N Gauge Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Jack on December 08, 2013, 04:25:29 PM

Title: Autumn Time - Leafs on the Line
Post by: Jack on December 08, 2013, 04:25:29 PM
They say every day is a learning day, well I’ve just learnt why leafs on the track are such a problem.

I've just watched “Keeping Britain Safe 24/7” on BBC iPlayer. It about the various services that help to keep us safe and the first story was about why leafs on the line are sooo dangerous. The program liked it to the train drivers’ version of black ice!

On a very small scale DCC users will understand the problem with dirty tracks and signals not getting through to the loco.

On the real thing it means ‘losing’ a train because it’s through the rails that the system signals know where a train is at any given time. Leaf build up compacted by the trains going over them forms an isolation barrier to the train from the rails thereby signalmen and automatic signals, not knowing where the train is, for safety, turn signals to red in the area until they find the “lost” train.

In the old days before electronic signalling it wasn't such a problem, it just increased stopping distances for trains.

The next time I hear about train delays due to leafs on the line, I for one won’t be complaining about the use of a “poor excuse”!
Title: Re: Autumn Time - Leafs on the Line
Post by: EtchedPixels on December 08, 2013, 04:30:20 PM
A big part of the problem is the switch to disc braking. Historically the railways did two things to avoid the problem

- they cut back trees and bushes aggressively anyway near the line on their land.

- they had clasp brakes

It turns out that clasp brakes have the accidental advantage of tending to rip compacted leaves off the wheels which reduces the problem a lot.


It would be difficult to go back to the same level of vegetation clearance even though it would reduce accidents through leaves on lines and fallen trees, as well as reduce vandalism and littering because the NIMBYs now demand that the can't see the nasty horrid trains from the designer converted barns  :veryangry:

Title: Re: Autumn Time - Leafs on the Line
Post by: Newportnobby on December 08, 2013, 06:24:42 PM
Saw the same programme, Jack.
Even taking away Julia Bradbury, it was still quite interesting :D
Title: Re: Autumn Time - Leafs on the Line
Post by: ParkeNd on December 08, 2013, 06:27:21 PM
Saw the same programme, Jack.
Even taking away Julia Bradbury, it was still quite interesting :D

If you are going to take Julia Bradbury anywhere bring her up here.   :)
Title: Re: Autumn Time - Leafs on the Line
Post by: Jack on December 08, 2013, 06:32:28 PM
Saw the same programme, Jack.
Even taking away Julia Bradbury, it was still quite interesting :D

Wait 'til Liz Hurley finds out you've found other interests Mick.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Autumn Time - Leafs on the Line
Post by: Newportnobby on December 08, 2013, 06:47:37 PM
Sorry Jack (and Liz).
Along with being a forum pimp I must be a tart, too :-[
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