Questions that you've always been too embarrassed to ask

 
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'So yeah I was just wondering how they chose which side was east or west.'
End

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  cabidass Chief Train Controller

End
YM-Mundrabilla
*eats rail humble pie and delegates oneself to the baggage car*
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ive seen SYD end on old NSWGR rolling stock.  Probably similar concept.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
My extremely aged memory suggests that the Southern Aurora cars were labelled MEL END & SYD END. Is this right or am I dreaming?
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

My extremely aged memory suggests that the Southern Aurora cars were labelled MEL END & SYD END. Is this right or am I dreaming?
Valvegear
That sounds familiar.

In the 80s traveling on the Overland (maybe) I vaguely remember something with MEL written on it.. Can't remember if the other end had SYD or ADL...

Interesting..
  N463 Locomotive Driver

IIRC the ex Spirit of Progress buffet car at the ARHS museum has cast plates attached to each end reading "Melbourne End" or "Sydney End"

For non Interstate cars, looking at pictures from Mark Bau's site http://www.victorianrailways.net/pass%20cars/passcarhome.html it appears that the "East End" and "West End" written on the ends of cars only appears on photos dated in the 1980's, photos from the '70's and earlier never** have this.

For photos from the '80's, orange cars always** seem to have "East End" or "West End" on the ends. Red wooden cars never seem to, and blue cars sometimes do (maybe the writing was added haphazardly???)

As the "East End" and "West End" writing started appearing in the early '80's, I wonder if it was connected to the "New Deal" reforms of the same era?

N463


**Never and Always refer only to photos that I have seen, there could always be some picture out there that contradicts this....
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The carriage diagrams from Peter J Vincent's site have the following annotations (left to right):

N Type
East  End  
West End

(Toilet at West End.)

Z Type - Original
Men's End  No 1 End
Ladies' End  No 2 End

Z Type - Refurbish
East End
West End

(Toilet East End, Toilet & Washroom West End. Not marked men's or ladies'.)

S Type
Men's End  No 1 End
Ladies' End  No 2 End

E Type
Nothing.

(Comment at bottom of AE & BE diagrams: "Nos 1, 4,11, ... have Ladies & Gentlemens ends reversed". The corridor is shown on the 'northern' side.)

PL Type
Nothing

(Ladies' and men's toilets.)
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
My extremely aged memory suggests that the Southern Aurora cars were labelled MEL END & SYD END. Is this right or am I dreaming?
Valvegear
Absolutely correct.
But 'why' remains the question. Smile
Was it a solution to a problem that didn't exist or was it to do with headend power jumpers, perhaps?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Ive seen SYD end on old NSWGR rolling stock.  Probably similar concept.
james.au
Various vague references over the years to the other end of the NSW cars being the Parramatta end with the Sydney end at the Central buffers end. Not sure if the Parramatta term was official but was used in some railfan circles.
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

My extremely aged memory suggests that the Southern Aurora cars were labelled MEL END & SYD END. Is this right or am I dreaming?
Absolutely correct.
But 'why' remains the question. Smile
Was it a solution to a problem that didn't exist or was it to do with headend power jumpers, perhaps?
YM-Mundrabilla
It was to do with the way the berths in each compartment and at which end the conductors space was situated whilst the train was moving. The jumpers are at each end of each car, so what difference would that make?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
The QR operation had the train eg the Sunlander, turned via a triangle at the outer terminus so it always ran in the same manner regarding corridors and compartments etc and the power car location.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' The jumpers are at each end of each car, so what difference would that make? '

Are the jumper connections bifurcated on the car ends. If they are not turn one car in a consist around and see what happens!
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Turning of wagons / carriages could have something to do with seat facing. Our Australiand train has seats that can be spun round. If the seats cannot turn the carriage will have to be. Passengers prefer to face forward I guess.

Another reason is coupler facing. The old chopper system had a designated end system wide for the hook to be, so as to reduce the occasion a hook / hook situation presented itself. Or a no hook / no hook.

For locomotives with one cab, and multiple locos on train there is an arrangement for them so a cab always faces each way in case they need to be split. In the US at Union Pacific, they have something like all locos face towards XX location except lead loco. So as to have locos facing the correct way for the bulk of the traffic. Or something to that effect.
-A little off topic but someone might find it interesting.

Perhaps they wanted a standard train configuration. I am unfamiliar with NSW trains, but if you had serving staff, cleaners etc, looking for a room, toilet etc. versus knowing exactly where it will be could have something to do with it. After watching Railroad Australia S1 with the IP and the Ghan, a lot of time can be wasted walking up and down a train, albeit a long one.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Ok..

So what defines the East end and West end of a rail carriage?

Did a bit of a Goggle and Terms search and came up with naught..

TIA
Don't know about carriages. The only East end and West end in regular Victorian Railways terms in my day related to Flinders Street where the East end was the Swanston Street/Princes Bridge/Richmond end and the West end was the Spencer Street end. These terms were in regular use and understood by all in those days. Carriages, of course, had no such descriptions in those days although the 3 car units on 7 car Taits were always attached/detached on/off the East end.
V/Line carriages follow the same as at Spencer Street trains head either East (East End) or elsewhere (west) when leaving Spencer Street (sorry Southern Cross) and their carriages or sets are rarely turned around.

As far as I am aware Metro don't define their sets as having east and west ends as their trains are regularly turned around by traversing the City Loop making it meaningless.
What is the reason/significance/importance for Vline carriages having east and west ends. Do V/locities and Sprinters have east and west ends?
YM-Mundrabilla
Simply to know what end of a carriage or train you are talking about.  The convention could just as easily been no 1 end or no 2 end as I have seen on B and A class locos.

I think I have seen east and west on the interior of Velocities but as I am going from memory if someone else wants to correct me they can.  I haven't ridden one since mid march so would need to check next time I catch a train to Bendigo or Melbourne
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

Hmmm. Maybe. I can't find anything online. But I'm wondering if it's mentioned on that schematic of the cars they display in the centre of the carriage above the bin...
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Bayswater (Vic)

Does anyone know why signals BAY302 & BAY311 were converted from automatics to homes during the Bayswater Level Crossing Removal project?  Also why were dwarf stop signals added to the end of the Maintenance Centre sidings 3 Nth,  4 Nth,  5 & 7, but not to siding 6?

The following VicSig diagram refers:
https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Bayswater
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Dwarf signals Kensington and Essendon

At the up end of the down platform at Kensington there is a dwarf (albeit on a pole) controlling departures from the down platform in the up direction. IIRC in days of old it displayed only purple and yellow indications. The current dwarf has three indications ie purple plus two others. What are the two unknown indications and what moves do they govern? I assume one (yellow ?) is into the flour mill but what colour is the other and what does it control.

There is a similar installation on the down side of the crossover beyond Mount Alexander Road Bridge at Essendon. This dwarf is normally purple and I assume controls set back moves but again what are the two unknown colours and what do they signify?

Anybody know, please?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Bayswater (Vic)

Does anyone know why signals BAY302 & BAY311 were converted from automatics to homes during the Bayswater Level Crossing Removal project?  Also why were dwarf stop signals added to the end of the Maintenance Centre sidings 3 Nth,  4 Nth,  5 & 7, but not to siding 6?

The following VicSig diagram refers:
[color=#0066cc][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, 'Segoe UI', Segoe, 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Bayswate[/font][/size][/color]r
"kitchgp"
At a guess, they were converted into Outer Home signals to protect a train being held at BAY309 or BAY304 waiting for 206 points to become available. Being controlled signals means no possibility of a following train tripping past 302 or 311 and entering the same block.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Bayswater (Vic)

Does anyone know why signals BAY302 & BAY311 were converted from automatics to homes during the Bayswater Level Crossing Removal project?  Also why were dwarf stop signals added to the end of the Maintenance Centre sidings 3 Nth,  4 Nth,  5 & 7, but not to siding 6?

https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Bayswater
kitchgp


At a guess, they were converted into Outer Home signals to protect a train being held at BAY309 or BAY304 waiting for 206 points to become available. Being controlled signals means no possibility of a following train tripping past 302 or 311 and entering the same block.
KRviator


Thanks. That appears to be part of the explanation. When Blackburn’s Level Crossing was removed about the same time, L578, which precedes BBN303 on the up line, was converted from an automatic showing ‘Medium Speed Caution’ to a controlled automatic.

Blackburn 2011:
http://www.signaldiagramsandphotos.com/mywebpages/vr/Metropolitan/19'2011.pdf

Blackburn 2016:
http://www.signaldiagramsandphotos.com/mywebpages/vr/Metropolitan/33'2016.pdf
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Dwarf signals Kensington and Essendon

At the up end of the down platform at Kensington there is a dwarf (albeit on a pole) controlling departures from the down platform in the up direction. IIRC in days of old it displayed only purple and yellow indications. The current dwarf has three indications ie purple plus two others. What are the two unknown indications and what moves do they govern? I assume one (yellow ?) is into the flour mill but what colour is the other and what does it control.

There is a similar installation on the down side of the crossover beyond Mount Alexander Road Bridge at Essendon. This dwarf is normally purple and I assume controls set back moves but again what are the two unknown colours and what do they signify?

Anybody know, please?
YM-Mundrabilla

Three-position dwarf signals can display the following:
Red or purple – Stop
Yellow - Low Speed Caution
Green - Clear Low Speed

Low Speed is not exceed 15kph.

Presumably either of the Kensington or Essendon signals can show ‘Clear Low Speed’ if the next signal after the crossover to the main line is not at ‘Stop’. This link explains dwarf signals. The last photo shows ‘Clear Low Speed’ :

http://www.victorianrailways.net/signaling/3posdw/3posdwar.html
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
My stupid question: why does non-driven rolling stock still use solid axles? I understand the need for solid axles in locos and DMUs, but why on 'passive' stock like wagons? Is it just so you only have to service two bearings per axle instead of four? Wouldn't the reduction in unsprung weight by removing the solid axle reduce overall wear and tear on both track and wagon?
Draffa
The railway wheel set won't function properly if it's not a rigid single wheel set. There are YouTube vids, but the mirrored cones of the wheel tread need to be fixed about a shaft to guide itself through a curve with a self steering effect. If that is what your asking. Not sure how you get 4 bearings though.

High speed trains have hollow axles so as to allow ultrasonic? Inspection inside the shaft and throughout its length. I would think having a hole through a freight axle would be cost prohibitive for the benefit. Takes 'some' time to drill a hole that deep.

One thing to consider also is one of the US manufacturers of railway axles produces a finished axle every 3 minutes or so. So complicating a proven design must have considerable benefit all around to be worth it.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
@ justapassenger, how do the Talgo wheels steer on a curve? The internet doesn't know either. Curious is all if you know. I get the body steers the axle, but how does the wheel find itself between the rails. Weird, or it's top secret, or really obvious lol. Lots of bits to those machines though.

There was once passenger car axles in the US where the two wheels were fixed about a hollow large diameter axle, with a pair of bearings each end, running on a smaller diameter axle. Probably reduced stress in the axle as the bearings were inline with the load. The smaller axle didn't rotate of course.

Peter  could probably answer a lot of this.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Could you imagine fitting a 'Differential' to the axle of every rail vehicle to allow the wheels to turn at different ratios on a curve?
The weight and structure alone plus its something else to wear out and break down to make it hideously expensive to use.
The 'Differential' effect is achieved by angling both the head of the rail and the wheel face and of course wide curves.

Some years ago a Dutch company call DAF made a small vehicle that used 2 cones and belts to achieve a clutchless almost infinite number of 'Gears' as well as allowing each wheel to rotate at its on speed on a curve.
This system is still used on Ride On 'yard' tractors used for large area lawn mowing today.

BTW, in the DAF Company museum in Holland is a small van that was driven from Cape Town in South Africa to Amsterdam using this drive method.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Some years ago a Dutch company call DAF made a small vehicle that used 2 cones and belts to achieve a clutchless almost infinite number of 'Gears' as well as allowing each wheel to rotate at its on speed on a curve.
This system is still used on Ride On 'yard' tractors used for large area lawn mowing today.
gordon_s1942
The cone drive and the cone & belt systems were commonly used with electric motors to provide a 'mechanical' variable speed output. Many are still in use today, but the advent of electronic variable speed drives for electric motors has seen a decline on the cone drive systems.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

The Cone & Belt transmission is used in many cars these days, known as a CVT transmission. The belts are a fancy woven steel and  last the life time of  the vehicle.
Hollow axles were common on steam locomotives aka 38 class. The idea was that the axles were forged from billet steel. Molten steel was poured into moulds and cooled, then hammered and pressed into a cylindrical shape before machining. When casting into the mould the impurities are driven to the still molten centre while the outside steel crystalizes and cools. Thus down the centre of the axle there could be a number of flaws that can lead to fatigue failures. This area was drilled out to remove this possibility.
Neill Farmer

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