Some interesting observations from when i was young on the melbourne train network in 1992

 
  trainsound86 Station Staff

hey all,

i have always been someone who has love to go on trains at any opportunity, i have some interesting observations about when i was on trains in the early 1990s.

i remember that back in 1992 there was no beep sounds when opening or closing doors on the trains, when did they start doing this?

i also remember that the Comeng trains were carpeted and that the seats were exactly the same in padding and texture to the hitachi trains.

i also remember that before departing a station the driver would hit a button and you would here two dings before the train would start out.

does anyone else remember this?



Michael

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  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
For those that haven't read Michael's other post, he's blind. Hence the questions about sounds.

Michael, I don't believe trains did the 2 dings. Trams with conductors did to notify the driver it was safe to move.

Hitachi seats became the same as the Comeng ones. Originally they were a hard green pad. Very uncomfortable.

I left Melbourne about 1993, so my memory may be a bit vague.

Rick
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
For those that haven't read Michael's other post, he's blind. Hence the questions about sounds.

Michael, I don't believe trains did the 2 dings. Trams with conductors did to notify the driver it was safe to move.

Hitachi seats became the same as the Comeng ones. Originally they were a hard green pad. Very uncomfortable.

I left Melbourne about 1993, so my memory may be a bit vague.

Rick
RustyRick

When trains, including Comeng's had the '2 dings' or bell sounds,...that was from the guard who was at the rear of the train in his own compartment which was shared with the drivers compartment.

The guard after completing the platform work would give two dings to signal the driver that it was clear to proceed. In the case of the Comeng, Hitachi and very rarely Harris trains, I believe the guard also closed the doors remotely from his compartment.

When I was last in Sydney 10 years ago, the guards there were using a buzzer arrangement, '2 buzzes' to advise the driver to proceed.

There was a code for the dings in the old Victorian Railways, EG, 3 dings if I recall were to advise the driver to reverse the train.

The old VR codes book would have the interpretation for the dings. This book would be separate to the Morse codes book that identified the various stations along a line which was how some stations communicated between each other before telephones came into widespread use...but I digress.

Mike.   PS welcome to the Forum Trainsound86.
  trainsound86 Station Staff

hey,
thanks for the info on the two dings herd before the train starts to move in the 90's, to here this look up handgate heaven on youtube, there is a drivers view and you here it there.
It makes sense that the Guard would Signal the driver in this way.
many Diesel trains on the long hall trips in the UK still use a buzzer for the same purpose.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

When trains, including Comeng's had the '2 dings' or bell sounds,...that was from the guard who was at the rear of the train in his own compartment which was shared with the drivers compartment.

The guard after completing the platform work would give two dings to signal the driver that it was clear to proceed. In the case of the Comeng, Hitachi and very rarely Harris trains, I believe the guard also closed the doors remotely from his compartment.

There was a code for the dings in the old Victorian Railways, EG, 3 dings if I recall were to advise the driver to reverse the train.

The old VR codes book would have the interpretation for the dings. This book would be separate to the Morse codes book that identified the various stations along a line which was how some stations communicated between each other before telephones came into widespread use...but I digress.
The Vinelander

The code was found in the General Appendix. 1 beat was call attention (look out for guard's hand signal), 2 was proceed, 3 was set back slowly, 4 was communicate with the guard, and a series of beats was emergency stop.

I well remember standing on the platform at MacLeod one morning in the mid '80s. An Hitachi (I think) was standing in the platform, and it had been disabled when a wheel had shifted on the axle (it was the rearmost axle on the rearmost bogie - right under the guard's compartment.) To clear the line someone decided that the train crew would attempt to move the train into the sidings. A train with a wheelset well inside the gauge trying to get over four facing points. I thought this would be... ahhh... interesting and had wandered up the very crowded platform to a point near the driver's window. First two bells from the guard. The driver released the brakes and gingerly opened the controller. The train started to move. Almost immediately there was a frantic sequence of bells from the guard. The driver slammed the controller shut and big holed the brake. The train was quickly stopped - I think it have must have only moved a metre or so. Then there were four slow bells from the Guard. The rear of the train had derailed. That was the end of the train service that morning.
  trainsound86 Station Staff

now this would have been something to see.
how do you move a stuck train?
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Yep, bad memory. I rarely caught the last carriage, but now it was mentioned....

Rick
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Yep, bad memory. I rarely caught the last carriage, but now it was mentioned....

Rick
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Yep, bad memory. I rarely caught the last carriage, but now it was mentioned....
RustyRick

Were you in the last carriage?

The station assistant at Watsonia had heard a strange sound as the train departed from that station, and then saw sparks under the back of the train. This concerned them and they rang Macleod. When the train arrived the last wheelset was well out of gauge and the flange ran up onto the concrete pedestrian crossing at the Down end of the station, and then dropped back down. I can still vividly remember the two very loud bangs in quick succession - I was about 50 metres away walking to the station to catch the following stopper. I don't think Macleod, or the train crew, needed the phone call to tell them something was wrong.

I had a look at the back of the train from the crossing and the righthand wheel tread was only about 1/2 an inch on the rail.

The passengers had been unloaded before attempting to move the train into the siding. It had been on an express service (stopping Rosanna, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Clifton Hill, then Jolimont) towards the end of the morning peak, so it was very well loaded. With arriving passengers at Macleod, the platform was jam packed. I'd never seen a platform that packed, you couldn't move along it. After the train derailed, I exited the platform down the steps at the end, crossed the line, and walked back along the other platform. You couldn't do that these days.

Restoring the service was complicated by the derailed train in Platform 1. It was only a small derailment - the tail of the train had tilted slightly over and it was well within the loading gauge. But, of course, they couldn't use platform 2 to terminate trains until senior people had come to have a look. Platform 3, which also could have been used to terminate trains, had been booked out earlier in the week for spot sleeper replacement, and hadn't been booked back in. That also needed to be inspected. So it was bus replacement Heidelberg - Greensborough for a while.

I was ok - as a local I knew about alternative public transport (local bus to Latrobe Uni, then the 256 into town) - train strikes weren't unknown in those days. But for the other passengers it was probably faster to walk to Heidelberg (about 40 minutes) than wait for a bus.

When I came home that evening the derailed carriage was still sitting in No 1 platform, still tilted over. The rest of the train had been taken away. They were terminating trains in Nos 2 & 3 platforms, with a preference for No 3.

I didn't see them recover the carriage, but I am sure it involved jacks and either a replacement bogie or wheelset.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I was sitting in the sideways seats at the driving end of Comeng 320M a few years ago (yes, under Metro, not Connex, M>Train, Bayside or The Met) and can confirm the two dings. Whether it was another driver in the rear cab reminiscing of days gone (320M was the last car in a 6 car set) or if it was automated I do not know, but I have not heard it since. This was on a Lilydale service.
  trainsound86 Station Staff

i remember that in 2002 i went on a Comeng that still had carpeting in it, i almost died of shock.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
An irrelevant comment I admit, but I looked at the heading and saw ". . . when I was young . . . in 1992."

Oh to have been young in 1992 !Very Happy
  trainsound86 Station Staff

back in 1992 every second train that would pull into a station was an hitachi set.
they have some of the best sounds, those doors that clanged when closing, that instantly recognisable compressor that would go off every time the train came into a station
and the nature of the ride witch is like no other train.
  BigBoy2015 Station Master

Many funny writings on RP regarding experiences as i search the site (the site search at the top right hand corner is brilliant) and this one is quite funny.  

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11376347.htm

regarding the comment about compressors these are quite loud on the NR class locos especially at idle when the regular hiss of escaping air (for some reason) happens.
  trainsound86 Station Staff

i remember that the hitachi brakes used to also give off a strong smell as well, like in a car when the brakes are old.
the most interesting trip was an hitachi set that i was on and when the Compressor went off the hole train vibrated so much that you felt it even in your teeth, a shocking ride from flinders to werribee i can tell you. stopping all stations on a sunday no less in 2002
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
i remember that the hitachi brakes used to also give off a strong smell as well, like in a car when the brakes are old.
the most interesting trip was an hitachi set that i was on and when the Compressor went off the hole train vibrated so much that you felt it even in your teeth, a shocking ride from flinders to werribee i can tell you. stopping all stations on a sunday no less in 2002
trainsound86

Interesting you can remember the strong burning smell of the Hitachi brakes. If I recall it was a similar smell that was given off by the Sydney sparks brakes, particularly strong in Sydney's underground.

Mike.
  trainsound86 Station Staff

were the old Sydney trains similar to the hitachis? shame that there are not many drivers cab vids from the hitachi, just for the sound alone.
i do have some interesting recordings of them on my drive.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
An irrelevant comment I admit, but I looked at the heading and saw ". . . when I was young . . . in 1992."

Oh to have been young in 1992 !Very Happy
Valvegear

Doesn't matter a jot your age...we were all younger or non-existent for the youngest of us in 1992...Wink

Mike.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Some of my memories of the early-1990s:
- Tartan patterned soft seat cushions where a good percentage had been ripped apart by vandals.
- A train station near Dandenong called "General Motors".
- The Tait inspection/greaser train roaming the network.
- The futuristic looking 4D double-decker train.
- Scratch tickets (an invitation to fare evasion on a massive scale if ever there was one).
  Snoghort Beginner

I too loved the Hitachis. When I was a kid in the 80's my Mum would always ask the driver to open the guards blind so I could stand on the seats behind the guards quarters in the front carriage and look out the front of the train.

I believe the strong brake smell we don't get anymore was the smell of asbestos burning in the brake pads. One of those smells that instantly says train.

Regarding stations. I spent hours trying to work out the relevance of the 15 in "Stopping Place Number 15".

Matho.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
....... when the Compressor went off the hole train vibrated so much that you felt it even in your teeth, a shocking ride from flinders to werribee i can tell you.........
trainsound86
You mean like a Comeng compressor in 2016!!
  trainsound86 Station Staff

are they that bad now? i have not been on a comeng train for a few years now.

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