and with that one can see exactly what the drivers is doing.
Actually no, you can't. All you can see is what the brake pipe pressure is on the carriages. You don't know if the driver has bailed off (released the loco's brakes), or is using the dynamic brake, or has fed a bit of independent brake on with the dyno, or is stretch braking, and so on.
Pressure drops shows the drivers were using significantly less Than full braking.What pressures were you seeing that were 'significantly less'? A normal fully charged brake pipe is at 500kpa, a full service application is only a 150kpa reduction so you should see 350kpa in the brake pipe when the brakes are on as hard as they can go.
There is a pressure gauge in its car4 which is on the Brake line (not the reservior as is usualThe brake pipe is usually what is shown as that is the critical pressure, what ever the brake pipe is the auxiliary reservoir will also be (down to an equalising application).
*Apologies to everyone for going waaay off topic
While one cannot tell everything the driver is doing one can deduce a good deal by LISTENING. One can clearly hear in N class under dynamic braking even in car 4.
The stopping distance of N class loco under FULL braking from 115kph is aprox 520 metres.
Drivers on the Albury line normaly start braking at around 1000 metres from the station, so only 50% of the sets braking capabilty is being used, no matter what the brake pressures.
Warning: To be fair I have put this latter to see your response. I CAN prove this by simple physics.
Note: In case its not obvious I have a great respect for drivers, for those that drive road vehicles driving any loco (I have driven 3 steamers an NA, a K and a SAR W class) is a REAL challenge.
Note 2: The W class was a REAL eye opener, it had just been rebuilt from the ground up, first I was required to baby sit it (in steam) for a couple of hours while the workshop staff did something else at another location. Then I got to drive it most of the way to Smokers Creek bridge (at the time the track ended there). It wanted to REALLY take off, one click (a sixth of a turn on the valve gear) and it would leap forward, no wonder steamers create such a passion in people.