Push -Pull operations

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Paul-H
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Push -Pull operations

Postby Paul-H » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:40 am

Hi all

I have over the years seen a large number of model layouts that were simple end to end layouts.

In some cases the loco was able to detach at one end and using a runaround move to the other end of the stock for the return journey but not always, sometimes the loco is used to just push the stock back.

So I was wondering, apart from the use of a proper push pull carriage, like an autocoach was it ever allowed on the real railway to push stock, Passenger or Freight on say a single track branch line.

Or is it just modellers license at work.

Thanks

Psul

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Bufferstop
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:38 am

I'm not sure what the current regs permit but providing there was a method of signalling to a "driver" on the footplate by another suitable person at the front a loco could propel one or two coaches at low speed. It would usually be a guard or driver at the front with an experienced or "passed" fireman or another driver on the footplate. But there were probably a whole host of other precautions that had to be taken. I've travelled on a heritage line under light railway rules where the entire return journey was made being propelled in a two coach train with two lookouts in the end coach ( fitted with a window in the corridor connector, both with flags which they could save out of the door droplights). The flags I imagine are more for compliance with regs, real communication was being handled by the heads sets they and the footplate crew were wearing.
Conversely I have seen an HST detrain all of its passengers, to cross to the opposite platform so that it could make an unscheduled reversal having been diverted. I would have thought that an HST could be safely reversed through a crossover with the driver changing ends. Might a crossover not be cleared for passenger trains even though the tracks are.
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Bigmet
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bigmet » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:58 am

Paul-H wrote:...So I was wondering, apart from the use of a proper push pull carriage, like an autocoach was it ever allowed on the real railway to push stock, Passenger or Freight on say a single track branch line...

For shunting moves, no problem anywhere, subject to correct adherence to the rule book. Some shunts could be over quite a distance.

But not to operate with passengers on board in scheduled service would be the general rule. So 'the fiction' in a small end to end may be that the empty passenger stock is being propelled into an off scene siding or loop to enable the loco to run round or be released to return to the junction without the passenger train. You don't see it because there wasn't the space to model it.

There were some 'special moves' permitted in time past. In one location the coaches were pushed up a siding on a gradient, the loco uncoupled and moved out of the siding, then reversed to get in front of the coaches; and with the route into the station now clear, the guard released the handbrake and allowed the coaches to roll back into the station, then the loco came in and coupled on. So the 'running round the train' was gravity assisted.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:31 pm

That they were so strict about propelled carriages with passengers aboard, I never ceased to wonder how the ever sanctioned slip coaches in the first place, and allowed them to continue in use for so long!
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Bigmet
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bigmet » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:31 pm

We should probably be thankful that no one ever attempted an 'unslip' technique for the return journey. Surely someone must have seen a Congreve rocket and thought, we could use this.

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stuartp
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby stuartp » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:22 pm

Most push-pull services used designed (or converted) for purpose rolling stock with a driving position at one end of the coach and some form of communication between the driver in the coach and the fireman on the footplate doing the work. The driver would have at least a brake valve.

There were odd occasions where an ordinary brake coach was used with the driver looking past it from the loco, the Moffat branch was so worked, at least at the end.

Propelling with passengers on was not the issue per se, at least for short trains at low speed, it was wrong direction moves which caused problems as any facing points had to be clipped and scotched first. In most cases it was easier and quicker to turf the passengers off.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:34 pm

Propelling with passengers on was not the issue per se, at least for short trains at low speed, it was wrong direction moves which caused problems as any facing points had to be clipped and scotched first. In most cases it was easier and quicker to turf the passengers off.


That's what puzzled me about the HST incident, it was a trailing crossover.
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stuartp
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby stuartp » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:20 am

As was explained to me at signalling school when discussing the many things you were not allowed to do with a passenger train, "It's very easy to turn a passenger train into a non-passenger train, you just need a platform".
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Bufferstop
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:39 am

you just need a platform

Play's hell with customer relations though. Tipping 'em out on a high level windswept platform, to trudge down into a dim dank subway and back up to another windswept platform, then having to wait ten minutes before you can get back into the warm fug that you'd spent the previous two hours building up, not to mention the fact that the doors are now on the opposite side, and without turning around front and back had now changed places, just doesn't go down well at 23:00 in November.
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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby luckymucklebackit » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:50 am

As I understand the rules, any passenger train can be propelled through a trailing crossover provided the points are fitted with facing point locks. I have been on a train following that procedure a couple of times where the line has been blocked for engineering or as a result of a derailment. A passenger train cannot even be hauled through facing points not fitted with a FPL unless scotched and clipped.
Nearly all locations where a propelling move was a regular occurrence had the process described in the local instructions, there was one in Ayrshire involving a modern coal train which had a SR Queen Mary Brake Van provided to be the lead vehicle with the driver in communication via radio with a pilotman in the van.

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Bigmet
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bigmet » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:28 am

Bufferstop wrote:
you just need a platform

Play's hell with customer relations though...

A wonderful example of the gap between correct technical compliance and meeting reasonable customer expectation.

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stuartp
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby stuartp » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:52 pm

This was the 1980s, passengers were self-loading freight as far as the Operating Dept was concerned.

Clìpping and scotching required a handsignalman unless the signalman was prepared to do it, and even then that was only practicable at the quieter boxes. Turfing them out was usually much quicker.

I don't think signallers are even allowed to do it now. I've been stuck outside Harrogate a couple of times in recent years waiting for the MOM to come and clip a pair of points within yards of the box.
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pete12345
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby pete12345 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:56 pm

Bigmet wrote:We should probably be thankful that no one ever attempted an 'unslip' technique for the return journey. Surely someone must have seen a Congreve rocket and thought, we could use this.

I'm sure it could technically be done with a banking engine and an automatic coupling of some sort. Wait in a loop alongside and then chase the train down! The trick would be for the banking loco to ease off at the right point to catch up smoothly.

Someone with a DCC layout should give it a go.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:12 am

Class 65 and 66 units have power operated couplers, it's a wonder Chiltern didn't try it when they took over from NSE.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Push -Pull operations

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:26 pm

Bufferstop wrote:Class 165 and 166 units have power operated couplers, it's a wonder Chiltern didn't try it when they took over from NSE.
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