Why use tail lamps when working tail lights are available?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by GM228, 10 Aug 2015.

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  1. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    In Ireland even light engines used to carry two tail lamps, so they had 4 red lights showing. Here is 232 coming down to Heuston from Inchicore in 1995
     

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  2. GM228

    GM228 Member

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    This was due to a rule requiring all trains have two steady lit tail lamps/lights, as the majority of locos didn't have two tail lights fitted (most only had one) a specific rule also noted that all locos must have two portable tail lamps when running light, it was never amended when the 201s were delivered with two tail lights and so it applied to them also. Eventually all locos were modified with two tail lights and this practice stoped.
     
  3. 33056

    33056 Established Member

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    That is a portable headlight which is authorised to be used if the built-in one fails or if there isn't a headlight, like steam locos for example.
     
  4. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Deleted!
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2015
  5. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    Pacers don't have a remote supply so your explanation is the most likely.

    Not much difference between 75 top speed and 70 because of a portable head lamp.
     
  6. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    That would be my guess, but it was last year so I cannot recall, and it came through at a fair pace so I wouldn't have been able to tell if the engine was out (above the noise of the 185 behind it on pl 16, too)

    In such situations, how does the cab function if there is no power for anything else?
     
  7. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    You have two sets of batteries.

    Auxiliaries power things like the lights, and don't have a remote supply if they go flat.

    The desk is controlled from the main batteries.
     
  8. mainframe444

    mainframe444 Member

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    As you say, a tail lamp is used when the locomotive is shut down, to avoid flattening the batteries.

    On a class 37 (and I think a 31) the tail light switch in the cab actually turns on the tail light at the opposite end of the loco. This I think is a throwback to when a loco would be detached from a train, it meant that the driver could turn on his tail lights and drive away without having to get in the other end.

    In the case here, a driver has to get out of the cab and check that the tail light is lit before changing ends, so its probably easier to leave the cab he has arrived in, hang a portable tail light on the back of the loco, noting that it is working, than going to the cab nearest the train, turning on the tail light, and then walking to the back of the train again to check the lamp is lit.


    MainFrame
     
  9. 33056

    33056 Established Member

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    Definitely the same on a class 31; working an AB signal box many years ago I saw a class 31 slowly approaching with red lights on the front so did what we often did back then and leaned out of the box holding the bardic lamp and pointing at it. The driver acknowledged with a "thumbs up" so I was a bit surprised when the loco stopped in the adjacent platform and the driver got out and went into the rear cab. On mentioning this later to one of my driver friends they explained that was how the tail lamps were set up which I thought was a bit strange at the time (late 1980s)
     
  10. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Ah OK - thanks for that. presumably, then, if the main batteries also went flat, the unit would be a little stuck?
     
  11. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Simple answer is if its within the cab its less likely to get pinched by the locals or indeed other operators....and yes, that does happen from time to time...and no, there is no rule against it.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2015
  12. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    It prevents the spotters nicking them
     
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