glossary

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glossary

Postby dbperry » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:55 am

Some twitter followers asked me for a glossary of relevant railroad terms, especially as they relate to the Framingham-Worcester line. I've started it here and would welcome your corrections, additions, and comments.

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/glossary

Obviously I'm aiming it at non-railfans who read my blog and are interested in issues related to delays and other operational aspects of the commuter rail. I don't think I'm cutting too many corners or dumbing things down to the point of being wrong, but feel free to note if I've done that.

Thanks

Dave
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Re: glossary

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:03 pm

"The Form D is computerized for the dispatcher - and the computer will insure that a dispatcher doesn't assign a track warrant (Form D) to two trains on the same section of track at the same time."

Is this true at Keolis? I know some places that aren't like this. The dispatcher is responsible for knowing the effective limits on Form D's.
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Re: glossary

Postby CRail » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:41 pm

Here's a few of your gaps...

ACSES: Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System; A form of positive train control which initiates a penalty brake application if a speed restriction or signal is not obeyed within a set amount of time.

ABS (Automatic Block Signals): Signals which are not controlled by a Dispatcher which give track occupancy information to the Engineer ensuring that trains are safely spaced and their movements do not oppose each other.

Noteworthy fact about the Boston & Albany, its Highland Branch which went from today's Yawkee station to the former Riverside station now serves as the so named Green Line branch (D).

Cab Signals: An on board signal system which receives data from the track and conveys it to the engineer in the cab. There are different types of cab signal systems, and they may be used in conjunction with or in place of wayside Automatic Block Signals. On the Worcester Line, there is currently no cab signal system east of Framingham.

Defect Detector: A wayside detector to to alert the train crew of an overheated journal bearing, a derailed axle, or both. Typically, a defect detector will transmit information verbally over the radio every time a train passes whether or not a defect is detected.

High Ball: A signal to go. Of the first wayside signals was a red ball strung on a rope down the side of a pole. The position of the ball was the signal's aspect, high being clear. Hence, high ball = clear.
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Re: glossary

Postby GP40MC1118 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:17 pm

On the dispatcher's end:

Keolis/MBTA Form D's are done electronically, but not "tied into" the blocking devices
they are related to. In other words, Blocking devices are put up to protect the Form D
first, then the D is issued.

Example: Form D Line 12 (Crossing malfunction) at Park St Somerville. TD will put up
blocking devices between Swift and Horgan. Then issues Form D to the train. Once
that is satisfactorily done, blocking device is removed and signal can be displayed. The block
is put on after the train as passed Swift or Horgan to protect following moves.

Ultimately, it is the TD's responsibility to protect any situation requiring Form D's. It
is possible to have have multiple blocks for all sorts of things between interlockings. And
its not just for D's: Foul Time, trespasser alerts, downed trees, etc.

D
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Re: glossary

Postby Disney Guy » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:40 pm

A few more suggestions:

Interlocking -- The means of displaying signal indications to assign the right of way to trains approaching a crossing or junction, and in some cases, to regulate the speed of such trains, together with means of coordinating the settings of switches on adjacent tracks to as best as possible prevent collisions in the event of runaway trains. Control can be manual or automatic or a combination of both.

Mini-High -- A short length of car floor height platform at a station with boarding from ground level, such platform used by persons with wheelchairs or strollers or who otherwise have difficulty using stairs. While full length car floor height platforms are desirable (for rolling stock that uses them), they are not suitable for stations on curves and also finances may delay their construction.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: glossary

Postby dbperry » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:00 pm

Fantastic. I was using the "coming soon" marker as a placeholder for things I wanted to define but just hadn't had time to get to yet. I just didn't want to forget about the term. I know most of those definitions but I will definitely use some of your suggestions!

Can anyone think of terms I'm missing?
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Re: glossary

Postby Diverging Route » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:24 am

dbperry wrote:Fantastic. I was using the "coming soon" marker as a placeholder for things I wanted to define but just hadn't had time to get to yet. I just didn't want to forget about the term. I know most of those definitions but I will definitely use some of your suggestions!

Can anyone think of terms I'm missing?


FOAMER :P
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Re: glossary

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:54 pm

A couple of minor tweaks:

Under Brake Test, it might be worth mentioning that a brake test is also required whenever cars are added to or dropped from a train consist (although presumably this rarely happens on MBTA, or commuter lines in general).

Under Form D, I believe it's a requirement that an engineer may not receive a Form D over the radio while the train is in motion; if the instructions can't wait until the next scheduled stop, or until the train is stopped at a signal, the train must be stopped while the engineer copies the information down and reads it back.

For the benefit of newspaper reporters thrown into the job of transportation reporting without knowing anything about railroads, you might mention that two rails and the supporting ties constitute a track, not a "set of tracks." Probably a lost cause, however.

All in all, I think the glossary is an excellent idea, and I hope a lot of people find out about it.
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Re: glossary

Postby jonnhrr » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:45 pm

For the benefit of newspaper reporters thrown into the job of transportation reporting without knowing anything about railroads, you might mention that two rails and the supporting ties constitute a track, not a "set of tracks." Probably a lost cause, however.


Also for the benefit of reporters, "chugging" is something people do with mugs of beer, but trains no longer do this now that they are diesel or electric. The last steam trains "chugged" off the scene sometime in the 1950's. :)

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Re: glossary

Postby dbperry » Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:43 am

It's done, for now. Open to suggestions, proofreading, and corrections.

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/glossary
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Re: glossary

Postby GP40MC1118 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:28 am

CROCC - Stands for "Commuter Rail Operations Control Center". Located in Somerville, this is where all the
MBTA Northside/Keolis commuter rail dispatchers are located. The Mechanical Desk (90/90) is also here.

Grand Jct: Controlled by the Keolis Northside Terminal Dispatcher.

D
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Re: glossary

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:26 pm

Very nice job. A few minor proofreading corrections:

Under
Channel - AAR stands for Association of American Railroads. Newspapers get it wrong all the time.
Deadman switch - In the passage beginning "if it isn't pushed ... " I think that's meant to be "certain amount of time."
Northeast Corridor - The abbreviation is actually CETC, although it is pronounced see-teck. Under Dispatcher, you may have meant CETC theatre rather than CTC.

Again, nice job--I hope a lot of people see it.
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Re: glossary

Postby dbperry » Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:48 pm

Added Lake Shore Limited and made edits consistent with suggestions above. Even added "Foamer"...

ExCon90 wrote:Northeast Corridor - The abbreviation is actually CETC, although it is pronounced see-teck. Under Dispatcher, you may have meant CETC theatre rather than CTC.


See my changes to CTC and my definition of CETC. I'm open to feedback on that topic (did I get it right?).
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Re: glossary

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:14 pm

I don't claim to be up to date on every technical intricacy of ACSES and CETC, but it looks good to me.
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Re: glossary

Postby JWilson » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:29 pm

You also need : Rule 241 Permission to Pass Stop Signal. Frequently used for track car moves but also used to allow regular trains into an out of service track.
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