Detonators

 
  nstone84 Beginner

Hi All,

I was wondering if someone could answer this regarding detonators. I'm looking at applying for work with Sydney Trains and I was wondering if anyone knew if they still used detonators on the suburban network when doing track work on an active line? I'm on the central coast and know that they still use detonators up here on the intercity line but wasn't sure about the suburban lines.  Years ago I remember they did, but with changes in technology thought there wouldn't be a need for them anymore.

I have a sensitivity to loud noises and detonators can affect me to some degree.

Your input on this would be appreciated.

Thx,

Nath

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I have a recollection of reading an accident report where they didn't use detonators as they were 'old technology' or some similar reason.
I am open to correction however.

But if they don't they should.........
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I don't believe they're used within the metropolitan network; I recall this was partly because there are now technologies and processes that have made them redundant, but mostly because naughty people were breaking into cabs and stealing them because they like things that go boom.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I don't believe they're used within the metropolitan network; I recall this was partly because there are now technologies and processes that have made them redundant, but mostly because naughty people were breaking into cabs and stealing them because they like things that go boom.
Watson374
That's basically my understanding.
How many people have died at least as a partial result?
  gmanning1 Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney
Either early this year or late last year I was at Arncliffe station and detonators were going off as the trains passed at very slow / crawling speed. I've no idea why, but at least 2 or three went off as the trains approached. After the first one scared the livers out of me, I was following the rest pretty closely.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
  gmanning1 Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney
I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
theanimal
OK thanks for that, I suppose I should be calling them "Railway Track Signals"!!


If I am operating rail traffic that is still equipped with RTS, can I still use them to protect that rail traffic or an obstructed line in the Sydney or Newcastle Suburban Areas? While the mandate to use RTS in these areas has been removed, train crews may still use RTS, if available, to protect disabled rail traffic or an obstructed line.
Safetracks June 2013_2

Number of explosions: Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators response
1. Sound one long whistle. Reduce speed. Look for any warning signals
2. Sound one long whistle. Immediately reduce speed to 25km/h. Be prepared to stop short of obstructions.
3. Sound one long whistle. Stop immediately.
NPR 709: Using Railway Track Signals

From a bit of Googling, it seems to be a "Track Circuit Shorting Clip" which is used instead, although I can't appear to find a document on Railsafe which explains the usage of them.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
OK thanks for that, I suppose I should be calling them "Railway Track Signals"!!


If I am operating rail traffic that is still equipped with RTS, can I still use them to protect that rail traffic or an obstructed line in the Sydney or Newcastle Suburban Areas? While the mandate to use RTS in these areas has been removed, train crews may still use RTS, if available, to protect disabled rail traffic or an obstructed line.

Number of explosions: Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators response
1. Sound one long whistle. Reduce speed. Look for any warning signals
2. Sound one long whistle. Immediately reduce speed to 25km/h. Be prepared to stop short of obstructions.
3. Sound one long whistle. Stop immediately.

From a bit of Googling, it seems to be a "Track Circuit Shorting Clip" which is used instead, although I can't appear to find a document on Railsafe which explains the usage of them.
First thing to remember in today's world is that if you have a problem you don't resolve it you just change its name. Railway Track Signals = Detonators apparently.

As I understand it a Track Circuit Shorting Clip is just a jumper cable placed between the two rails. As such it simply acts like a train occupying that section and changes signals to red. Not sure that they work in some circumstances these days. I have read that they don't work in areas where Axle Counters are used but I am VERY UNSURE about this.

Detonators are a simple, effective, old fashioned means of protection which can be overlaid on top of more sophisticated/complicated systems to great advantage.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
OK thanks for that, I suppose I should be calling them "Railway Track Signals"!!


If I am operating rail traffic that is still equipped with RTS, can I still use them to protect that rail traffic or an obstructed line in the Sydney or Newcastle Suburban Areas? While the mandate to use RTS in these areas has been removed, train crews may still use RTS, if available, to protect disabled rail traffic or an obstructed line.

Number of explosions: Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators response
1. Sound one long whistle. Reduce speed. Look for any warning signals
2. Sound one long whistle. Immediately reduce speed to 25km/h. Be prepared to stop short of obstructions.
3. Sound one long whistle. Stop immediately.

From a bit of Googling, it seems to be a "Track Circuit Shorting Clip" which is used instead, although I can't appear to find a document on Railsafe which explains the usage of them.
First thing to remember in today's world is that if you have a problem, you don't resolve it, you just change its name. Railway Track Signals = Detonators apparently.

As I understand it a Track Circuit Shorting Clip is just a jumper cable placed between the two rails. As such it simply acts like a train occupying that section and changes signals to red. Not sure that they work in some circumstances these days. I have read that they don't work in areas where Axle Counters are used but I am VERY UNSURE about this.

Detonators are a simple, effective, old fashioned means of protection which can be overlaid on top of more sophisticated/complicated systems to great advantage.
  austfox Beginner

Location: Casula (Sydney), NSW
I have a sensitivity to loud noises and detonators can affect me to some degree.

Although no longer carried on suburban trains to provide protection in the event of an emergency, they are still used by track workers in the Sydney Metropolitan to provide safety for worksites.

If they are located at a signal that can be placed at stop, they will be removed before a train detonates them. In automatic signal sections, you'll get the loud noise.

If you are applying for a train crew position though, you won't encounter them too often. More than likely the bell in some of the trains will cause you more angst.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad
YM-Mundrabilla
Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad
Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?
theanimal
I think Railroad Australia described one of the worse, in regards to sheep. And the Savannalander crew's view of livestock incidents - self-tenderised BBQ.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad
Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?
theanimal
Believe me there is a lot worse if you get hit by a train.Crying or Very sad
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad
Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?
Believe me there is a lot worse if you get hit by a train.Crying or Very sad
YM-Mundrabilla
Blunt force trauma is a wonderful thing, eh?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad
Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?
Believe me there is a lot worse if you get hit by a train.Crying or Very sad
Blunt force trauma is a wonderful thing, eh?
Watson374
Not funny.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad

Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?

Believe me there is a lot worse if you get hit by a train.Crying or Very sad
"YM-Mundrabilla"

Blunt force trauma is a wonderful thing, eh?
"Watson374"

ICYMI: A track worker died a couple of weeks ago in Sydney. Maybe not the best time to post that.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Detonators are intended to 'affect people'.
Better to hear a loud bang than get cut in half (or worse).Crying or Very sad

Struggling to think what would be worse than getting cut in half?

Believe me there is a lot worse if you get hit by a train.Crying or Very sad

Blunt force trauma is a wonderful thing, eh?

ICYMI: A track worker died a couple of weeks ago in Sydney. Maybe not the best time to post that.
s3_gunzel
Oh, that's what you were telling me about on the Bookface.

Rest assured it wasn't meant to be funny in the slightest.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
OK thanks for that, I suppose I should be calling them "Railway Track Signals"!!


If I am operating rail traffic that is still equipped with RTS, can I still use them to protect that rail traffic or an obstructed line in the Sydney or Newcastle Suburban Areas? While the mandate to use RTS in these areas has been removed, train crews may still use RTS, if available, to protect disabled rail traffic or an obstructed line.

Number of explosions: Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators response
1. Sound one long whistle. Reduce speed. Look for any warning signals
2. Sound one long whistle. Immediately reduce speed to 25km/h. Be prepared to stop short of obstructions.
3. Sound one long whistle. Stop immediately.

From a bit of Googling, it seems to be a "Track Circuit Shorting Clip" which is used instead, although I can't appear to find a document on Railsafe which explains the usage of them.
First thing to remember in today's world is that if you have a problem, you don't resolve it, you just change its name. Railway Track Signals = Detonators apparently.

As I understand it a Track Circuit Shorting Clip is just a jumper cable placed between the two rails. As such it simply acts like a train occupying that section and changes signals to red. Not sure that they work in some circumstances these days. I have read that they don't work in areas where Axle Counters are used but I am VERY UNSURE about this.

Detonators are a simple, effective, old fashioned means of protection which can be overlaid on top of more sophisticated/complicated systems to great advantage.
YM-Mundrabilla
They SHOULD work in axle counter territory, as it is same as a short or break in the circuit which will put signals back to stop. However, just for the sake of saying it they are not "a jumper cable", (for the non-railway types, this is the electronic cable that carries signals between units).
Rather, it is a glorified piece of metal with clamps on either end to attach to the rail head. In a pinch, any conducting material could be used if you didn't have a set and needed to put something down.

I recall in my training that apparently these clips only work 70% of the time, and this percentage falls as the clip ages. We were encouraged to put 2 down if we could, but still operate under the understanding that they alone are not sufficient protection for a train (as opposed to detonators).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
OK thanks for that, I suppose I should be calling them "Railway Track Signals"!!


If I am operating rail traffic that is still equipped with RTS, can I still use them to protect that rail traffic or an obstructed line in the Sydney or Newcastle Suburban Areas? While the mandate to use RTS in these areas has been removed, train crews may still use RTS, if available, to protect disabled rail traffic or an obstructed line.

Number of explosions: Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators response
1. Sound one long whistle. Reduce speed. Look for any warning signals
2. Sound one long whistle. Immediately reduce speed to 25km/h. Be prepared to stop short of obstructions.
3. Sound one long whistle. Stop immediately.

From a bit of Googling, it seems to be a "Track Circuit Shorting Clip" which is used instead, although I can't appear to find a document on Railsafe which explains the usage of them.
First thing to remember in today's world is that if you have a problem, you don't resolve it, you just change its name. Railway Track Signals = Detonators apparently.

As I understand it a Track Circuit Shorting Clip is just a jumper cable placed between the two rails. As such it simply acts like a train occupying that section and changes signals to red. Not sure that they work in some circumstances these days. I have read that they don't work in areas where Axle Counters are used but I am VERY UNSURE about this.

Detonators are a simple, effective, old fashioned means of protection which can be overlaid on top of more sophisticated/complicated systems to great advantage.
They SHOULD work in axle counter territory, as it is same as a short or break in the circuit which will put signals back to stop. However, just for the sake of saying it they are not "a jumper cable", (for the non-railway types, this is the electronic cable that carries signals between units).
Rather, it is a glorified piece of metal with clamps on either end to attach to the rail head. In a pinch, any conducting material could be used if you didn't have a set and needed to put something down.

I recall in my training that apparently these clips only work 70% of the time, and this percentage falls as the clip ages. We were encouraged to put 2 down if we could, but still operate under the understanding that they alone are not sufficient protection for a train (as opposed to detonators).
seb2351
Thanks seb.
I agree that the term 'jumper cable' refers primarily to the control cable between locos and between wagons along wired ECP braked trains. As you say anything to create a short circuit between the rails will do.
The ones that I have seen in the Pilbara were cables with magnetic contacts which were placed on the head of the two rails. I, too, regard them as just one safety item in the arsenal of those available and would prefer not to rely on them 100% but accept that they may be an almost immediate first precaution before going walking with detonators etc.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I believe if you read the Network Rules on the Railsafe website, it might be a  bit plainer
OK thanks for that, I suppose I should be calling them "Railway Track Signals"!!


If I am operating rail traffic that is still equipped with RTS, can I still use them to protect that rail traffic or an obstructed line in the Sydney or Newcastle Suburban Areas? While the mandate to use RTS in these areas has been removed, train crews may still use RTS, if available, to protect disabled rail traffic or an obstructed line.

Number of explosions: Drivers and Track Vehicle Operators response
1. Sound one long whistle. Reduce speed. Look for any warning signals
2. Sound one long whistle. Immediately reduce speed to 25km/h. Be prepared to stop short of obstructions.
3. Sound one long whistle. Stop immediately.

From a bit of Googling, it seems to be a "Track Circuit Shorting Clip" which is used instead, although I can't appear to find a document on Railsafe which explains the usage of them.
First thing to remember in today's world is that if you have a problem, you don't resolve it, you just change its name. Railway Track Signals = Detonators apparently.

As I understand it a Track Circuit Shorting Clip is just a jumper cable placed between the two rails. As such it simply acts like a train occupying that section and changes signals to red. Not sure that they work in some circumstances these days. I have read that they don't work in areas where Axle Counters are used but I am VERY UNSURE about this.

Detonators are a simple, effective, old fashioned means of protection which can be overlaid on top of more sophisticated/complicated systems to great advantage.
They SHOULD work in axle counter territory, as it is same as a short or break in the circuit which will put signals back to stop. However, just for the sake of saying it they are not "a jumper cable", (for the non-railway types, this is the electronic cable that carries signals between units).
Rather, it is a glorified piece of metal with clamps on either end to attach to the rail head. In a pinch, any conducting material could be used if you didn't have a set and needed to put something down.

I recall in my training that apparently these clips only work 70% of the time, and this percentage falls as the clip ages. We were encouraged to put 2 down if we could, but still operate under the understanding that they alone are not sufficient protection for a train (as opposed to detonators).
Thanks seb.
I agree that the term 'jumper cable' refers primarily to the control cable between locos and between wagons along wired ECP braked trains. As you say anything to create a short circuit between the rails will do.
The ones that I have seen in the Pilbara were cables with magnetic contacts which were placed on the head of the two rails. I, too, regard them as just one safety item in the arsenal of those available and would prefer not to rely on them 100% but accept that they may be an almost immediate first precaution before going walking with detonators etc.
YM-Mundrabilla
If a train ran over 3 detonators, then it should have come to a halt quickly. By the way, security of storage facilities are the main reason why they are not used so much now. Kids knew they were kept on train stations and trains and caused more damage breaking in to steal them than they were worth. Been gone from most location for about 3 years.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
When using Detonators, we always stood at least 3 metres from them at all times and one warning was (steam days) not to stand too close to the running line as the detonator had been known to adhere to a driving wheel and being flung several feet out.
Oddly enough on Steam, the front 'pony wheels' would set off the Det but it was the larger driving wheel it adhered too that flung it out.
Because of the enclosed frame around today's Bogies on both locomotives and EMU's, this problem should be much reduced.
Due to the compression by the locomotive the disc had been completely flattened and had a very sharp edge which would easily cut you if it hit.
If the locomotive was moving slowly, they very seldom went much further than the rotation of the wheel but increase the speed also increased the distance the exploded Det would travel.

Partly because I was lazy and to stop a Det derailing a Trike, I used to put a strip of Newspaper under the Det and fold it up so as it fluttered, it made it easier to see and not run over accidentally meaning I had to go and replace it.

The Dets we had could be set off by hitting them (pre 1994) or put into a fire which we did to clean the chimneys out in the Signal box.
One trick was to put one on the end of a point clip and drop it out onto a hard surface below, usually after midnight when all was dead quiet.
Except for reports of hand injuries mostly to children or juveniles from setting off stolen Detonators, I never heard of anyone being severely injured by them.

My first safeworking job and contact with detonators was when I was sent to flag an Automatic Upper Quadrant Signal between the overhead power Sub station and where McDonalds are today at Blaxland on the Blue Mountains.
I was given a Red and Green Flag and a carton of Dets and left at the signal that was at Stop.
I had no training in flagging or any Safeworking and to this Day, I have no idea what the job was that put the Signal to Stop.

Those 'cables' to be used to short out the track were tried over 30 years ago and were found to be too unreliable as you couldn't tell if they were making proper contact or not.
Them where to lay them was the next problem, across or under the track, across the top meant they could be dislodged by a fettlers Trike or any track machine and under was both difficult and time consuming if the Ballast was too deep.

I am pleased to see after all this time the Status Quo still prevails............
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
If a train ran over 3 detonators, then it should have come to a halt quickly. By the way, security of storage facilities are the main reason why they are not used so much now. Kids knew they were kept on train stations and trains and caused more damage breaking in to steal them than they were worth. Been gone from most location for about 3 years.
nswtrains
I remember going to what must have been the first open day ever at Mortdale.  A mate and I accidentally ended up in a non public area (no barriers anywhere) and got in the cab of a spark.  Picked up something resembling a coke can and looked at it, IIRC marked "6 railway type detonators". Put it back real quick!
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

"When using Detonators, we always stood at least 3 metres from them at all times". "Due to the compression by the locomotive the disc had been completely flattened and had a very sharp edge which would easily cut you if it hit."
I've had the old steel disc type go whizzing by my head. Mind you, it helps if one stands the prescribed 75m away. I've seen them fly more than 50m.

"I used to put a strip of Newspaper under the Det and fold it up so as it fluttered, it made it easier to see and not run over accidentally"
Standard, though not official, practice. I remember being soundly verbally abused for not doing this. The noise is quite loud in the loco cab, imagine how loud when less than a metre away!

"The Dets we had could be set off by hitting them (pre 1994) or put into a fire which we did to clean the chimneys out in the Signal box."
I knew a ganger who, if the boys were showing reluctance to go back to work after having a warm around the fire, would throw a handful of dets into the fire. That made 'em scatter.

"I was given a Red and Green Flag and a carton of Dets and left at the signal that was at Stop. I had no training in flagging or any Safeworking"
Ha, the good ol' days, thankfully gone.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I agree about detonators flying - especially the old tin ones. I have a recollection of a fatality many years ago as a result of this but the lives that they have saved far outweighs this tragic accident.

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