Staff being tethered to posts- British Rail Safety Test - February 1993

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kevconnor

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Last night I found myself watching old episodes of Drop the Dead Donkey on All4, there was an episode from February 1993 (Series 3 Episode 5 - Sally's libel) when it makes reference to a tabloid headline about a Safety Scheme. The details were scant but it alleged the test involved staff being 'tethered' to a post on the platform.

I daresay this is likely to be a story of the ilk of Conkers being banned in schools etc but can anyone remember the story and have any background to it?
 
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ExRes

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There is actually a reference to this in 'The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society' 'No83 - March 1993' in a paragraph titled 'Loco Notion'

Whether it's actually true or a figment of the script writers mind is another matter all together, they didn't ask for volunteers at my depot ;)
 

kevconnor

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There is actually a reference to this in 'The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society' 'No83 - March 1993' in a paragraph titled 'Loco Notion'

Whether it's actually true or a figment of the script writers mind is another matter all together, they didn't ask for volunteers at my depot ;)

That could well be the source as the exact same headline was displayed on the program.
 

Phil.

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Now, at the risk of being banned for making sarky comments.....you do realise that, "Drop the Dead Donkey" was a work of comedy fiction?
 

kevconnor

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Now, at the risk of being banned for making sarky comments.....you do realise that, "Drop the Dead Donkey" was a work of comedy fiction?

It was satire but tended to use genuine news items each week. I did also place the previous caveat that I thought the origin or the story may be of questionable veracity.
 

Bald Rick

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No, it definitely happened - or at least was planned to happen. I remember it as it was in my first few months of railway employment.

It was in connection with potential 140mph running on the ECML, and it was to see how far away from the track that a 'position of safety' needed to be.
 

asharpe

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No, it definitely happened - or at least was planned to happen. I remember it as it was in my first few months of railway employment.

It was in connection with potential 140mph running on the ECML, and it was to see how far away from the track that a 'position of safety' needed to be.

Do you think the plan might have involved tethering you the volunteer to a long weight or similar?
 
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Tio Terry

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I can remember, many years ago, having to test a cable jointers tent on the ECML in the run up to 125MPH services. It was designed with cone shaped ends, the idea being the airflow would be directed around it. Didn't work and ended up following the train up the cess. But at the same time platelayers were being paid an extra 10/- a shift to volunteer to be tethered to signal posts to assess the effects of passing trains. I think the 2M clearance for trains travelling above 100MPH came out of this.
 

ExRes

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Now, at the risk of being banned for making sarky comments.....you do realise that, "Drop the Dead Donkey" was a work of comedy fiction?

If you enter 'magazine of the peninne railway society 83' into google it should be the first article to come up, down to the 'Loco Notion' paragraph within that article and then you can make up your own mind

I wonder, if they had got volunteers and gone ahead with the experiment, that the brave 'hangers on' would have been given an ongoing 'Leave or Remain' option? :D
 

edwin_m

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If you can blag yourself a login on sparkrail.org or RSSB and search for T425, the Appendix B report includes a summary and references to the previous work by BR Research. The original report on this work should be in the reference list somewhere and will also be available on the same site.
 

ChiefPlanner

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BR did dynamic tests pre APT with doctored fibreglass front ends - around Linslade single bore tunnels on the WCML - "disguised" class 86's maybe .....(and no doubt mathematical l and modelling tests a la Barnes Wallace and the bouncing bomb !)
 

edwin_m

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Was the date of the issue April 1st, by any chance?

No, all perfectly true and I've previously posted how to find the reports to prove it. I don't have time to read them all now but I seem to recall the intention was to measure the aerodynamic forces on the people to see how close it was safe to stand to a moving train (when not tied to a post).
 

Johnuk123

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I remember something about this years ago in one of the Railway Magazines, it certainly is no April fool.
 

Taunton

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There was a magazine article long ago in the early days of 25Kv, which described a demonstration to "prove" that it was safe. A steam locomotive was stood under the overhead (at Crewe I think) with full blower etc on to create smoke, then the live overhead was slowly dropped until it flashed over to the cab roof. People were stood on the adjacent platform, and seated in a carriage behind, while an inspector stood on the platform holding the loco cab's handrails.

Rather him than me.
 

Johnuk123

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There was a magazine article long ago in the early days of 25Kv, which described a demonstration to "prove" that it was safe. A steam locomotive was stood under the overhead (at Crewe I think) with full blower etc on to create smoke, then the live overhead was slowly dropped until it flashed over to the cab roof. People were stood on the adjacent platform, and seated in a carriage behind, while an inspector stood on the platform holding the loco cab's handrails.

Rather him than me.

You can just imagine anybody suggesting that now.
 

kermit

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There was a magazine article long ago in the early days of 25Kv, which described a demonstration to "prove" that it was safe. A steam locomotive was stood under the overhead (at Crewe I think) with full blower etc on to create smoke, then the live overhead was slowly dropped until it flashed over to the cab roof. People were stood on the adjacent platform, and seated in a carriage behind, while an inspector stood on the platform holding the loco cab's handrails.

Rather him than me.

Call me inexpert if you like, but wouldn't that really be quite dangerous?
 

edwin_m

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Call me inexpert if you like, but wouldn't that really be quite dangerous?

The idea must have been to show that it wasn't, though I agree with the previous post "rather him than me" and would add "don't try this at home (or at your local station)"! The train is sitting on the track, which is bonded to the return side of the 25kV supply, so that all-metal path would be a much lower resistance than one going through the person and the platform. Therefore most of the current would take this route.
 

kermit

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The idea must have been to show that it wasn't, though I agree with the previous post "rather him than me" and would add "don't try this at home (or at your local station)"! The train is sitting on the track, which is bonded to the return side of the 25kV supply, so that all-metal path would be a much lower resistance than one going through the person and the platform. Therefore most of the current would take this route.

A perfectly lucid and reassuring explanation, until we get to that troublesome little word, "most"!
 

Elecman

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The idea must have been to show that it wasn't, though I agree with the previous post "rather him than me" and would add "don't try this at home (or at your local station)"! The train is sitting on the track, which is bonded to the return side of the 25kV supply, so that all-metal path would be a much lower resistance than one going through the person and the platform. Therefore most of the current would take this route.

The biggest potential problem would be what fault voltage appeared on the earthed metalwork of the train. All protection systems work on the proviso of limiting the fault voltage on extraneous metalwork to a safe level, otherwise every train / OLE structure would be potentially dangerous during fault conditions .
 
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