Monday 20 August 2012

A lovely sunny Sunday, perfect weather to drive with the door open and sadly sometimes you get what you wish for. I’d been to EAB and back then round the loop to WOO via HAI with no problems but the moment I opened up the cab after changing ends on 21 Road I was assaulted by an alarm. DTS cheerfully informed me this was a “Round Train Circuit Fault”; the Round Train Circuit being one of the many safety features we have. Normally when the Round Train Alarm goes off you’ve failed to stow the TBC in the cab you’ve just come from or you’ve accidently knocked one of the Emergency Buttons but DTS will normally tell you where the problem is and this one was an unspecified fault without listing where on the train the problem was.

I tripped the Round Train MCB in the cab but that didn’t help so I called up Wood Lane to warn them that I might be late out and they said they’d wait until I gave them the all clear before letting me out of the siding. When I checked the DTS it had located the problem in Car 2 so I went back, tripped the MCB there but still no joy. Just to make sure I went back to the rear cab to check the TBC, the Emergency Buttons and the Round Train MCB there but they were all fine. Another try on the MCB in the cab and another try on the MCB in Car 2 did nothing.

Wood Lane then suggested the problem might be a figment of DTS’s imagination so they cleared the signal for me and I tried to get movement. No such luck; nothing with Coded or Restricted Manual and it was only when I operated the Round Train Cutout Switch that I finally got a brake release. So off I went round the Loop at a ponderous 15kph and into the depot via GRH. You can’t actually go straight into the depot from GRH, you have to go up the Wash Road, change ends to go up the North Neck which can be seen behind the platform at GRH and then into the yard itself. When I changed ends on the Wash Road I found that I had Coded Manual but when I went up the North Neck I still got the Round Train Alarm at the other end; this was one seriously messed up train.

I finally got off the train in the depot half an hour after I should have handed it over to the relieving TOp at HAI. By the time I’d walked out of the depot and got a train back to LES I had only 10 minutes before I was due to pick up my second half. Annoyingly Wood Lane had failed to tell the DTSM on the desk that I was the one having problems and he had to hurriedly summon a spare to cover my EPP and back so I could have my meal break. The worst thing is that I keep trying to think if I might have forgotten something that I should have tried. I’d checked all the manuals we carry around with us in our Train Equipment Bag and couldn’t find anything but still there is that seed of doubt that I missed something very basic that I’ll be kicking myself over later.

There’s never an IOp around when you need one.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds weird; but come on what % of IOs do you think would've identified fault even if available?
    OK, that may be bit cruel - hardly their fault severe 'dumbing down' in all our stock training since 'Poisoned Dwarf' returned & top managers all have wet dreams every night about 'driverless', while thinking no need to bother about our sad stock and training in meantime before that happens in some 50 years.
    Me bitter; naaaah!