British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby george matthews » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:14 pm

Statkowski wrote:
David Benton wrote:I would think English rail is alot lighter and lower profile than heavy haul American rail.


Lighter, yes, but not by too much. Went searching on-line and it appears the newest "heavy" rail for British rails is 120-pound rail while 132-pound rail appears to be the norm for North American lines.

The PRR had some 155-pound rail, but that's no longer produced. Locally, where I live, R.J. Corman has been putting in 127-pound rail on an as-needed basis on one of its branch lines in Pennsylvania. Much of the trackage is still jointed rail, so there's plenty of room for rail expansion in hot weather. Their biggest concern, and limiting factor, is a 14-degree curve at the base of a 0.8% descending grade. Too much train weight pushing the train down the hill and the outside rail on the curve will lay over on its side. Current operation has four SD40-2s pulling 65 loaded coal cars over the line.

You should note the many differences between American practice and British. For example: the length of trains. British freight trains never reach the sort of extreme lengths found in some parts of America, and they are a good deal faster, to avoid slowing the passenger trains. Second, Passenger trains are much more frequent. Thus even quite fast lines may have several trains per hour. Almost all lines,except those in the periphery of Scotland and Wales, are at least double track.

Today, the day after the longest day, has been cooler by about 10oC.
Last edited by george matthews on Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby johnthefireman » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:13 am

The temperature on the tube surpassed the legal limit for transporting cattle

The media love this type of headline whenever it gets hot. The difference, of course, is that tube passengers have the option of getting off at the next station and going outside for a breath of fresh (albeit hot) air; cattle don't.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby george matthews » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:48 am

johnthefireman wrote:The temperature on the tube surpassed the legal limit for transporting cattle

The media love this type of headline whenever it gets hot. The difference, of course, is that tube passengers have the option of getting off at the next station and going outside for a breath of fresh (albeit hot) air; cattle don't.

Yes, the London Underground can be rather hot in the Summer - on the fairly rare hot days. I believe there has been some investment in increasing air circulation in recent years. The newest line, Crossrail, has much better circulation and should not get too hot - when it opens in a couple of years. Should I mention the New York underground system? That is quite warm in the Summer, too. Indeed, when in the US in the Summer I find the need to drink more fluids and find that the trains make me quite sweaty. I remember how hot Chicago Union station was when I was there in August - even in the large waiting room. Nowhere in London is ever that hot.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby Statkowski » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:44 pm

I remember when New York's subway cars did not have air conditioning. Overhead fans and windows that opened. We survived.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby David Benton » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:23 pm

A lift engineer once told me that people generate up to a kilowatt of heat each when hot. You could easily have a few hundred people jammed into a subway car , so you can see the problem quickly escalates.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby george matthews » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:58 am

David Benton wrote:A lift engineer once told me that people generate up to a kilowatt of heat each when hot. You could easily have a few hundred people jammed into a subway car , so you can see the problem quickly escalates.

I think the dangers to trains by heat in Britain, suggested in this thread title, is wholly exaggerated. Hot weather of the sort being suggested is still rather rare, and is noted by the Meteorological office and by Network Rail. Despite all the privatisation meddling by politicians I don't think the danger is likely.

Passenger comfort is another matter. The Underground can be very sweaty on some days but there has been some mitigation by providing more ventilation. Main line trains are much more comfortable. My experience of the New York underground is much worse than in London.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby Tadman » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:52 am

I was in London this week and it was bloody HOT! That tube of yours is quite interesting, too. It's like a micro subway and the heat was unreal, I sweat right through my suit just going from Paddington to Euston.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby george matthews » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:19 am

Tadman wrote:I was in London this week and it was bloody HOT! That tube of yours is quite interesting, too. It's like a micro subway and the heat was unreal, I sweat right through my suit just going from Paddington to Euston.

But today is much cooler. I have just been outside picking raspberries and it is very pleasant. I am sure the Underground is much pleasanter too.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby David Benton » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:46 pm

The actual tube line rolling stock is very compact. The cut and cover tunnel lines , such as the Crcle line , have larger rolling stock , and more open stations.
Back in the 1990's , the Waterloo line had original rolling stock , which was more compact again , and seemed louder and rougher riding. I think it was closed down and completely rebuilt after I left.
Isle of Wright railway (above ground) also used older London underground rolling stock at that time.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby David Benton » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:52 pm

It seems the Waterloo -city line trains were not original , but dated form the late 1930's.
It was rebuilt in 1993, and transferred to London underground ownership . I may have still been there , or just left.
I remember the travelator.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo_%26_City_line
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby george matthews » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:29 am

David Benton wrote:It seems the Waterloo -city line trains were not original , but dated form the late 1930's.
It was rebuilt in 1993, and transferred to London underground ownership . I may have still been there , or just left.
I remember the travelator.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo_%26_City_line

The Waterloo and City line was built and owned by the London and South Western Railway, and then owned by the Southern Railway. It was only transferred to London Transport fairly recently. It used a different electrical system from the rest of the Tube stock - though the trains were a similar size. It used a single third rail, like the rest of the Southern railway. I assume it had the same voltages. For maintenance the trains had to be lifted out of the tunnel one carriage at a time. Its main purpose was to carry passengers from the south western suburbs to their work places in the City.
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:57 pm

I remember that as late as the 1970's and possibly 1980's the London Transport tourist bur and Underground pass was not honored on the Waterloo & City, but the British Rail pass was; I don't know when exactly it was changed. The London & South Western had little choice but to build the line; imagine finding--and paying for--enough land for Waterloo Station north of the Thames. (Pennsylvania Railroad tickets to New York were honored on the Hudson & Manhattan tube trains from Newark to New York--the H&M used PRR tracks west of Jersey City.)
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Re: British Rails Can't Handle Hot Weather

Postby george matthews » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:46 pm

ExCon90 wrote:I remember that as late as the 1970's and possibly 1980's the London Transport tourist bur and Underground pass was not honored on the Waterloo & City, but the British Rail pass was; I don't know when exactly it was changed. The London & South Western had little choice but to build the line; imagine finding--and paying for--enough land for Waterloo Station north of the Thames. (Pennsylvania Railroad tickets to New York were honored on the Hudson & Manhattan tube trains from Newark to New York--the H&M used PRR tracks west of Jersey City.)

There have been proposals to extend the Waterloo and City line further north, but the plans have never developed further. However, now that it has the normal Tube design track and trains these may develop into plans.
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