question on train signals

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cirdan

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Mar 30, 2011
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Signal light burned-out:

I was on an eastbound Wolverine that ended up stopped in Indiana for about two hours. The conductor informed us that a signal "wasn't working properly", so we were stopped and awaiting instructions.

A short time later, he came through the cars to explain that a signal light had burned out and a crew was on their way to change it.

Once the crew changed the bulb and the dispatcher gave the ok, we continued along the track.
I thought there was a way that a dispatcher could give a train exceptional clearance to pass a failed or stop signal. It may be necessary to pass a stop signal either due to an exceptional failure which is known by the dispatcher to be safe, or for a second train to enter an occupied section, for example to rescue a broken down train.

I'm not sure how it works in the US but in some countries this involves the dispatcher writing a written excemption and reading it to the engineer or conductor by telephone or radio. The dispatcher must write it down on paper word for word and re-read it to the dispatcher and if the wording is identical (including names of parties involved, location, date and time) this is positive proof of correct transmission and the train may proceed at restricted speed until the next signal.
 

jis

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Use or track warrants works more or less the same way in the US. Depending on the rule book being used the form has a specific name. NORAC I believe calls it Form D.

One of the functions of the radio link is ACSES is to release an absolute stop to allow a train to pass a stop signal with a track warrant.
 

Hal

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Use or track warrants works more or less the same way in the US. Depending on the rule book being used the form has a specific name. NORAC I believe calls it Form D.

One of the functions of the radio link is ACSES is to release an absolute stop to allow a train to pass a stop signal with a track warrant.
Yes, under NORAC it is called a Form D. Years ago a Form D would have been required to pass a stop signal. But that was rule changed was some time ago. Under the current NORAC rules the dispatcher gives verbal permission for a train to pass a stop signal. No Form D. If you have a NORAC rule book it is Rule 241.

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jis

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Yes, under NORAC it is called a Form D. Years ago a Form D would have been required to pass a stop signal. But that was rule changed was some time ago. Under the current NORAC rules the dispatcher gives verbal permission for a train to pass a stop signal. No Form D. If you have a NORAC rule book it is Rule 241.

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Ah! Thanks for the correction.
 

Palmetto

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Under GCOR , dispatchers may also give verbal permission to pass an absolute signal indicating stop. [Dispatchers do not give permission to pass a stop / dark signal; trains may pass them at proceed at restricted speed to the next signal.] GCOR is used my railroads in the West.

This happens in Newton, KS a lot, for example, where engines are coming out of the roundhouse to go to the yard to get on their train.
 
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NW cannonball

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Yup. I wanted to know the details and apparently you don't have the information that I was seeking. Thanks for stating the obvious though. Anyway you of course do realize that your response to the material quoted is what would be characterized as "non-responsive blather ". ;)
So, now that you have read the "norac rules"

And understood all 300 of those rules, and the at least 3 or 8 signal aspects that might mean the same rule, or not, depending on what rails your trains is on

And tried to understand the NORAC system, which tries to encode with lineside signals both speed rules, upcoming diversions, and absolute signals.

The Cab signals are a lot clearer than the NORAC rules.

You wanted the details -- I gave "non-responsive blather"

You got the NORAC rule book. :)

Because -- the NORAC rules can only lead to "non-responsive blather"

The NORAC rules -- LOOK at the rules --

NORAC rules -- OK I'm an idiot -- but having 3-5 alternative signal aspect rules for "Approach medium speed then go slow and prepare diverge" -- the cab signals are so much clearer when they work.

The ancient NORAC rulebook -- at least 5 alternative wayside signals for each possible engineer response.

Lose the details, get on PTC, forget trackside signals.

BUT, if you have to run a train on the NEC -- lotsa good systems -- just learn a few incompatible systems and never forget which rules and which track you are on :)
 

Ryan

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Thanks for your valuable contributions to the thread?

How long have you been a locomotive engineer?
 

jis

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Yup. I wanted to know the details and apparently you don't have the information that I was seeking. Thanks for stating the obvious though. Anyway you of course do realize that your response to the material quoted is what would be characterized as "non-responsive blather ". ;)
So, now that you have read the "norac rules"

And understood all 300 of those rules, and the at least 3 or 8 signal aspects that might mean the same rule, or not, depending on what rails your trains is on

And tried to understand the NORAC system, which tries to encode with lineside signals both speed rules, upcoming diversions, and absolute signals.

The Cab signals are a lot clearer than the NORAC rules.

You wanted the details -- I gave "non-responsive blather"

You got the NORAC rule book. :)

Because -- the NORAC rules can only lead to "non-responsive blather"

The NORAC rules -- LOOK at the rules --

NORAC rules -- OK I'm an idiot -- but having 3-5 alternative signal aspect rules for "Approach medium speed then go slow and prepare diverge" -- the cab signals are so much clearer when they work.

The ancient NORAC rulebook -- at least 5 alternative wayside signals for each possible engineer response.

Lose the details, get on PTC, forget trackside signals.

BUT, if you have to run a train on the NEC -- lotsa good systems -- just learn a few incompatible systems and never forget which rules and which track you are on :)
Sorry more pointless blather ;)
 

Hal

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Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
441
Yup. I wanted to know the details and apparently you don't have the information that I was seeking. Thanks for stating the obvious though. Anyway you of course do realize that your response to the material quoted is what would be characterized as "non-responsive blather ". ;)
So, now that you have read the "norac rules"

And understood all 300 of those rules, and the at least 3 or 8 signal aspects that might mean the same rule, or not, depending on what rails your trains is on

And tried to understand the NORAC system, which tries to encode with lineside signals both speed rules, upcoming diversions, and absolute signals.

The Cab signals are a lot clearer than the NORAC rules.

You wanted the details -- I gave "non-responsive blather"

You got the NORAC rule book. :)

Because -- the NORAC rules can only lead to "non-responsive blather"

The NORAC rules -- LOOK at the rules --

NORAC rules -- OK I'm an idiot -- but having 3-5 alternative signal aspect rules for "Approach medium speed then go slow and prepare diverge" -- the cab signals are so much clearer when they work.

The ancient NORAC rulebook -- at least 5 alternative wayside signals for each possible engineer response.

Lose the details, get on PTC, forget trackside signals.

BUT, if you have to run a train on the NEC -- lotsa good systems -- just learn a few incompatible systems and never forget which rules and which track you are on :)
What you wrote in your first post and this last one about signals do not make much sense. I gather that is because you do not understand railroad signaling.

As for the NORAC "alternate" aspects, they are not alternates. Color signals are replacing position signals. Other signals you see in the rule are dwarf versions of the high signals that are on the ground. Also there are Washington Terminal signals a regular signal and dwarf signal. If you don't operate in Washington Terminal you don't have to learn those. An Approach Medium has the same indication whichever aspect undert he rule is used. The crews only have to learn the aspects they see in their territory. By the way in NORAC, Approach Medium, the rule is Proceed approaching the next signal at Medium Speed.
 
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By the way, as a railroad signaling guru, I encourage anyone and everyone who wants to better understand North American railroad signaling to read Al Krug's page on the subject:


Mr. Krug is an engineer for BNSF, and has put together the best explanation of "signals" I've ever seen on the web. Be sure to read all the linked pages, too, which detail various signal systems.
 

Hal

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Messages
441
By the way, as a railroad signaling guru, I encourage anyone and everyone who wants to better understand North American railroad signaling to read Al Krug's page on the subject:

http://www.alkrug.vcn.com/rrfacts/signals/signals.htm

Mr. Krug is an engineer for BNSF, and has put together the best explanation of "signals" I've ever seen on the web. Be sure to read all the linked pages, too, which detail various signal systems.
Excellent!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

NW cannonball

Conductor
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Jun 28, 2012
Messages
1,547
By the way, as a railroad signaling guru, I encourage anyone and everyone who wants to better understand North American railroad signaling to read Al Krug's page on the subject:


Mr. Krug is an engineer for BNSF, and has put together the best explanation of "signals" I've ever seen on the web. Be sure to read all the linked pages, too, which detail various signal systems.
Thanks - really helpful
 
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