There are no other notches on the controller and you move the handle as you need the power, being mindful of where you ammeter is. Applying too much power to an unrefurb 37 will audibly and physically overload it, needing you to close the controller and reapply power. Not driven a refurb but I believe their electronic load regulator is much less dramatic..

Why is it "very unhealthy" to close the controller to off without allowing the current to dissipate? Sorry, I have little knowledge of the engineering and just wondered what would be the consequences?
 

CW2

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So straight to full power from the off for a 37/4? Does that still apply?
If the rail conditions are good you can, but I wouldn't suggest it is the norm.
Mind you it's a long time since I enjoyed a 37/4 for haulage ...
 

hexagon789

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If the rail conditions are good you can, but I wouldn't suggest it is the norm.
Mind you it's a long time since I enjoyed a 37/4 for haulage ...
Thanks just curious if that was an 'accepted' technique or just something that could be done but was perhaps frowned on officially
 

Inversnecky

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You can overload un-refurbushed ones fairly easily as I understand it, refurbished ones can theoretically take full power from the get go though it might be enough to slip the wheels of course.


I don't know exactly what you want to know, but you can find the generic BR diesel-electric loco driving instructions (which apply to Class 37s) on locodocs here:


Might answer some of your questions

Hexagon, is that book available as a PDF somewhere, I wonder. It took me a moment to work out it's an online 'book' you have to click through a page at a time.
 

hexagon789

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Hexagon, is that book available as a PDF somewhere, I wonder. It took me a moment to work out it's an online 'book' you have to click through a page at a time.
I'm not sure if the site supports PDF downloads it's a bit old school. I think it's just scroll through like a photo gallery. The website can be a bit glitchy on mobile/tablets as well with the drop down menus.
 

37057

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Why is it "very unhealthy" to close the controller to off without allowing the current to dissipate? Sorry, I have little knowledge of the engineering and just wondered what would be the consequences?

The current will normally take its path back to the generator but if that path is removed (closing the power controller) then it might try to earth and the subsequent arc might damage anything around it. If you take the generator / motors, they rely on brushes to connect their armatures to the circuit. Any dust that forms as they wear can aid a stray path to earth, so always good to keep brush box components clean.

Locos have been modified with a time delay relay which allows the load reg to run down before opening the motor contractors but still bad practice to shut off too early.

In another case I can think of... removing such a load quickly from a large clumsy diesel engine can cause the overspeed device to trip.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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If the rail conditions are good you can, but I wouldn't suggest it is the norm.
Mind you it's a long time since I enjoyed a 37/4 for haulage ...

That’s certainly how I remember them being driven on the Birmingham-Holyheads. Mind you, usually being about 20 mins late and a dozen heads out of the leading top lights would be an incentive to ‘perform’.
 

hexagon789

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The current will normally take its path back to the generator but if that path is removed (closing the power controller) then it might try to earth and the subsequent arc might damage anything around it. If you take the generator / motors, they rely on brushes to connect their armatures to the circuit. Any dust that forms as they wear can aid a stray path to earth, so always good to keep brush box components clean.

Locos have been modified with a time delay relay which allows the load reg to run down before opening the motor contractors but still bad practice to shut off too early.

In another case I can think of... removing such a load quickly from a large clumsy diesel engine can cause the overspeed device to trip.
It's also poor driving technique - can certainly give a fair jolt to the coaches shutting off too quickly
 
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