Motor Luggage Vans

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StephenHunter

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Did these ever run out of juice while off the third rail and if so, what was the procedure in a case like that?
 
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big all

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no different to any other unit except you accidentally get "gapped " you have the possible option off battery taking a few seconds to change??
we had them later in there career at Redhill [late 80s] for vans in ones and twos from London bridge to Hastings via lewis and the batteries were fairly shot but as the duties where fully on the juice was off no importance ??
 

30907

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Did these ever run out of juice while off the third rail and if so, what was the procedure in a case like that?
Don't know, but the only place they ever regularly worked off the third rail was Dover/Folkestone and in those days Dover had a diesel shunter or two for ferry traffic so a rescue operation wouldn't have been too difficult.
 

hexagon789

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Did these ever run out of juice while off the third rail and if so, what was the procedure in a case like that?
Yes sometimes, in which case either a shunter (if present) or loco would need to haul them back on the juice.

Ideally drivers were meant to try not to waste battery power and moves were supposed to be planned out to take account of battery life but as with anything plans and reality don't always mate up perfectly.
 

Dr Hoo

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I had a modest degree of involvement with the MLVs when I worked in Kent (not as a driver) and never recall one getting 'stuck' although I dare say it did happen occasionally. They were never intended to stray very far from the juice so 'endurance' was hardly a big thing.

They weren't supposed to be used as 'shunters' but they could be used unofficially at a depot like Ramsgate for putting an EMU in an un-electrified siding or something.
 

Snow1964

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Never heard of one getting stuck, never likely to go far off an electrified line, and once they were on electric section or electric siding could recharge batteries.

I do remember being on a rail tour where a pair hauled half a train (vacuum braked) from Ashford on a loop via Deal. The other half went to Folkestone harbour (far end platform) before swapping. The train formation was rather odd when they rejoined it as half had been turned. I think they could haul vacuum braked stock on batteries (but not that far)
 

Beebman

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I do remember being on a rail tour where a pair hauled half a train (vacuum braked) from Ashford on a loop via Deal. The other half went to Folkestone harbour (far end platform) before swapping. The train formation was rather odd when they rejoined it as half had been turned. I think they could haul vacuum braked stock on batteries (but not that far)
It was the Vulcan Vantrain on 15/03/86:
http://extra.southernelectric.org.uk/features/railtours/1986-vulcan-vantrain-railtour.html

I remember it being advertised but I couldn't go on it (because at the time I had a job which required me to work occasional weekends).
 

clagmonster

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Where exactly did they go off the juice? Both Folkestone Harbour and Dover Western Docks were electrified. Something that has always puzzled me with the battery capabilities of these.
 

Gloster

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If I understand things correctly, although the station areas were electrified, the lines on the quays were not due to the dangers of having live rails in these areas. I think that the vans had to go on to the quays as they were carrying luggage that had already passed through customs and had to be loaded onto the ferries.
 

big all

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Where exactly did they go off the juice? Both Folkestone Harbour and Dover Western Docks were electrified. Something that has always puzzled me with the battery capabilities of these.
they would trundle down to redhill yard from victoria probably a quick shunt at croydon mail dock
they would have perhaps 3-5vans including cct's guv's and bg's they would do perhaps 3 moves within the up yard over 10 mins but not manage much more before batteries would wain??
 

S&CLER

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Wasn't there some examples in the North?
Maybe on the Tyneside lines and later transferred to Merseyside.
I seem to recall seeing such vehicles on the Ormskirk line in the 1950s; I think they might have been part of the build of slam-door stock from the 1920s (the "Lindberghs"). They could have been used to deliver bales of newspapers for collection by newsagents.
 

bangor-toad

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Hi,
There are many references to a MLV working between Redhill and Tonbridge prior to electrification. However, these seem to be met with scepticism. What appears to be first hand mention from a driver is in this article:
(About 3/4 of the way through)
We had a M.L.V. turn on nights, I had been to London Bridge via Redhill P.O. dock & back to Redhill. I was carrying urgent stuff for Tonbridge, the TCS asked me if I knew the road to Tonbridge and I agreed to take the train to Tonbridge on Battery conditions and return to Redhill, where I continued my journey on to Chichester via Horsham and back to Brighton. A good nights work.

There's another reference to it here: https://sremg.org.uk/emu/class419.shtml
This highlights that Redhill <--> Tonbridge was on the limit of what the batteries could manage and any red signals could be a problem.
Several different sources state that an overnight mail train from London Bridge to Ashford was diagrammed for a MLV and this was diverted regularly via Redhill due to engineers possessions. When so routed it was booked to have loco assistance from Redhill to Tonbridge, but on a few occasions when there was no loco available it had run from Redhill to Tonbridge using the traction battery supply. This required the co-operation of the local signalmen as a signal stop at Godstone, Edenbridge, Penshurst or outside Tonbridge would almost certainly mean the train would be unable to restart again, and a clear run was essential. These must have been the longest runs attempted on battery power, this line being virtually flat.

Sadly I can't find any photos of a MLV operating on this route.
Cheers,
Mr Toad
 

Beebman

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Wasn't there some examples in the North?
Maybe on the Tyneside lines and later transferred to Merseyside.

There was one additional MLV E68000 which was built for use in Tyneside. It was very similar to the SR ones but I'm pretty sure it didn't have batteries. It was later transferred to the Southport line.
 
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Gloster

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Wasn't there some examples in the North?
Maybe on the Tyneside lines and later transferred to Merseyside.
The original MLV was built for Tyneside, but later spent a period on Merseyside. There is some information on the bloodandcustard.com website.
 

big all

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Hi,
There are many references to a MLV working between Redhill and Tonbridge prior to electrification. However, these seem to be met with scepticism. What appears to be first hand mention from a driver is in this article:
(About 3/4 of the way through)


There's another reference to it here: https://sremg.org.uk/emu/class419.shtml
This highlights that Redhill <--> Tonbridge was on the limit of what the batteries could manage and any red signals could be a problem.


Sadly I can't find any photos of a MLV operating on this route.
Cheers,
Mr Toad
i was at redhill man and boy from around 1971 to 1994 except 3 and a bit years from 76 to about 80 as a driver at coulsdon north and never heard off an mlv trying to go down the tonbridge
whilst we worked mlv at redhill we never went in battery mode but seen enought mlvs being pushed on to the juice at redhill yard to charge batteries running out to know an attempt to try and reach tonbrige would probably fail after a mile or so and at a speed no greater than perhaps 8 to 10 miles an hour ??
the batteries simply didnt have the capacity for any distance or time off the juice ??
 

bassmike

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Big All Apparently this did happen more than once. I also remember it as I have already said. So why do you disagree? It's quite possible that you never heard of it but it's been confirmed. You say you were there up to about 1980-----probably you were retired when it happened?
 

big all

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i am not saying it didn't happen, it just doesn't make a lot off sense
Redhill was a 24 hr depot with trains running to Tonbridge every hour or so during the day with nice big brake vans and with mail trains travelling at time to suit the early morning mail requirements overnight?
if it did happen, it would be more likely to include towing from Redhill to Tonbridge??

If we take a hap or epb motor coach at around 40-41 ton and an mlv about 46t and exclude the extra weight off a second cab and exhauster/vacuum gear and call it a similar weight to the passenger fittings that leaves 4 or 5 tons off traction batteries ???
it just doesn't add up in my mind as not enough stored energy to do the trip at much more than running pace also not enough for distance required ???
 
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