With most of the frieght trains seemingly over 1km, have any of you Drivers had to go & check way back down the train for hot axle boxes ?
I presume you have hot axle box detectors situated at different points throughout the network.
I can imagine it would cause considerable delay if one were to be set off. Especially if the offending axle was near the back of the train & you had to carry out a 'wheel rotation test' to determine whether the axle has locked solid or not !
Just curious, would be interesting to find out !
Yes I have had hot bearings, Axle Boxes. There is Detectors line side but not everywhere.
When on Double track or in a crossing loop we just do quick inspections from the cab as the train rolls past, any problems, smoke are reported to the crew via radio.
If you have a hotbox (term for hot axlebox) normal practice is to stop, go have a look, contact control & inform them of the problem, make a decision on the wagon, you may be able to tow it at low speed to the next loop, siding where you can remove it from the train or it may be a complete cripple & need someone to come out & jack it up & repair it or fit it with poney wheels to allow it to be towed.
I have had one Axle completly shear inhalf! , a chain sitting on the end of a wheat hopper feel down onto the bogie frame while the train was moving & caught around the front of the bogie with the end on the axle, the heat & cutting action of the chain cut the axle inhalf , wouldnt have happened if the previous crew we relieved had of removed the piece of chain or tied it up.
The hot axle is ALWAYS near the back of the train. Hot box detectors tell you which axle is hot (e.g. no. 13 but invariably some git in Penrith will have you stopped because he/she heard a "bearing" noise approx 500m before you cross the next hot box detector! In this instance you must find it yourself by testing the temperature of each axle with the back of your hand until you find the one that burns you. Curse that conscientious maggot at Penrith---- everyone else was sitting back giggling at the anticipated mayhem and the hot box detector would have done the searching for me!!! O.k., maybe he isn't a maggot. By the time the problem child is found, the hotbox detector would be useless, the delay on a false (ish) alarm usually lasts a couple of hours. @#!!. The delay on a screwed journal is about eight hours. The only screwed journal I've been closely associated with failed about 10km before the next hotbox detector (of course)!!!
When I was on the freight we was told that if we had a 'hotbox' we have to test it with the 'tempelstick', this was apperently a short stick made out of wax or something that would melt on contact with the hot axle - but nobody had ever seen or been issued with one !
We had a train taken out of service the other week after it had set off it's second hotbox detector on the same trip. The Driver had checked on the first instance & found nothing wrong - while they interviewing him about the incident, they asked how he had ascertained that there was nothing wrong with the train, he said, "'cos I couldn't see anything ! He expected to see a glowing red hot axle and it didn't enter his mind that he would be able to detect it by hovering his hand above it
I've always said that the railways are 99% common sense 1% for the rest. If you've got no common sense, you won't last long
There are several types of temperature testing devices around, but you gotta carry 'em and not lose 'em. I still think that the best guide is the back of your hand----if you can't hold your hand on the axle/bearing, you don't take the thing anywhere, unless there is a safe haven for it within spitting distance--even then you walk next to it. Obviously if it glows, you (a) don't touch it, and (b) don't move it.
And you should've seen the other bloke!
Presumably the occurence of hot-boxes is much reduced in the age of roller bearings? Or am I placing too much faith in technology...
Wow that must have done some damage!
Good pics Bucko
Hi Chris. On 30/6/1998 i marked a car off on the Indian pacific due to a hot box on ARJ 941. It was lucky that i was up on the station at the time it pulled in from sydney as the next time the IP gets examined after leaving sydney is at adelade & it would have screwed the journal off well before then. I found this defect by smell as it was giving off one hell of a stink so i decided to investigate further. The IP was not normaly checked at Parkes just watered & the rubbish taken off plus pax on & off. A funny thing was that Scott mcgregor (spelling) was filming a documentory on the train at the time, he filmed me writing out the defect card (red card) also filmed the shunting out of the car from the consist. It was pouring rain at the time so the shunters were royaly pis*ed off at me this was 11.30 at night. Cheers Greg g