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Danglebahn

Signalling outside the UK (but including Northern Ireland), past, present and future

Danglebahn

Unread postby kbarber » Tue Aug 8, 2017 11:14 am

I visited the Wuppertal Schwebebahn whilst on holiday... interesting for about one or two stations, then a bit tedious really. But they do curves without needing superelevation - the car body simply swings out to the appropriate angle.

However... signalling. The system seems to be controlled by 2-aspect colour lights without repeaters, but all the signals seem to have a 3rd aspect that I never saw lighted. Does anyone know what the 3rd indication is? (Mostly the sections are platform starter to platform starter, uncertain whether there's any kind of overlap, but there are a few of the longer sections with a mid-section signal, again seemingly standard 2-aspect but with a 3rd indication.) The big question in my mind is just how they operate the signals? Track circuiting would appear to be rather difficult with just one rail mounted on that huge steel "track bed".)

Finally, all signals seemed to have ERTMS-style reperes (yellow arrow rather than triangle on blue background) associated with them. So are they installing ETCS? Or do they fulfil some other function? (Each repere carried the same number as the nearby signal.)
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby Danny252 » Tue Aug 8, 2017 12:54 pm

There's actually a good amount of information already available online.

Signal aspects are described on this page: link. The third lamp is a yellow aspect. On its own this indicates Proceed on Sight, similar to the standard German Zs1 aspect. The red and yellow can also be combined to give a number of shunting instructions, but the correct translations are slightly beyond my (and Google Translate's) ability to understand technical German.

There is also a press release from Alstom (link) and a lengthy section on the German Wikipedia (link) article regarding the installation of a new ETCS 2+ system, describing fixed block sections with train positions determined by radio. The Alstom press release mentions that they will "[...] replace the traditional axle counters by a new train detection system [...]", and Google also surprised me by pulling up an article describing the previous signalling renewal in 1962! Excerpt from New Scientist No. 290, p. 525, 7 June 1962 (link):
[...] the system has been subdivided into 51 "blocks", each of which operates by magnetic carry-over along the rail from one block to the next. Passage of the train itself provides the necessary switching, but all movements are followed and can be remote controlled from a combined indicator desk and control panel. As a train moves from a block its number appears on a corresponding panel at the main control station. A similar number and an all-clear light is also switched on at the exit of the block to be visible to the conductor on the train following.
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Tue Aug 8, 2017 2:04 pm

Danny252 wrote:There's actually a good amount of information already available online.

Signal aspects are described on this page: link. The third lamp is a yellow aspect. On its own this indicates Proceed on Sight, similar to the standard German Zs1 aspect. The red and yellow can also be combined to give a number of shunting instructions, but the correct translations are slightly beyond my (and Google Translate's) ability to understand technical German.


The reason you wouldn't normally see the Yellow aspect it is used for signal or block faults.
Likewise you shouldn't see a black signal (not connected/out of order) = Stop.
Flashing red - service disruption/failure. Stop & call controller.
Yellow flashing - couple and propel
Flashing Red & (steady) yellow translates as go forward carefully for example to couple & propel. (don't ask me how this differs from the preceding indication)
Red & Yellow both flashing means couple & pull to the following station during failure

It may just be the way the web page has been drawn, but I notice the red & yellow both flashing appears on my screen as flashing in sync if the signal is arranged vertically but they flash alternately if it is horizontal.

I would like to see what options are provided on the control panel. My guess is that it normally all functions automatically as a simple 2-aspect R/G system, but the signalman has the facility to add a manual over-ride in yellow, either steadily or flashing.
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Tue Aug 8, 2017 3:30 pm

I can add that signals are normally extinguished, but illuminate when a train approaches! I suggest that this is a fascinating line, with superb views of the river and roads. And there is the elephant story (which is true!). Also a good home-brew pub near one of the stations.
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby Danny252 » Tue Aug 8, 2017 4:44 pm

Mike Hodgson wrote:Flashing Red & (steady) yellow translates as go forward carefully for example to couple & propel. (don't ask me how this differs from the preceding indication)

That was my main issue with translation - most of them seemed to have very similar meanings!

I would like to see what options are provided on the control panel. My guess is that it normally all functions automatically as a simple 2-aspect R/G system, but the signalman has the facility to add a manual over-ride in yellow, either steadily or flashing.

The New Scientist article certainly gives the impression that the system usually runs automatically.

stellwerke.de has photographs of both Wuppertal Hbf, which controls the entire line except the end stations, and Vohwinkel, one of the termini. This local news/blog article also features some photos of the control panel at Vohwinkel. However, the labels for the controls are very small!
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby kbarber » Tue Aug 8, 2017 6:43 pm

Thank you all... that's helpful.
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby Frank » Tue Aug 8, 2017 10:29 pm

Hello,

some to the Line..

The Signal aspects:

red = Stop / red flashing = Mal function ,Contact Signal man / green = Proceed / yellow = Proceed on sight equal to the Zs1 on Main Lines

yellow flashing = Cuopling two Vehikel / red flashing and yellow = coupling or slow forward for coupling

red and yellow flshing = use Turntable to return last Station (today not, because the Turntables in the Line where gone)
http://www.die-schwebebahn.de/wendeanlagen.html Turntables


The former Signal Box at Döppersberg (100 Meters from the DB Station Wuppertal Hbf) was a Siemens Relay Box Type SpDr-S59 and places above the Track Platform in direction Oberbarmen.From the Platform you could see the Signal man working.
Normaly the Line was operated with Automatic Block (Selbstblock),only at the Termini Vohwinkel and Oberbarmen the two small Boxes at the Depots operated manually.

Today it is a special Form of a ETCS-System and the Signal man are now at the Bus Traffic Control Center in Wuppertal-Loh.
In one shift 2 Signal man and 2 Bus Controller (Fahrmeister) are working together with one Supervisor (Verkehrsmeister).

The Block System still remains with 39 Blocks with 100 Meter Overlap.

Communication is special by the TETRA -System, this is done because the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulace are using this and with the Track above the River Wupper it nessary to communicate quick with them.

regards

Frank
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby stevej » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:30 am

G'day,
Ever since viewing the film Fahrenheit 451 many years ago, I have been intrigued by Schwebebahnen.
I am wondering just how the signals on the Japanese dangling railways operate.
The vehicle support being by rubber tires and not metal wheels.
Can signal circuits be superimposed onto the power supply and return rails ?
Or would a treadle type system be employed to trip with the passage of the rubber tires ?
I would guess that the system would also be similarly employed on monorail operations where signals exist.
The Japanese dangling system providing dual direction vehicle travel and probably reduced noise.
I believe that the dangling railway featured in the film Fahrenheit 451 was actually in France.
And amused me that a ladder was lowered to the ground from the belly of the vehicle in lieu of aerial stations.
I could imagine the OH&S regulations of today not being in favour of such an operation.
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:01 am

stevej wrote:G'day,
Ever since viewing the film Fahrenheit 451 many years ago, I have been intrigued by Schwebebahnen.
I am wondering just how the signals on the Japanese dangling railways operate.
The vehicle support being by rubber tires and not metal wheels.
Can signal circuits be superimposed onto the power supply and return rails ?
Or would a treadle type system be employed to trip with the passage of the rubber tires ?
I would guess that the system would also be similarly employed on monorail operations where signals exist.
The Japanese dangling system providing dual direction vehicle travel and probably reduced noise.
I believe that the dangling railway featured in the film Fahrenheit 451 was actually in France.
And amused me that a ladder was lowered to the ground from the belly of the vehicle in lieu of aerial stations.
I could imagine the OH&S regulations of today not being in favour of such an operation.
Steve.

Whilst I can't answer the question on the Japanese dangling railways specifically there are a number of ways that trains can be detected even with rubber tyres, axle counters will work, as will treadles, also the original Clockwork Orange (sorry Glasgow subway) used contact wires between the train and the tunnel wall to operate the signalling.
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Re: Danglebahn

Unread postby JRB » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:29 pm

The French dangler sounds like the Safege monorail. Rubber tyred bogies (much like the Paris Metro ones) ran on an overhead track and the car dangled. There was a fairly short rural demonstration line.
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