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European Railroad Discussion > Bordeaux France What is it?


Date: 03/11/19 06:12
Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: tq-07fan

These two pictures are from my excelent trip to France last year. In looking though I have to ask, what is the big structure with the lights on top in the middle of the station for?

Jim






Date: 03/11/19 06:40
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: DaveL

Well, looks can be decieving, but I would think it is a Signal Tower.
Dave



Date: 03/11/19 07:27
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: milwrdfan

I don't have any specific information for this specific item, but it seems to be an odd location for a tall signal tower, as it would not be anywhere close to where an engineer would be wanting to look for a signal indication.  I wonder if it is some sort of tribute structure or historical artifact they built or relocated into this station for artistic or historical reasons?



Date: 03/11/19 07:40
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: Hartington

This picture Lit signals seems to show the heads all lit. I wonder if there is a sighting issue to signals outside the shed. By the looks of things the shed had open platforms at at least one end which have had canopies erected which I suppose may have a negative effect on sighting.



Date: 03/11/19 11:53
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: Bob3985

It appears to be a signal tower. Obviously is is designed to be seen about the crowds on the platforms.
I am wondering iif there is a signal insulation joint on the rails by that tower which would allow one train to pull to the far end of the platform and then
another pull in behind the first up to that signal bridge. Just a thought.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 03/12/19 01:32
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: SP4360

Looks like tranducers between the rails across from the signa;, so you might be on to something.

Bob3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It appears to be a signal tower. Obviously is is
> designed to be seen about the crowds on the
> platforms.
> I am wondering iif there is a signal insulation
> joint on the rails by that tower which would allow
> one train to pull to the far end of the platform
> and then
> another pull in behind the first up to that signal
> bridge. Just a thought.



Date: 03/12/19 06:35
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: Steinzeit2

There are actually two of these towers;  the one illustrated serves tracks/platforms 1-4 [ those nearer the station building ], while the second tower serves platforms 5-7, there being seven tracks within the trainshed.
Were this Germany or Switzerland, those would probably be signals for train brake testing -- but it isn't.   In trying to figure this out -- this is a good quiz -- I've looked at a number of still photographs and videos, and have noticed that, where the indications are visible, the center [ of the three vertical ] lights, which are white, are "always" illuminated, whether a track is occupied or not.  In the first exception, the bottom light only is lit, and it's green;  the accompanying track, at least in the direction of the photograph, is unoccupied.  In the second example, a train is arriving, and the top [ only ] indicator is illuminated, and may be blinking;  I can't tell the color.

I think these may be a local signal -- not in the official signal listings that I can find -- to tell station personnel which tracks are active. 

There are concrete slabs there in the tracks to assist station personnel crossing the tracks.

More research is indicated -- I think a Federal Study Grant to visit Bordeaux is in order..........

Best, SZ



Date: 03/12/19 07:12
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: 55002

I have seen similiar in Germany, and my understanding is they were for train crews during brake testing. But France....hmm?  chris uk



Date: 03/12/19 09:42
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: jwl1973

Unrelated to this post about signals, but also from Bordeaux.  There is an excellent tram system which operates both on overhead power and battery.  In the downtown (or touristy part), trams run on batteries.  Once out of the downtown area, they connect with overhead wires and while running, batteries are re-charged.

This image was made in the downtown area.  You can see the retracted device for connecting to the overhead wire on top of the third section. 




Date: 03/12/19 12:38
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: gbmott

Is that line running in the middle between the two rails not actually a powered third rail?  I know there is a system like this somewhere in France.  The rail is only live when the train is actually over it (don't ask me how this works) so that it is not dangerous to pedestrians or automobiles.  I seem to recall that there have been problems with this system and for all I know it may have been deactivated and, as you say, operation when not under wire is strictly by battery.

Someone out there know for sure?

Gordon



Date: 03/12/19 18:21
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: tq-07fan

Here is the original image cropped a bit and then the signals only. The top light is green for track 3. These lights were more visible in person, the pictures just dont how them as well. The third image the TGV has only moved a few meters closer the middle white light is now on but as seen in the second picture from the original post the train is not yet at it's final position. There was a lot going on in Bordeaux. I ended up there because of the SNCF striking in April of last year. Even though it was not a strike day stuff was so out of position several trains I had planned to ride were cancelled. I ended only spending twenty minutes in Bordeaux and actually spent six of them just outside the station taking pictures of the trams.  

Jim








Date: 03/12/19 18:27
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: tq-07fan

Here are half of my Bordeaux tram pictures. It was about as much as I could do in twenty minutes in a city of over a million in it's metro area and still get to the toilets.

If anyone figures out the lights with the additional pictures I would be interested. I notice that track number one that my train is on is white in all my pictures.

Jim








Date: 03/14/19 14:01
Re: Bordeaux France What is it?
Author: jwl1973

Correction on my earlier post.  The Bordeaux trams in the downtown are not battery powered.  Power is supplied by a power dource buried between the 2 rails.  Only that portion of the power line directly benath a tram is active. 



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