The toughest place to be a train driver

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by 92220 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:41 pm

It takes both skill and courage to control huge locomotives laden with mineral ore as they wind up and down the Andes mountains - making Peru possibly the toughest country in the world to be a train driver.

The Ferrocarril Central Andino (FCCA) travels from sea level to the mines at Cerro de Pasco, one of the highest cities in any country, at 14,200ft (4,330m) above sea level.

The ascent, on some of the steepest tracks in the world, is a slow grind, but the real skill is in bringing the fully loaded locomotive back down to the Pacific coast, west of the capital Lima.

"You need to have nerves of steel," says driver Daniel Garcia Zegarra. "This is how you need to treat the train, caress it little by little, no roughness, but slowly."

Up in the mountains, the railway tracks have few signals or even safety barriers to guard against the sheer drop. The slightest error from a driver could prove disastrous.

The toughest place to be a train driver

Simon Davies from the UK, travelled to the Andes with the BBC film crew and stalled the train. For Simon, who normally drives for Virgin Trains between London and Manchester, it is an experience he will never forget and he is struck by what his Peruvian counterparts have to endure.

Toughest Place to be... a Train Driver is on BBC Two at 21:00 GMT on Sunday 12 February or watch online via iPlayer (UK only) at the above link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00ncxkd
avatar
92220

Posts : 283
Join date : 2011-10-09
Age : 66
Location : Buckinghamshire, England

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by pedned on Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:55 pm

Been waiting for this!

pedned

Posts : 305
Join date : 2011-07-10

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by 92220 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:58 pm

I reckon it could be better if they used Class 31s instead of those Yank Tanks.
avatar
92220

Posts : 283
Join date : 2011-10-09
Age : 66
Location : Buckinghamshire, England

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by pedned on Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:49 pm

92220 wrote:I reckon it could be better if they used Class 31s instead of those Yank Tanks.
I have a slight feeling a goyle wouldn't be able to get that sort of load moving!

pedned

Posts : 305
Join date : 2011-07-10

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by Quork on Sun May 06, 2012 2:03 am

Now let's not overdo it, 200m long trains and <2500t are feasible for most european locos too. What would be of more interest are the steepness values, which sadly aren't provided in the article. It's them that lead to the difficulties of the railway workers up there, together with, probably, some mediocre braking system. Generally one should say, difficult is what you aren't used to. For the UK driver, the cargo train in the Andes was problematic; but the other way, the argentinian driver would have his problems with the UK, being far more fast-paced, you have more signals, you go faster, etc. It often is already a clash of worlds when a local driver comes on a long-distance train and vice versa.

I have another example of "toughest place to be a train driver", in a vastly different way: Karlsruhe, the city where the "tram-train" concept was invented. The same vehicle is a suburban train in the region of Karlsruhe and a tram inside Karlsruhe, Woerth and Bad Wildbad. In Karlsruhe, the trams and thus also the trains are going straight through both the very busy main road and the even busier main square of the city, which are a pedestrian zone. Carfree but with tracks; the tracks are completely integrated with the pedestrian zone, you can and often even must walk on the track, with the trains often going at walking speed. That's hard too - and, most interesting, it seems to be the only place in Karlsruhe where there aren't any accidents with the trams. The running gag in Karlsruhe is "you know, they should stop painting those trains in camouflage and select signal colors like... yellow and... red", as there are accidents on nearly a weekly basis with car drivers overseeing a train. You know, it is very difficult to spot such a roughly 5m high, 4m wide and 40m long box painted red and yellow...

Here's the main square on a not so busy day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYH-bx8TCEI

And here's a connection track between tram network and railway network: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cS6B1Tgr5Y

To be able to differ between the pure trams and the tram-trains: The tram-trains are the following, which are formally and technically fully-fledged railway vehicles, designed for 750V DC tram electrification and 15kV 16,7Hz AC railway electrification on DB-routes:
- GT8-100C: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Gaggenau-2.JPG
- GT8-100D: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Avg-903-00.jpg
(- and in the very near future: Flexity Swift: http://www.ka-news.de/storage/scl/fotogalerien/region/karlsruhe/2012/neue_bahnen_fuer_die_avg/869401_m1w515q75v60661_Bahn6.jpg)

A special case of tram-train, the GT6-80C: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Karlsruhe1040.jpg
Those are formally also both trains and trams, the technical specifications of trains are met too, but the traction system is for tram electrification only, they are used on the Albtalbahn (Alb valley line) and Hardtbahn (Hardt line) which are railway lines electrified in the tram system; also note, they have only doors on the right side, like pure trams, and thus the platforms on the mentioned routes always are and have to be on the right side.

The GT6-70C:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Niederflurstrassenbahn_Karlsruhe.jpg
and the GT8-70D:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/308_vbk.jpg
are used as tram only, but they meet the same specifications as the GT6-80C and can be and are used on the railway lines with tram electrification in special cases.

And lastly the only really pure tram, the old GT8, used only on the line 5 today: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/VBK_215_20-08-2009_Friedrichstrasse.JPG
avatar
Quork

Posts : 1105
Join date : 2012-05-05
Age : 26
Location : Hofheim a.T., Hessen (Hesse), European Union

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by buckysam on Thu May 31, 2012 5:36 am

I remember that there is a place in California somewhere I think around San Fransico but I am not 100% sure. But there is a line in California that goes through the mountians and there is a place somewhere along that line, its called the Cajon Pass but it is suposed to be the one of the worlds steepest downhill grade and there have been lots of accidents, where engineers have lost their brakes going down the pass. I only have heard of three But what I remember most of one of the accidents was the engineer tested his brakes three times before going down the pass and his brakes still failed. The main cause of almost all of the accidents, a simple kink in the air hose. If you want to learn more, search for it or try wikipedia. Does anyone else know anything about this or have anything else to say?


Last edited by buckysam on Thu May 31, 2012 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : A repeated phrase)

buckysam

Posts : 150
Join date : 2012-05-28
Age : 21
Location : Kentucky USA

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by Quork on Thu May 31, 2012 12:27 pm

A kink in the air hose?! What are you using for brakes over there behind the big water, garden hoses? I know of some or other accident related to brake failure, but a kink in the air hose?
avatar
Quork

Posts : 1105
Join date : 2012-05-05
Age : 26
Location : Hofheim a.T., Hessen (Hesse), European Union

Back to top Go down

Re: The toughest place to be a train driver

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum