Loco's idling for long periods

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by visibleimagery, 13 Nov 2011.

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  1. visibleimagery

    visibleimagery Member

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    I live between Exeter Central and St. James on the Waterloo/Exmouth line. As I speak they are relaying track on the down line through Central station.

    Anyway... Is there any rule or regulation as to why the locos have to remain 'engine on' for hours at a time; a 66' in this case.

    Since last night, (Saturday) and this morning the 66', as far as I'm aware has not moved an inch. I know for a fact that the 66' in situ now has been so for at least the last 3 hours without movement?

    Any info is appreciated as always?
    Thanks,
     
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  3. GM078

    GM078 Member

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    The cylinders in GMs like the class 66 are pretty big, I know in Ireland the 071s and 201s are often left running when idling far from depots for fear of them not starting again. (There was a case a few years ago when a hotel in Sligo complained about 071s idling over night). Maybe this has something to do with it?
     
  4. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    With 66s and 67s part of it is due to the warranty for the engine - long periods of cold termperatures are not good and the warranty wouldn't cover the damage caused - so better to have it ticking over.

    Someone gave a more in depth answer than this previously but this is the basics.
     
  5. ChrisCooper

    ChrisCooper Established Member

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    Some locos don't have anti-freeze, so have to either be kept under cover, kept running, or drained of coolant.
     
  6. Legzr1

    Legzr1 Member

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    T3 possession.

    Time is money and T3 over-runs cost a fortune so rather than shut down a loco,secure it safely,find somewhere for the driver that has facilities/lighting/heating,secure the train etc etc then realise a shunt is required which means everything has to be re-started,air built back up,train brakes released etc etc it's far easier to keep the loco running.

    Granted,a Class 66 idling is annoying but be fair - there's a chance the railway has been there a lot longer than the people complaining about the noise. ;)

    As far as I know,all DBS Class 66 and 67's have been modified to use antifreeze in the coolant so that idling for more than 15 minutes (bar T3 possessions) can be outlawed.

    Saves a fortune on fuel apparently.
     
  7. Lrd

    Lrd Established Member

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    I was staying in a hostel which was a few minutes away Birmingham Moor Street, it is next to one of the arches that carries the line south and has some siding's on it also. When I arrived at the hostel, looked up and saw and heard a Chiltern 67 (with coaches) idling away, thought nothing of it and went inside.

    I got there just before midnight, when I laid down and was quiet, I could hear the 67 idling still. About an hour later, I awoke and could still hear it idling, about another hour passed and same thing. By the time I woke up at about 0600, it had disappeared, so I know I got some decent sleep, albeit for a few hours, as I didn't hear it "roar" away.
     
  8. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    I've seen noise mentioned and a very good point about people who live next to railways, airport, roads etc.

    Railways were almost certainly there first, airports probably where and roads theres a damn good chance, so if you don't like noise, why did you move there?
     
  9. stut

    stut Established Member

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    That is the standard argument always put forward on threads like this, but it does rather miss the point. Yes, of course you expect noise, but if there's a substantial change in use, that isn't necessarily acceptable.

    If you live next to an "old man's" pub, should you have a right to object when it turns into a late-night music venue?
     
  10. ukrob

    ukrob Established Member

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    The OP wasn't complaining...
     
  11. Smudger105e

    Smudger105e Established Member

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    All DBS 66s and 67s are antifreeze filled locos, so do not need to stay running for that reason.

    All GM engines need to be run every 48 hours, and if not, the oil runs out of the top end. If the oil is not replaced, engine damage could occur such as cam and valve train damage. Therefore the oil needs replacing, a process known as pre-lubing, which involves connecting a pipe from an oil pump and pumping oil round the engine, not something that can be done by traincrew!

    Finally, if a GM engine gets very cold, it is sometimes a little reluctant to start, so keeping an engine up to temperature ensures that there will not be any 'will not start' issues during possessions.
     
  12. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    As the track renewals process is dynamic I would be very suprised if there was a train sat there for any substantial period.

    Trains arrive and are then loaded/unloaded and depart as the work progresses. Trains are only held on site for the minimum period as the costs are passed on to the track renewals contractor.

    Are you certain it was the very same train ? and if so perhaps you could describe the wagons - empties, loaded, track, sleepers ??

    One possibility is that it may have been necessary to stack the trains outside the work site because another line blockage or closure would prevent them accessing the site in a more timely manner.
     
  13. NLC1072

    NLC1072 Member

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    Birmingham backpackers hostel by any chance?
     
  14. visibleimagery

    visibleimagery Member

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    Thanks 'ukrob' for noting that I wasn't complaining...

    Indeed the railway was built long before I lived here, but my OP wasn't a complaint just a general question as it used to happen back in the days of the 37's, (a much better noise to listen to) but I never really knew why?
    To be honest I actually left the window open so I could listen to the unmistakeable hiss-hiss, hiss-hiss of the 66' engine while getting to sleep. (Crazy...!)

    In response to 'old timer'. The loco in question had some loaded ballast wagons, JJA possibly? (Sorry not that good with freight!) The 66' and freight remained in position for a good 3 hours before moving.

    I too get annoyed at people who complain about these sorts of things even though they chose to live there knowing of the consequences... Like some residents living near Exeter Airport complaining about noises from aircraft when ground running!

    Anyway thank you all for your replies, I think my question has been answered.

    Thanks,
     
  15. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    This is just a thought, But APT-P's had a small diesel generator in the cab. Could this be retrofitted to 66's to keep power to the driver's facilities, and to keep the engine warm in winter? Also, could it mean 66's could haul LHCS in some circumstances?
     
  16. FGWman

    FGWman Member

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    To keep the cab heater on maybe.
     
  17. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    What size of secondary engine would be needed to provide local heating and optional hotel power*

    (Assume 6Mk3s & DVT)
     
  18. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    The engines of the future will have to shutdown, due to world oil running out, the excuse of it may not start, so keep it running is loosing favour, the 57 on the wag express is never shut down even though it lies idle in Cardiff for six hours & Holyhead for eight hours out of 24, lube is one thing,waste is another.

    I only mention the 57 on the WAG, due to knowing it is never shut down between 0300 Monday & 2200 Friday.

    All the 66s used by W/S were shut down every night.
     
  19. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    3 hours would not be an unreasonable time for a loaded ballast train to wait being drawn into the site. The train will be brought to the site about an hour before it is anticipated to work, but a lot will depend on the path to the Possession. As most UK renewals sites do not run anywhere near time these days (oh for the return of Jarvis !), trains later on in the work can wait for longer than planned. Assuming the location is as you have stated, and knowing who would be most likely to be doing the work, then I would be most suprised if the work ran anywhere near to time ;)
     
  20. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    NR generator vans have 2 x large 3-phase marine generators, each within it's casing is about 5ft high, 3-4ft wide and about 8-9ft long. Only one is used at a time, and that can power at least 5 Mk2 aircons with kitchen plus a great deal of test equipment (About the equivalent of 20 or so PC's). The genset fitted DBSOs have one of these generators fitted. One would fit in a DVT guards area, in fact Chiltern are doing this to theirs, and NR are looking at the same for when their DVT's turn up.

    Individually powered test coaches and the 950 have basically truck engines (MENTOR has a very loud Perkins diesel, and the 950 a pair of Merc V6's).
     
  21. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Its usually only during the colder winter months that 66s struggle to start and thus are left running.

    Possessions are a different kettle of fish and as OT says the process is dynamic and you could be called to move the train forward as little as 10ft at anytime.
     
  22. The Crab

    The Crab Member

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    Do "Idling hours" count for "Engine hours" for maintenance purposes?
     
  23. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    No, but it wouldn't be long before somone did...
     
  24. Smudger105e

    Smudger105e Established Member

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    DBS loco's are not maintained on a hourly basis, TOPS days are used, major exams every 6 months, A exams every 12 days.
     
  25. Train wasp

    Train wasp Member

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    I’m surprised an oil hand pump system hasn’t been retro fitted to class 66 and 67. I remember pumping a small handle with in the engine compartment on a class 08 to bring the oil pressure up. Surely this idea could be fitted to class 66 and 67 locos.
     
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