Overshooting platform.

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  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • 676 posts
Posted by Sunnyland on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 5:03 PM

I don't mind walking if that's what it takes, but could be bad if ground is uneven and stepstool won't work. I am short and they would have to push/pull me up if it  is too high. With platform, it is always even and never a problem.  Never been on a train where that has happened, but then I usually board at big stations in big cities. And that would definitely not work well if there was a handicapped person who needed to board 

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 3 posts
Posted by Canpost on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 8:56 PM
A little off topic but stopping a train within platform limits is not easy. Dad was a steam locomotive engineer (engine driver) on the old Great Western Railway in UK and later, British Railways, Western Region.  After working through the grades he became a Passed Fireman just as WW2 started, working south Wales branch lines and mid-Wales lines. As a Passed Fireman he had all the qualifications to be a driver and could fill in for drivers who were off sick. It also meant a transfer to another location where there were vacancies for drivers. His happened to be Severn Tunnel Junction on the south Wales main line. As a young driver with low seniority he had to start in the banking link, assisting heavy war time trains through the difficult Severn Tunnel.
In one of our many discussions, this one held around 60 years ago, the topic of stopping trains came up. Bringing a train to a smooth stop within station platform limits requires some skill, the longer the train the more difficult it gets due to the response time of the vacuum brake to apply and release on the train. He told me of the first time he handled a long (fourteen cars or so) heavy passenger train. It was a south Wales to London train that he was banking (assisting as lead engine and driver in charge) through the Severn Tunnel and on to Badminton where he would come off the train.
Preparing to stop at his target he said that he opened the brake valve to admit air to destroy some vacuum (to apply the train's brakes) then closed it to hold the vacuum reduction and waited for a response from the train. Nothing happened so he opened it again to get more reduction in vacuum and closed it to hold the reduction. Again nothing happened and he began to get worried and was just about to make another reduction when he felt the brakes on the train take hold. Now the train, with brakes coming on on all the fourteen or so cars, began to slow faster than he had expected and he put the ejector on to recreate some vacuum and partially release the brakes but the train gradually came to a gentle stop short of his intended target before the release had the desired affect. In this case it was not a station stop, it was a stop to uncouple his engine from the train so that it could go on its way. Instead of overshooting his target he had undershot. That's why train handling can only be learned on the road. Dad retired in 1965 with his last year being on diesel-electric locomotives.


  • Member since
    May, 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
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Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 10:26 PM

Back in the 1990's, I was on an MBTA push-pull commuter train during a mid-morning run on the Providence line (the NEC) that blew a station stop heading into Boston.  Not all trains made all stops.  Some ran express between Sharon and Back Bay; our train was one that made all the stops.

I was riding in the cab control car near the cab (all MBTA trains run push into Boston), and the engineer had left the vestibule door open with the conductor riding up front with him.  I could hear them talking as we ran along on time.

As we approached the next station from Sharon at Canton Jct., the engineer made no move to slow the train as we came off the Canton Viaduct.  As we hit the near end of the platform at ~60mph, I heard the conductor say, "Aren't we supposed to stop here?"  Next thing I heard was a big air release and we start slowing hard.  I look out the window as we pass the station and see a dozen or so people standing there, some raising their hands in disbelief as they watched us zoom right by them.  The looks on their faces!

The conductor starts running out of the cab back to the rear (the engine) as the train grinds to a halt well past the 8-car station platform.  The engineer starts calling for permission to make a reverse move, but before I could hear the reply he slammed the vestibule door shut.  Not too long after, we started easing back.

After a while we got back to the platform and boarded the passengers.  However, we were no longer on time.  Smile

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,742 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 6:47 AM

The station at Tucson has a paved platform but it is even with the tops of the ties, not even at rail level.  The station has homemade two-step stepboxes that are rolled into place for the "Sunset Ltd."  It isn't as bad as missing the platform completely, but not by much.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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