Is there anywhere where line-of-sight driving is standard practice?

Status
Not open for further replies.

arabianights

Member
Joined
1 Jun 2011
Messages
150
This will, of course, be something that 90% of contributors here could answer instantly, but to a casual enthusiast (and by enthusiast I mean someone who is enthusiastic about choo-choo trains, not to imply any knowledge at all) like me the answer just isn't known - are there any lines or manouevers that are ROUTINELY driven by a rule something along the lines of "being able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear".

Similarly - in case there is a train coming the other way - are there any one where the manouever is drive at a speed where "you must be able to stop within at most half of the speed you can see to be clear".

I do apologise about any gramatical errors in this post but I do believe the intent is perfectly clear. Oh, and that's only part of the question, because....

There is one rail operation where this clearly applies. And that is trams, and anything else sharing roads. So as an additional question - are there are any stretches of track where trams are permitted to go faster than they would be able to stop in - there's almost certainly (to answer my own question) some examples of that where the tram becomes light rail, but in bits where the track is shared, but not with the average prole, but perhaps buses or so on.

Quite a question this, and I fear that in theory it could be given a one word answer. But golly, there's 264 words here, and that has to count for something!
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Crossover

Established Member
Joined
4 Jun 2009
Messages
8,440
Location
Yorkshire
The only ones I know of (more than one word already!) are tram systems, rather than heavy rail.

Croydon Tramlink shocked me the first time I went on it seeing how it was just like buses, with the one behind us pretty much in coupling distance with us at certain times.
 

Welshman

Established Member
Joined
11 Mar 2010
Messages
2,776
In the days of yore, providing the weather was clear, certain goods loops used to be signalled under the permissive block regulations, allowing freight trains to enter the loop at walking pace and travel right up to the train in front. This allowed the maximum number of freight trains to be held clear of the main line.

Apparently the train would be brought almost to a stand at the diverging signal, before the signal was cleared, and the signalman would indicate to the driver by use of his fingers the number of trains already in the loop!

I don't know if this system still operates anywhere on the network today.

The only place I have experienced driving by sight today, is on the Manchester Metrolink through the city centre. Again, I agree with Crossover, that it is an unusual experience to draw right-up to the tram in front, and even occupy the same platform in some places.
 

GB

Established Member
Joined
16 Nov 2008
Messages
5,738
Location
Somewhere
Proceeding on authority of a subsidiary signal or ground position light signal would be one such instance.

Proceeding after being cautioned by the signaller would be another.
 

Dieseldriver

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2012
Messages
690
Certain situations require this. One which has been mentioned is in depots and sidings. Also, engineers trains running in worksites within possession. When passing a signal at danger/examining the line you also have to proceed at a speed which enables you to stop short of any obstruction. Another example would be whenever proceeding past a ground position light signal or if one is associated with a main aspect for the purposes of entering an occupied platform (generally to couple to another unit/vehicles).
 

Welshman

Established Member
Joined
11 Mar 2010
Messages
2,776
That would be very unusual on Tramlink, and would strongly imply a problem involving congestion caused by an incident, or a requirement for sudden evacuation.

I was on an Eccles tram which was switched to Media City, and drew up closely behind another Eccles tram at Anchorage or Harbour City - I can't remember which - to allow passengers to change into the tram in front.

It certainly happened on the Metrolink in Manchester, if not the Tramlink in Croydon.
 

WCML

Member
Joined
25 Nov 2011
Messages
100
That would be very unusual on Tramlink, and would strongly imply a problem involving congestion caused by an incident, or a requirement for sudden evacuation.

This happens frequently in normal service on Supertram in Sheffield, particularly at Castle Square on the line running towards Cathedral.
 

Peter Mugridge

Veteran Member
Joined
8 Apr 2010
Messages
11,301
Location
Epsom
Parts of the Paris RER in the peak hours ( special signalling system fitted which is over-ridden in the peak ).

Quite common to see the front of the next train waiting in a tunnel on RER Line A just 20 feet or so behind the train in the platform.
 

WatcherZero

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2010
Messages
9,456
I was on an Eccles tram which was switched to Media City, and drew up closely behind another Eccles tram at Anchorage or Harbour City - I can't remember which - to allow passengers to change into the tram in front.

It certainly happened on the Metrolink in Manchester, if not the Tramlink in Croydon.

It happens almost non stop at Piccadilly Gardens.
 

eastwestdivide

Established Member
Joined
17 Aug 2009
Messages
1,937
Outside the UK, the WAB (Wengernalpbahn) trains in Switzerland sometimes run "in convoy" at busy periods, following each other Lauterbrunnen/Wengen/Kleine Scheidegg. Pretty low speeds, as it's a steep rack railway.
 

Hydro

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2007
Messages
2,204
In the days of yore, providing the weather was clear, certain goods loops used to be signalled under the permissive block regulations, allowing freight trains to enter the loop at walking pace and travel right up to the train in front. This allowed the maximum number of freight trains to be held clear of the main line.

This still occurs, it's happened to me at Banbury. We got the cats eyes off the main signal and went in behind a Freightliner, and drew up behind it. It got the road and zoomed off, then we dropped down to the main exit signal. First time I've ever seen a permissive loop, and was a bit shocked to see a tail lamp blinking away as we crawled around.
 

HSTEd

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
11,946
What about the Weymouth Harbour Tramway as an example of a heavy rail section under permissive block working?

Or are there actually signals on it (even though its not actually in use any more its still technically open right?)
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
What about the Weymouth Harbour Tramway as an example of a heavy rail section under permissive block working?

Or are there actually signals on it (even though its not actually in use any more its still technically open right?)

I understand that it is officially temporarily out of use - or something similar. I haven't been there, but I've watched videos of the whole thing, and I couldn't see any signalling equipment.
 

LexyBoy

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
4,472
Location
North of the rivers
Parts of the Paris RER in the peak hours ( special signalling system fitted which is over-ridden in the peak ).

Quite common to see the front of the next train waiting in a tunnel on RER Line A just 20 feet or so behind the train in the platform.

I've noticed at Gare du Nord that locomotives on TER services sometimes follow 100 m or so behind the train they brought in when it departs - I assume only as far as a loop beyond the station where they wait for the next service.
 

317666

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2009
Messages
1,552
Location
Ely
With the exception of a few road crossings, I believe the Blackpool Tramway uses line-of-sight signalling.
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,460
I'd have thought for signalling purposes Weymouth tramway would have essentially been "one train in section"- with special instructions for operation through town (needed a flashing light and a bell on the front)
 

ChiefPlanner

Established Member
Joined
6 Sep 2011
Messages
6,195
Location
Herts
Freight permissive or no-block lines used to be very common - esp on approach to yards - Taffs Well to Radyr could hold 8 trains , - ditto Stratford - Temple Mills , also depot approach roads. Uncommon on running lines , though North Tyne had some modest branch lines with this method of working.
 

ert47

Member
Joined
28 Feb 2010
Messages
666
I was on an Eccles tram which was switched to Media City, and drew up closely behind another Eccles tram at Anchorage or Harbour City - I can't remember which - to allow passengers to change into the tram in front.

It certainly happened on the Metrolink in Manchester, if not the Tramlink in Croydon.

There arent any platforms long enough for that procedure to take place on the Tramlink network
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,460
though I dare say that on the on-road sections passengers with no mobility restrictions could easily and safely alight without a platform from a Croydon tram, being low floor.
 

ert47

Member
Joined
28 Feb 2010
Messages
666
though I dare say that on the on-road sections passengers with no mobility restrictions could easily and safely alight without a platform from a Croydon tram, being low floor.

aye... i guess I gotta go along with that...
 

Welshman

Established Member
Joined
11 Mar 2010
Messages
2,776
I'd have thought for signalling purposes Weymouth tramway would have essentially been "one train in section"- with special instructions for operation through town (needed a flashing light and a bell on the front)

I remember holidaying in Guernsey in the late 60s, and travelling on the boat train from Waterloo over the Weymouth tramway.

There were certainly no signals on the tramway - just a couple of flagmen walking in front of the train and a few strong bouncers to bounce clear any cars parked too near the line!

I might add that that trip down and up the Weymouth tramway was the highlight of my Channel Island holiday! :)
 

Shimbleshanks

Member
Joined
2 Jan 2012
Messages
680
Location
Purley
I think the Bord Na Mona railways in Ireland operate on line of sight. I visited this quite elaborate system a good many years ago when they were still doing the passenger trips from Blackwater and I quizzed one of the drivers about it. He told we that there was no point on the network where one train couldn't see another - the landscape is pretty flat in those parts. Loaded trains had priority over unloaded.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
There arent any platforms long enough for that procedure to take place on the Tramlink network

A fairly high number of platforms are a few metres longer than a single tram (not including ramps), and with the present fleet, and possibly the new trams, a tram driver could position their vehicle so that they could escort passengers out through the front set of doors, if the tram in front moved down the platform enough. This might be useful on ballasted track, should there be problems on the line both in front and behind, and two trams needed to evacuate onto the same platform.

though I dare say that on the on-road sections passengers with no mobility restrictions could easily and safely alight without a platform from a Croydon tram, being low floor.

It does depend on the camber and gradient of the road, other traffic using the road, and any busy road junctions nearby. Tramlink staff will probably call police to help evacuate a tram which is on or very close to a busy road junction.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top