Short Little Freight Train Spotted today

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White Ant

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I wonder if anyone can enlighten me regarding a short little freight train I saw between Coventry and Rugby this afternoon. Looking at Real Time Trains it seems to be "UID H00060, identity 3J01 TSC 95762000", and it seems to go all over the place - Brum-Rugby-Stafford-Bletchley-Bedford-Euston. One of the wagons was smoking as you can see on the picture.Short Freight 4096x3071.jpg
 
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swt_passenger

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To add to the previous reply, what you thought was “smoking” is water jetting...
 

Condor7

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Known as Rail Head Treatment Trains or RHTT’s, they run over most of the UK but only in the Autumn.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Nice picture, thank you for sharing, it is interesting that such a short train seems to need two large locos. I can understand the need for top and tailing though.

(We sometimes get an even smaller version here in SWTrainland at this time of year too, it is really noisy when it comes through.)
 

JN114

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Nice picture, thank you for sharing, it is interesting that such a short train seems to need two large locos. I can understand the need for top and tailing though.

It needs two locos, the operator only has large locos available
 

Snow1964

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The high pressure water jets are to remove leaf mulch that has landed on the rails.

Even if train goes along a line, unlikely to be jetting on an embankment where there are no trees.

In the days of steam locos, the exhaust valves from the steam valves were usually pointed down at the track, to do similar rail head cleaning (also used to help melt snow and ice)
 

Essan

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Fortunately it's stopped running through here now - during late summer and autumn it often sits for an hour in Evesham station during the early hours - with the engines running ...... Bloody nuisance when your house backs onto the station!
 

High Dyke

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More for when the trains change direction.
Correct. We have two different circuits across Lincolnshire where both services reverse at some point in their journey. One of which is booked into the bay platform at Grantham - hence no run-around facility.
 

Spartacus

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The high pressure water jets are to remove leaf mulch that has landed on the rails.

Even if train goes along a line, unlikely to be jetting on an embankment where there are no trees.

In the days of steam locos, the exhaust valves from the steam valves were usually pointed down at the track, to do similar rail head cleaning (also used to help melt snow and ice)

The pressure coming out is nothing like enough to remove the coating, and too far from the railhead, the RHTTs operate at a jet pressure of 22,000 psi, not too far off what commercial water jet cutters operate at, it has to have a safety cut off below a certain speed so it doesn't damage, or even cut, the railhead! Steam locos were, and still are, just as prone to the issue as today's trains, just that with linesides cut back to prevent fires, less leaves near the line was an accidental benefit, and they were so slippy in comparison already, and timekeeping wasn't analysed so much as today, that it wasn't realised it was even a problem.
 

edwin_m

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The pressure coming out is nothing like enough to remove the coating, and too far from the railhead, the RHTTs operate at a jet pressure of 22,000 psi, not too far off what commercial water jet cutters operate at, it has to have a safety cut off below a certain speed so it doesn't damage, or even cut, the railhead! Steam locos were, and still are, just as prone to the issue as today's trains, just that with linesides cut back to prevent fires, less leaves near the line was an accidental benefit, and they were so slippy in comparison already, and timekeeping wasn't analysed so much as today, that it wasn't realised it was even a problem.
As well as that, steam locos had sanders and in the steam era all trains had tread brakes, which tend to clean contamination off the wheel treads. Trains at the time were mainly hauled by heavy locomotives and the suspensions were rather basic so wheels tended to oscillate (hunting) across the rail, helping to keep that clean too.

This started to become a problem in the 1970s when most trains on may routes were lightweight multiple units with disc rather than tread brakes, no sanders and wheels that rode much more smoothly due to better understanding of wheel-rail dynamics. There are also problems with contamination insulating the rail and preventing detection of trains by track circuits. As well as RHTTs, remedial measures have included fitting virtually all multiple units with sanders, and diesel ones with an Track Circuit Actuator device that improves electrical contact with the rail.
 

GB

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Preparing a loco that has been shutdown takes 20 minutes officially (for a 66), and you are not guaranteed to have access to the battery isolation switch which is external at ground level. The lead loco will also be providing air for the train and heat for the driver/windscreen.
 
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