Neutral Section next to a Station?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Jonny, 7 Nov 2011.

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  1. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Is it true that there is a neutral section next to Chester-le-Street (CLS) station?

    According to part of Wikipedia's article on overhead electrification/OLE this sign means "neutral section" and is visible for both lines heading "down" (northwards/towards Newcastle), and can be seen by the public from the footbridge and the platforms.

    Does this mean that anything electric has to be given a clear run through? Does it also preclude EMU stops at CLS?

    What would be needed to "sort" it as a (potential) bottleneck?
     
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  3. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    1. No, providing there's not a signal inside the neutral section.
    2. Longniddry has neutral section about 20m from the top of the platform - they just take power as normal, then shut off for it. I've never been to CLS, so can't comment on what would likely happen
     
  4. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Trouble for point 1 is that from a public road overbridge (called Pelton Lane?) within what I think is the neutral section, I have seen a set of signals !!! (also visible as a passenger).
     
  5. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

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    Sorry chap, but clearly you don't know what the neutral section itself looks like. I've just had a look at aerial photos on Google Maps which shows the neutral section adjacent to a feeder station where the railway line passes OVER Murray Road more than 200 metres from the northern end of the platforms.

    As for signals, again I think you must be mistaken. While I concede that Google Maps is not the best tool for spotting signal posts they will cast a shadow, and I can see none that aren't cast by OLE stanchions. Someone more local than me will no doubt correct me, but I suspect that there is a signal on the end of the platform and none in the immediate vicinity of the neutral section.

    We have neutrals much closer to station platforms than here at Chester-le-Street. For example, Hackney Downs has one just by the crossovers at the London end of the station. You know it's there so you have to be aware of it, but all you need to do is shut off and coast until you're clear of it. It's annoying but no biggy. Likewise we have some that are just before signals where the rear pan on a 12 car set would still be in the neutral. However, the idea is that you are coming out of a neutral section rather than going into one, so you can still take power as normal even if you are dragging the last unit dead through the neutral.

    O L Leigh
     
  6. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I have just passed through Ch-le-St and saw that the NS is over 100mtrs north of the platform end, is not on the approach to a signal and even if a down electric was pulling away from a stand, it would be on a slight downhill gradient through the NS.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  7. ole man

    ole man Member

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    The neutral sections are CLS don't cause any problems, as stated above there is enough distance between the n/s and the platform to coast through.
    At Crewe the neutral sections on the Crewe- Manchester line were moved due to new signalling, trains would of stopped with there pans in the n/s area and therefore stranded.
    Network Rail take all this into account when new signalling or new OLE is commissioned, you have to take into account that most trains now 2 pantographs (front/rear) and could be using either at any given time.
     
  8. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

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    Only the 390 has 2 pantographs in one rake. Most locomotives and EMUs only have one unless running in multiple. Single set running still gives the same problems of stopping with the pan head in the actual dead section.
     
  9. ole man

    ole man Member

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    You will not find anywhere in UK where a single set will be left stranded at a Neutral Section, there are designed at certain places and take into account signals,stations so that trains will never be stuck, unable to move.
    Network rail look at every scenario possible, be it using the front or rear pan from a 390, in single sets, or multiple sets.
    Point taken in the case of only 390's having 2 pans, i'm that used to seeing multiple sets these days.
     
  10. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I believe 395's do as well, though their range on OHLE is fairly limited
     
  11. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    I believe there are one or two places on the WCML where, shall we say, the positioning of the Neutral in relation to Pendolino-working as not "optimal".
     
  12. ole man

    ole man Member

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    Share them Old Timer.
    The ones round Crewe are not a problem, Doxey might not be ideal, in fact that is getting moved very soon.
     
  13. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Isn't there one that is a bit ropey up north ? Penrith on the down ?

    Thinking about it, what about Oxenholme on the up ??
     
  14. ole man

    ole man Member

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    Not on my patch up there.
    What do you mean by ropey?. Is it the positioning of them or the fact they are not in a very good condition?
     
  15. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

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    Penrith has a neutral section about half a mile north of the station.

    Oxenholme neutral section is about a mile south of the station. There was a GF next to it but I'm not sure if the GF is still there.
     
  16. ole man

    ole man Member

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    What is up with these Neutral Sections?
    They can't be in the wrong place that's for sure, maybe they haven't been upgraded
     
  17. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    it will be ok there is very little chance of an electric train stopping at Chester le Street any time soon :lol::lol:
     
  18. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well if Transpennine electrification goes ahead this may change in the next 5-8 years or so (though I guess that's stretching the definition of the word 'soon' quite a bit ;)).

    Actually an interesting thought occurs, I wonder how many other stations there are which are electrified with one of the standard systems (either OHLE or third rail) at which all services are provided by diesel trains? The only ones that spring to mind are the Northern Rail stations north of Newcastle (those that don't have an EC service).
     
  19. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I wonder if an electric hauled train has EVER stopped thier ( either in service or as a special!)
     
  20. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    While this thread was originally questionning the location of an OHNS in relation to signals or stations, would it not be more relevant to query the location of the lineside magnets (which are responsible for removing and restoring power either side of a NS), and which create longer distances over which a train may be unpowered than the short Neutral Section itself??

    The discussion of the WCML brings to mind our old friend the Carstairs curves, where if I recall correctly, there are 2 NS in very close proximity on one of the curves, and the magnets are deployed so as to create one long unpowerd section through both NSs. More to the point, linespeed round that curve is a mere 15mph.
    (Whether I have all the facts right isn't the point - its the fact that EC's 91's coast for a few hundred meters at slow speed. Now, that does create a risk of becoming stranded in the event of a break application, doesn't it?
     
  21. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

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    I am given to believe that the reason that the magnets are set away from the actual dead section is to give the train's main breaker time to operate. As I'm sure OT will confirm, the last thing you want is for a speeding train with a live pan to draw an arc across the dead wire itself and momentarily joining up both electrification sections.

    It is actually quite hard to strand an AC train in a neutral section. You might be inside the magnets, but provided that you're not actually on the dead wire itself you can manually reset the main breaker and continue to draw power. Provided that you shut-off again before you reach the dead wire you should be OK.

    Given that the dead wire is generally just 15 feet in length, you'd have to be monumentally unlucky to end up completely stranded. Granted it does happen, but it is very rare indeed.

    O L Leigh
     
  22. tom1649

    tom1649 Member

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    Newcraighall and Brunstane near Edinburgh.
    Fairfield on the Glossop line (only served by Rose Hill Marple diesels).
    Kirknewton, Curriehill, Wester Hailes, Kingsknowe and Slateford (occasionally served by electric trains via Carstairs in times of disruption).

    There may well be others.
     
  23. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Interesting idea

    There are certainly a few with *few* electric trains (like the Hazel Grove line from Stockport), but I think it still gets a token EMU a day (?)

    Isn't there a station on the GOBLIN around Tottenham, that is electrified (on the Stratford - Stansted NXEA service), but only GOBLIN DMUs stop at? I could be wrong - am at work, so have no Quail access...
     
  24. tom1649

    tom1649 Member

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    Isn't Newton-le-Willows another one? Of course this is set to change in the future.
     
  25. Pyromaniac

    Pyromaniac Member

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    There is a neutral section just west of Rayleigh station. Even on a 4 car unit the driver is able to come charging out of the station and shuts off at about 20mph (rough guess) to traverse the neutral section. There is another just east of Shenfield station, not as much an issue as trains are usually coasting down to stop and timings are a little loose here.

    Cheers

    PT
     
  26. The Engineer

    The Engineer Member

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    and Earlestown :D
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    .... and Drumbreck is another (Paisley Canal line) as Corkerhill yard is wired for EMUs. And possibly Corkerhill station too??
     
  27. scrapy

    scrapy Member

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    Leyland, Euxton Balshaw Lane, Edge Hill & West Allerton are all electrified but have no electric trains booked to call. Mossley Hill might also be one but think the odd LM may still call.

    Can we include Barlaston, Wedgewood and Norton Bridge on the list? served only by diesel.
     
  28. thewolf

    thewolf Member

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    The X1 seems to have shiny new hybrid busses, so it kind of gets an electric service now :lol:
     
  29. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Wolverton - on the up - mind the neutral !
     
  30. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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    Seriously?, I've used the station quite a few times in the last 2 years and never noticed the neutral section once :oops: - mind you I'm far more interested in the local scenery or getting off the train.
     
  31. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I make it more like 200 meters (and on a very slight downhill gradient leaving the station southbound through the NS)
     
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