Issues and Questions

 
  blacktails1985 Station Master

1. Whenever i catch the train headed out the West from Central and it's a Tangara, there's a very noticable side to side shake when it goes over certain parts of track, including some points. i haven't noticed this with any other train. Does anyone know why this happens only with the Tangaras?


2. When I get off at Canley Vale Station, I've noticed every time the train is a Millenium or Waratah, the train powers away and then seems to 'floor it', resulting in the noise of the motors becoming very audible. My father says that his brother, who worked as a driver for many years, says that some drivers used to go from notch 1 to 2, then full without easing up to it and that may be whats happening here. He also outlined a consequence that something would burn out if that action was continued on a particular train. I would not presume to doubt this, as i consider both my father and uncle to be very reliable sources considering their keen interest and vast knowledge of the subject. But is that what is happening?


3. And why are the Waratahs so horrible in the rain? What's up with that terrible shuddering?


4. What are the inlet  grey pieces above the Waratah doors? They look like something goes in them.


5. Is the tell-tale whine from the C-Set, Tangara, and Millenium Train the indicator of Chopper Control? It just seems that way to me as the others don't make those sounds.


6. What are the sounds the Millenium Train and Waratah make when getting underway? The Millenium Train makes a whine for a bit then an engine is heard kicking up, while the Waratah has a kind of gassy release sound it makes.


7. What are the lights on the side of the Waratahs on the front used for or supposed to be used for? From their introduction, I'd never seen a Waratah with these lights on. Every train always had the lower 'ditch' lights on, and the upper LED lights on, but not the 'trademark/tell-tale' middle lights. On one rare occasion, while waiting at Windsor Station, the Waratah coming from Clarendon had the middle lights on and they were very bright. Is this why they aren't used? Or perhaps are they used for long distance low-visibility situations?


8. A few weeks ago, I spied an NR at Central. The Indian Pacific was on Platform 2 I think and the NR was on Platform 1, facing the concourse. It was in Pacific National livery. I'm not sure whether the two are connected or not, but while waiting at Lidcombe for my train, I saw two 80 or 81s together headed for the city. Did the NR have problems that day? Or aren't these locos connected? The reason I asked is I can remember years ago seeing the IP and a brown NR at Central, then when at Penrith, I spied 4501 headed by herself presumably towards the city. Or aren't those two connected either.


9. I've also been at Blacktown when a Heritage Train came through with a Black steam locomotive on the front and a 42 or 44 class on the back. Can anyone tell me which these are? I thought I was going crazy when I heard the whistle while waiting for the Richmond Service!


10. I notice that there are still Points Levers and Shunting Signals at Merrylands. I managed to find a picture of a Mill that used to be there but no other information. If anyone can provide more, I'd really appreciate it.


11. On the Easten Suburbs Line, after coming out of a tunnel, there's what looks like track or remnants of a station on the right hand side. Can anyone tell me about this?


12. Just wondering if anyone could tell me exactly what was going on along the Richmond and Penrith Lines recently. Also, any word on the duplication or is it still in the 'not-feasible/too-hard/too-expensive' box?


13. Do goods trains ever show up on the Station Boards? I've noticed that on the Bankstown Line some are listed as 'Special'.

14. What's up with the signal at the South end of Cabramatta being repeated on the opposite side? From my view, the original [on the left] has faded and is difficult to see, but if that's the case, why didn't they replace the original?

15. On the North end of Cabramatta and up a bit from the platform is a signal which indicates 'B' and 'M', for Via Granville or Bankstown, in that order. I don't understand the logic behind these letter assignments. If B stands for Branch and M for Main, shouldn't it be the other way around? And why is this addition to the standard signal needed?

16. At Merrylands north platform, the signal has a feather above it. I've only ever seen it Left for the Fly-Over and Middle for the Cumberland Line. Does it ever go Right? And like the previous question, what is the significance of having such a device on the signal? I mean, the driver knows where he's going, and he can only proceed onto track that he's been given clearance for and has a Green signal.


Sorry about all the questions, but I've been saving them up, as I thought I wouldn't be abe to find a site where I could get answers from, but considering the replies to my other question, i thought I'd give it a shot again.


I've numbered them for ease of reference and answering.

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  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

Here is a start.

Question 8: The NR at Central would have been there to haul the Indian Pacific. It usually departs from platform 1, but if there is a long consist the train can be split on to two different platforms then combined before heading on its way to Perth. The other locos you saw probably were not connected to the Indian Pacific.

Question 9: Most mainline steam services these days operate with a heritage diesel on the rear of the train. What you saw was likely a 44 class.

Question 11: There was a proposed station called Woollahra that was partly built but never completed.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
4..External Camera housing.

7. Fog Lights, and yes very bright hence the limited used in metro areas.

13.In most cases it will show as Special
  piepants Chief Train Controller

Location: Newcastle
4. Internal or external? If external, like blackadder said, it's cameras. If you're talking about the bit just inside the doors, it's hand grips.

5. Not necessarily. Millenniums are AC, therefore have inverters rather than chopper control. Inverters can still introduce a bit of whine though.

6. The "gassy" sound could be the brakes releasing. In EP mode on a Waratah, the brake cylinders drain at each EP unit, resulting in a quieter venting noise along the whole train. In auto mode, it drains the entire brake pipe, resulting in a loud venting at each end of the train. The change in "whine" from the motors is just a result of the variable frequency inverters that AC motors use.

7. Group of 3 lights in the middle: bottom is low beam, center is high beam, and top is unused. The reason these look "bright" is because they are HID projector lamps. Not sure why the drivers don't use them often.
  clrks Locomotive Fireman

This seems like a great thread for miscellaneous questions. I actually have a few myself if you don't mind me adding to this, instead of starting a new thread? (If anyone minds, please let me know)

17. What is the "alternating flashing lowest lights" setting for the Waratah for? I've seen it a lot coming out of tunnels, but I've also seen it a lot of times in broad daylight coming out of an above ground station as well.

18. Has the track alignments or platforms at St Peters ever changed? I see there are two island platforms that are set up, and an additional undeveloped island platform on the western side of the station that presumably is intended for the sextuplification which never happened. However, when you arrive at St Peters platform 1 from Sydenham on the Bankstown Line, you notice that there is definitely not enough space to fit an additional track on the left between your train and the undeveloped platform. This makes me wonder if it the three island platforms were originally set up like this.
  piepants Chief Train Controller

Location: Newcastle
17. What is the "alternating flashing lowest lights" setting for the Waratah for? I've seen it a lot coming out of tunnels, but I've also seen it a lot of times in broad daylight coming out of an above ground station as well.
clrks

The fog/ditch light power supplies have a flash function. When the driver hits the horn, the fog lights will flash for a couple of seconds as an extra warning. You'd be seeing this because the driver has hit the horn coming out of a tunnel or leaving a station.

See this video at 3:19:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOFmJTptCS4&feature=youtu.be&t=3m19s

Flashing fog lights are due to the horn. First of the headlights to come on is low beam, then the high beam last.
  UncleMurphy Train Controller

Location: Canley Vale
Just want to put a question here for piepants and other personnel to answer if possible,

- The light housings for the M, H and A sets are of similar if not same design from a company called RPC technologies, I've noticed that they all have 8 Torx bolts used to hold in place in similar locations, with the recent refurbishments of the M sets, would the LED light housing of an A set fit inside in an M set?

http://www.rpctechnologies.com/our_sectors/transport/passenger_light_rail/lighting

Or another scenario I can think of is the LED lights in the A sets are actually LED tubes, similar to the fluorescent tubes found in the other sets? If that's the case wouldn't a quick swap of tubes work?

Thanks for answering,


Victor
  piepants Chief Train Controller

Location: Newcastle
The LED lights in the Waratahs are a custom LED strip, and not a standard fluorescent fitting. It would be more than just a quick swap, but not particularly difficult. The biggest challenge would be fitting a new lighting power supply. The Waratahs have a PSU that allows for dimming while shore supply or 1500V overhead supply is not available to ensure longer run time on emergency batteries.
  sandown Chief Commissioner

Location: sydney
7. Group of 3 lights in the middle: bottom is low beam, center is high beam, and top is unused. The reason these look "bright" is because they are HID projector lamps. Not sure why the drivers don't use them often.
piepants

Because lights are of little or no assistance whilst 'driving' a train, it's not like you can take evasive action if you see something, you can only brake and pray. Best not to see what you've about to run over.
As for the new rules regarding the use of visibility lights, obviously written at a desk faraway from the rail corridor.
  sandown Chief Commissioner

Location: sydney
3. And why are the Waratahs so horrible in the rain? What's up with that terrible shuddering?

Poor modulation of the Slip Slide control unit, the design doesn't offer adequate graduation of the Power Brake controller before the wheels slip or slide.


5. Is the tell-tale whine from the C-Set, Tangara, and Millenium Train the indicator of Chopper Control? It just seems that way to me as the others don't make those sounds.

Correct.


6. What are the sounds the Millenium Train and Waratah make when getting underway? The Millenium Train makes a whine for a bit then an engine is heard kicking up, while the Waratah has a kind of gassy release sound it makes.

Different functions, M is AC traction motor whine and the A is the EP brake release, very fast when compared to other sets.


7. What are the lights on the side of the Waratahs on the front used for or supposed to be used for? From their introduction, I'd never seen a Waratah with these lights on. Every train always had the lower 'ditch' lights on, and the upper LED lights on, but not the 'trademark/tell-tale' middle lights. On one rare occasion, while waiting at Windsor Station, the Waratah coming from Clarendon had the middle lights on and they were very bright. Is this why they aren't used? Or perhaps are they used for long distance low-visibility situations?

Every train didn't have the ditchlights on, this is only a newish requirement from the National regulator. People with no brains will still fall off platforms drunk and lie in the 4' because it's comfortable there.


14. What's up with the signal at the South end of Cabramatta being repeated on the opposite side? From my view, the original [on the left] has faded and is difficult to see, but if that's the case, why didn't they replace the original?

Because the platform is curved, faded or not you still can't see it until you are onto the platform, hence the Indicator.

15. On the North end of Cabramatta and up a bit from the platform is a signal which indicates 'B' and 'M', for Via Granville or Bankstown, in that order. I don't understand the logic behind these letter assignments. If B stands for Branch and M for Main, shouldn't it be the other way around? And why is this addition to the standard signal needed?

Old South Main is the Branch. Signal shows green over green for turnout or straight ahead route, so you need an indicator.

16. At Merrylands north platform, the signal has a feather above it. I've only ever seen it Left for the Fly-Over and Middle for the Cumberland Line. Does it ever go Right? And like the previous question, what is the significance of having such a device on the signal? I mean, the driver knows where he's going, and he can only proceed onto track that he's been given clearance for and has a Green signal.

A Proceed indication is not always Green so you need an indicator. There are two ways to Granville P3 or P4, via the Up track (Flyover) or via the DN track (right feather).


Sorry about all the questions, but I've been saving them up, as I thought I wouldn't be abe to find a site where I could get answers from, but considering the replies to my other question, i thought I'd give it a shot again.


I've numbered them for ease of reference and answering.
blacktails1985
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

14. What's up with the signal at the South end of Cabramatta being repeated on the opposite side? From my view, the original [on the left] has faded and is difficult to see, but if that's the case, why didn't they replace the original?
blacktails1985


14. The signal on the Right Hand Side is a "Co-acting" signal which is provided where the principal signal on the Left Hand Side is hard to see due to curves, OHW masts, platform building, etc.

See also - Waverton Up signal partly obscured by curve in deep rock cutting and tunnel. There was a co-acting signal in 2-position semaphore days. This signal might be a little redundant as the are more signals, and the colour light signals show more aspects. The previous signal is about 200m away.

See also - West Ryde where Up signal from slow line is obscured by badly designed OWH masts.

Coacting signals such as Cabramatta and Waverton (but not West Ryde) may of course be obscured by trains on the adjacent track.


In other cases, "Repeater Signals" are provided a short distance in front of an obscured signal, say 100m.

See Wollstonecraft on Up Shore past station, obscured by sharp 200m curve partly in cutting. No train stop.

* displays 4 white lights horizontally (main signal at stop)
* displays 4 white lights vertically (main signal at proceed)

Similarly Lindfield, Up Shore past station, obscured by overbridge and left hand curve.

An older kind of Repeat Signal looks like an ordinary signal but perhaps with smaller lenses, but with an additional Low Speed Aspect. No train stop. Nameplate say "Repeater for XXXX".

* Burwood - Up Main approaching station (obscured by Footbridge)
* Beecroft - Down Main approaching station.
* IIRC Cheltenham - Down Main approaching station.

A third kind of Repeater Signal is not a signal at all, but a notice board with the outline of a signal warning driver to look out for the real signal a specified distance ahead. Cannot remember correct name.

* East Hills EH1 (Down Accept) signal obscured by left and curve and overbridge.
* Pennant Hills (Down Accept) signal obscured by left hand curve in deep cutting.
  FullSeries Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
1. Whenever i catch the train headed out the West from Central and it's a Tangara, there's a very noticable side to side shake when it goes over certain parts of track, including some points. i haven't noticed this with any other train. Does anyone know why this happens only with the Tangaras?


2. When I get off at Canley Vale Station, I've noticed every time the train is a Millenium or Waratah, the train powers away and then seems to 'floor it', resulting in the noise of the motors becoming very audible. My father says that his brother, who worked as a driver for many years, says that some drivers used to go from notch 1 to 2, then full without easing up to it and that may be whats happening here. He also outlined a consequence that something would burn out if that action was continued on a particular train. I would not presume to doubt this, as i consider both my father and uncle to be very reliable sources considering their keen interest and vast knowledge of the subject. But is that what is happening?


3. And why are the Waratahs so horrible in the rain? What's up with that terrible shuddering?


4. What are the inlet grey pieces above the Waratah doors? They look like something goes in them.


5. Is the tell-tale whine from the C-Set, Tangara, and Millenium Train the indicator of Chopper Control? It just seems that way to me as the others don't make those sounds.


6. What are the sounds the Millenium Train and Waratah make when getting underway? The Millenium Train makes a whine for a bit then an engine is heard kicking up, while the Waratah has a kind of gassy release sound it makes.


7. What are the lights on the side of the Waratahs on the front used for or supposed to be used for? From their introduction, I'd never seen a Waratah with these lights on. Every train always had the lower 'ditch' lights on, and the upper LED lights on, but not the 'trademark/tell-tale' middle lights. On one rare occasion, while waiting at Windsor Station, the Waratah coming from Clarendon had the middle lights on and they were very bright. Is this why they aren't used? Or perhaps are they used for long distance low-visibility situations?


8. A few weeks ago, I spied an NR at Central. The Indian Pacific was on Platform 2 I think and the NR was on Platform 1, facing the concourse. It was in Pacific National livery. I'm not sure whether the two are connected or not, but while waiting at Lidcombe for my train, I saw two 80 or 81s together headed for the city. Did the NR have problems that day? Or aren't these locos connected? The reason I asked is I can remember years ago seeing the IP and a brown NR at Central, then when at Penrith, I spied 4501 headed by herself presumably towards the city. Or aren't those two connected either.


9. I've also been at Blacktown when a Heritage Train came through with a Black steam locomotive on the front and a 42 or 44 class on the back. Can anyone tell me which these are? I thought I was going crazy when I heard the whistle while waiting for the Richmond Service!


10. I notice that there are still Points Levers and Shunting Signals at Merrylands. I managed to find a picture of a Mill that used to be there but no other information. If anyone can provide more, I'd really appreciate it.


11. On the Easten Suburbs Line, after coming out of a tunnel, there's what looks like track or remnants of a station on the right hand side. Can anyone tell me about this?


12. Just wondering if anyone could tell me exactly what was going on along the Richmond and Penrith Lines recently. Also, any word on the duplication or is it still in the 'not-feasible/too-hard/too-expensive' box?


13. Do goods trains ever show up on the Station Boards? I've noticed that on the Bankstown Line some are listed as 'Special'.

14. What's up with the signal at the South end of Cabramatta being repeated on the opposite side? From my view, the original [on the left] has faded and is difficult to see, but if that's the case, why didn't they replace the original?

15. On the North end of Cabramatta and up a bit from the platform is a signal which indicates 'B' and 'M', for Via Granville or Bankstown, in that order. I don't understand the logic behind these letter assignments. If B stands for Branch and M for Main, shouldn't it be the other way around? And why is this addition to the standard signal needed?

16. At Merrylands north platform, the signal has a feather above it. I've only ever seen it Left for the Fly-Over and Middle for the Cumberland Line. Does it ever go Right? And like the previous question, what is the significance of having such a device on the signal? I mean, the driver knows where he's going, and he can only proceed onto track that he's been given clearance for and has a Green signal.


Sorry about all the questions, but I've been saving them up, as I thought I wouldn't be abe to find a site where I could get answers from, but considering the replies to my other question, i thought I'd give it a shot again.


I've numbered them for ease of reference and answering.
blacktails1985

1. Tangara's are very top heavy. Being an early generation of gate control technology, the units were heavy. These are located on the roof of the motor cars. They are known for their swaying motion at certain locations.

2. M/A sets don't have notches, its a gradual power control. There is no harm in going straight into Max Power, just like there is no harm going straight into notch 4 on a silver set. They are designed to regulate the power to the motors themselves.

3. It's just sliding. The A sets have powerful motors and a complex slip/slide unit that is run by a computer. Nothing to worry about, just the train doing what it's designed to do.

4. External Cameras. Used by the guard to observe the platform.

5. C/T sets use Chopper/Gate control. T sets used a more advanced version then the C sets. M sets use AC traction. So the noise you are hearing is the traction inverter.

6. Both use AC traction equipment. But different inverters, and different motors. Hence the different sounds. The hiss on the A set just as is moves off is the final air pressure being released from the brake cylinders. It hold a small amount for a second after release just in case the brakes need to be reapplied quickly.

7. Headlights. They were relocated from the top of the train, to the side. A design feature I guess.

8. IP, a loco brings the train in, detaches and sits at the city end of platform 1, a second loco (and sometimes a third) come and shunt half the train into platform 2, and then shunt the motor rail carriage. Once the train has left, the original loco will make its way back to the provisioning center.

9. There are a few heritage groups around that run steam locos. A google search will help you.

10. All I know is that there is a few ground frames and a few sidings that were there, and removed a few years ago.

11. Was meant to be Woollahra Station. Residents objected saying it would bring less then desirable people to their posh neighborhood. Now they want it so they can get to the city easier. Too late suckers.

12. There is no plans to duplicate the Richmond line as far as I know, The shutdown was for usual rail maintenance, and the finishing of the siding at Rooty Hill for freight.

13. They show as SPECIAL

14. Because the platform is curved, the indicator gives the driver a view of the signal aspect before he see's the main signal. Mostly used for trains not stopping at Cabramatta.

15. B - Branch, the line via Fairfield is called the Old South, M - Main, the line via Regents Park is the Main South. If there is a junction where a line splits from a main line, its practice to call the non main line the branch line. Its needed because the signal shows green for both directions. You need the route stencil to know which way you are heading. Called a PONR - or Point Of No Return.

16. Left is S, for Up Suburban, you take the flyover and end up on platform 3 at Granville. Middle is for the Y link, you end up at Harris Park and Right is D, for down, you crossover and take the down track to Granville, you can end up in platform 3 or 4 at Granville. I used it a few months ago when we had motor faults and we couldn't make it up the flyover. The driver needs to know where they are going, the signaller could make a mistake - thats why drivers are trained in Road Knowledge and are taught to challenge a road that they are not meant to take (exceptions, I know). Considering that its a pretty big difference in locations if you take a wrong road at Merrylands, you need to remember these PONR.
  VN18 Junior Train Controller

Location: Central Highlands
Hello all,
I'll be up from Melbourne next month and will have a day free. Don't know if this is the best place to ask, but I'd like a good run on one of the older chopper sets 'C set'. I'll be in central Sydney so just wondering if anyone could advise my best bet to catch one, do they run out of peak times?
Last time I was up I noticed it was a little bit of an 'A set' invasion!!  

Thanks.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Hello all,
I'll be up from Melbourne next month and will have a day free. Don't know if this is the best place to ask, but I'd like a good run on one of the older chopper sets 'C set'. I'll be in central Sydney so just wondering if anyone could advise my best bet to catch one, do they run out of peak times?
Last time I was up I noticed it was a little bit of an 'A set' invasion!!  

Thanks.
"VN18"

It can get a bit tricky getting a hold of a C Set. Although there are currently five rosters scheduled each weekday, often times the majority will end up being operated as S or K Sets while the C Sets end up on alternate rosters for the day. Often though, you will see one on either the Carlingford or Cumberland lines.
  CMTheTrainGeek Locomotive Fireman

Location: Waiting at Revesby...
I have something I'd like to confirm:

Would I be correct in saying that some C sets had Tangara motors fitted for testing?

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