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Railroad Technology As the basis for a Skype virtual SIG Presentation Ken Sandock 10-1-14.

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Presentation on theme: "Railroad Technology As the basis for a Skype virtual SIG Presentation Ken Sandock 10-1-14."— Presentation transcript:

1 Railroad Technology As the basis for a Skype virtual SIG Presentation Ken Sandock 10-1-14

2 Railroad technology has always been at the forefront of engineering: – Steam – Hydraulic – Pneumatic – Electrical – Electronic – Combustion - pollution

3 HISTORY Cars had mechanical brakes operated by brakemen on top of cars turning wheels George Westinghouse invented the Safety Air Brake in 1868, allowed faster running Manual mechanical and other systems soon became inadequate to safely control traffic Electric signals and turnout “switch” control enabled safer more efficient operation – also invented and developed by Westinghouse

4 Track Circuit Line is divided into insulated blocks ~ 1 mile Battery across rails keeps relay closed – Train wheels short track and opens relay indicating train location and setting stop signal, adjacent signals, crossing guards, etc Fail-safe – break or power loss opens relay, still in use + newer methods

5 Control devices - semaphore Hand-operated from 1841 Electro-pneumatic from 1881 Motorized from 1890s Lights (flame and bulb) and lenses soon added – These were 3-12 volts from large glass batteries Could be controlled locally or remotely, – Dispatcher or automatic track relay Power loss goes to stop indication – fail safe


7 Light signals PRR positional signal 1915 – multi bulbs – simulate semaphore, no moving parts, redundant Searchlight 1932 – better optics, see farther – Moving filter, removed along I-10 this year – Replaced by hood multibulb-filter lens units Colors set by national code in 1905 Traffic signals came in 1912-14, 2 color Many now use LEDs Train must stop at unlit signal – fail safe

8 IRM light display

9 WHAT TO CONTROL Mainline single, double, multitrack sidings, crossovers along lines, business side tracks Crossing of different lines at grade level Lift and swing bridges Road crossings Station tracks – control dozens to hundreds of trains at large and small stations every day manually from the 30s and 40s and today with computers

10 How to control Local at trackside Armstrong lever – rod from tower Electric (pneumatic) from tower Mechanical interlocking machine CTC Relay logic interlocking * Computer logic interlocking * – * long distance operation hundreds of miles. – * big RRs have one central dispatch location

11 Armstrong tower levers non-interlocking, no indicator

12 HOW TO COMUNICATE Track warrants, timetables, train orders – Still used, led to time zones in US Bells, whistles, hand signs, lanterns Telegraph orders and news 1850-70s – How Harvey Houses filled orders quickly Telephone to control points and wayside Multiple wires on poles for signals, control Radio in engines 1950s, microwave wayside Fiber optic: So Pac Rr Info Net Technology – Sold excess capacity commercially Coded signals through rails, now can control engine functions, monitor conditions

13 Southern – Pacific Sunset Limited Luxury Route Now Amtrak

14 CAB SIGNALS steam engines electric

15 MECHANICAL INTERLOCK Levers control turnouts and signals In large cabinets with cams preventing unsafe conflicting operation Indicator board above shows occupied block and turnout, signal status Used for stations and line crossings

16 Chicago Union Station North Tower 2013 - inactive

17 Interlocking Machine

18 Centralized Traffic Control Dispatcher panel controlled many miles 2 panels: Yuma-Tucson, Tucson-El Paso – Tucson >computer> California (SP) > Omaha (UP) Switches operated relays with closed loop to track sensors, turnout and signal conditions. Relays wired to automatically give preferences of routing under routine conditions, fail safe Automatic Train Control with manual override

19 CTC for Yuma-Tucson in Tucson Depot

20 UP “mission control”

21 MSP Twin Cities BNSF monitor

22 IRM CTC and relays

23 POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL Now being implemented by law Must be compatible all railroads and Amtrak Involves track and engine sensors, GPS Can control engine functions and stop train Uses radio data communication each block Works over standard dispatcher system

24 Engine Control Electric and diesel engines have electric control, including rapid transit and light rail – Analog or digital control, with AC or DC motors – All have standard interface for ~50 years MU - Multiple Unit operation – Standard plugs, signal lines, protocols – Allow multiple engines’ control from lead cab – Allow push-pull transit with engineer in end coach – Allow radio remote control and helper engines in middle and at end of train

25 SIMULATORS Home computer programs allow operation – Keyboard, joystick, and custom consol – Museums can use diesel control stands. – All these functions can be applied to model RR layouts – CTC, ATC, computer control Automatic or multiple operator control Railroad companies use full sized units to train and test engineers with different situations – Similar to pilots

26 Diesel cab with desk controls

27 Southern Arizona Transportation Simulator Display

28 Diesel standard cab with radio

29 St. Paul Roundhouse Display

30 Simulator Screen

31 CONCLUSION TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATING TECHNOLOGY The caboose left at the end of the 20 th century. It’s job was train observation for defects and monitor brake air pressure. The conductor could stop the train with a brake valve. The lights marked the end of the train. You can see this at the Gadsden-Pacific model train museum here in Tucson with a full size equiped caboose open for visiting. Wayside detectors inspect the trains now Brake pressure is monitored by FRED, flashing rear end device with radio signals to the engineer. We have displays of all in this talk at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, at the Amtrak Depot by Maynard’s and Hotel Congress.

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