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Date: 12/07/12 19:25
Hi-railer questions
Author: atsf5701

I have questions about the operating speed of hi-rail pickups when operating on rails:

a) What is a typical cruising speed?

b) What would be the maximum safe operating speed?

Thanks!




Date: 12/07/12 19:38
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: wa4umr

I don't know the answer to your questions but someone might be able to answer something I've wondered about also.

When traveling the normal or maximum speed, what is the stopping distance, especially on wet rail.

John



Date: 12/07/12 19:54
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: imrl

I believe on the UP, small pickup trucks are limited to 40mph or track speed whichever is less. Larger heavy trucks (i believe there is a weight class associated with this) are limited to 25 or track speed whichever is less. Hi-rail trucks do not normally activate wayside or crossing signals and must approach all grade crossings prepared to stop as they do not have the right of way over vehicular traffic at a grade crossing. If no one else corrects me, I'll look up the rule when I get home in about an hour.



Date: 12/07/12 20:00
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: Macster

I've seen a few hy-rails that activated crossings. Really throws people off.



Date: 12/07/12 20:14
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: imrl

Hence why I said they do not normally activate crossing signals. I looked it up and on the UP, light duty trucks may operate at a maximum of 45. There are speed restrictions for curves and state them by degree of curvature. Over 8 degrees not to exceed 20 is the most restrictive. I was correct on the large gang trucks speed limits. As far as wet rail, the rule book just says to allow for a greater stopping distance.



Date: 12/07/12 20:16
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: kklarr

I work for UTA's rail maintenance, our max speed is 35mph unless the wayside speed is lower and max speed through turnouts is 5mph same for all sizes of our Hi-rail vehicles, we too have to yield to all traffic at crossings.

Kerry Klarr

Posted from Android



Date: 12/07/12 20:39
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: Out_Of_Service

as with everything on the railroad it's not a free for all as for how fast any equipment can operate ... there are speed rules governing all types of passenger freight amd MW types of equipment

from the Norac book ... there are rules for passenger type hwy rail vehicles(which this vehicle would be designated):

Psgr Type Hwy Rail Cars 50 mph

Backing up 10 mph

Diverting through switches 10 mph

Passing standing trains on adjacent track 10 mph

Operating through self guarded frogs or switch points or diverting through spring frogs Being passed by a train on an adjacent track STOP



Date: 12/07/12 20:47
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: tomstp

It looks to me like the UP pickups have a remote of some kind to operate crossing signals. I noticed one the other day less than 50 yards away from a crossing slowing to almost a stop and then all of a sudden crossing lights came on and gates went down. There are no rail gaps or insulated joints there, it is all welded rail.



Date: 12/07/12 21:02
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: railstiesballast

They are governed by rules about being able to stop in the sight distance.
Not half the distance, unless they are on joint time and there could be other work crews in the area.
How fast can they go? I have seen Division Superintendents exceed 60 MPH either out of boredom or being in a hurry, obviously this is not a speed that can be effective for track inspection.
How fast do they go?
Most trips are for the purpose of track inspection so this means going slow enough to watch for signs of maintenance problems.
Track inspectors are expected to visually detect broken or missing bolts at joints, missing spikes or tie plates, signs of gauge widening (due to weak ties or loose spikes), erosion damage to the embankment, irregularities in the alignment of the track, and many more conditions. To do this correctly the speed should be in the 15-25 MPH range for open track (slower if jointed rail) and a walking speed over turnouts and crossings.
How long to stop?
On dry rail a Hy-Rail is quite responsive to the brakes.
In wet rail it is about like an auto on ice: very long. You plan your stops almost as carefully as a locomotive engineer.
Snow on the rail can almost stop a hy-rail, the snow/slush/ice builds up under the guide wheels and the traction and braking becomes almost a lost cause.



Date: 12/07/12 21:10
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: Out_Of_Service

there has to be insulated joints to activate the crossing for an approaching train and for the crossing to clear after it has passed ... depending on the railroad and their policy on shunting or not shunting their rail maintenance equipment if the crossing protection activates ... most railroads have adopted the non shunting policy ... the crossings are activated by predictors that calculate speed and movement ... a train could pull up to a crossing and stop and crossing protection would clear ... when the predictor assesses movement when the train starts moving the crossing protection activates until the movement through the crossing and the protection will clear ... the type of trucks shown above are light weight and sometimes not heavy enough to establish a constant shunt for the rail to activate the crossing protection and the shunting can be sporadic as the hwy vehicle travels down the track ... some might be equipped with a switch to activate a shunt to activate crossings so the crossing isn't activated the whole time the slow moving rail vehicle approaches the crossing ... when the vehicle approaches to crossing to go through the vehicle operator turns a switch to activate the shunt allowing the crossing protection to now shunt the rails to activate the crossing protection ... it isn't a remote for the crossing protection it just allows a shunt for the crossing



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/12 21:19 by Out_Of_Service.



Date: 12/07/12 21:12
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: MP555

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It looks to me like the UP pickups have a remote
> of some kind to operate crossing signals. I
> noticed one the other day less than 50 yards away
> from a crossing slowing to almost a stop and then
> all of a sudden crossing lights came on and gates
> went down.

Probably radio-activated. On crossings so-equipped, you hit a sequence of numbers on the radio number pad and the gates come down for certain period of time.



Date: 12/07/12 21:21
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: Out_Of_Service

MP555 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> tomstp Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > It looks to me like the UP pickups have a
> remote
> > of some kind to operate crossing signals. I
> > noticed one the other day less than 50 yards
> away
> > from a crossing slowing to almost a stop and
> then
> > all of a sudden crossing lights came on and
> gates
> > went down.
>
> Probably radio-activated. On crossings
> so-equipped, you hit a sequence of numbers on the
> radio number pad and the gates come down for
> certain period of time.

i believe that would be against FRA rules governing crossing protection ... i'd have to check to verify that



Date: 12/07/12 21:51
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: sp8270

The fastest I've ever driven one was 20-25 mph but it was on the Placerville branchline in Northern California. Track hadn't been maintained for years! Plus lots of curves and having to stop to flag all of the grade crossings.

-Alex



Date: 12/07/12 22:55
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: HarborHog

They have shunts installed on the hy-rail with an on-off switch. When they don't want to shunt, they leave it off, when they do, they turn it on.



Date: 12/08/12 03:45
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: mustraline

For any reason, are hy-rails used at night?



Date: 12/08/12 06:42
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: dan

a denver div sup at the time died when his suburban had a flat tire 1979?



Date: 12/08/12 07:56
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: Out_Of_Service

mustraline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For any reason, are hy-rails used at night?

Amtrak tried to institute hi-rail track inspection in an effort to eliminate daylight foot patrols ... the FRA came along for the experimental feasibility ride to see if the inspection could be done ... it was determined that night inspections via hi-rail weren't a good means to perform a proper inspection ... hi rail vehicles are constantly used at night on Amtrak's NEC either part of a work group, pilot vehicle for MW track car movements, behind a grinding train for fire protection etc ...



Date: 12/08/12 09:49
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: NdeM

Out_Of_Service Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i believe that would be against FRA rules governing crossing protection ... i'd have to check to verify that


There are many radio controlled crossings. Nothing in CFR 49 addresses their use and no waiver is required. You can find radio tone initiated crossings in Emeryville and San Diego; crossings right by passenger stops.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/08/12 11:17
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: EMDSW-1

NdeM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Out_Of_Service Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > i believe that would be against FRA rules
> governing crossing protection ... i'd have to
> check to verify that
>
>
> There are many radio controlled crossings.
> Nothing in CFR 49 addresses their use and no
> waiver is required. You can find radio tone
> initiated crossings in Emeryville and San Diego;
> crossings right by passenger stops.
>
> Posted from iPhone

The primary reason that hyrails do not activate crossings is that loss-of-shunt between the rail wheels and rail occurs causing the gates to pump up and down.

One firm manufactures such a unit (don't have the link right here) the BNSF uses which a touch tone code turns on and off. A timer automatically clears the gates after a preset time if the operator fails to do so.

Oregon Pacific has used a similar unit built in-house to allow us to switch up to a particular crossing without activating the gates. When a through move is desired the proper code activates the gates. Once the train has a good shunt in the island circuit the release code is sent which clears the radio control; however, the gates remain activated as long as there is a train in the island circuit.

We have found a new home for many of our mobile radios that are not narrow band compliant as receivers for construction of additional units for all of our crossings to enhance hyrail safety. This feature also allows signal maintainers to activate the crossing from a distance to check for proper light operation and alignment. Walk down the highway a distance, enter the code for the crossing on your hand held or vehicle and observe the crossing from a motorists viewpoint.

Dick Samuels
www.oregonpacificrr.com



Date: 12/08/12 13:19
Re: Hi-railer questions
Author: Out_Of_Service

NdeM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Out_Of_Service Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > i believe that would be against FRA rules
> governing crossing protection ... i'd have to
> check to verify that
>
>
> There are many radio controlled crossings.
> Nothing in CFR 49 addresses their use and no
> waiver is required. You can find radio tone
> initiated crossings in Emeryville and San Diego;
> crossings right by passenger stops.
>
> Posted from iPhone

EMDSW-1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NdeM Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Out_Of_Service Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > i believe that would be against FRA rules
> > governing crossing protection ... i'd have to
> > check to verify that
> >
> >
> > There are many radio controlled crossings.
> > Nothing in CFR 49 addresses their use and no
> > waiver is required. You can find radio tone
> > initiated crossings in Emeryville and San
> Diego;
> > crossings right by passenger stops.
> >
> > Posted from iPhone
>
> The primary reason that hyrails do not activate
> crossings is that loss-of-shunt between the rail
> wheels and rail occurs causing the gates to pump
> up and down.
>
> One firm manufactures such a unit (don't have the
> link right here) the BNSF uses which a touch tone
> code turns on and off. A timer automatically
> clears the gates after a preset time if the
> operator fails to do so.
>
> Oregon Pacific has used a similar unit built
> in-house to allow us to switch up to a particular
> crossing without activating the gates. When a
> through move is desired the proper code activates
> the gates. Once the train has a good shunt in the
> island circuit the release code is sent which
> clears the radio control; however, the gates
> remain activated as long as there is a train in
> the island circuit.
>
> We have found a new home for many of our mobile
> radios that are not narrow band compliant as
> receivers for construction of additional units for
> all of our crossings to enhance hyrail safety.
> This feature also allows signal maintainers to
> activate the crossing from a distance to check for
> proper light operation and alignment. Walk down
> the highway a distance, enter the code for the
> crossing on your hand held or vehicle and observe
> the crossing from a motorists viewpoint.
>
> Dick Samuels
> www.oregonpacificrr.com

thanks for the verification fellas ... on the NEC the crossings are eliminated so we have but a few on the Harrisburg Line that are not long for this world and are soon to be eliminated



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