"Sensors" trackside on WCML

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by codesam, 19 Jul 2013.

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  1. codesam

    codesam Member

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    On my regular journeys between BHM & EUS, I've noticed weird looking sensor things at the side of the track at some points (mostly approaching MKC and WFJ from both directions, may be others further up north or other places I have missed).

    They look like some sort of motion or position sensor, placed about every 2 meters or so.

    Here are some photos which might show what I'm talking about a bit better - http://imgur.com/a/OG3oh (My camera doesn't like focusing at 125mph, apparently)

    What are these thingies? What do they do? Why are they only on some bits of the track?

    Hopefully one of you wonderfully knowledgeable people will know =)
     
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Are they not the lights that were mentioned recently as being installed at junctions, where regular maintenance/checks take place at night?
     
  4. Ships

    Ships Member

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    Correct, it's junction lighting.
     
  5. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    permanent junction lighting to aid work on the junction or S&C inspection which often has to be done at night as this is the only time access can be given.

    It saves on time in mounting and demounting portable units every time you want to work in thew area. This means you can cram more work into your possession window. I guess there will be a cost saving long term in not paying hire rates for portable equipment.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2013
  6. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Do they switch on automatically when it gets dark then, much like a street light? Or are they switched on manually when a job is happening, or even switched on remotely from somewhere?
     
  7. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I think they are only on when needed. From whee i dont know. They have always been on when i have arrived !
     
  8. codesam

    codesam Member

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    Heh, I thought it would be something exciting or interesting, but I can see how having fixed lights in high-maintenance areas are a good idea. Oh well, thanks all.
     
  9. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    I think you will find that they are LED lights so there by low power consumption and thereby not needing a large power supply at remote locations as thats where some junctions can be located.

    Also been low down means easier mtc with out the complication of access and all the Health & Safety problems these days.
     
  10. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    LEDs should also need much less maintenance than other types of lighting and are probably more vandal-proof too. Last thing anyone wants is lots of inspections cancelled because someone has smashed the lights!
     
  11. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    It's not just them being vandal proof either, they last a ridiculous amount of time compared to incandescent bulbs. If you go to a hardware store or a supermarket and look at light bulb packaging then the life expectancy of an incandescent bulb is measured in thousands of hours, the life of a LED bulb is measured in years. It's one of the reasons why new signals are LED type too.
     
  12. dysonsphere

    dysonsphere Member

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    Quite however B and Q have made the mistake of a lifetime deal and about 10% fail in the first few months. but they change them with no problems. It seems if they last the first few months there good for ever.
     
  13. Darren R

    Darren R Established Member

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    On a similar theme (not worth starting a new thread though), I frequently see what look like small solar panels trackside - sometimes they're near things like speed signs, but I've also seen them apparently randomly placed near nothing in particular. Are they really solar panels?
     
  14. Ships

    Ships Member

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    Some of the new greasers run off solar power so could be that!
     
  15. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Solar panels are often used for something that doesn't use much power when there isn't a convenient power supply nearby, and increasingly even when there is but it would cost too much to tap into it. See for example pay and display car park machines.
     
  16. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Solar powered waste compactors are starting to replace litter bins in busy areas too. Apparently refuse collectors can check how full they are online so they know when to go and empty them, I'd never really considered how much time gets wasted when people go and empty bins that are only a quarter full or bins that have been overfilled and had their contents spill out onto the floor.
     
  17. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    When I first saw them I wondered if the height was something to do with getting the best illumination levels on the sides of the rails etc. If the aim is to help with visual inspections it's not too good if shadows are affecting what people can see?
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    So if they want to know how full they are, they just go onto the binternet? ;)
     
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