Train equivalent of a car key?

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Gathursty

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Somewhere near Lostock Junction my mind drifted off and made me think of this question.

How do you start a train up?
Is there a key or something similar used?
Is it generally the same procedure for each class?

I googled for the answer but I wasn't entirely convinced by some posts on other forums.

I don't want to digress on to moving the train, just simply turning it on.
 
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HMS Ark Royal

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Somewhere near Lostock Junction my mind drifted off and made me think of this question.

How do you start a train up?
Is there a key or something similar used?
Is it generally the same procedure for each class?

I googled for the answer but I wasn't entirely convinced by some posts on other forums.

I don't want to digress on to moving the train, just simply turning it on.

I believe a key is indeed used in the start up procedure
 

neilb62

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The key is a device simply used to unlock the master switch or reverser. This is then used to allow the train to be powered up or started etc...
 

broadgage

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As above, but unlike a car, the control key fits ALL trains of that type and many other types also.
Cars of course are meant to have a key unique to each vehicle, or at least a few hundred or thousand different ones so that a randomly selected key is very unlikely to fit.

I have however heard an announcement at a station that stated that a service was delayed because "the driver had misplaced the ignition key" ! I still wonder what exactly had happened. The delay was about 15 minutes.

Whilst drivers are instructed to take good care of the key(s) with which they are supplied, losses do occur and spares are kept at stations and depots etc to avoid loss causing delay.
 

notadriver

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A guard told me if caught with a drivers master key it would be a disciplinary offence. Does anyone know if this is still the case ?
 

ComUtoR

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A guard told me if caught with a drivers master key it would be a disciplinary offence. Does anyone know if this is still the case ?

I believe so. But. They may have the key for a reason i.e. found it in the cab.

In my experience its more just an item that gets confiscated off people and a quick telling off rather than formal disciplinary. They are too readily available and not really an item that is kept securely or specifically registered.
 

BestWestern

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A guard told me if caught with a drivers master key it would be a disciplinary offence. Does anyone know if this is still the case ?

I can't see why. Given the above post about one being lost, it doesn't hurt for both crew members to have a spare of whatever keys are required to keep things moving.

Another story; Guard working an HST has a blonde moment and (somehow!) launches his CDL (door locking) key out of an open droplight on approach to the next station. This occurs late at night, and the location is a remote station on a single line in the middle of nowhere. The Guard has no spare, and the Driver doesn't have one either. The result is both crew members hunting lineside with torches for the errant bunch of keys, and a considerable delay to both the train in question and the service waiting to come the other way. Drivers aren't issued with CDL keys, and Guards aren't issued with Driver's keys; it doesn't hurt if they happen to be carrying them, though (as well as their own spares, ideally!)
 
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scotraildriver

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Drivers should carry a minimum of 4 keys as they are also used to isolate some equipment. If it is necessary to isolate the TPWS and the EBS (older type stock) then you need a key to do each and you cant get the keys back when you have isolated them.So two keys in the isolation flags and a third to drive the train. If you had to change ends you would need yet another key to isolate the EBS at that end. Most drivers carry lots of keys!
 

BestWestern

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At our place the usual drill for unit work (with frequent crew changes) is for the exiting Driver to leave his key in the desk, and his relief to pass on his key. So keys change ownership constantly!

(This saves rebooting the desk at each Driver change).
 

edwin_m

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I have however heard an announcement at a station that stated that a service was delayed because "the driver had misplaced the ignition key" ! I still wonder what exactly had happened. The delay was about 15 minutes.

Maybe the driver was late for his shift because he couldn't find the key to his car to drive in to work?
 

headshot119

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I can't see why. Given the above post about one being lost, it doesn't hurt for both crew members to have a spare of whatever keys are required to keep things moving.

Another story; Guard working an HST has a blonde moment and (somehow!) launches his CDL (door locking) key out of an open droplight on approach to the next station. This occurs late at night, and the location is a remote station on a single line in the middle of nowhere. The Guard has no spare, and the Driver doesn't have one either. The result is both crew members hunting lineside with torches for the errant bunch of keys, and a considerable delay to both the train in question and the service waiting to come the other way. Drivers aren't issued with CDL keys, and Guards aren't issued with Driver's keys; it doesn't hurt if they happen to be carrying them, though (as well as their own spares, ideally!)

I remember the empty 221 from the London - Wrexham being allowed to move into platform 2 at Wrexham General one night waiting for a path down the single line to Chester, the driver wanted to pop and get a drink in the mess room.

Driver left his keys in the cab when he got out and shut the cab door. Train Manager didn't have a spare, and there wasn't a spare in the TMs office.

Another Empty voyager was dispatched with a replacement set of keys so the driver could get back into the cab.
 

tsr

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It's certainly not a disciplinary offence (well, not unless I've missed something in my code of conduct...) for a conductor to have a driver's key at my TOC, but they are not issued by default. However, our conductors do have the ability to unlock a number of stations where spares are stored (mostly the berthing locations). Enough said on that - no specifics will be posted! Most conductors don't have any need for one - as above, you can have freak accidents or the need to isolate loads of stuff, but generally they are kept in the desk or on a driver's keyring away from harm.

The worst problem is, as per the last post, when you get locked out of your train, or into the saloon. Even with egress handles and so on, it's still possible to do. Many a member of train crew has done it...
 

physics34

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Somewhere near Lostock Junction my mind drifted off and made me think of this question.

How do you start a train up?
Is there a key or something similar used?
Is it generally the same procedure for each class?

I googled for the answer but I wasn't entirely convinced by some posts on other forums.

I don't want to digress on to moving the train, just simply turning it on.

i can only speak for the stock i drive but you need the standard drivers key (EP key) to be on before you can close circuit breakers on a 377 or use the engine start button on a 171.
 
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BestWestern

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Of course, 'some' things are permanently live all the time, regardless of whether the cab is live or not. Horn, emergency brake handle, etc all operate even with no key in the desk (I presume the emergency position is also always live on newer stuff with PBL rather than separate levers?)
 

tsr

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i can only speak for the stock i drive but you need the standard drivers key (EP key) to be on before you can close circuit breakers on a 377 or use the engine start button on a 171.

171s are particularly interesting because, whilst you need a driver's key to start them up and carry out certain actions on prep, etc., a huge amount of other stuff can be done with the separate conductor desk key, provided there's juice in the batteries (not a given but often the case). I reckon they must surely have the most comprehensive range of things that a conductor can do on any modern stock, certainly anything built by Bombardier, as you can make the train pretty much completely inhabitable, just without being able to drive it. It's lucky that those keys are so rare! Obviously I'm still not going to post on here exactly what the key is or what it's called.

Of course, 'some' things are permanently live all the time, regardless of whether the cab is live or not. Horn, emergency brake handle, etc all operate even with no key in the desk (I presume the emergency position is also always live on newer stuff with PBL rather than separate levers?)

It was always emphasised to me never to fall into the trap of assuming something is either permanently live or not if the train has been left unattended for longer than a few hours - some things will not work, others will only work for a very short time and then stop, and still others will be live when you didn't think so! If you take one of the electric units I work off the juice for whatever reason (eg. in a depot), you're probably not going to have much luck with a lot of safety systems after a few hours, certainly 24-36 or more. But then, the one day you accidentally touch something you shouldn't, it'll be that stupid experimental unit where it's got a newfangled battery or relay which does something unusual when it's OOU!
 
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craigybagel

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Of course, 'some' things are permanently live all the time, regardless of whether the cab is live or not. Horn, emergency brake handle, etc all operate even with no key in the desk (I presume the emergency position is also always live on newer stuff with PBL rather than separate levers?)

On the one stock that I sign with a combined PBL the emergency brake does indeed work with no key in - and seemingly any movement no matter how accidental when the driver is keyed in in another cab is enough to set off an alarm in the drivers cab - not that I'd have any experience of that :oops:
 

ExRes

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Another story; Guard working an HST has a blonde moment and (somehow!) launches his CDL (door locking) key out of an open droplight on approach to the next station. This occurs late at night, and the location is a remote station on a single line in the middle of nowhere. The Guard has no spare, and the Driver doesn't have one either. The result is both crew members hunting lineside with torches for the errant bunch of keys, and a considerable delay to both the train in question and the service waiting to come the other way. Drivers aren't issued with CDL keys, and Guards aren't issued with Driver's keys; it doesn't hurt if they happen to be carrying them, though (as well as their own spares, ideally!)

I was most certainly issued, officially I should add, with a CDL key when I joined MML
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I remember the empty 221 from the London - Wrexham being allowed to move into platform 2 at Wrexham General one night waiting for a path down the single line to Chester, the driver wanted to pop and get a drink in the mess room.

Driver left his keys in the cab when he got out and shut the cab door. Train Manager didn't have a spare, and there wasn't a spare in the TMs office.

Another Empty voyager was dispatched with a replacement set of keys so the driver could get back into the cab.

Not quite sure what you mean here, assuming a 221 is the same doorwise as a 222 then you would have the external cab doors and the internal door to choose from, does a TM on a 221 not have an internal door key?
 

tiptoptaff

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On the subject of fleabay - I'd personally say the availability of T-keys is far more concerning than Master keys. I mean, they're near useless if you can't access the cab, whereas a T-key gives you that access...
 

tsr

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On the subject of fleabay - I'd personally say the availability of T-keys is far more concerning than Master keys. I mean, they're near useless if you can't access the cab, whereas a T-key gives you that access...

T-keys (even traditional "railway" shaped ones) are sold to fulfil many, many functions outside the railway industry. The danger comes when they are sold as railway memorabilia (or worse!).

All stock I sign needs at least two if not three keys to get anywhere close to moving the train anyway, if you lock it up properly, unless you know a lot about the electronics. With some cab and door layouts, you might be able to use the GSM-R to stop the job if you have enough juice. Otherwise, it would be of more concern that you have accessed a private berthing location.
 
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broadgage

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On the subject of fleabay - I'd personally say the availability of T-keys is far more concerning than Master keys. I mean, they're near useless if you can't access the cab, whereas a T-key gives you that access...

T keys are indeed widely available, and this cant realisticly be controlled in view of the many non railway applications of such keys.
In the last large building that I maintained, "budget locks" that require a t key to open them were fitted to
Every toilet, in order that it may locked out of use for cleaning or repairs.
The refuse store in order that the cleaning staff can deposit refuse, but casual fly tipping deterred.
Every cleaners store, in order to give ready access to anyone authorised but deter casual pilfering.
Most of the windows, to permit of emergency ventilation but to deter opening without good reason.
Numerous panels in public areas behind which were located light switches or heating controls, to deter casual fiddling by visitors but give ready access to authorised staff.
And numerous other places. This is very common practice.
 
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