Wrong Route

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A very odd thing happened this morning.
I was on the 0622 Newton Le Willows to Man Vic which is a Northern Service. Journey was as normal until we reached Manchester when we stopped briefly just by Ordsall Junction then after a 'coded'* massage on the tannoy from the driver to the guard we proceeded into Oxford Road. I didn't catch the 'coded'* message.
The guard went down the train stating we have been wrongly routed and that we would be returning back to Man Vic (reversal etc) in 5 mins. After 25 mins sat at Oxford Road, the guard came back down the train to inform the rather now rather annoyed passengers that the train was now terminating at Oxford Road.
Now, putting aside the rather poor communications and subsequent raising of passenger expectations, the guard stated we were wrongly routed and therefore if he was telling the truth (and why wouldn't he?) I would consider this to be a signalling error. I assume we stopped because the driver realised the error, but why would he continue knowing he/she had been sent the wrong way?
And what would happen to the Bobby? :oops:

*Coded of course meaning an internal signal to the guard and not morse.. :)
 
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Silv1983

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If a signaller incorrectly signals a train onto the 'wrong route' - the driver has to stop and report this to the signaller before passing the signal. It can then be reset. If the driver passes the signal then stops - it's too late and the wrong route has been accepted. That's a telling off for both signaller and driver. Im guessing that further back in the journey, for whatever reason, one service went before the other out of plan - i.e. your train could have left Lime St before the airport express if it was having difficulties say, or an Arriva joining Chat Moss at Earlstown before your stopper was late. In this case if there is a break down in communication the signaller will set the route incorrectly. He or she probably believe your train was an Airport or Picc service.
Im guessing the coded message you heard was 3 buzzes - then another 3, which means 'Train crew make contact' in a nutshell. If possible, they can send you to Vic - but it would mean another shunt at Salford Crescent - or (if the train was empty) at Ordsall Jct. It was probably too busy to accommodate an out of plan train - so that's why you got kicked off.
 
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carriageline

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Trains that take a wrong route can make a wrong direction move back to the signal, and then have the route reset for the correct route. So it's not always "too late",
 
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If a signaller incorrectly signals a train onto the 'wrong route' - the driver has to stop and report this to the signaller before passing the signal. It can then be reset. If the driver passes the signal then stops - it's too late and the wrong route has been accepted. That's a telling off for both signaller and driver. Im guessing that further back in the journey, for whatever reason, one service went before the other out of plan - i.e. your train could have left Lime St before the airport express if it was having difficulties say, or an Arriva joining Chat Moss at Earlstown before your stopper was late. In this case if there is a break down in communication the signaller will set the route incorrectly. He or she probably believe your train was an Airport or Picc service.
Im guessing the coded message you heard was 3 buzzes - then another 3, which means 'Train crew make contact' in a nutshell. If possible, they can send you to Vic - but it would mean another shunt at Salford Crescent - or (if the train was empty) at Ordsall Jct. It was probably too busy to accommodate an out of plan train - so that's why you got kicked off.

Interesting. The Arriva train was on time when it left Newton because I got off it to catch the Victoria train. Sounds like a signalling cock up.
It wasn't three buzzes, it was a message over the tannoy/intercom/whatever worded in a way that Joe Public wouldn't understand. A couple of sore earholes no doubt.
 

Silv1983

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Trains that take a wrong route can make a wrong direction move back to the signal, and then have the route reset for the correct route. So it's not always "too late",

It is 'too late' in the context of a wrong has been accepted. You can't undo taking a wrong route....

Setting back and continuing the correct path is a different matter.
 

Moonshot

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These are rare events, but when they do happen, most times drivers will refuse the route and inform signaller accordingly.

What is slightly suprising however is the fact the passengers were kept on for 25 mins at Oxford Road for a service that was supposed to terminate at Vic......it would have actually been quicker to walk between the 2..
 
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These are rare events, but when they do happen, most times drivers will refuse the route and inform signaller accordingly.

What is slightly suprising however is the fact the passengers were kept on for 25 mins at Oxford Road for a service that was supposed to terminate at Vic......it would have actually been quicker to walk between the 2..

I agree, hence why the passengers were so disgruntled. But that aside I have been travelling by train since the 70's and regularly as a commuter for over 2 years and never experienced this before.
 

Moonshot

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I agree, hence why the passengers were so disgruntled. But that aside I have been travelling by train since the 70's and regularly as a commuter for over 2 years and never experienced this before.


Like I said, they are rare, though I do seem to remember the Royal Train which was carrying Charles and Camilla getting a wrong route into Manchester....??
 

Alistair G.

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Just in the defence of signallers and to add a third option to why these wrong routes happen, sometimes it can stem right back to source.

For example, the other night I received 4L77 at Nuneaton, booked via the west coast from the water or ton direction I had through platform 7 and then routed to the WCML over the Nuneaton South junction.

However, at the signal in platform 7 the driver came on the GSMR stating he was 4L58 via Leicester.

The error had came from the ground dispatching staff. They had gave driver the documents as 4L58 despite the company requesting it run as 4L77. So driver and signaller both doing what they thought was correct!.
 

Moonshot

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Just in the defence of signallers and to add a third option to why these wrong routes happen, sometimes it can stem right back to source.

For example, the other night I received 4L77 at Nuneaton, booked via the west coast from the water or ton direction I had through platform 7 and then routed to the WCML over the Nuneaton South junction.

However, at the signal in platform 7 the driver came on the GSMR stating he was 4L58 via Leicester.

The error had came from the ground dispatching staff. They had gave driver the documents as 4L58 despite the company requesting it run as 4L77. So driver and signaller both doing what they thought was correct!.

Indeed .....we were actually discussing the issues of wrong route earlier on this week at a training course, and that point came up.
 

IanXC

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There are indeed all kinds of causes, just this morning I was arriving at York (from Scarborough on 1F63) when we stopped just before Waterworks Junction. Guard announces "we're just waiting outside York while we challenge the route the signaller has given us", it then looked like a CrossCountry had been put in platform 5 meaning the service towards Scarborough, and our service had been put in platform 4 hence causing a delay. In the end we terminated in Platform 2 (new track scored :)) with the eastbound service being 2x 185 being split at York with the rear forming our train westward. So who knows what happened there, but what started off as a potential wrong route could have had all manner of causes!
 

Latecomer

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I agree, hence why the passengers were so disgruntled. But that aside I have been travelling by train since the 70's and regularly as a commuter for over 2 years and never experienced this before.

You will almost certainly have travelled on other trains that have been wrong routed over those years but you never got to know because the driver didn't take the route and the signaller reset the signal.
 

edwin_m

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Sometimes the driver won't be aware of the route in time to stop before the signal. For example at Trent South the routes to Derby and Nottingham were (before re-signalling, probably still are) close enough to equal speed that no approach control or flashing aspects were provided and the route indicator wouldn't be visible in time to stop. I was on a Leeds to Nottingham train mis-routed here some years back, which the signaller probably thought was via Derby as most of the others are - train stopped at the next signal and after a short delay was set back to the junction. However this will only happen if there is no safety issue with taking the wrong route (infringement of gauge, route availability, probably also going off electrified route).
 

DXMachina

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There is a story linked to on the London Reconnections blog that a Metropolitan line signaller made an error that was compounded by a BR driver who wasnt that sure of the route

The result was the Master Cutler - an ER Pacific and a full rake of Pullmans - taking a left at Croxley Hall, going thru Croxley and arriving at Watford Metropolitan with a pretty abrupt stop.

....and having to be reversed wrong-line to Rickmansworth as though Watford had adequate run-round, nobody would have thanked LU for sending a pacific into Marylebone facing the wrong way round
 

BravoGolfMike

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Sometimes the driver won't be aware of the route in time to stop before the signal. For example at Trent South the routes to Derby and Nottingham were (before re-signalling, probably still are) close enough to equal speed that no approach control or flashing aspects were provided and the route indicator wouldn't be visible in time to stop. I was on a Leeds to Nottingham train mis-routed here some years back, which the signaller probably thought was via Derby as most of the others are - train stopped at the next signal and after a short delay was set back to the junction. However this will only happen if there is no safety issue with taking the wrong route (infringement of gauge, route availability, probably also going off electrified route).

Colton Junction is the same, if you are on the Up Main you don't see whether you have a Number 1 or Number 4 until you are practically on the AWS due to curvature of the line and various OHLE stanchions. Since it is 125mph both ways you don't get checked down and an overrun is usually quite long!
 

TOCDriver

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A very odd thing happened this morning.
I was on the 0622 Newton Le Willows to Man Vic which is a Northern Service. Journey was as normal until we reached Manchester when we stopped briefly just by Ordsall Junction then after a 'coded'* massage on the tannoy from the driver to the guard we proceeded into Oxford Road. I didn't catch the 'coded'* message.
The guard went down the train stating we have been wrongly routed and that we would be returning back to Man Vic (reversal etc) in 5 mins. After 25 mins sat at Oxford Road, the guard came back down the train to inform the rather now rather annoyed passengers that the train was now terminating at Oxford Road.
Now, putting aside the rather poor communications and subsequent raising of passenger expectations, the guard stated we were wrongly routed and therefore if he was telling the truth (and why wouldn't he?) I would consider this to be a signalling error. I assume we stopped because the driver realised the error, but why would he continue knowing he/she had been sent the wrong way?
And what would happen to the Bobby? :oops:

*Coded of course meaning an internal signal to the guard and not morse.. :)

Very surprised the driver accepted the plain aspect going into that junction when he was Victoria bound and should have had the 2. In my experience, wrongly set routes do often occur during the first couple of services in the day. Had two very early on and both on a Sunday.
 
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Cherry_Picker

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Is there not a case for PRI's there? A couple of years ago they were installed in the up direction near Kings Sutton station ahead of Aynho Junction where the line splits either towards Oxford and Paddington or towards Bicester and Marylebone and they are brilliant. The line speed there is 90mph and the route indicator is not visible until you are almost on the AWS magnet for the signal because of the curvature of the track and some overbridges but because of the PRIs you know where you are going to be sent a good minute or so before you reach the signal.
 
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Very surprised the driver accepted the plain aspect going into that junction when he was Victoria bound and should have had the 2. In my experience, wrongly set routes do often occur during the first couple of services in the day. Had two very early on and both on a Sunday.

The driver did stop so I assume this was because he or she had spotted the error.
 

Tomnick

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If he'd already passed the junction signal though, the route would be locked through the junction and the only options would be to carry on over the wrong route or set back behind the junction signal. The latter is usually a possibility in theory, but easier said than done as the morning peak's kicking off, no doubt with another train or two on the block behind.
 

infobleep

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You will almost certainly have travelled on other trains that have been wrong routed over those years but you never got to know because the driver didn't take the route and the signaller reset the signal.

Once Sunday when there was engineering works, the singled accidentally sent the train I was on, down the line of the engineering works. A line which was closed. It was late afternoon/evening time from memory.

We had to wait whilst they opened the line to allow us to carry on. I can't remember where it was but think it may have been on route to Euston from the north.

Clearly they weren't lifting tracks at that point and I know we were not reversed.
 

Cherry_Picker

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Sounds like either emergency works or an overrunning possession. The latter happens fairly regularly, could just be that you were on the first train through after the possession was given up.
 

carriageline

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It is 'too late' in the context of a wrong has been accepted. You can't undo taking a wrong route....

Setting back and continuing the correct path is a different matter.

Yes you can. It just depends on how bad the wrong route is. A driver can make a wrong direction move back to before the signal, and it's one of the reasons a wrong direction move can be made.

"A train is to return after taking a wrong route at a junction", so no, it's not too late...
 

Lockwood

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Would there be some logic in having an indicator on the signal ahead of a same speed diverge?
As I'm understanding it, you have junctions that have the same speed so you don't get checked down to a lower speed if the diverging route is set and the first you know of it is getting to the last signal and seeing a feather?
Let's call this AA3.
If there are no junctions between AA1 and AA3, would it be possible to fit a coloured featherboard to AA1 that repeats the feather on AA3 to give additional warning of the route set.

I would suggest that this would only be installed where:
> all routes off the signal are approached on green
> there is no junction between the two signals (ie first signal has no route display already)
> there is a history of wrong route incidents at that signal meeting X number of incidents over the last Y months
 

Tomnick

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Yes you can. It just depends on how bad the wrong route is. A driver can make a wrong direction move back to before the signal, and it's one of the reasons a wrong direction move can be made.

"A train is to return after taking a wrong route at a junction", so no, it's not too late...
It's definitely "too late" though, in practice at least, if the following train is approaching the junction signal and there are another couple on the block behind though, unless the train really can't continue on the wrong route!
 

driver_m

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Is there not a case for PRI's there? A couple of years ago they were installed in the up direction near Kings Sutton station ahead of Aynho Junction where the line splits either towards Oxford and Paddington or towards Bicester and Marylebone and they are brilliant. The line speed there is 90mph and the route indicator is not visible until you are almost on the AWS magnet for the signal because of the curvature of the track and some overbridges but because of the PRIs you know where you are going to be sent a good minute or so before you reach the signal.

Could do but it's coming down to 25 from 75 either towards vic or picc and a green there is like finding hen's teeth so it's prob easier just to put flashing yellows in. Colwich is a better place for them, as before the PRIs were fitted it was possible to get wrong routed there for a short time via hixon or Shugborough (former down slow) and be unable to do much about it.
 

Silv1983

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Yes you can. It just depends on how bad the wrong route is. A driver can make a wrong direction move back to before the signal, and it's one of the reasons a wrong direction move can be made.

"A train is to return after taking a wrong route at a junction", so no, it's not too late...

So if I SPAD a signal but set back - it's okay because it's as if it never happened...

You're confusing trains with time machines... :roll: I think you're failing to appreciate what 'wrong route accepted' means. Metaphysically speaking - it's happened, it cannot be undone. As I said before - if the signaller allows a WDM to return to the signal and continue on the correct path, its a logistical issue. The incident still happened, exists, is recorded and goes on the driver/signaller's file.

And thanks for quoting the rule book for me... i've never heard of WDMs before being a train driver and all...
 
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carriageline

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So if I SPAD a signal but set back - it's okay because it's as if it never happened...

You're confusing trains with time machines... :roll: I think you're failing to appreciate what 'wrong route accepted' means. Metaphysically speaking - it's happened, it cannot be undone. As I said before - if the signaller allows a WDM to return to the signal and continue on the correct path, its a logistical issue. The incident still happened, exists, is recorded and goes on the driver/signaller's file.

And thanks for quoting the rule book for me... i've never heard of WDMs before being a train driver and all...

Sorry, I completely misunderstood what you meant! Once it's happened it has happened, I just meant it is correctable :p! Simple misunderstanding, sorry!
 
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