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Signal failure at Waterloo last night

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infobleep

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Last night there was a single failure at Waterloo. I arrive thinking not expecting to get the 17.30 to Portsmouth when I saw the subway departure board with delayed against every train. I'm surprised they cannot put out non-automated announcements down here. Would be useful.

Anyway I got onto the platform to find the 17.15 and 17.30 had not left. The 17.15 looked busier than usual and the 17.30 more empty than usual. After 5-6 minutes the 17.15 left. One bloke rushed off our train to board it.

I hesitated and it was too late to VGA he. Beside I had a seat, even if I didn't know when we might leave we eventually left about 5-6 minutes after the 17.15.

Imagine my surprise then, when we arrived Ito Woking and the 17.15 was in the other platform. I was even more surprised when we left first! At that point I thought of all the people who thought that train would get them home quicker and were standing.

When I got to Guildford they were doing a manual announcement about the 17.15 train. The board showed my train first but unless they were referring to the train after my one, perhaps they were not aware as to the change. It must get complicated during disruptions.

On the whole I am finding lately the disruptions are increasing and of course they are not all due to faults, some are weather or person on track situations.
 
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Matt Taylor

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One blown fuse was all that happened, unfortunately it happened right at the start of the evening peak and resulted in 14 platforms being closed for around 20 minutes.
 

tsr

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One blown fuse was all that happened, unfortunately it happened right at the start of the evening peak and resulted in 14 platforms being closed for around 20 minutes.

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit stupid, but surely there should be a better system than one fuse protecting the power supply for the signals relating to 14 platforms...? Perhaps there should be more modularity in the system? I mean, for goodness' sake, I know of model railways where you have more fuses than that for platform signals.

(P.S. Just in case you mis-read this post, I am not blaming you!)
 

swt_passenger

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'Signal failure' nearly always means 'signalling system failure'. The former is generally what is announced to the public, but it is hardly ever as simple as failure of 'a signal'.

Once you accept that this single fuse could supply anything whatsoever in the entire S&C layout in the station throat, it is easy to take out 14 platfoms.
 

infobleep

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Would the term signal systems failure infuriate passengers mor?. Personally I'd rather have the longer correct terminology rather than the dumbed down version.
 

tsr

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'Signal failure' nearly always means 'signalling system failure'. The former is generally what is announced to the public, but it is hardly ever as simple as failure of 'a signal'.

Once you accept that this single fuse could supply anything whatsoever in the entire S&C layout in the station throat, it is easy to take out 14 platfoms.

Yes, true, but there should always be a backup system, perhaps in addition to a modular system that doesn't permit an accident like this taking 14 platforms effectively out of service.
 

swt_passenger

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Yes, true, but there should always be a backup system, perhaps in addition to a modular system that doesn't permit an accident like this taking 14 platforms effectively out of service.

Well you can easily have a backup power supply, and if that was the only place there were fuses you might be OK.

But how can you have a back up system for a track circuit, or a point motor, or a detection circuit somewhere in the middle of the station throat? If the failure mode is causing a supply fuse to blow, a backup power supply is no help.
 

Matt Taylor

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At around the same time as this incident there was an 8 car 450 that failed half in and half out of the platform at Waterloo, no idea if there is a connection.
 

AlterEgo

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Would the term signal systems failure infuriate passengers mor?. Personally I'd rather have the longer correct terminology rather than the dumbed down version.

You'd prefer to know that a delay was caused by, say, an axle counter failure at Guildford? Or a faulty stretcher bar?

To most laypeople that is just gibberish.
 
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