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Thread: Braking without air....... by whistle.

  1. #1
    greffern Guest

    Default Braking without air....... by whistle.

    Hmm... This sounds a bit complicated.

    Now I'm going to tell you how we did this when I worked as conductor at Lommedalsbanen, located in southern Norway.

    Attachment 513
    Satellite photo of Norway showing the location of the museum

    It is a 600mm museum railroad of decauville type. That is steel ties and rails in short lengths and everything is bolted together.

    Attachment 514
    The railway operates over some steep grades

    We have one gradient of 6,5%... The gradients are measured like this: 6,5 % is 65 o/oo (promille) and this is 65 meter up on one kilometer.

    We have no air brakes at all, the engine driver tells us when to apply the hand brakes with the whistle. We then apply the brakes with a brakewheel. When he wants us to apply the brakes he blows two short blows with the whistle. When he wants more brakes he blows another two short blows. Full stop is three short blows with the whistle. When we shall release the brakes he blow a long and a short burst. Emergency stop is many short blows in rapid succession.

    It is very important not to lock up the wheels. You hear that as it sounds like SSHHHHH. You will then accelerate downhill instead of stopping. So it is important to listen to the wheels.
    Last edited by Bob; 12-30-2005 at 01:35 AM.

  2. #2
    greffern Guest


    50% of the trainweight has to be braked. So if you have five cars, three of them have to be brake cars.

    Attachment 678
    A typical 5 car train in the station.

    A brakecar is a passenger car with brakes on it. You can put two brake cars end to end with the platform against each other. Then one person can handle two brakes and another person is on the brake car in the other end.

    Attachment 516
    Two of the platforms and hand brakes.

    We use two persons for this consist. The brakeman takes the front brake car. We do normally not walk between cars while moving. The brakes have to be manned at least downhill. You also have one or two persons on the locomotive.

    Of the cars in the train that don't have brakes one is a handicap car with ramp and one is a passenger car. We do have a "konduktørvogn" too, which you would call a caboose. It is not used that much as it only carry the the brakeman or conductor.

    The train personnel can be divided into three:
    "billettør" a person that only does control your ticket.
    "bremser" or brakeman operates the brakes and does control tickets.
    "togfører" or conductor operates the brakes, control tickets and has responsibility for the train. He does give the "all clear" for departure. (Blows the whistle and waive the green flag.)
    Attachment 494
    "togfører" gives the "all clear" for departure.
    Last edited by Bob; 12-30-2005 at 01:51 AM.

  3. #3
    greffern Guest


    Our diesel locomotives has the ability to at least control the descent as long as it's drivechain stays on. It does this by utilizing the gearbox. It also has normal brakes too. Some of the locomotives have a flywheel brake used for stopping the heavy flywheel when shifting gear.

    Attachment 496

    You can do an emergency stop with the locomotive by killing the fuel while being in low gear and the engine at idle. It must use the fuel in the filter and pump first though. You can at least control the descent with the gearbox in low gear.

    The heaviest locomotive we have weighs 16 metric tonnes.

    Attachment 680 Attachment 681
    The steam locomotive weighs 7.5 metric tonnes with water and coal onboard. It demands more of the engineer and train crew as it only has brake shoes.

    Remember, it is a 600mm railway. Most of our locomotives have dieselhydraulic transmission. From the gearbox to the wheels there is a drivechain. It snaps sometimes, not often though. That's why it's important that brakes are manned and that the crew understands the whistle signals.
    Last edited by Bob; 12-30-2005 at 02:01 AM. Reason: New version (text)

  4. #4
    paul@mwr Guest



    I like this essay, but I'm not ready to give it my stamp of approval yet. The text seems to repeat itself a number of times and it usually happens between the different posts. Also, the photos don't seem to quite match with what you are talking about in each section. I think you have the right photos, for the most part, but I would like to see them match the text.

    I have overlooked the mistakes with the English language since I am sure it isn't your first language. I could barely write an essay, let alone in another language.

    My recommendation would be to send this to the be revised.

  5. #5
    Mike Guest


    I can't really get into the text. It's too technical for me. The procedure for braking a train isn't all that interesting to me.

    Several of the photos are good, others not so much. And the text also doesn't tie into the photos.

    The railroad itself seems like a great idea for an essay, but I think this one needs to be completely rewritten. Instead of focusing on the braking procedure, talk about the railroad in general. Where does it run? Why does it exist? Why is it in an unusual gauge? What's its history? You could touch on the lack of air brakes, but I don't need to know all the details of how braking is accomplished.

  6. #6
    greffern Guest


    A new version of the text is installed.

  7. #7
    paul@mwr Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by greffern
    A new version of the text is installed.
    Jon, this is new text and the photos have been moved around too? If that is the case, I think we should wipe the slate clean on the comments and start over so there isn't any confusion.

  8. #8
    greffern Guest


    Bob has said he'll move the photos into the text...

  9. #9


    OK, I've moved the photos and re-arranged the text a bit so let's start from scratch on this one.
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  10. #10
    paul@mwr Guest

    Thumbs up

    Having read the first version of this essay and now the revised version I really like how the revisions were done. This is the story I could see in the first version, but it was hard to read. The photos, with captions, help illustrate the story. I vote my approval.
    Last edited by paul@mwr; 01-07-2006 at 07:38 PM.

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