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Horsham - Dorking Landslip

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Horsham - Dorking Landslip

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:09 am

I note that the line between Horsham and Dorking is currently closed following a landslip near Holmwood. The Up line is blocked.

When I was a Horsham based signalman in the early 90s such slips happened all too regularly. Single Line Working was quickly arranged between Warnham and Dorking (I was regularly Pilotman).

Why is this not done now?

Is it lack of competent staff to act as Pilotman?

Richard
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Re: Horsham - Dorking Landslip

Unread postby RDNA » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:00 am

Richard Lemon wrote:I note that the line between Horsham and Dorking is currently closed following a landslip near Holmwood. The Up line is blocked.

When I was a Horsham based signalman in the early 90s such slips happened all too regularly. Single Line Working was quickly arranged between Warnham and Dorking (I was regularly Pilotman).

Why is this not done now?

Is it lack of competent staff to act as Pilotman?

Richard


Richard,

I noticed a reluctance to institute SLW from the mid 90s until I retired last year.

I thought it was partly due to the regularly altering rules governing setting up 'Safe Systems of Work' next to a temporary single line and partly the passenger 'Train Operating Company's' controls reluctance to operate a modified time table at short notice.

This decline in the use of SLW resulted in loss of the easy familiarity with which operators used to put in single line working.

I do however recall a few years ago an inexperienced Route Operations Manager issuing written instructions that the pilotman on a sunday job should institute SLW for every wrong direction train and withdraw it for every right direction train!!!

Needless to say this did not happen!

DB
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Re: Horsham - Dorking Landslip

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:10 pm

Lack of competence, and the ability to assess competence must be the hub of it.

In Ireland, IE use "Remote Pilotmen" based at Connelly Control - completely separate from the signallers. Simple, and I understand that it works!

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Re: Horsham - Dorking Landslip

Unread postby Wilkinstown » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:04 am

With the exception of recent programmed ballast cleaning on the Dublin/Cork line, Irish Rail rarely resort to either traditional pilotman controlled single line working or to remote pilotman working. The normal approach, at least partially imported from the UK, is to suspend services and/or resort to bus substitution in circumstances in which SLW would have been previously the natural choice. As elsewhere operational agility has declined alarmingly and there has been a loss of familiarity with the process.

As far as I am aware the programmed signal line working on the Dublin/Cork line mentioned above is conducted by a pilotman in the conventional manner (i.e. physically present at the end of the single line section from which the train will proceed). While remote pilot working is "on the books" it is not much used other than in situations where one line has become blocked by an extended duration train failure (or some other unexpected occurence) and following traffic is queued behind.
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Re: Horsham - Dorking Landslip

Unread postby Wilkinstown » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:15 am

RDNA wrote:
Richard Lemon wrote:I note that the line between Horsham and Dorking is currently closed following a landslip near Holmwood. The Up line is blocked.

When I was a Horsham based signalman in the early 90s such slips happened all too regularly. Single Line Working was quickly arranged between Warnham and Dorking (I was regularly Pilotman).

Why is this not done now?

Is it lack of competent staff to act as Pilotman?

Richard


Richard,

I noticed a reluctance to institute SLW from the mid 90s until I retired last year.

I thought it was partly due to the regularly altering rules governing setting up 'Safe Systems of Work' next to a temporary single line and partly the passenger 'Train Operating Company's' controls reluctance to operate a modified time table at short notice.

This decline in the use of SLW resulted in loss of the easy familiarity with which operators used to put in single line working.

I do however recall a few years ago an inexperienced Route Operations Manager issuing written instructions that the pilotman on a sunday job should institute SLW for every wrong direction train and withdraw it for every right direction train!!!

Needless to say this did not happen!

DB


While what you say sounds ridiculous, has it not become the practice to introduce and withdraw single line working depending on traffic flow - i.e if there is a group of trains travelling in the normal direction on the normal line (or traffic at the time is pre-dominantly in one direction) then SLW might be cancelled and only re-introduced for "wrong direction" moves. Maybe compliant with the letter of the rule book but hardly the spirit !
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Re: Horsham - Dorking Landslip

Unread postby Yabbadabba » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:26 pm

We have done single working over the back road quite a few times in recent years because of land slides, but appears that the engineers took possession of both lines on this occasion, so that wasn’t an option.
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