Route Atlas

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MartinB1

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I have recently qualified as a train driver and am currently undertaking my route learning. I would like to find a publication on Route maps, displaying track layout and curvatures. I've seen the Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland for sale online which looks promising, however can't find anywhere examples of the pages within. Can anyone tell me if this publication has this detail, or if any other publication does? I do have route maps issued to me with a lot of information, however I would like this information in a wider context with track layout and curvatures detailed as part of the wider geography. I don't want to purchase something online only for it not to be what I'm after. Trackatlas looked ideal, however is no longer in print.
 
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STANDISH

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Note some these Regional Quail Track Maps are about to have new editions. Check before you buy.
 

MartinB1

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Thanks for replying. Yes I've already looked at them, all straight lines like my issued route maps unfortunately.
 

MichaelAMW

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Thanks for replying. Yes I've already looked at them, all straight lines like my issued route maps unfortunately.

I thought the solution to this was that drivers are lent or given DVDs of the routes. Doesn't give you gradients, mind you, but it does give curves - and shows you that signal round a sharp left-hand bend behind a bridge and in a bush...
 

Nicks

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How about Ordnance Survey 1:25000 maps - either the paper copies or you can buy the digital tiles you need online. The cost of these is a lot cheaper than they used to be.
 

30907

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I have recently qualified as a train driver and am currently undertaking my route learning. I would like to find a publication on Route maps, displaying track layout and curvatures. I've seen the Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland for sale online which looks promising, however can't find anywhere examples of the pages within. Can anyone tell me if this publication has this detail, or if any other publication does? I do have route maps issued to me with a lot of information, however I would like this information in a wider context with track layout and curvatures detailed as part of the wider geography. I don't want to purchase something online only for it not to be what I'm after. Trackatlas looked ideal, however is no longer in print.

The Baker atlas doesn't give details of track layout, but is accurate for geography (within the usual limitations - all cartography is a compromise!), more so than the TrackAtlas (not a criticism). Think OS 1:50000 (actual scale is slightly smaller) but with almost all non railway detail omitted.
 

kentuckytony

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Depending on what routes you are learning, there are many DVD and Blu-Ray "cab rides" and "driver's eye views" from the cabs of trains. Some even have historical commentary.
You might consider some of those.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Just make sure to buy one that are unabridged, as an awful lot of cab ride DVDs tend to have some bits of running omitted. 225 Studios are very good for complete (but without commentary) videos.
 

319321

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Can you post an example of what a map showing "curvature" should looks like?

Unless I've missed the point, where what you want is geographically accurate maps rather than diagramatic representations.
 

319321

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Having looked at the trackatlas examples, none of the map sources I was thinking of offer a similar level of detail to that provided by trackatlas. Sorry.
 

MartinB1

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I'm surprised there isn't anything else like this. Hoping Trackatlas comes back in print at some point. I'm actually coming towards the end of my route learning anyway, however I would like something like this as a useful reference.
 

319321

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I am not a TOC employee, so cannot access this tool, but I have found this page on the Network Rail website.

Network Rail Electronic Sectional Appendix said:
NESA is an electronic data source with significant advantages over a hard copy publication. These include:

  • Search tools for locations, routes and key words
  • Information can be accessed easily across Network Rail route boundaries
  • Network maps enable a user to navigate through the data by linked references
  • A route builder facility that allows a user to create bespoke routings to match their needs
  • On-line editing capability ensures it is up-to-date

It might be the case that the network maps are what you are looking for, or the route builder might let you make the kind of map you are looking for.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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I find the OP's original question a little surprising. The existence of curves will be uncovered as a matter of course during route learning. As for how curves actually affect operations from a driver's point of view there are two main considerations: speeds and signal sighting.

Speed limits are a significant part of drivers' route knowledge and exist for many reasons in addition to curvature. As such the knowledge of these speed limits is formed as a continuous sequence along the route and there is no benefit to associating each individual limit with the reason for its existence: it just is. The key information is the position of the braking point for each individual limit and being able to adjust that braking point according to conditions ie current speed, traction braking characteristics, weather conditions, etc. Of course temporary speed restrictions add in a degree of complication but planners and performance managers have to make suitable allowance for these.

Signal sighting is largely dealt with through the use of appropriate repeaters where necessary though signals with any risk of a read-across error will certainly be identified in the route learning material. Even as a guard I was thoroughly briefed and tested on the existence of such situations where they existed at stations. The wildcard is vegetation growth gradually obscuring a specific signal and of course there is a system for reporting such concerns as they arise.
 

319321

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I presume so. A train driver has the need to use (and know) the sectional appendixes for safety reasons, if nothing else. Try requesting it and see what they come back with.

Network Rail Electronic Sectional Appendex Registration details
Access to the internet
A Network Rail Portal account with access to the NESA website
Scaleable vector graphics (SVG) viewer software so you can view the route maps and track diagrams
To set up a Portal account and access to NESA, email [email protected] with the following information:

The organisation which you represent
Your name and role within your organisation
Your work email address
NB the NESA mailbox is for access requests only. To raise any other issues regarding NESA please email [email protected].

We can normally confirm registration and account details within 10 working days.
 

MartinB1

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I'm actually coming towards the end of my route learning just waiting for my assessments on all the routes I will be driving. What I'm seeking is more a matter of interest than anything else.
 

319321

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I know. If I was a TOC employee I would be requesting access to it, just out of interest!
 
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