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European Railroad Discussion > UK Mainline questions


Date: 02/14/21 18:11
UK Mainline questions
Author: fulham

I have been watching several cab ride videos on Youtube recently.  Watched Bristol/Temple Meads to Paddington on the old GWR, and am currently watching York to Newcastle on the ECML. These were filmed late 2019/early 2020 pre pandemic.  Very impressed with the acceleration and speed of the trainsets.  The stretches of maintained 125mph running is impressive especially in comparison with America's NEC between NY and Washington where you can run at 125 but can't do it consistently except over a few segments.  

One question I have is that are all the UK high speed mainlines fenced in?  Secondly do the passenger trains running today have headlights?  This second question relates to the fact that my family and I lived in London in 1974 and I went to school up by Ladbroke Grove in a school right next to the mainline out of Paddington...I saw a lot of British Rail trains during those days.  We also took several trips on British Rail especially on the Southern Region out of Victoria and Waterloo.  Also rode to Stratford on Avon out of Paddington.  I questioned my father (also a railfan) about the headlight situation and he said since the ROW's are all fenced in they were not needed.  And I don't remember seeing headlights on the Class 47's and 52's running in and out of Paddington.  So I am curious about the situation in 1974 and also today.

Thanks.



Date: 02/15/21 00:50
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: 86235

All railway track in the UK and Ireland is fenced, even heritage railways. Headlights begun to be fitted just over 30 years ago, principally to give warning of a train's approach to track workers and others with legitimate reasons for being on the RoW as well as the public using authorised crossing places, especially at night or when visibility was poor. This is a class 47 retrofitted with a headlight in NSE service in summer 1990



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/21 02:23 by 86235.




Date: 02/15/21 13:40
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: Hexagon789

fulham Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have been watching several cab ride videos on
> Youtube recently.  Watched Bristol/Temple Meads
> to Paddington on the old GWR, and am currently
> watching York to Newcastle on the ECML. These were
> filmed late 2019/early 2020 pre pandemic.  Very
> impressed with the acceleration and speed of the
> trainsets.  The stretches of maintained 125mph
> running is impressive especially in comparison
> with America's NEC between NY and Washington where
> you can run at 125 but can't do it consistently
> except over a few segments.  
>
> One question I have is that are all the UK high
> speed mainlines fenced in?  Secondly do the
> passenger trains running today have headlights? 
> This second question relates to the fact that my
> family and I lived in London in 1974 and I went to
> school up by Ladbroke Grove in a school right next
> to the mainline out of Paddington...I saw a lot of
> British Rail trains during those days.  We also
> took several trips on British Rail especially on
> the Southern Region out of Victoria and
> Waterloo.  Also rode to Stratford on Avon out of
> Paddington.  I questioned my father (also a
> railfan) about the headlight situation and he said
> since the ROW's are all fenced in they were not
> needed.  And I don't remember seeing headlights
> on the Class 47's and 52's running in and out of
> Paddington.  So I am curious about the situation
> in 1974 and also today.
>
> Thanks.

Very nearly all fenced, and certainly ALL high-speed routes are. You are correct on 47s and 52s not having headlights in 1974, among the first UK locos to have modern high-intensity headlights from new were the Class 87 electrics introduced in 1974. Certain DMUs and lovos were fitted with headkights for certain routes, the 120s used on the Heart of Wales line and tgw 26s used on the Far North line in Scotland.

The 47s and other locos which remained in traffic started to be fitted with high-intensity headlights from 1982, though some locos were withdrawn before fitment.

It is compulsory to have high-intensity headlights on new builds and some form of headlight is required for preserved diesels and electrics to run on the mainline, not steamers though.

They recently decided that trains equipped with the latest standard of high-intensity headlights no longer required bright yellow front-end warning panels which have been the norm since the mid/late-1960s on British trains.

Consequently many trains now entering service do not have yellow fronts and being used to such a thing for all living memory it looks a bit strange to say the least!

Posted from Android



Date: 02/15/21 14:26
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: 86235

Worth pointing out that even in 1990 there were still locomotives without headlights, like this class 85. But I guess they had a limited life, I think they had all gone by 1991.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/21 14:37 by 86235.




Date: 02/15/21 14:27
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: exhaustED

Nice to see a 'roarer' in action, Nick!

With a distant 'duff' in the far background...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/21 14:31 by exhaustED.



Date: 02/15/21 14:35
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: 86235

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice to see a 'roarer' in action, Nick!
>
> With a distant 'duff' in the far background...

Oh yes, I hadn't spotted that.



Date: 02/15/21 15:40
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: Hexagon789

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Worth pointing out that even in 1990 there were
> still locomotives without headlights, like this
> class 85. But I guess they had a limited life, I
> think they had all gone by 1991.

Many Class 33s and Southern Region slam-door EMUs also went headlight-less into the 1990s.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/16/21 00:58
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: 86235

Headlights have become the bane of photographers in recent years, as technology has advanced the lights are becoming brighter and brighter. A couple of pictures from 2018 on the Marches Line around Abergavenny, a DBC 66 with the original light clusters and a Freightliner 66 with new ones. I've no idea what lighting technology FL used but they were exceedingly bright.






Date: 02/16/21 02:51
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: exhaustED

Class 68s can be very annoying... the lights phase on and off at high frequency, so while they look like all 3 headlights are lit to the casual observer, in photographs you can get 0,1,2 or all 3 lit!!



Date: 02/16/21 06:07
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: Hexagon789

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Class 68s can be very annoying... the lights phase
> on and off at high frequency, so while they look
> like all 3 headlights are lit to the casual
> observer, in photographs you can get 0,1,2 or all
> 3 lit!!

The same happens with LED destination displays on trains and the platform signs, you can end up with it looking as though the display is broken when in fact it's actually just that the various components making up each letter don't light up simultaneously

Posted from Android



Date: 02/16/21 11:06
Re: UK Mainline questions
Author: PHall

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Headlights have become the bane of photographers
> in recent years, as technology has advanced the
> lights are becoming brighter and brighter. A
> couple of pictures from 2018 on the Marches Line
> around Abergavenny, a DBC 66 with the original
> light clusters and a Freightliner 66 with new
> ones. I've no idea what lighting technology FL
> used but they were exceedingly bright.

LED lights is what they used. Very bright and seem to be vibration tolerant.



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