Why are units left on overnight?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by alexl92, 16 May 2015.

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  1. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    I was passing Huddersfield Station quite late (1am-ish) the other night and noticed that all the stabled units - a 144 in platform 2 and the rest in the sidings beyond platform 8 except one pacer - still had their lights on reds and in some cases the destination blinds still backlit.

    Why are they left like this? Wouldn't it make more sense just to turn them off overnight? According to RTT, the last train goes into Huddersfield sidings at 0010 and the first train out of Huddersfield sidings is 0746 so even if those two were the same unit, that's at least 7.5 hours sitting out of use wasting energy.
     
  2. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    The red lights at the ends are an obvious safety requirement.

    Interior lights - I would agree that unless the train is being cleaned or otherwise serviced it would make more sense to turn them off to save energy.

    Destination blind - assuming it's separately wired then again while turning them off wouldn't save much energy, that's better than not saving any at all.
     
  3. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Do they fuel trains at Huddersfield?
    If they do then the trains will need to be shunted with the drivers having to change ends.
    The trains will need to be cleaned.
    If the lights are left on for no good reason then they will switch off when the auxiliary batteries run down anyway.
     
  4. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    In the case of electric units (so this isn't entirely applicable to Huddersfield), the trains are normally left powered up in order to allow prepping for the next day. Additionally, the trains I work don't like going off current, as they need air to close the line contactors. If the train is off current then the compressors aren't running, therefore the air main line isn't kept supplied with air, which means the line contactors can't open when the time comes. The trains have a switch/cock which maintains a small secure (leak-proof) reserve of air for use when the juice is off, however this isn't suitable for regular use as it involves lifting seats. For these sorts of reasons, and the need to have a supply of current to do all the required prepping tests, most depots and sidings are normally permanently live. The other problem with powering the train down is that residual items (tail lamps) will gradually drain the battery, this won't (shouldn't!) cause a problem for one night, but would if the train were left in the powered down state for several days.

    When stabling a train I normally switch off the interior lighting simply because I can, but there's no requirement to do so.
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2015
  5. DeparturesBeck

    DeparturesBeck Member

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    Not familiar with the units in question, but if power is on then CCTV is still recording.
     
  6. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Is there not a requirement to switch off the interior lighting at a stabling point, say, when it is located in the vicinity of a residential area?

    Also that it might attract unwanted attention from the unruly sorts.
     
  7. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Units also get "Prepared" overnight. Leaving them cut out also drains the air so when they are cut back in they need to pump back up. A compressor going full pelt at 0400 in the morning...

    Not sure if the power savings are that significant than what is required when cutting it back in.
     
  8. syorksdeano

    syorksdeano Member

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    I was going to leave some sarcastic comment that knowing Northern Rail if they switched them off they would take ages to start again......but reading the previous comments it seems that is the case but in their design
     
  9. FordFocus

    FordFocus Member

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    Engines on and key in the unit to allow the auxiliary batteries to remain charged for the interior lights. Cleaners can then get on to clean the train ready for the next day. Same for fitters or drivers prepping the train.

    Destination light is a simple tube that won't use up much energy. :idea:

    During the winter months, it's not unheard of for engines to remain on for 24 hours a day. Shutting down an engine at night after cleaning has finished and then trying to get it to turn over the next morning and finding it's too cold for it to start is quite common for the older DMUs such as 15x. If the Webasto/Aux Heater isn't working makes it a bit more tricky as this pre heats the engine before starting. Leaving the engines running also keeps the engine coolant warm and then the internal heaters warm for passengers ready for the morning.. :D

    I await the "that's not environmentally friendly" posts <D:lol:
     
  10. class 9

    class 9 Member

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    These type of unit have an engine run timer, so when the master key is taken out the engines will shut down after 15 mins, the batteries have low volts protection on them,so when it drops to a certain level they cut out, this is to avoid flat bats.
    They may just be left running whilst cleaning takes place.
     
  11. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Not that I'm aware of. In fact, I know a few locations where they deliberately leave trains with headlights showing white and interior lighting on in order to try and make potential intruders think the trains might be about to move.
     
  12. OpsWeb

    OpsWeb Member

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    I the train is shut down completely and correctly (e.g during an isolation), it takes about 10-15 minutes to fire everything back up again, build up air pressure and get the thing moving, so it is often preferable just to leave the PAN up and the auxiliaries running, even if it just to allow the cleaners to clean and the fitters to check over the set at night.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2015
  13. noddingdonkey

    noddingdonkey Member

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    Surprised you saw the 144 in Platform 2 at that time in the morning - according to RTT the Penistone Line unit shunts into the sidings as 5B66 just before midnight.

    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y32471/2015/05/19/advanced

    Believe they do that in order to swap the sets.
     
  14. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Is that allowed under the rule book ?

    I know that whites are mandatory when adjacent to the running line but otherwise all lights are left red.
     
  15. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    They will be the marker lights, some of the new/replacement ones are quite bright to look at.
     
  16. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I know :)

    I was more concerned with the second part of bramlings post. I suspect he is confused. Hence the need for further clarification. Leaving your "whites" up shouldn't be allowed and we always leave reds up (except as mentioned)

    Is there some deviation or local instruction that the location he/she notes has whites left deliberately on for security is allowed.
     
  17. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    There are few locations where you leave whites instead of reds up, the new sidings at Guildford is one the neck at Effingham jn is another.
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Get LED lighting on them and then have them dimmable at night, so power consumption is reduced considerably.

    I wonder if motion detectors could also be implemented. If there's no movement (from the train or people onboard) for nn minutes, the lights dim or partially switch off. The good thing about LEDs is that it's instant for them to come back on - and can be faded in/out to stop any flickering/flashing.

    The lighting would also last a lot longer on emergency battery power if a train broke down too, so it's win win.
     
  19. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    To be honest I'm not entirely sure whether it's official practice or not, but I've seen it done enough at the location in question, and when I asked the local staff that it what I was told. It's the depot staff that do it, not train staff, it got noticed when a few drivers spoke to the cabin about trains with white lights on and were told it was done for that reason. Although not official as fas as I am aware, the view taken is it's their depot and up to them how they want to run things. I should point out this is in a depot, not on a running line. I think, to be fair, the red lights are normally displayed as well.

    On LUL if I remember rightly there is one stock where the headlights remain lit after the cab has been keyed off, I think they only change to red when another cab keys on. Bit of a strange arrangement.
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  20. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Other than the rule book instruction I very much suspect it is not "official" Depot's are still covered by the rulebook.

    Cheers for your reply.
     
  21. pompeyfan

    pompeyfan Established Member

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    In the past I recall at fratton depot that desiros (and even 400s) showing the Reds and the white marker lights, just not the headlights. I haven't seen this in a while though,
     
  22. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Generally in depots red lights are shown whilst units are still being brought in to avoid collisions and confusion. Once stables the Reds are usually shown both ends. Normal practice at all our depots apart from Hornsey is that once a unit has been prepped the lights are left as they need to be for the train to leave-so Reds on the stops and white markers at the leading end. If nothing else it confirms to the driver taking the unit out that it has been prepped.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    In depots you shouldn't ever have headlights on. They can dazzle those walking around the yard and make it harder for the Shunter to read unit numbers. You run on markers only.
     
  23. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

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    That seems to be a fairly standard thing done with SWT desiros. Very noticeable in clapham yard
     
  24. Juniper Driver

    Juniper Driver Established Member

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    I was going to say that.:)
     
  25. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    That is to signify that the unit/train has been cleaned and prepped so is ready for service.
     
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