Train slowed to 20mph due to broken horn handle

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by turntablist, 27 Jul 2015.

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  1. turntablist

    turntablist Member

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    Strange situation on 3:30(ish) train from Halifax to Bradford Interchange today, somewhere near Low Moor the train stopped after the horn sounded, then the guard proceded to walk down the train saying we would be arriving late at Bradford because the horn handle had broken off in the drivers hand and we would be travelling at 20mph until we reached Bradford, where the driver would be changing ends to continue on to Leeds, i think it was a 155, has this happened before?
     
  2. E&W Lucas

    E&W Lucas Established Member

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    No working horn, train to proceed at 20mph max. Standard procedure.
     
  3. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    "Today three trackworkers were killed and another two injured when they were hit by an express train travelling from Halifax. Early reports indicate that the men had only seconds to get out of the way of the train which was travelling at approximately 60mph with a non-functional horn."

    This is a story I *never* want to read.
     
  4. turntablist

    turntablist Member

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    Thanks for the fast replys, i had thought that it was procedure and that is also a story i never want to read, i just wondered if there was any history of the horn handle breaking off in sprinters
     
  5. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    This is why when slowing or cancelling a train I only ever tell passengers it's a train fault which can't be fixed. Give too much info and people think you are being a jobsworth etc...broken headlight on a sunny day, broken windscreen wiper, broken cab air con, broken horn etc...tell the passengers the truth and you end up drowning in sarcastic and snide comments. So as far as I'm concerned it's due to a train fault and leave it at that. If someone asks what the fault is I simply tell them it's a faulty safety system - which is pretty much sort of the truth anyway.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    In most BR built units the horn is a stick in the middle of the desk. It can snap/jam etc like anything else. Wouldn't say it's a common fault in any way but it's not unheard of.
     
  6. whoosh

    whoosh Member

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    I remember following a train travelling at 20mph as the horn had frozen in the snowy weather, and couldn't be sounded.

    No working horn is 20mph.

    Not heard of a broken horn handle before, but am not surprised.
    Horns have isolating cocks to isolate the air supply in case the horn valve gets stuck open and is using up all the compressed air, by the way, although that wasn't the case here. Meridians had an isolating cock for each tone (high/low) so if one valve got stuck, the train could still carry on at linespeed with one working tone.
     
  7. turntablist

    turntablist Member

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    Thanks for the info A-driver, i didnt hear any snide comments although there was a couple of middle aged lady's on the table opposite panicking about wether the train would get to Leeds
     
  8. whoosh

    whoosh Member

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    Broken headlight in the daytime (also 20mph) would likely get snide comments!
     
  9. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Indeed, although even in the bright sunshine a headlight makes a train visible far, far earlier.
     
  10. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So, what's the betting that the fitters response once it's back on depot will be 'No Fault Found'? ;)
     
  11. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    A headlight isn't completely so a driver can see, more so that the train can be seen, and what direction it's going in.
     
  12. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Indeed, it's not an uncommon problem as you may well be aware. At least one well known West Midlands depot keeps a high-tech piece of equipment commonly known as "a kettle" on hand during harsh winters to treat units so afflicted before they go off depot on a morning (probably not unheard of elsewhere). :D
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And a car, as the introduction of daytime running lights would confirm.
     
  14. andy19_64

    andy19_64 Member

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    A few times during the winter months i have had a phone call from our control saying that the horn on a certain train is not working and could we help the driver sort out the problem.
    This will then involve asking the signaller to bring the train into the loop platform and advising him that we will be going onto the track so put a block on the platform.
    It then usually involves running back and forth to the office and getting boiling water to pour over the horns to melt the ice.
    You do look a wally standing in front of the train with your fingers in your ears as the driver tests the horn!!.
     
  15. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    Not sure who came up with it, but I believe we've taken to putting a "muffler" of sorts over the horns on our units to reduce the chance of snow and ice accumulation during the winter. This being after a particularly harsh winter where the fitters were almost spending more time deicing horns than rectifying mechanical faults.
     
  16. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    I vaguely remember a mention that horns were not to be used late at night, so presumably if this broken handle situation had happened at this time, could the train have continued at linespeed?
     
  17. bengley

    bengley Member

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    No, because you must have a working horn for emergency situations (when you would be allowed to use it at any time)
     
  18. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    No, that no sounding rule only applies to whistle boards, if we see anyone on or near the line then we sound both tones regardless of what time of day or night it is.
     
  19. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Ah, that does make sense. Thanks.
     
  20. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Slightly OT, but back in BR days I was always curious as to why the trains that I used regularly on the GEML all had their horns mounted next to the couplers pointing downwards whereas those on the Southern, (SWML in my experience) mostly had them on the cab roof. This was true for trains of equivalent base design, e.g. MKI corridor or compartment bodies, so would this difference in practice be relevant to (theoretically) different weather conditions?
     
  21. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Had a broken horn handle a couple of weeks ago. The train was cancelled and taken out of service.
     
  22. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    This is merely a guess, but much like the multi-working cables the Southern may have had them at a higher level to reduce the risk of staff coming into contact with the live rail...
     
  23. Dieseldriver

    Dieseldriver Member

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    Happened to me a couple of years ago, blew the horn for a whistle board and lever came off in my hand! :oops: Proceeded at 20mph till the train was terminated early 50 minutes late!
     
  24. atillathehunn

    atillathehunn Member

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    For the drivers (particularly Dieseldriver above):

    What happens in your case when you're coming up for a crossing or other place to whistle and the handle comes off? Do you have to try and get as close to 20mph before the crossing? Let's assume it snapped before you could make any noise.

    And secondary: what do you do with a fault like horn etc that develops en route? Do you stop the train and report to the signalman what has happened? Or ring him on the move? I believe trains have phones in the cab now.

    And for the headlight: is there an indicator in the cab? Or do you find out when someone passes on the message?
     
  25. Dieseldriver

    Dieseldriver Member

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    With mine, I stopped he train as soon as it happened (obviously that was after the crossing which the whistle board related to) and called the signaller and my control.
     
  26. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Faults fall into 2 categories. Essential faults (brakes, doors/interlock, horn, headlight, radio, AWS/TPWS etc need to be reported immediately to the signaller (so either via cab radio or stopping at a signal telephone asap). Non essential faults (partial horn fault so at least one time works for example) have to be reported to the TOCs control at the first convenient opportunity. It depends on the severity but some drivers may see the next booked station a convenient opportunity to phone control, others may wait until they finish the journey etc.

    Some newer trains have proving lights in the cab for the headlight. That should go out of the headlamp goes out. But normally you would be told that another driver/platform staff/track workers have reported that no headlight is shown at the front of your train.

    To be slightly pedantic, trains don't have phones in the cab-it is strictly forbidden for any phones to be on in the cab. All trains do have a radio though which provides communication with the signal box.

    If I was whistling for a crossing and the horn broke I'd bring the speed down to 20(as I would at any time it broke regardless) and look to check the crossing is clear. If it wasn't I'd place it into emergency and come to a stand.
     
  27. DeeGee

    DeeGee Member

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    Of course, it's compulsory for any motor vehicle capable of travelling at over 20MPH on the road to be fitted with a working horn, and I'd imagine that there are legal ramifications if you're stopped by the police and found to be wanting a horn. And saying that you won't go above 20MPH won't cut the muster.

    So the situation on the railways (faulty horn = mandatory cut speed to 20MPH) is actually more generous that the relevant Road Traffic law.
     
  28. deltic1989

    deltic1989 Established Member

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    To flip this on it's head, what would be the procedure if the horn handle jammed and was sounding one tone continuously? I have read further up the thread about it being possible to isolate the horn valve, but would a train be able to continue at line speed in this situation or would the 20mph rule apply?
     
  29. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    If the other tone was operable and worked fine, then it could continue normally. 20mph is only if there is NO HORN whatsoever.
     
  30. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    You would indeed isolate the horn to stop it sounding and then continue at 20mph as you have an isolated (so non functioning) warning horn.
     
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