Introduction of Sprinter Railcars and Level Crossing Issues

 
  MtBeenak Train Controller

I seem to remember an issue with the Sprinters when they were first trialled, not triggering the bell blocks (the electrical device which triggers boom gates/flashing lights) when they ran at speed as single units.  In order to alleviate the problem they always ran as multiple units, at minimum two car sets.  In that case, a minimum pack of two units is totally prototypical....

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  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
I seem to remember an issue with the Sprinters when they were first trialled, not triggering the bell blocks (the electrical device which triggers boom gates/flashing lights) when they ran at speed as single units.  In order to alleviate the problem they always ran as multiple units, at minimum two car sets.  In that case, a minimum pack of two units is totally prototypical....
MtBeenak
They spent 10's of millions updating all level crossings in Sprinter Territory, and fitted special electronic sensors at each end of the carriages that electronically set the crossings off as they proceeded down the track. It did take a year or two to get all in place. I drove them for 7 years and never heard or saw one fail. The idiot boffins blamed the disk brakes and maybe even trialed scrubber blocks for the threads to keep the wheels clean. Then they blamed something else.
In fact they never blamed them selves. Big headed modern engineer dick heads that failed miserably to replicate the safety and reliability of their "On the JOB" trained predecessors.
Not sure why the electronic actuation has failed? It was borrowed from Britain where disk braked rail motors seem to operate  well as they do in all other Countries. Possibly because some nut upgraded our crossings again, without considering the Rail Motor problem?? (retired a while so am not up with it today)
Rod Young
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I believe the issue was particularly troublesome on the ballarat line.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
They spent 10's of millions updating all level crossings in Sprinter Territory, and fitted special electronic sensors at each end of the carriages that electronically set the crossings off as they proceeded down the track. It did take a year or two to get all in place. I drove them for 7 years and never heard or saw one fail. The idiot boffins blamed the disk brakes and maybe even trialed scrubber blocks for the threads to keep the wheels clean. Then they blamed something else.
In fact they never blamed them selves. Big headed modern engineer dick heads that failed miserably to replicate the safety and reliability of their "On the JOB" trained predecessors.
Not sure why the electronic actuation has failed? It was borrowed from Britain where disk braked rail motors seem to operate  well as they do in all other Countries. Possibly because some nut upgraded our crossings again, without considering the Rail Motor problem?? (retired a while so am not up with it today)
Rod Young
comtrain
Interesting. I have never heard of a problem with Walkers or DERMs not activating crossings!
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The walkers and DERMs, in common with all older vehicles had brake blocks that worked on the wheel treads, thus keeping them smeg and briny. Clean wheels means little problems in bridging over track detector circuits. Disc braked vehicles, on the other hand, have the braking system separate from the wheel, and there is not as much cleaning of the wheels going on. Couple that with the fact that the Sprinters were relatively light on their feet, and in single units there were only four axles to trip the circuits, and there was your problem. This was most likely what the engineers were trying to fix.


I can testify that the Sprinters often failed to activate the level crossing signals. Until it was upgraded, the signals at the Tynong crossing often failed to trigger when a Sprinter went through.

I don't know what was done to alleviate the problem, but decent vehicle passage detectors would be a good bet, rather than working on simple electrical conductivity.


As an aside, there was a lot of scrub along the line there, so if approaching the crossing on the road from the north, you could not get a clear view back towards Nar Nar Goon. I found a crew there one day clearing scrub, and I mentioned to them the problem, and that I did not want to rely on the Sprinter triggering the crossing lights, and the guy replied 'Yeah, they are not that reliable' and promptly got his crew to cut the scrub back so you got a better view.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

I was actively involved at the time and this is the actual history .

The issue did not show up for some time till after the Sprinters were introduced and first occurred on the Geelong Line where a signalman reported the Sprinter just dissapeared from his signal diagram, at the same time drivers reported the lx protection equipment was not activated at some crossings .

Initially the Sprinters were restricted to the Bendigo & Seymour lines where block signalling was in force .

It was found that the Sprinters were tracking so well on the track in a thin straight alignment and with no traditional brakeblocks (to rough up the wheel tread ) that electrical contact with the rails was not always strong enough . The fix was to place a metal exciter bracket inside of the wheels on the bogie to create a stronger electrical field with track circuits .

Consultation with BR at the time revealed that they to had experienced intermittent problems with lightweight DMU on some tarcks with lx equipment .

The restriction on no Single Sprinter operation has been a thing introduced more recently .
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I was actively involved at the time and this is the actual history .

The issue did not show up for some time till after the Sprinters were introduced and first occurred on the Geelong Line where a signalman reported the Sprinter just dissapeared from his signal diagram, at the same time drivers reported the lx protection equipment was not activated at some crossings .

Initially the Sprinters were restricted to the Bendigo & Seymour lines where block signalling was in force .

It was found that the Sprinters were tracking so well on the track in a thin straight alignment and with no traditional brakeblocks (to rough up the wheel tread ) that electrical contact with the rails was not always strong enough . The fix was to place a metal exciter bracket inside of the wheels on the bogie to create a stronger electrical field with track circuits .

Consultation with BR at the time revealed that they to had experienced intermittent problems with lightweight DMU on some tarcks with lx equipment .

The restriction on no Single Sprinter operation has been a thing introduced more recently .
kuldalai

Given the shortage of rolling stock as mentioned in the RRL thread. I think V Line will need to fix this problem urgently and be able to go back to single unit sprinters. Especially in off peak times.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I was actively involved at the time and this is the actual history .

The issue did not show up for some time till after the Sprinters were introduced and first occurred on the Geelong Line where a signalman reported the Sprinter just dissapeared from his signal diagram, at the same time drivers reported the lx protection equipment was not activated at some crossings .

Initially the Sprinters were restricted to the Bendigo & Seymour lines where block signalling was in force .

It was found that the Sprinters were tracking so well on the track in a thin straight alignment and with no traditional brakeblocks (to rough up the wheel tread ) that electrical contact with the rails was not always strong enough . The fix was to place a metal exciter bracket inside of the wheels on the bogie to create a stronger electrical field with track circuits .

Consultation with BR at the time revealed that they to had experienced intermittent problems with lightweight DMU on some tarcks with lx equipment .

The restriction on no Single Sprinter operation has been a thing introduced more recently .
kuldalai
So do we assume that despite everything done so far that the problem remains and the fix currently relies on multiple cars?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I was actively involved at the time and this is the actual history .

The issue did not show up for some time till after the Sprinters were introduced and first occurred on the Geelong Line where a signalman reported the Sprinter just dissapeared from his signal diagram, at the same time drivers reported the lx protection equipment was not activated at some crossings .

Initially the Sprinters were restricted to the Bendigo & Seymour lines where block signalling was in force .

It was found that the Sprinters were tracking so well on the track in a thin straight alignment and with no traditional brakeblocks (to rough up the wheel tread ) that electrical contact with the rails was not always strong enough . The fix was to place a metal exciter bracket inside of the wheels on the bogie to create a stronger electrical field with track circuits .

Consultation with BR at the time revealed that they to had experienced intermittent problems with lightweight DMU on some tarcks with lx equipment .

The restriction on no Single Sprinter operation has been a thing introduced more recently .
So do we assume that despite everything done so far that the problem remains and the fix currently relies on multiple cars?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I was actively involved at the time and this is the actual history .

The issue did not show up for some time till after the Sprinters were introduced and first occurred on the Geelong Line where a signalman reported the Sprinter just dissapeared from his signal diagram, at the same time drivers reported the lx protection equipment was not activated at some crossings .

Initially the Sprinters were restricted to the Bendigo & Seymour lines where block signalling was in force .

It was found that the Sprinters were tracking so well on the track in a thin straight alignment and with no traditional brakeblocks (to rough up the wheel tread ) that electrical contact with the rails was not always strong enough . The fix was to place a metal exciter bracket inside of the wheels on the bogie to create a stronger electrical field with track circuits .

Consultation with BR at the time revealed that they to had experienced intermittent problems with lightweight DMU on some tarcks with lx equipment .

The restriction on no Single Sprinter operation has been a thing introduced more recently .
So do we assume that despite everything done so far that the problem remains and the fix currently relies on multiple cars?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
So do we assume that despite everything done so far that the problem remains and the fix currently relies on multiple cars?
YM-Mundrabilla
What exactly has been done?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Interesting. I have never heard of a problem with Walkers or DERMs not activating crossings!
YM-Mundrabilla
Walkers and DERMS  have cast iron brake blocks and they also slop around a lot at speed (both sdeways and up/down) so there is quite a grinding interaction with the rail .

Sprinters have disc brakes and ride in a very straight thin line on a well maintained track .  On lines without frequent loco hauleds to drop iron dust etc the rail head collects a thin film on the rail head which leads to the poor electrical contact with the light axle load .
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
NSW has/had a policy of routing trains through relatively little used roads from time to time to clean the rails.
I am not aware if ARTC/John Holland/whoever? still follow this principle.
I also don't know if Victoria has a similar policy, or if they do, whether it is followed.

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