Meanwhile away from the problems of Night Tube Tuesday’s rain played just as much merry hell with ATO as it did on Sunday, some trains are fine and behave perfectly in the wet but the two I had were absolutely useless. Not that rain is needed, on Wednesday I came to a juddering halt halfway over the points leaving EAB with not a cloud in the sky and then again later in tunnel on the approach to GAH. What is amusing is that in the last few months someone has put up posters telling us that we are to use ATO whenever possible and NOT drive in manual unless it is absolutely necessary.
As well as the usual ATO/ATP failures there’s been a noticeable increase in traction faults, where a two car “unit” loses power and you have no motors coming from it. Having one or two units without motors is fine and even with just one unit working the train might struggle but it will still make it to the next station. Unfortunately there have been occasions where I’ve lost all four units, the worst place for this is on the EB approach to SHB and I’ve been getting at least one traction fault a week at this particular spot.
A few years ago we were instructed not to reset while the train was moving as that can “isolate” the unit so if you have lost all four units you either let the train roll to a halt in ATO or stop it using the emergency brake. On the approach to SHB you’re only doing 20kph and there isn’t enough momentum to take you into the platform (I know, I tried it once) so the best thing is to let it get to a reasonably slow speed, knock out the TBC, reset and carry on in Coded.
The other increasingly common fault has been the Data Transmission System, the computer that tells us what’s going on with the train. In addition to flashing up faults DTS affects the destination display on the front of the train, SONIA, the chimes that warn when doors are opening or closing and the countdown clock in the cab that tells us when it’s time to go. Obviously if there’s a fault on DTS then DTS won’t tell you about it so If you see a train going the wrong way, say a WB train going to EPP, then more than likely there's a DTS fault and the TOp hasn’t noticed.
Finally sad news from the DLR, the seats are being converted from traverse to longitudinal and while I understand that this will increase capacity I will feel sorry for all the kids (and no doubt a few adults) who have enjoyed sitting at the front enjoying the driver's eye view, somehow craning your neck sideways just won't be the same.