Driving to conditions and timetable.

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Inversnecky

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I was interested to see these Dad Rail videos:



where a driver has a go at a train simulator, pointing out that in real life you drive to the conditions and not the timetable dictated by the simulator.

But this got me thinking: in real life operations, given both the variability of conditions, and performance expectations, how are these two reconciled?

Additionally, especially given the distances between stations, how can a timetable be adhered to with typical accuracy, given the differences in acceleration/braking/etc - do all these factors tend to even out over the course of the journey?
 
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DoubleO

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Timetables/schedules are pretty accurate given they are designed around a particular form of traction and take into account it's braking and acceleration properties. As a driver, you drive to the conditions not the schedule, every time.
 

Dieseldriver

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9 Apr 2012
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I was interested to see these Dad Rail videos:



where a driver has a go at a train simulator, pointing out that in real life you drive to the conditions and not the timetable dictated by the simulator.

But this got me thinking: in real life operations, given both the variability of conditions, and performance expectations, how are these two reconciled?

Additionally, especially given the distances between stations, how can a timetable be adhered to with typical accuracy, given the differences in acceleration/braking/etc - do all these factors tend to even out over the course of the journey?
Put simply, a train with ‘average’ performance on a relatively clear day with no service disruption and no infrastructure faults, you would expect the train to keep to time.
However, if say you have a 2 car DMU with one engine isolated, you will probably lose time due to less acceleration. If you have service disruption which means the Driver is encountering cautionary signals which under normal running would be clear, you will probably lose time.
There is a little bit of leeway in the timetable generally (for example, you may have a couple of passengers in wheelchairs joining the train at a station which could cause a slight delay but then that delay may have resolved itself a couple of stations down the line).
It’s a bit like driving your car, on a given time of day on a particular journey you may say ‘this journey from A to B at 15:00 on a Tuesday will take twenty minutes’. But on that route there’s some emergency road works which extend that time to 23 minutes, then there’s a fault with some traffic lights which causes you a 4 minute delay. So now instead of 20 minutes, your journey took you 27 minutes. It’s not your fault because you still have to drive to a safe standard and obey the speed limits.
 
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