Trains not held at signals?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by ole man, 4 Nov 2011.

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  1. ole man

    ole man Member

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    I heard that the royal train when carrying royalty has a clear route, that being that it doesn't get checked by signals, is this true?.
    How many other services be it freight of specials get this type of treatment?.
    Maybe DRS nuclear traffic?
     
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  3. Metroland

    Metroland Established Member

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    The royal train does get special treatment, without giving away too many operational secrets, notices are only issues to the desks/boxes on that shift during the shift - else running is secret, nor do you know who is on the train. There are certain other manning arrangements of crossings, bridges, signalboxes and so on too.
     
  4. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

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    There are certain types of train that are meant to be given a clear route for security reasons, although it might be impossible for them never to encounter a red. But the rules certainly do require the driver to contact the signaller IMMEDIATELY if you get pulled up in the charge of one of these services.

    I'm not entirely sure which services are caught under this rule, but the Royal Train and certain other services carrying sensitive cargo certainly are. I would imagine that nuclear flask traffic fits this heading, although someone more knowledgeable will say for certain.

    O L Leigh
     
  5. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    I'd guess the rules regarding the semi-regular flask trains that just conist of locos and flask and the occasional (military?) ones that are accomponied by coaches with armed police guards might be different?

    As for the royal train, I thought (other than ECS) at least Liz, Phil the Greek and/or the right royal charlie has to be on board, from there this will generally help anyone work out who it is that's using it.
     
  6. Mike395

    Mike395 Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I see the Queen is visiting Margate on Sunday - if only I wasn't away this weekend - if I was here I'd pop up to Margate station & see if the Royal Train is sitting there!
     
  7. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    Not necessarily, when visiting Sandringham she frequently goes via FCC 365, she also often travels to Portsmouth for Royal Navy engagements and travels by 444.
     
  8. 466.networkers

    466.networkers Member

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    Wonder if the Royals will travel by Javelin?

    Shame I'm in Manchester - would be an excuse to go visit Margate!
     
  9. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    The Royal Train operates as the Royal Train as long as any member of the Royal Family is aboard. It is only signalled and runs as a Royal Train (1X01) however when the Queen is actaully travelling on board.

    As has been mentioned the movement is tightly controlled under signed for "need to know" numbered notices. In my day these were also collected back after use and in between were to be kept under lock and key at work by the holder.

    There are (were) a variety of security arrangements that applied with regards to how the train is/was signalled and train regulation within PSB areas (unknown even to the train crews) which I shall not disclose for obvious reasons, and which in any case are not appropriate to be discussed outside those dealing with these train movements
     
  10. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    At one time, I was under the impression that the nuclear flask trains were given a clear run wherever possible, but since then I've seen various of the typical FNA flask trips looped or held at signals.
     
  11. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    When I started on the railway way back in 1988, there was a story of a very late-running newspaper train that had been given a clear run from Victoria to near Maidstone (as far as our panel controlled).
    It wasn't requested, it just so happened that there was nothing else around, and it needed to make up time, so why not?
    My TO said it was quite interesting watch the route light up from one end of the track diagram to the other!
     
  12. Twoonthebuzzer

    Twoonthebuzzer Member

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    Flasks are definetly not given clear runs!!

    The Bridgwater - Crewe flasks are always held on the UT at Temple Meads awaiting a path, when the 37's or 20's let rip after getting the road!

    Also seen the flasks in loops at Cheltenham and Haresfield!
     
  13. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Urban myth I am afraid.

    Nuclear flask trains have never been given any special regulation, as there is no risk from the traffic. The nuclear material is only low grade and cannot be used again, and in any case is less radioactive than some of the stone used to build Cornish houses.

    I have had one stopped at a signal whilst we undertook an emergency rail replacement imemdiately ahead of it.
     
  14. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    Given the apparent flexibility in flask schedules, it'd surprise me if those turns didn't have a considerable period in loops or at signals on quiet branches. Early running only benefits if everyone can run you!
     
  15. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    I think you're getting your depleted uranium mixed up with spent nuclear fuel. Otherwise I think the 14 inch thick walls of the flasks might be somewhat wasted, when traffic of that variety is regularly taken by road
     
  16. GB

    GB Established Member

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    The stuff inside nuclear flasks is high level and represents a very real risk IF it where to somehow get out. The chances of it happening of course are pratically zero.

    The only special condition I can think of with the flask train is that it must run with more than one loco.
     
  17. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    I am not disputing that the material inside (spent nuclear power rods) is, or at least would be, highly lethal if a person were to be exposed to it. The point I was trying to make (possibly poorly worded) is that this is not atomic weapons grade stuff and it is sealed within a concrete container. Any radioactivity coming off it is less than the Cornish stone example given. Tests on the containers have shown how difficult it would be to damage them, and having worked with this traffic over the years I am not worried that it represents any risk, and hence why it does not warrant any special operational control or regulation.

    Weapons grade material that does pass always runs with armed military "guards" authorised to use "lethal force" I can assure you.
     
  18. Twoonthebuzzer

    Twoonthebuzzer Member

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  19. 455driver

    455driver On Moderation

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    For the non rail employees on here-
    What is the only train that will be given priority over the Royal train (running as 1X01) and why.
     
  20. OxtedL

    OxtedL Established Member Quizmaster

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    Something to do with Tracy Island.
     
  21. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    is it royal mail? for some reason that is what i thought was true. Not entirely sure why, maybe its to keep post moving or was in the days when it moved by rail.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2011
  22. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    1z99?
     
  23. Caped Crusader

    Caped Crusader Member

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    Bob Crow's personal train?
     
  24. 455driver

    455driver On Moderation

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    More details please.
     
  25. mind the gap

    mind the gap Member

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    1z99 - snowplough going to clear line
     
  26. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    ...or engine going to clear the line.
     
  27. blakey1152

    blakey1152 Member

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    She is a few years too late to visit Bembom Brothers.... :)

    Chris
     
  28. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    Is it a requirement, though? I thought it was DRS policy. I remember seeing pics of single 31s hauling flasks. Albeit with a guards van on the rear.
     
  29. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    It was normal for only one loco to work the Nuclear trains in BR days.

    The Guard travelled in a brakevan simply because the Dangerous Goods Regulations required this arrangements for a specified number of traffic. These requirements were withdrawn some time in the 1990s, and with the introduction of DRS working the trains the second locomotive arrangement was introduced, simply to deal with the failure of one. There was no special requirement for two locos to be provided in BR days.
     
  30. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    OK, Just to fuel both arguments here, it's kinda fun...

    If the nuclear meterial was somhow stolen by using TWPS loops, massive cranes and an HGV on standby, then use of it as a weapon wouldn't require it to be Weapons grade plutonium or uranium 235/238, simply being a heavy metal and alpha emitter is enough to scare the hell out of me if it was in the wrong hands, mix it in with a fertiliser bomb and park a truck load of it on Oxford Street and I assure you it would cause damage, not because of a nuclear explosion, but because of being a 'dirty bomb' it would cause massive parts of wherever it was detonated to be rendedered unenhabitable for decades, and in the immdiate case, all 1st responders and persons in the local area dieing a very slow and painful death over the next 24 to 48 hours, with reigonal implications of increased cancer and lucimia for the next 100 years, and continuing deaths due to exposure for the following 10 years.

    I can also assure you that when it is things being transported for the AWE that if anyone did try to get hold of them, they wouldn't be alive for long, and even if they did overwhelm the guards, that they wouldn't get very far. You'd need a lot of orginisation and equipment to knock off either an AWE or Flask train, and such levels or orginisation wouldn't go un-noticed by either the annulus building or Thames House.
     
  31. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    this fellow would disagree with you about the effects of a dirty bomb...
     
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