Running Brake Tests

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Inversnecky

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I first heard about this is a YouTube video I can't seem to relocate.

Can someone in the industry please explain about these?

The general idea is that once you get going, you have to to check the effectiveness of the brakes on a train in motion, and that the pressure gauge moves to the correct settings.

But I'm interested in the detail - do you have to be at a certain speed before you can start this? How much braking and to what degree (speed decrease and/or brake pressure)? For MUs, steps to apply, for locos, applications of EP?

Presumably the test must then be dependent on the train, or is there a general braking effect that has to be demonstrated?
 
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43066

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But I'm interested in the detail - do you have to be at a certain speed before you can start this? How much braking and to what degree (speed decrease and/or brake pressure)? For MUs, steps to apply, for locos, applications of EP?

The basic idea of it is to find out how the brakes handle in the prevailing conditions on that train, not to check the brakes are working as some seem to think.

You do it at the start of each journey (or after relieving another driver at an intermediate point), ideally before your first requirement to brake significantly. I usually get up to 50mph or so and brake down to 40mph or just below using a normal service brake application. There’s no set speed reduction for the initial RBT (rule book just asks for a “positive reduction in speed” or some such), but most DMs like to see 10mph or so on a download.

How strong the application is will vary according to traction but ones I’ve used would be step 2 of a standard 3 step brake, step 3 of 6 on an HST, or 40 to 50% of max deceleration on a unit with a continuously variable brake.

You also do it at your discretion whenever you feel you need to, for instance during leaf fall season in areas of low adhesion.

If driving disk brakes units in falling snow you’re required to undertake an RBT every three to five minutes and in this case you are required to show a reduction of 10mph or more. This is done both to check conditions and to keep the brakes free or snow and ice.

EDIT: above applies to passenger ops, loco hauled and/or freight ops may well be different.
 

ungreat

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Where I am they like to see 60% application (700s) and 10mph or more reduction in speed. Also recently an emergency brake application on setting up a cab or after relieving another driver
 

20atthemagnet

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I first heard about this is a YouTube video I can't seem to relocate.

Can someone in the industry please explain about these?

The general idea is that once you get going, you have to to check the effectiveness of the brakes on a train in motion, and that the pressure gauge moves to the correct settings.

But I'm interested in the detail - do you have to be at a certain speed before you can start this? How much braking and to what degree (speed decrease and/or brake pressure)? For MUs, steps to apply, for locos, applications of EP?

Presumably the test must then be dependent on the train, or is there a general braking effect that has to be demonstrated?

For my TOC this has changed over time what the minimum required is. It used to be every time you changed ends but is now only from each end of a train you are driving so if you stayed with a unit for several trips you would only do 2 on that unit. On a standard 3 step brake this also changed at my TOC. Used to be 1-2-3-2-1 with at least 10mph positive reduction but that was reduced to 1-2-1 for "energy saving" make of that what you will, although most drivers stuck with a the former, as the latter on the units we had at the time didn't really give you much of an idea on how the brakes were performing.
 

Flange Squeal

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@43066 has summed it up pretty well. On older stock it's a worthwhile thing to find out if you have a 'good brake' or a 'bad brake', as you'd be surprised how two units of the same class can sometimes handle noticeably differently. In fact, sometimes even just driving from the other end of a single multiple unit after changing ends can give a different 'feel'!
 

20atthemagnet

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@43066 has summed it up pretty well. On older stock it's a worthwhile thing to find out if you have a 'good brake' or a 'bad brake', as you'd be surprised how two units of the same class can sometimes handle noticeably differently. In fact, sometimes even just driving from the other end of a single multiple unit after changing ends can give a different 'feel'!
This. Used to have arguments with technicians who said it was impossible but my buttocks told me something different. :lol:

Is that 10mph overall, or with each step?

Thanks for all the replies.
10 overall. Although the location could be anywhere up to your first stopping point but not for. At what speed to do it was just a case of common sense, somewhere higher than a 30mph limit preferably. We used to have some trainees fresh from the school attempt RBTs leaving terminal stations at 13-14 mph..all good fun!:lol:
 
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43066

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We used to have some trainees fresh from the school attempt RBTs leaving terminal stations at 13-14 mph..all good fun!:lol:

Haha.

It’s tricky if you have max line speed of 20mph before your first station stop like a location I used to sign. We tended to just leave the RBT until after leaving the first stop where line speed went up to 60mph. Pretty pointless otherwise!
 

jamesst

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At my toc you put the brake in the strongest position (step 3) and you're looking for a reduction of 10mph.
This is done after entering service/leaving a depot before your first braking point and during adverse weather.
 

sw1ller

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@43066 has said most of what I’d say. Only slight differences for me would be a RBT needs doing if the train changes length mid journey. And the brake test in falling snow would need to be a full service application.
 

387star

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At one TOC they wanted a 10 mile an hour reduction and I was taught by my DI two running brake tests one at low speed one at a higher speed. I changed this to one at a higher speed as that's all that a required and it's not good for customers to have sudden harsh braking so soon after departure. I was told to use all steps

At my new TOC they only look for a five mile an hour reduction to avoid delays. I don't think it's mandatory to use all steps just one and two but I put it into three momentarily.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Used to love talking to LUL drivers back in the day about the skills of a "Westinghouse stop" as opposed to using the EP brake. There was always a chance of a blown EP fuse taking the brake away - so it was the practice to do a WH stop somewhere on the route with the confirmation there was a good back up.

This applied to the "older" stock like 59 and "A" stock - some expert will confirm about other stock types.
 

Dstock7080

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Used to love talking to LUL drivers back in the day about the skills of a "Westinghouse stop" as opposed to using the EP brake. There was always a chance of a blown EP fuse taking the brake away - so it was the practice to do a WH stop somewhere on the route with the confirmation there was a good back up.

This applied to the "older" stock like 59 and "A" stock - some expert will confirm about other stock types.
It was an LT/LU requirement to undertake a Westinghouse stop at the last station before a terminus.
Other Westinghouse trains in my time; CO/CP, R, A, C, ‘38, ‘56/59/62, ‘60, ‘67, ‘72.
 

ChiefPlanner

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It was an LT/LU requirement to undertake a Westinghouse stop at the last station before a terminus.
Other Westinghouse trains in my time; CO/CP, R, A, C, ‘38, ‘56/59/62, ‘60, ‘67, ‘72.

Thank you - excellent and informative reply. So the 72's keep the flag flying on the WH brake !

I feel like I should ask about an EP versus a rheostat brake (effectiveness of) , but the wrong topic area for this.
 

Stigy

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At my new TOC they only look for a five mile an hour reduction to avoid delays. I don't think it's mandatory to use all steps just one and two but I put it into three momentarily.
We’re also not required to do it at all if relieving another driver and they say the brakes are okay as part of their handover.
 
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