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MER tram goes hurtling down the mountain, AGAIN

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........totally, totally agree with a fail safe of some kind, should have been done years ago...............I might argue that the more electronics and automation the less reliable, however, that's bye the bye, the fail safe system is just so obviously necessary............

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..............spring brakes on the Fell calipers held off by air pressure, same as a wagon? Or, held off by electric solenoid, either way they will always revert to on......FWIW, I have just finished an electric quad with a similar system, a small disc brake on the motor held off as long as current is going to the motor. Just a standard wheel chair system really........... emergency brake pressure can be varied by strength of spring...........

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The root cause remains, a dreadful lack of formal safety and quality processes where the operating of the SNR and in all probability the other transport service that Longworth is responsible for.

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1 hour ago, guzzi said:

I see the issue. I would have thought that an airbrake could be made to operate on the wheel and on the Fell rail when it is present. The point of it being that it would fail safe i.e. by applying the brake when there was a failure.  Another advantage would be that if you eliminated a bloke screwing down a ratchet wheel  from the process, you can build in some automation, like speed control based on GPS position.

Cogs (rack railways) are virtually standard across the World on mountain railways.  But the route up Snaefell was surveyed by George Fell, the son of the bloke who invented the Fell rail system, so unsurprisingly, he went for his Dad's system. Re-engineering the lot would be a pretty big job!

not really if they get rid of "the expert"......

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24 minutes ago, doc.fixit said:

..............spring brakes on the Fell calipers held off by air pressure, same as a wagon? Or, held off by electric solenoid, either way they will always revert to on......FWIW, I have just finished an electric quad with a similar system, a small disc brake on the motor held off as long as current is going to the motor. Just a standard wheel chair system really........... emergency brake pressure can be varied by strength of spring...........

Problem with that is that the fell rail is not continuous, potential scenarios, air pressure fails, callipers shut tight, car continues to roll until in hits the start of fell rail, rips calliper off or twists rail  causing derailment or no brakes

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16 minutes ago, doc.fixit said:

..............spring brakes on the Fell calipers held off by air pressure, same as a wagon? Or, held off by electric solenoid, either way they will always revert to on......FWIW, I have just finished an electric quad with a similar system, a small disc brake on the motor held off as long as current is going to the motor. Just a standard wheel chair system really........... emergency brake pressure can be varied by strength of spring...........

Motor cars  have two independent systems - hydraulic main brakes and cable operated hand brake (also engine braking).

What you are suggesting isn't a secondary system, nor is it really a fail-safe. If the fell brake is defective, neither automatic nor manual braking will stop the tram. The only circumstance in which your suggestion would be useful is if both crew members dropped dead simultaneously.

And if you want to take such possibilities into account, take a look at the MER - but I wouldn't suggest you do that if you are faint of heart.

In the last couple of years there have been several accidents on both Snaefell and MER. Health and Safety have refused to publish a report in all those cases.

But if you look at the website of a body such as the Air Accident Investigation Branch, you will find full details of all investigations. By doing so they pretty much ensure similar accidents won't happen again. Compare that with IoM H&S where they refuse to divulge data - and the accidents just keep on happening.

If H&S were to publish the reports, I believe it would be clear there is a common factor in all of them. And sending people on holiday to Switzerland is doing nothing to prevent similar accidents in future, nor does it do anything to expose the latent accidents that exist in the system.

 

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37 minutes ago, ellanvannin2010 said:

Problem with that is that the fell rail is not continuous, potential scenarios, air pressure fails, callipers shut tight, car continues to roll until in hits the start of fell rail, rips calliper off or twists rail  causing derailment or no brakes

........very true but soon solved by Fell rail all the way, cheaper than altering to cogs..................

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23 minutes ago, Two-lane said:

Motor cars  have two independent systems - hydraulic main brakes and cable operated hand brake (also engine braking).

What you are suggesting isn't a secondary system, nor is it really a fail-safe. If the fell brake is defective, neither automatic nor manual braking will stop the tram. The only circumstance in which your suggestion would be useful is if both crew members dropped dead simultaneously.

And if you want to take such possibilities into account, take a look at the MER - but I wouldn't suggest you do that if you are faint of heart.

In the last couple of years there have been several accidents on both Snaefell and MER. Health and Safety have refused to publish a report in all those cases.

But if you look at the website of a body such as the Air Accident Investigation Branch, you will find full details of all investigations. By doing so they pretty much ensure similar accidents won't happen again. Compare that with IoM H&S where they refuse to divulge data - and the accidents just keep on happening.

If H&S were to publish the reports, I believe it would be clear there is a common factor in all of them. And sending people on holiday to Switzerland is doing nothing to prevent similar accidents in future, nor does it do anything to expose the latent accidents that exist in the system.

 

......from your scenario there is no such thing as a fail safe that would be applicable to the mountain railway..............of course the Fell system is a secondary system the main system works on the wheels.............there are in fact three systems, wheel braking, rheostatic braking and the Fell brake,..................any system on the wheels will result in toboganning hence the Fell system..............there would have to be a speed sensing system coupled to GPS as has already been suggested however as I have said, more complexity brings les s reliability, ( see the NASA multi computer systems for proof and their reversion to a simpler system)...............sorry you appear so negative, we are all trying to suggest different ideas short of scrapping the existing system and either not building another or spending countless millions on a new system.............What would you suggest might be an aswer to the situation?..............

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25 minutes ago, doc.fixit said:

........very true but soon solved by Fell rail all the way, cheaper than altering to cogs..................

Not sure how you would cross TT course, pointwork is complicated although the Victorians solved that on the SMR if you you at old pictures of the SMR depot access points ( a fabulous piece of engineering now gone).

Whilst your sat bored at Reynoldsway you might want to look at a few of these systems https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_steepest_gradients_on_adhesion_railways  The second one looks interesting as a similar type of  operation

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23 minutes ago, ellanvannin2010 said:

Not sure how you would cross TT course, pointwork is complicated although the Victorians solved that on the SMR if you you at old pictures of the SMR depot access points ( a fabulous piece of engineering now gone).

Whilst your sat bored at Reynoldsway you might want to look at a few of these systems https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_steepest_gradients_on_adhesion_railways  The second one looks interesting as a similar type of  operation

thanks for that.............it's really difficult isn't it to re-engineer an existing system to meet modern safety requirements?..............I've been on a few rack railways and don't re-call any news about run-aways............others may know better..................looks like 5 45 now, fingers crossed

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with a cog you wouldn't need the rail all the way, so the road wouldn't be a problem, it also an easy fit.....

they should also generate power on the way down, putting it back into the grid, 5/1 is standard..... 

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.........with this lot it will be a consultant only re-design costing long millions and then the work will take years and then still not work............

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We clearly need to spend millions on this, to save faces, give the appearance of doing something and having authority and preserving and justifying jobs. Pass the money bag over, taxpayer.

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1 hour ago, doc.fixit said:

.........with this lot it will be a consultant only re-design costing long millions and then the work will take years and then still not work............

how much did they spend on the pier? i think it was £3m over twenty years? when the restoration estimate was less.....

:lol:

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Two-lane mentions the UK AAIB. Interestingly, aviation safety in the IoM falls under the UK AAIB, so that accidents and incidents within our airspace are subject to investigation and reporting by AAIB. In the UK, the counterpart of the AAIB for rail transport is the RAIB, which publishes reports exactly the same way  that the AAIB does. It covers all types of railways, including UK heritage lines.

But not, it seems for our railways. Our bureaucracy is so small that I believe that operations here are effectively subject only to internal scrutiny.  It might be a lot healthier if a light was shone on things from outside and proper transparency put in place. Otherwise, there will always be the strong suspicion of cover up.

After all, until the MHK question, we did not know that there was effectively an ongoing closure order on SMR operations.

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