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 Post subject: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:41 am
Posts: 28
Location: NW Ohio
For those that operate "historic" or "tourist" passenger trains, what type of air brake tests do you perform in your daily operations? How do you handle things like run-arounds, train separations during the day, or restoring air after emergency brake applications?

A group I help out has some pretty convoluted ways of conducting brake tests and I want to revamp, and would prefer to do freight-type brake tests.


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:33 pm 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
Posts: 157
When I was volunteering at a railroad museum, I did everything by the FRA book. Started the day with a locomotive brake and leakage test. Then went on to an initial terminal test of the entire train, including leak down test with a gauge on the rear. Anytime we separated the engine or added or removed a car, we did a set and release, but if I was a conductor I also walked the train and made sure all the brakes set and all the brakes released. Just being anal retentive and also it made it easier to catch problems early on.

A walk of the train everytime after an emergancy application.

Heaven forbid you ever have to be on a witness stand you can confidently answer you did your brake checks IAW CFR 49.


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1557
Location: Southern California
When you do the release and set check, walk the train both ways in each condition. This will help you find a car that leaks off.

During a special event we would rotate crews and for each crew change we had them do a brake test. Most of these guys would start at the rear of the train, have the brakes set, walk up the train checking for the brakes being applied. Then they would have the engineer release the brakes and then walk back to the rear making sure all brakes were released.

Well, we had a very diligent brakeman who only worked the special events and special switching jobs. He started out at the rear of the train had the brakes set and then walked up the train, turned and walked back to the rear, checking again. When he got there he found that the heavyweight passenger car at the rear had leaked off. We were able to cut the car off the train and have it checked. Repairs were made and it was back in service the next day.

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 79
We have several members that are class one operating employees. They say that you have to inspect both sides of the train while the brakes are set, but only one side after the release. Also, they say that as long as a car's brakes stay set for 6 minutes (?) that it is ok. I have done the release inspection at the switch as a roll-by.
Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 350
Location: Orrville, OH
Ditto above: locomotive test, leak test, set & release walking front to back each time.

And.... Recheck the handbrakes. You never know when someone else assumed they're off.

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Eric Schlentner
ORHS Car Knocker & Gandy Dancer
http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Danbury, CT
The following is a quick explanation of the initial terminal test, the running test, and run around procedures. Please consult the proper rules and instructions that apply to your operations for exact details and procedure. .

Once the locomotive has been inspected and had its own brake tests, the consist can then be charged via locomotive angle cock. A test gauge is attached to the brake hose at the tail end of the consist and charged. Once the gauge reads 90 psi and the train is given sufficient time to charge, a 20 pound reduction is made via application of the automatic brakes. The reduction should reflect on the test gauge and will be acknowledged. The conductor and if present, an assistant conductor/brakeman/trainman will then commence a visual inspection of the consist toward the head end. Brake rigging, pistons, hoses, hand brakes, and shoes are inspected for defects while the engineer conducts a leakage test for the consist. Once the personnel on the ground have concluded their inspection, they change sides and ask for a release of the brakes. Leakage, if any is reported and addressed. Once the brakes are released, they continue their walking inspection toward the rear meeting again at the test gauge. The pressure should return to 90 psi.

A running brake test would then be conducted upon departure from the initial terminal or after the consist has been broken and reassembled. Once moving, the engineer will apply the brakes and bail off the independent. The locomotive will pull against the application of the train brakes demonstrating they are operating effectively.

When conducting a run around, the conductor is typically located at the rear upon making the stop. Upon stopping, the engineer makes a 20 pound reduction and the assistant conductor/brakeman closes the locomotive angle cock and cuts the locomotive away from the consist. Once the locomotive cuts away and the air in the consist dumps, the conductor opens the rear angle cock and transfers the rear end marking device to the other end. The conductor then walks to the other end which will become the rear and upon arrival there, places the rear end marking device and closes the angle cock at that time. The conductor will remain in that position until the locomotive is again coupled to the consist, brake pipe connected, and consist charged. They will request a set and release of the brakes at that time. This is the procedure when an assistant conductor is present as that individual would perform the tasks on the other (locomotive) end The brake pipe is open to the atmosphere while the consist stands alone, as per air brake rules and train handling instructions. Once moving again, the engineer will conduct a running test.

Again, please consult the proper rules and instructions that apply to your operation for exact details and procedures.

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Randy Patterson
RMNE/NAUG


Last edited by Mount Royal on Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 373
It is my understanding that some of "our people" who have infiltrated the FRA are working on revised standards for such things that apply to the Tourist Railway Industry. It may be a few years before those standards are published, however. In the meantime, it would not be unreasonable to perform FRA 238-style Class I, Class IA, and Class II brake tests using most of the same criteria that Amtrak uses.


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:23 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 173
Preface: Randy Patterson (Mount Royal) edited his post directly above to more clearly explain procedures. That better explanation renders my criticism irrelevant. Please read the following posts with that in mind. Since the posts sparked more and relevant discussion I'll leave it in place for now. mld


Mount Royal,
The rule book we live by at Mid-Continent Museum is quite similar to your description up to the runaround. Our rules are quite adamant about never "bottling the air" by having both ends of the brake pipe closed at any time. Our folks are taught to go to the other end and open the angle cock the engine will be coupling into before hooking up the tail hose. The alternative would be to hook up the tail hose with the dump valve fully open and then walk to the other end and open the end the engine will be coupling into. After that it is acceptable to walk back down and close the dump valve on the tail hose.

For those wondering why all the walking - If you have a car leaking air back into the brake pipe of a bottled train it can and eventually will cause the brakes to release unexpectedly.

As far as adding & dropping cars to and from the consist, when one is added we do a new initial terminal brake test. If one is dropped we do an observed set & release on the remaining cars. mld


Last edited by mldeets on Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:24 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Danbury, CT
mldeets wrote:
Mount Royal,
The rule book we live by at Mid-Continent Museum is quite similar to your description up to the runaround. Our rules are quite adamant about never "bottling the air" by having both ends of the brake pipe closed at any time. Our folks are taught to go to the other end and open the angle cock the engine will be coupling into before hooking up the tail hose. The alternative would be to hook up the tail hose with the dump valve fully open and then walk to the other end and open the end the engine will be coupling into. After that it is acceptable to walk back down and close the dump valve on the tail hose.

For those wondering why all the walking - If you have a car leaking air back into the brake pipe of a bottled train it can and eventually will cause the brakes to release unexpectedly.

As far as adding & dropping cars to and from the consist, when one is added we do a new initial terminal brake test. If one is dropped we do an observed set & release on the remaining cars. mld


Read again closely. We do not bottle the air.

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Randy Patterson
RMNE/NAUG


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:52 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:12 pm
Posts: 93
Slightly off topic, but I need help. The 23 tom GE switcher has an SA-2 straight air valve right now. Originally, it had a 14E1 valve. Why the change, I have no idea.
I need help identifying the red handled item in the center of the picture marked MSS
Thank you all for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:57 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Eastampton, NJ
What should you do if you think you see a crew bottle the air for a run around? Or with a train laying over in the station for the next trip, with the locomotive cutoff?

-Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Danbury, CT
Mark Trebing wrote:
What should you do if you think you see a crew bottle the air for a run around? Or with a train laying over in the station for the next trip, with the locomotive cutoff?

-Mark



What should YOU do? Well, are you a rules qualified employee of that organization? If you are NOT, you may consider finding someone who is and bringing it to their attention. It is then up to that person to act accordingly. If you ARE, and notice a practice that is in violation of applicable operating rules, including safety rules, you are required to make the crew aware of the situation. If the violation goes uncorrected, you should contact the dispatcher and report it.

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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 497
Bowmore wrote:
Slightly off topic, but I need help. The 23 tom GE switcher has an SA-2 straight air valve right now. Originally, it had a 14E1 valve. Why the change, I have no idea.
I need help identifying the red handled item in the center of the picture marked MSS
Thank you all for your help.


Bowmore,

MSS are the initials of who did the last rebuild/repair of that valve on the date below. All brake equipment get tagged when rebuilt, primarily to know who to blame if something happens, but also to keep track of the maintenance schedule. Same reasoning for the COT&S box on a railcar.

The why question, I can't answer, most likely parts availability or the SA-2 is the maintenance upgrade for the 14E1.

Regards,
Rich C.


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:12 pm
Posts: 93
crij wrote:
Bowmore wrote:
Slightly off topic, but I need help. The 23 tom GE switcher has an SA-2 straight air valve right now. Originally, it had a 14E1 valve. Why the change, I have no idea.
I need help identifying the red handled item in the center of the picture marked MSS
Thank you all for your help.

Bowmore,
MSS are the initials of who did the last rebuild/repair of that valve on the date below. All brake equipment get tagged when rebuilt, primarily to know who to blame if something happens, but also to keep track of the maintenance schedule. Same reasoning for the COT&S box on a railcar.
The why question, I can't answer, most likely parts availability or the SA-2 is the maintenance upgrade for the 14E1.
Regards,
Rich C.

Rich,
Thank you for clarifying the markings. I am not conversant on brake systems, but my question is why are there two controllers? There is the one in the photo, plus there is the SA-2 valve.
We are still trying to get the diesel running, so the air system is down the line.


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 Post subject: Re: Passenger Train Brake Tests
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 173
Randy,
I'm always looking to learn something and will freely admit when I'm wrong particularly when it comes to safety. Upon reread, I could have made my earlier post in a less pointed manner. It could be we are dealing with a difference in jargon or semantics. That being said I would admonish you to reread the order of your own words (edited for brevity but the original order preserved):
Mount Royal wrote:
...and the locomotive cut away. The consist will dump. ...

We have one end of the train open to the atmosphere.
Mount Royal wrote:
...The locomotive makes its run to the other end while a conductor or brakeman closes the new “back door” angle cock, and places the rear marking device. ...

I took this to mean that both ends of the consist are now closed off (to me, bottled).
Mount Royal wrote:
...The angle cock at the other end is opened for the locomotive. ...

Once again the brake pipe is open to the atmosphere.
Mount Royal wrote:
...The locomotive then couples up, the hoses made up, and the air is cut in. ...

All is back to normal with the locomotive back in control of the brakes.

While very shortly after the engine cuts off & the brakes dump there will be practically zero positive pressure in the brake pipe (no "air" to "bottle"), the above order of procedure indicates to me there is at least a short time both ends of the brake pipe are closed ("bottled"). While we may disagree on the meaning of the term "bottling the air" I hope we can both agree that it is never a good idea to have both ends of a brake pipe closed off at the same time.
The training officer at Mid-Continent (a life-long rail) that taught me would remind us that every rule in the book was written in blood. In that spirit, I can't agree more with your last statement:
Mount Royal wrote:
...Again, please consult the proper rules and instructions that apply to your operation for exact details and procedures.

mld


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