Railways To Go Metric

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by SpacePhoenix, 25 Jan 2015.

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  1. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Saw this article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...s-distances-miles-kilometres-change-over.html

    Will it be a bigger problem (if at all) for drivers, guards, signallers or engineers?
     
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  3. Emyr

    Emyr Member

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    Engineers probably already work in metric.
     
  4. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    They seem to manage quite well in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and every other ex-British outpost that has gone metric in the last 50 years.
    Even the minister that stopped the progressive change to metric measurements in the 1970s (Geoffrey Howe) said it should have been completed.
    Did the world end when we started buying petrol in litres?
    No engineer (or scientist) wants to keep imperial.

    HS1 is already metric.
    The ECML was re-measured in metric units when it was electrified, and the new GW masts are measured on a metric baseline.
    Edinburgh Waverley is 632.793 km from King's Cross.
    London Underground is also measured in km.

    The Cambrian went metric to enable use of ERTMS.
    This is probably where the DM got its story from, as the roll-out of ERTMS will mean each line going metric in step.
     
  5. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    The EU rules do permit the use of Miles and MPH (with the UK in mind), but Network Rail has decided it would be a good time to go metric.

    Also I thought the railways used chains rather then yards

    Someone should tell the DM that our road signs are already Metric (a distance signed as 100yds is really 100m and a mile is 1600m)
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  6. swills

    swills Established Member

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    Metric distances (both in metres and kilometres) are not authorised on British traffic signs.
    But where authorised they can show both...well sccording to this....
    http://www.ukma.org.uk/distance-information-mess
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  7. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Not that I can see. Small adjustment with braking points and some nomenclature. Other than that, I formally welcome our European Overlords.

    No doubt others will arrive kicking and screaming.
     
  8. Trog

    Trog Established Member

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    Interesting I can remember BR trying to modernise speed restrictions from chains to yards. They changed back after a couple of weeks because of the number of mistakes. As the staff knew off the top of their heads that 30 chains was halfway between the quarter and half mileposts, but did not have a clue where 660yards was.
     
  9. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Safety distances for PTS are given in both yards and meters.
     
  10. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Thought they had already decided recently to retire the obsolete chains.
     
  11. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Pretty much all railway engineering is done in metric units. Relevant for the national network also show distances along the line in miles and chains or yards, and for the speeds in mph for most of the network.

    Speeds are signed in mph and km/h around St Pancras (where the km signs have black backgrounds) and on the Sunderland Metro route (where they are hexagonal). If ERTMS is provided at the same time then, providing all trains have to be equipped with it, it will protect against drivers misinterpreting the signs and overspeeding.

    I don't see that any lineside braking points would move at all - the braking distance is still the same whatever units it is measured in.
     
  12. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    In Tyne and Wear the metro uses metric speeds while sharing track with national rail, no problems there.
     
  13. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    Cannot see how it will effect train driving as long as the speedometer and the signs are the same with the mile posts replaced
     
  14. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Appalling decision.

    The InterCity 125 will have to become an InterCity 201.168, and this is bound to cause more confusion with the InterCity 225, as there will be no such compunction to change its name, and even if it did change its name to avoid such confusion, becoming the InterCity 360 will then only get mixed up with the 360kph speak of HS2!

    Doomed I tell you.
     
  15. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    How many Gas & Electric ones make a mile? ;) Or are you a Yank?
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  16. Andrewlong

    Andrewlong Member

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    I am sure UKIP will fight the proposal and it will be a central plank of their manifesto! Zzzzzzzzzz
     
  17. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    I'll believe this when I see a formal announcement.

    It was rumoured to be happening way back in 2013, but has never materialised.
     
  18. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    See, this is the kind of Euroscepticism that I hate.

    It's not born out of genuine fears. It's a childish reaction akin to "don't tell me what to do" designed to drum up nationalism, regardless of whether it's actually a useful change or not.

    Note - I'm referring to the way the Daily Mail has put things, rather than anyone in this thread. Loving the comments though - "we all do find without kilometres". Well, tell that to the engineers that actually build your beloved railway and they'll tell you that miles and other Imperial units are a pointless pain in the a***.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  19. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Of course the braking points will change, everyone knows imperial brakes are better than metric ones. ;)
     
  20. Chapeltom

    Chapeltom Established Member

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    I'm sorry but I have grown up using miles and yards and prefer it! I can't ever see myself using kilometres and metres and even though I now live in a country where kms and metres are used, I always find myself doing the conversion back to miles and yards, which is divide by 8 and times by 5! If the railway is going in a kms/metres direction anyway then this EU directive shouldn't make a blind bit of difference. What I will object to is if Britain is forced to change from imperial to metric in terms of everything!

    I'm happy to use a mix of both in everyday life but speed and distance it has to be imperial for me! I know my height and weight in both imperial and metric, happy to know both in many aspects of everyday life but personally I don't want to be forced down the metric line.
     
  21. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    They might show imperial, but measure it and you'll find it's metric. The Highways agency works in metric, as shown by the Kilometre posts on all UK motorways. On road signs, 1 mile = 1600m and 1yd = 1m
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  22. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

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    The InterCity 225 (Class 91's and Mark 4 stock) wasn't named because it's planned speed was 225mph - it was named because 225kph was considered approximately near enough to 140mph (the planned maximum speed) to be used as a marketing name.

    Just as in the late 1980s there was a shortlived attempt to brand some Class 87 and Mark 3 worked services on the West Coast Main Line as InterCity 175 when the Class 87's were fitted with new Brecknell-Willis pantographs that permitted operation at 110mph (175kph being considered near enough to 110mph).
     
  23. swills

    swills Established Member

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    Thats odd, when I use my Sat-Nav device here, which is set to imperial, the countdown markers correspond to the yardage countdown on my Tom Tom, but, when I drive in France or Germany etc, the countdowns do not tally, so maybe there is a mixture then in the UK ? alhtough the website that was linked in a post did say 'Engineering Work' is measured in metric,
     
  24. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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  25. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Did the Thais 'force' you to use metric when you moved there? I assume you just got on with it, rather like Britons did when we switched to a decimal currency, then bought petrol in litres and food in grams - and the sky didn't fall in...

    This is just a typical bit of anti-Europe pre-election twaddle from the Mail, a paper that is, shockingly enough, printed on Italian-made presses designed to metric dimensions, using paper that is produced in metric widths, to a metric weight of 45 or 50 grams per square metre. And owned by a tax exile who purportedly 'lives' in France, as his father did before him.

    Frankly, car and train speedometers and distances on road signs and railway mileposts are among the last widespread uses of imperial measures in everyday life in the UK and their survival - permitted by a series of exemptions from European directives stretching all the way back to when we joined the Common Market in 1973 - has more to do with the costs involved in providing new road signs, and metric distance markers on an 11,000-mile rail network, than anything else, which is on a rather different scale to the conversions successfully carried out in the Irish Republic. All modern light rail systems in the UK use metric measurements and speed limits etc, etc.

    And far from being some sinister foreign imposition, the idea of a decimal measuring system was first proposed by an English bishop in the 17th century, metric measures have been legal in the UK since the 1860s, and when we officially decided in 1965 to go metric - all by ourselves, eight years before we joined the Common Market - the rest of the Commonwealth followed suit, with rather more success, as their politicians seem to be rather less gutless than ours when it comes to caving in in the face of scaremongering twaddle from the likes of the Mail.
     
  26. swills

    swills Established Member

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    Blimey next we will have to use the Euro, as we will be out on a limb using Sterling, that no one else uses! as for moving traffic to metric / Km's imagine the cost of converting thousands of car speedos to read Km's (and trains !) whilst they do have Km's on car speedos, most are in very small figures and far from accurate !
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  27. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    The display on mine is identical.

    You just choose from the options in the main menu and it presents in either mph or kph.
     
  28. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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  29. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    Which decimal units aren't metric?
     
  30. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    You soon get used to the approximations if you have an MPH gauge, I've driven a bit on the continent and soon had the approximate limits sussed. Bear in mind that most speedos overread the speed so you would be safe using these!

    30km/h = 20mph
    40km/h = 25mph
    50km/h = 30mph
    60km/h = 35mph
    70km/h = 40mph
    80km/h = 50mph
    90km/h = 55mph
    100km/h = 60mph
    110km/h = 65mph
    120km/h = 70mph
    130km/h = 80mph

    It's likely that in the UK we'd use 30, 50, 70, 80, 100 & 120km/h, but the other limits are common abroad.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  31. pablo

    pablo Member

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    Oh deary me. what a problem. Trust the Daily Wail.
    Most of us changed forty years ago. Remember SI units? And, the kmph conversion on cars' speedometers is a precisely accurate conversion. It's the speedo itself that's rubbish.
    When we change from knots in the air and at sea, that'll be fun. The earth will expand from 360 degrees to c500 degrees and it will take ages to get anywhere..................
    Sea levels will drop to fill the new void and we will be connected to Europe, finally this time!

    Napoleon will be vidicated!
     
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