NEW Caledonian Sleeper is UK now running

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Anderson

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True. But it's also an apples and oranges comparison.

The Caledonioan Sleeper is a late departure / early arrival train so most of the time, passengers will be asleep. Daytime amenities are thus minimal. You can't comnpare that to most Amtrak LD routes that typically involve a fair bit of daytime travel in addition to the night bit.
That's true with the Lowland Sleeper. The Highland Sleeper? Not so much, at least on the Fort William section in the morning (arrival is at nearly 10 AM), and in the evening departures for the Highland Sleeper is also early enough for folks to plausibly want a meal before turning in.
 
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Looks like seating for 32 in both the new and old layouts. But more seating with tables in the new layout. This is the same direction Amtrak chose to go with new lounges. Which isn’t totally a bad idea, people want a relaxing place to work on their laptops.
I have the same misgivings about the new lounge configuration. I much enjoyed riding north and enjoying some brown liquor while meeting fellow passengers. It did indeed feel like a lounge that could be anywhere, not just a train. Now it looks kind of like a fast food joint with those high benches. I get the idea that designers thought laptop workspaces were a good idea, but given the timetable, is anybody going to actually use that feature? The train boards at 10p and arrives in Aberdeen at about 9a. Most of that is sleep or eat time.
 

Deni

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May 11, 2008
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Yeah, I get that there are people out there who want space to sit on their laptop, I'm just not one of them. To me the joy of hanging out in the lounge on any train is engaging with other travelers and these new designs seem to discourage that. Not that I haven't had plenty of great conversations with people over the years in Amtrak cafe cars on regional trains, which are just tables. But that old Caledonian lounge was just so seemingly perfect for socializing.

It was especially great the last time I took it in 2013 from Ft. William to London. Departing before 8:00 PM with a load of daylight left in late May, my group of friends and I had a grand time chatting with different people from all over the world.
 

crescent-zephyr

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For those who aren't familiar... check out the Night Riviera equipment... (and for those that want an apples to apples comparison...). To me that's the style I was expecting. That's why I'm disappointed.

Still looking forward to riding it one day... London to Jacobite cross-platform transfer here I come! ha.
 

williamn

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As I understand it beds parallel to direction of travel are not allowed in the U.K., because in the event of an accident it is highly likely everyone would break their necks.
 

jiml

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Really an absolutely fantastic site.
The Man In Seat 61 is named Mark Smith. He will actually answer emails or direct you to the point on the site where the question may have already been answered. Very informative when I did my DB circle trip in Netherlands and Germany last year in the area of seat choices and other details relating to different ICE models along the way.
 

Noob76

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The Man In Seat 61 is named Mark Smith. He will actually answer emails or direct you to the point on the site where the question may have already been answered. Very informative when I did my DB circle trip in Netherlands and Germany last year in the area of seat choices and other details relating to different ICE models along the way.
Yep I chatted with Mark after my ship and rail voyage to Ukraine from NY back in 2012. Nice fellow. Amazing website for sure.
 

ScouseAndy

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Thats an understatement, last week the train overshot Edinburgh station by a couple of miles and the conductor had to use the emergency breaks. From an unofficial "inside"(so he/she claims which I cant verify) source I understand that when the train was split at Carstairs the Edinburgh portion airbrakes didnt get connected to the new engine so ran with only the loco breaks. The only official word is that it was caused by an operational issue and not a mechanical issue which does back up my sources version unless anyone smarter then me can come up with a different operational issue which could cause it?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-49191029
 

jis

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That is why one is supposed to do a brake test and check that the brakes are working in the last car, before heading off at full speed! :oops:

Of course, if the brakes were not connected to the loco, how did the conductor manage to activate any brakes at all sitting in the train is a mystery in and of itself. o_O
 

ScouseAndy

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That is why one is supposed to do a brake test and check that the brakes are working in the last car, before heading off at full speed! :oops:

Of course, if the brakes were not connected to the loco, how did the conductor manage to activate any brakes at all sitting in the train is a mystery in and of itself. o_O
UK (and European) trains often have a physical break which the conductor turns a wheel to activate in the event of a detachment or failure or the airbreaks.
 

jis

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Yeah American trains have them too. But it is usually quite a feat really stopping a fast train using them. That perhaps explains the few miles overshoot.

I am still surprised that they left without a brake test. Is that normal in the UK?
 

ScouseAndy

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N
Yeah American trains have them too. But it is usually quite a feat really stopping a fast train using them. That perhaps explains the few miles overshoot.

I am still surprised that they left without a brake test. Is that normal in the UK?
No, it's a major incident and with the rail accident board investigating its being treated as such.
However as you will know from your travels loco hauled stock in the UK is uncommon and much of our passenger rolling stock is MUs which don't have this issue. That said more and more train operating companies are returning to loco hauled sets so it's quite possible the incidents will increase.

It's worth nothing that since Serco took over the Scottish sleeper service, staff moral is at a all time low and there is talk of strike action due to worsening working conditions and reduced customer service as well as safety concerns raised by the crew.
 

cirdan

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UK (and European) trains often have a physical break which the conductor turns a wheel to activate in the event of a detachment or failure or the airbreaks.
There is the mechanical brake, which only activates on the actual car on which the wheel is being turned. So you would have to run along the train and turn all the wheels to obtain a meaningful effect. Probably not very practical.

Alternatively there is also the air brake. There is definitely an emergency air release valve located in the guard's compartment and I think all cars have such a valve in some location. At least the older passenger cars did. I'm not so sure about the modern ones but can't imagine that they would dispense with such an important safety feature. I suppose it's just in a different location.
 

jis

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But if the brake pipe was never connected to the compressed air source in the locomotive, it is not clear how much residual air would still be in the reservoirs in the car. So the effectiveness of the valve would depend on how much air happened to still be around on the car. Those tanks bleed away unless they are recharged. That is why the requirement war setting mechanical brakes when the source of compressed air is disconnected from the train. Otherwise you get the likes of Lac Magentic disaster.
 

ScouseAndy

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remember the loco would have been breaking as well, the additional hard brake in the end coach combined with the engine might be enough to stop it. These services are only 8 coaches long and if memory serves me correctly it would be a slight uphill gradient coming out of Edinburgh
 

jis

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Well clearly whatever they did was enough to stop it since it did stop :D Took it two miles to do so. But it did stop.
 

cirdan

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But if the brake pipe was never connected to the compressed air source in the locomotive, it is not clear how much residual air would still be in the reservoirs in the car. So the effectiveness of the valve would depend on how much air happened to still be around on the car. Those tanks bleed away unless they are recharged. That is why the requirement war setting mechanical brakes when the source of compressed air is disconnected from the train. Otherwise you get the likes of Lac Magentic disaster.
At Lac Magentic the brakes had all night to leak off, and furthermore the equipment was ill maintained and so probably leaking a fair bit faster than modern well maintanied equipment.

I had a similar discussion on a European forum and some railroaders from Switzerland said that it can take more than a day for the brakes to leak sufficient air so that the function is impacted. They said sometimes trains are parked for several days with only the air brakes on and chocks on the wheels just in case (which was something that was not done at Lac Magentic).

In the example of the Caledonia Sleeper, the train had only been detached for minutes, so I would expect full brake performance to still be given.
 

jis

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Notwithstanding all of the theoretical discussion, clearly there wasn't enough of a brake system working on the train for it to be stopped in less than two miles from what around Edinburgh Waverly would have been not all that fast to start with. Apparently just pulling the brake chord didn't do much. Maybe there was some issue involved with ECP braking? I don't know.
 

ScouseAndy

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