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 Post subject: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 9:48 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2386
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Could anyone quickly summarize how trains receive running orders in the UK? I tried a Google search with no luck. How do trains receive orders when their path changes due to delays or disruptions?

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Steven Harrod
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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:13 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
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Location: Ipswich, UK
Don't know whether there is anything on this website that may answer your question..
https://www.s-r-s.org.uk/home.php

I've certainly got a few examples of "wrong line order forms" and other such paperwork that had to be completed by signalmen/traincrew many years ago, but they are in a box somewhere in my loft!

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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 1:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
I believe in Great Britain they generally operated like CTC works here; the signalmen in the signal boxes lined the route and set the signals, and the driver just ran on signal indication.

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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Dennis Storzek wrote:
I believe in Great Britain they generally operated like CTC works here; the signalmen in the signal boxes lined the route and set the signals, and the driver just ran on signal indication.


If they hold a train, or cancel a station stop, how do they communicate that to the driver/guard?

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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 5:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
softwerkslex wrote:
Dennis Storzek wrote:
I believe in Great Britain they generally operated like CTC works here; the signalmen in the signal boxes lined the route and set the signals, and the driver just ran on signal indication.


If they hold a train, or cancel a station stop, how do they communicate that to the driver/guard?


I have no idea, because I have no interest in foreign operating practice. But I inhabit a modelers site that is geared towards keeping timetable and train order railroading alive by dispatching model railroads that way, and every so often some Brit would pop up and tell us how we were doing it all wrong, how time was never used to maintain train separation in Britain, in fact it was illegal to do so (according to him, anyway.) All I can gather is operating in the UK is just an exercise in following the signals... they certainly seemed to employ enough signalmen.

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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 7:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 398
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I recall in New Zealand watching a "token" system of dispatching on single track.

Each station had a machine that dispensed a coded hoop. To allow a train to proceed, the stationmaster had his machine query the machine at the next station ahead. That would cause the next station's machine to lock as to the track between the stations. When the return code came back, the first machine would release the coded hoop and the driver would proceed, turning in the hoop when he reached the next station. When the hoop was returned to the machine at the next station, it unlocked that machine so it would be able to release a hoop for the return trip upon request.

I had seen something similar but more manual on the Korean 2'6" gauge line between Naminchon and Suwon.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 8:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 303
As per Wikipedia The token system was developed in Britain in the 19th century

I first saw the use of ball tokens in the Nat Geo 1995 video on Indian Railways. A great video, still watch it every year or so.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkKtU5JxCtM

I was absolutely fascinated with what seemed to me to be a combination of technologies that included the telegraph and pinball.

A short clip on how the token system is still working.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nMzyjO-jLE


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Here's a video of British Railways setting up temporary "single line working" on a double track line for Engineering work (MOW) in 1956. Note they used a cast of 1000's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F79R3Fg-pPY

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:08 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:19 pm
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I think what you are looking for is called Permissive Working.

The process is described here:

https://catalogues.rssb.co.uk/rgs/ruleb ... s%2014.pdf

Starting at page 41 of the PDF.

Here is a video made by the RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) showing the cascading impacts of an incident occurring on what can be considered a typical a suburban line in London. Emergency Permissive Workings are discussed at about 6:20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr0wlSdBafM

Here is a incident report (that occured after the production of the above video) that also includes a discussion of Emergency Permissive Workings:

https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/report-02-2019-self-detrainment-of-passengers-onto-lines-that-were-still-open-to-traffic-and-electrically-live-at-lewisham


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 10:03 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
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Location: Bowie, MD
Here is a early generation token as demonstrated to me in 2016 at the ARHS Newport Railway Museum in Victoria, Australia, near Melbourne.

Image

The token was unique for each section and had to be fitted into the machine in the station. These could be exchanged by hand from ground to train as the train passed through the station.

Later tokens were smaller, and on a hoop that could be caught in the arm of the driver, similar to train order hoops in the US. The token is stamped for the section.

Image

Later, faster, locomotives had a device, which was dropped from beside the cab and would exchange the tokens at speed. Here the token, held in the leather holder is attached to the stand at the station, with the corkscrew "hook" on the locomotive in lowered position to pick up the token and drop off a token on the station's receiving hook.

Image

Here you can see the corkscrew device in raised position at the bottom of the cab:

Image

The kind gentleman, who was extremely knowledgeable, commented several times how many American GI's were transported by Victorian Railways during WWII so no doubt some GI's with RR roots likely looked at this system with interest.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 6:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Here is another example:

I understand that tokens control possession of the track, but if two trains are ready to go in the same direction, how do they communicate to the two trains who goes first, and why?

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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
softwerkslex wrote:
Here is another example:

I understand that tokens control possession of the track, but if two trains are ready to go in the same direction, how do they communicate to the two trains who goes first, and why?


The signalman communicates with the next signal box by bell code to coordinate the movement. Rules and timetable instructions determine which train has priority. Once the first train has been accepted and the token delivered, it departs. The signalman then sends the bell code for “train entering section”. The next signalman acknowledges the train entering section and sets his indicator to “train on line”. Once the train has passed the next signal box, that box will communicate with the first signal box that the line is clear. The first signal box can then arrange the movement of the second train and obtain the token for it once the token for the first train is inserted into the machine at the second signal box.

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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 12:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
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For a more current look (2012 ?) I found an interesting video from Network Rail. The episode clip for controlling trains has several examples of control systems, and shows the evolution from control tower "arm-strong" with mechanical interlocking, to computer based ICC control.
Interesting point for high speed trains, at 180 MPH the driver can't see a signal in time for it to be of any use. So those trains must have in cab signaling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4q3i5aw6XQ


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 11:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
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Location: Boston, MA, but formerly Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
Alan Walker wrote:
The signalman communicates with the next signal box by bell code to coordinate the movement...

As demonstrated in this 1938 film from the LMS, 'Sentinels of Safety': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mx4mw6izZw

-Philip Marshall


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 Post subject: Re: "Train order" in British practice
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 6:56 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for many interesting leads. Clearly UK practice is different from American and EU practice.

Here in Denmark, every train movement is governed by a written order, which today is generated by computer, and read orally to trains if they are already underway. This is in addition to the central signal system. That is, a green signal is not by itself authority to move. The computer order is also what links the train to the platform information display systems.

The literal translation of the the Danish word, toganmeldelse, is "train notice", and it is effectively a train order.

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