Metrolink Saftey?

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TrainBoy98

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When I went up to Manchester on Saturday (went to Oldam on the new extension and saw some new trams) I noticed that they are quite far from the ground. Wouldnt this be a problem for evacuation as wheelchair users wouldnt be able to get out easily?

Later in the day I was headed back to Piccadilly and we were approching Shudehill. We stopped in the road and were informed that a tram in the station had broken down. A passenger kindly asked whether we were allowed to jump off and the driver asked control and they said yes. The driver then went to open the emergency doors. He tried 4 times to get them open but they wouldnt budge. Surely this is bad because had it been a real emergency we couldnt get out?

Once the tram ahead started moving again, we stopped and were held up by traffic lights. we overheard the convosation the driver had with control and appearently all the traffic lights had failed on gone to red to prevent accidents so no trams could move. Everyone started to move at a slow speed, does anyone know more details of what happend?
 
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TrainBoy98

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I was onboard said tram and when she asked he said ill have to ask the controller and the controller replied yes, but using emergency procedure as they didnt know how long it would take to get the broken tram moving. The doors wouldnt open anyway.
 

WatcherZero

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Same height as normal rail vehicles.
Emergency door release the driver should use a key to unlock the lever, and then pull the doors apart.
 

Lrd

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What happens on National Rail when there is an emergency and a wheelchair needs to get off? It's not just trams that have this problem!
 

185

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As the T68/T68A fleet have autosteps, it is possible to detrain passengers in the city streets with little fuss.

Newer yellow ones do not, however climbing down is not difficult as underneath door 1, the door on the left behind the driver there are crew-steps to allow stpping down. The door release on those yellow ones is an industry standard door pull (two-stage) also found on Bombardier BR 170/1/2s.


In an emergency, there are tried and tested ways of getting wheelchair users off if remaining on board is unsafe. (detraining boards to place across onto an adjacent 'rescue' tram)

Also, in an emergency, all signals, both on the street and railway sections, just like on normal rail, trip to Red/'Stop'. The same is true in a power failure, better it trips to Red/Stop than anything else to be fair.
 

Crossover

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When I went up to Manchester on Saturday (went to Oldam on the new extension and saw some new trams) I noticed that they are quite far from the ground. Wouldnt this be a problem for evacuation as wheelchair users wouldnt be able to get out easily?

The Manchester trams are unusual in that most tram systems have their rolling stock as low floor (so the doors are inches off the ground), whereas Metrolink, wishing to utilise old railway lines didn't wish to make the adjustments to allow this low level running (I guess on cost grounds as, as can be seen at a number of stations, especially towards Altrincham, the platforms are huge with just a bit refurbished for Metrolink running) so got high floor trams. This is in contrast to the likes of the Midland Metro where old platforms were lowered or the trackbed raised to allow low floor trams to operate.

As others have pointed out, however, there is no difference here to NR whose trains are a similar height.

Later in the day I was headed back to Piccadilly and we were approching Shudehill. We stopped in the road and were informed that a tram in the station had broken down. A passenger kindly asked whether we were allowed to jump off and the driver asked control and they said yes. The driver then went to open the emergency doors. He tried 4 times to get them open but they wouldnt budge. Surely this is bad because had it been a real emergency we couldnt get out?

I can understand this being allowed given the tram was on a road section, rather than normal ballasted track. Of course, it will have depended on traffic dangers from such. I'm unsure which doors are emergency ones (or what type of stock you were on) but in a real emergency, there would be plenty other doors to go at if the need arose. I imagine the emergency door will be marked as such because it has access to steps in one form or another.

Once the tram ahead started moving again, we stopped and were held up by traffic lights. we overheard the convosation the driver had with control and appearently all the traffic lights had failed on gone to red to prevent accidents so no trams could move. Everyone started to move at a slow speed, does anyone know more details of what happend?

It is called a failsafe - systems (be it in whatever form they may take signalling wise or any others) should default to a safe state if a problem arises (be it a signal failing to danger or a piece of machinery in a production environment stopping if a guard is removed). When things started moving again, it could be that the trams were being talked through the signals at danger, to get things moving/to get trams to suitable locations (stations more than likely).
 

TrainBoy98

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I was on a T68 (sorry, forgot to say in OP) and he did everything he was supposed to to get the doors open. he tried every door but they still wouldnt budge.
 

WatcherZero

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I was on a T68 (sorry, forgot to say in OP) and he did everything he was supposed to to get the doors open. he tried every door but they still wouldnt budge.

You mean he went to every set of doors used the key in the panel above the doors (bit like Northerns Pacers and Sprinters) then tryed to pry the doors apart?
 

aformeruser

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I was on a T68 (sorry, forgot to say in OP) and he did everything he was supposed to to get the doors open. he tried every door but they still wouldnt budge.

When the doors failed on a tram I was on (at Sale) the driver manually got the middle set open and then terminated the service and presumably he then took the tram to the depot for attention.
 

185

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T68 have an emergency door cock (same as a butterfly latch on a Class 150/6/8) above each door. Turning the cock takes the air off it and the doors can then be pushed apart.

Of interest, the very first T68, 1001 was finally retired from service last night. Currently being stripped of it's batteries and some of it's technical kit.
 

WestRiding

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even on a sheffield tram with a wheel chair there is about a 1-2 ft drop to ballast level. and regardless of the height down, how will the wheel chair negotiate the ballast and other running lines. im sure they have procedures.
 

185

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By the sound of it, if he's trying all of them, I reckon he's got a door fault which has caused the tram's brakes to kick in - normal procedure is to go around and check all the doors are completely shut (technical term - give 'em a bang), all the door cocks are at normal and make sure there's nothing obvious like top panels hanging open.
 

34D

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Of interest, the very first T68, 1001 was finally retired from service last night. Currently being stripped of it's batteries and some of it's technical kit.

For scrap? Its only 20 years old, which isn't old really..... Surely they'll need all the trams they can get once all the extensions are open? Or am I missing something?
 

bluegoblin7

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For scrap? Its only 20 years old, which isn't old really..... Surely they'll need all the trams they can get once all the extensions are open? Or am I missing something?

Correct. 6 T68s have so far been withdrawn from service and stripping has commenced on five of them. They are 1001, 1004, 1005, 1008, 1011 and 1018, although 1005 is mooted to return to service as driver training tram.

Although the trams are just twenty years old (And the similar T68as are just 13) they are becoming increasingly unreliable, causing the majority of the service disruptions to the system.

The withdrawal of the first 12 cars was announced last year, which was superseded earlier this year with an announcement from TfGM that extra funding had been secured for an additional 20 of the new trams, allowing total replacement of the original T68 and T68as.

There will, therefore, be no issues with the extensions.

As yet, no preservation bodies have stepped forwards to take on a T68, and certainly for 1001 it seems like it may be too late.

Full story: http://tramways-monthly.com/2012/08/end-of-the-line-for-the-t68/

Jack
 

Manchester77

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The T68s and T68a (afaik) have retractable steps.
M5000s have ramps which are in the central articulated section of the tram
 

northernrail

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Some of the T68a’s and I’m pretty sure a couple of T68’s have had their steps removed and paneled over, but the procedures are still there to get Wheelchairs off the tram in cases like this, I’m not accusing you of lying here TrainBoy98, but I think you may have got something wrong here, the emergency door cocks are regularly used at points in the city centre, as they often need manually setting by the driver from off the tram, if they do fail there is a button in the cab that opens the front Left hand set of doors, this is vital so the driver can change at Queens Road Depot Staff Halt, so if the Door cocks and Keys were to fail, there’s always the Staff access button, and that goes for the rest, Personally I have seen the doors jam after the cocks have been used (Resulting in the driver getting off the platform at Bury and going to the other side of the tram and opening from inside.
There will always be a way of opening the doors, so the safety concern there is gone.
As for control allowing Passengers to “Jump off the tram”…Well I’m pretty sure that’s acceptable in the city, infact Detrainments in the city centre are quite common, failed vehicles, failed points, RTA’s, and many more reasons mean that this is common practice, infact there are a few pictures around the internet of this happening.

As for the withdrawn trams, As posted by Jack, 1001, 4, 5, 8, 11 and 18 have been withdrawn, Also 1010 was noted in the workshop today, as it was rumored next to go, I have a feeling its gone.
The rumors about 1005 becoming the training vehicle, well there just rumors, I can confirm that 1005 has been stripped of components that would allow it to be used for this job, as well as the T68’s no confirmed to be fully withdrawn by 2014, I doubt that another vehicle will be selected
 

bluegoblin7

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As for the withdrawn trams, As posted by Jack, 1001, 4, 5, 8, 11 and 18 have been withdrawn, Also 1010 was noted in the workshop today, as it was rumored next to go, I have a feeling its gone.
The rumors about 1005 becoming the training vehicle, well there just rumors, I can confirm that 1005 has been stripped of components that would allow it to be used for this job, as well as the T68’s no confirmed to be fully withdrawn by 2014, I doubt that another vehicle will be selected

Cheers for the update. I was aware that it was only speculation although I hadn't heard anything on it for a while, and had started to doubt it somewhat. If it's being stripped then that clears that one up completely!

1010 and 1019 are rumoured to be next, so that would also tie up well.

Jack
 

northernrail

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Hmmm, trying to figure this one out then, quite often the drivers use the Emergency Door Cocks to open doors, like i say, mainly at points in the city, all i can think of is either the driver was pretending to make an effort to keep people happy, after all, when passengers get distresed they usually head to the first person in uniform. Or there was a case of driver error.
Im trying not to say that it was driver error but there will always be a way of opening the doors.
 
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