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'[OT][PETROCHEMICAL][FLUFF][NONPIC]From Engine to C'
|At 18:10 13/10/99 -0400, you wrote:
Would this device be at the front or the rear of the train?
Lets see at the front.
KABOOM rocet fires, driver is thrown back, through the bulkhead an onto the
diesel, where he obtains 2nd and third degree burns. The train was
travelling at 50MPH, with the front on a flat and the rear coming down a
hill. The engine starts to shove other carrages back, the resulting
intertia casues the carrages to de-rail, these lay accross the tracks
infront of a high speed intercirty express carrying 2000 passanges, losts
of dead people = states greatest rail disarster.
On the rear of the train.
The train is long, and has come over the crest of a hill (1/2 the train on
each side). The emergency brakes and firing of the rocket causes the train
to break apart of the the crest (This happens now, with incorrect breaing
on trains 1 mile long (We run the longest trains in the world here in
Western Australia, at Mount Tom Price). The back part of the train takes
off in the oppersite direction and slams into a stationary train waiting at
the previous signal block, more people dead.
Meanwhile at the front of the broken train, the driver has been slung up
against the screen during the jolt that occured while the slack was being
|Dennis Plunkett wrote:
Distribute the rockets, one smaller pair per car, would make better
sense to me. All braking fire at the same time, then brakes come on,
rearmost car's brakes first, at 1/8 second intervals running up to the
front of the train, & "feathered in". Brakes are (soon after rocket
firing) all locked down, so no runaways. That's the only way that makes
sense to me. But then I don't work in rail, and don't use 400
characters in Subject lines, unlike some list members! <G>
(What if a car's run backwards, do you have 2 sets of these? How bad of
a weight penalty would enough rocket power to brake a 5,000 ton railway
car, COST, per car, and who'd pay when a rocket fired accidentally?
What would the individual states, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms, etc., have to say about transporting potentially explosive
devices across state lines, I wonder? Doubt it's practical, from a
legal standpoint, if nothing else. The engineering's do-able,
political/financial stuff probably make it unlikely.)
Mark (We're sorta "fluffy" here, huh?)
In a message dated 10/13/99 4:22:02 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
FOXINTERNET.NET writes: mwillis
<< >>actuating the air brakes. Electropneumatic air brakes have been a dream
> >>RR people for years. If you have a mile long freight and you open the
> >>that runs the length of the train, it'll take some time (during which the
> >>train is bearing
> >>down on a school bus) to empty the air from the rear car.
> >>Unfortunately, the difficulty of making a reliable electrical connection
> >>that won't
> >>be a maintainence nightmare for the approximately one million RR cars out
> >>has proved beyond solution.
> >> >>
May I offer an idea?
I think, from what I understand, that compressed air is distributed to all
the cars. Couldn't each car have an air tank that stores the compressed air
and, upon a signal from a PIC, cause breaking action?
Just a thought,
> May I offer an idea?
> I think, from what I understand, that compressed air is distributed to all
> the cars. Couldn't each car have an air tank that stores the compressed air
> and, upon a signal from a PIC, cause breaking action?
> Just a thought,
That system's already set up so that, when/if that compressed air pipe
is vented to atmospheric pressure, the brakes are applied.
Designed this way intentionally (Brakes are, by default, LOCKED, until &
unless there's air (steam originally?) pressure in that line, so rail
cars sitting on a siding etc. don't move much unless & until you attach
pressure there (as you attach to an engine.)
(Thought of using said air pressure to power up a PIC, on connection of
the car to the train; unsure if the system has capacity for enough
pressure/volume to do this. Are we getting well off into fluff-land,
|At 17:01 13/10/99 -0700, you wrote:
>> May I offer an idea?
>> I think, from what I understand, that compressed air is distributed to all
>> the cars. Couldn't each car have an air tank that stores the compressed
Not quite true, there is a manual brake handle that can be used to lock or
unlock them (But that is trivial) You are quire correct in that the system
operates as a pressurised loop air (Was steam, but did not work well, as
most steam engines only have 120PSI (Some of the French ones got up to
around the 160 mark). If I recall the pressure is around 180psi in the
>(Thought of using said air pressure to power up a PIC, on connection of
>the car to the train; unsure if the system has capacity for enough
>pressure/volume to do this. Are we getting well off into fluff-land,
Yes there would be more than enough air to run a small turbine to power a
PIC. Some RR cars have reserve tanks so that there is no large pressure
change when brake are applied that would cause a shoke wave to run down the
train and blow apart the couplings (I think that it is correct).
FLUFF FLUFF FLUFF FLUFF FLUFF etc...
: Re: [OT][PETROCHEMICAL][FLUFF][NONPIC]From Engine to Caboose, What's in
> > > >I always wondered why no-one tried (or maybe they have?) to develop
> > > >kind of breaking system for RR cars that didn't depend on the wheels
> > > >example, solid-fuel rocket motor) that could be used in an extreme
> > > >emergency to stop the train QUICKLY. I realize that this is changing
> > > >subject slightly from the safety concern you mentioned, but it made
> > > >think of it.
This ends up with some kid unbolting the package and attaching it to a
bicycle, for a new urban legend =8-0
> > >I always wondered why no-one tried (or maybe they have?) to develop
> > >kind of breaking system for RR cars that didn't depend on the wheels
> > >example, solid-fuel rocket motor) that could be used in an extreme
> > >emergency to stop the train QUICKLY. I realize that this is changing
> > >subject slightly from the safety concern you mentioned, but it made me
> > >think of it.
This ends up with some kid unbolting the package and attaching it to a
bicycle, for a new urban legend =8-0
Some numbers to help this exercise -
The weight of a modern car is max ~2e5 lbs.
The maximum tension on the couplers is about 2.5e4 lbs
maximum train length is about 100 cars, so that's about 80 lbs/car -
HUH? - the secret is that there's about 6" of slack in each coupling, so
the cars are started one at a time, and all the car needs is to renew the
energy lost to friction. For a slow moving train, that's about 80 lbs.
Engineers take courses on managing drawbar tension. And in mountain
country they use 'DPU' - distributed power units - remote control locos
The maximum allowed buffing force is somewhat less - the train
won't act as a column very well.
guys - you'll never get enough energy out of rockets to have any
impact on a train. GO LOOK AT A TRAIN. You'll notice they're big
as for the "air rocket" idea - forget it. You're many orders of magnitude
Some engines used to have steam brakes. AFAIK cars never did. Steam
be hard to run it down a trainline.
If you've got air on the car, the best use for it in an emergency is into
the brake cylinder.
|>Not quite true, there is a manual brake handle that can be used to lock or
>unlock them (But that is trivial) You are quire correct in that the system
>operates as a pressurised loop air (Was steam, but did not work well, as
>most steam engines only have 120PSI (Some of the French ones got up to
>around the 160 mark). If I recall the pressure is around 180psi in the
Nope - std air pressure is 70 to 90PSI for freight, slightly more for
Complete FAQ about airbrakes.
To be intelligible, you should know that RR cars have a bit of 'slack'
between the couplings.
This allows the engineer to start one car moving at a time and do other
fancy tricks (the
engine's nowhere near strong enough to just hook to the train and drag it
all at once).
(all of this slightly less important with diesel engines, which can overload
their motors briefly).
Now check out what happens when you're switching on a downgrade and don't
bother hooking the cars air line to the engine.
Fro those interested in electropneumatic braking:
William Chops Westfield
Shucks, I learned a bunch of this stuff from watching "Thomas the tank
engine" videos with my kids...
|On Wed, 13 Oct 1999 16:19:29 -0700 Mark Willis <FOXINTERNET.NET> mwillis
> Distribute the rockets, one smaller pair per car, would make better
> sense to me.
OK, this is properly marked [OT], etc. so I'll turn the discussion
political as this is the real reason the railroads don't have a better
way to stop a train.
No matter how good the brakes are, there are going to be situations where
the train can't stop in time. Whenever the train doesn't stop in time,
the railroad will very likely be sued.
Suppose the train has a system of rockets on every other car, installed
at a cost of $X, and the rockets worked properly, but the train still
didn't stop in time. Lawyers for the person who happened to be in the
way of the train will not be impressed. In fact the rocket system proves
a weakness for the railroad. The plaintiff's lawyers will ask "Why
didn't they put rockets on *every* car, then the train could have stopped
in time." They continue by pointing out the obvious reason is that
rockets on every car would cost approximately $2X, and the railroad's
"price of a child's life" isn't that high. Though you might consider
this logic rediculous rubbish, it has great pull with juries.
So the best thing to do is not investigate new stopping technology, lest
this dangerous spiral of having anything less than the most expensive
possible being unsatisfactory.
Another equally probable scenario involves the retro-rocket train not
stopping in time because one or more of the rockets didn't fire for some
reason, though it did eventually stop with the air brakes. You might
think that that is still OK because at least they had equipped the train
with two methods for stopping, making it much less dangerous than before
when there was only one method. But it is easy to convince a jury that
the railroad had loosed a dangerous, defective, poorly maintained train
on the public.
Because of this nonsense, the only way new safety devices are ever
fielded on trains, cars, etc. is by the demand of the government. Then
the railroad can say "this train had all the safety features required by
the government." If you're thinking that the dirty business that trial
lawyers do is good in some way because it forces manufacturers to make
safer products instead of the government having to pile on more and more
regulations, actually it's just the opposite.
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I hope that your justice system is NEVER NEVER NEVER like yours!
Here we have crossing laws that indicate it is the vehicle drivers
responsibility to ensure that there are no oncomming trains during or at
any time of a corssing attempt. Now this becomes a little more complex when
CTCSS is added, in that the Rail Ways now take responsibility for the
corssing (Corssings with lights) in that this is treated the same as a red
traffic light. If is is not active at the time of the accident, then
negligence can be claimed against the RR. Gets very messy. Did you know
that most train drivers will make some 500000 RR crossing during their
carrier? And that you would even know the name of a dirver unless they have
been involved in an incident. (Yes Yes I know more usless trivia
information from Dennis)
At 18:17 14/10/99 -0400, you wrote:
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