Thameslink ‘Core’ major disruption (04/04)

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londonmidland

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I’ve just arrived at London St. Pancras to see all Thameslink trains at a standstill, due to overhead wires damage between St. Pancras and London Blackfriars.

Thameslink services starting to queue up on the MML, heading into London now, too.

Picture from Twitter appears to show damaged sustained to the pantograph on this 700.
 

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swt_passenger

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Thats the photo (and location) you normally expect when a southbound train has run off the end of the wires, isn't it?
 

Saint66

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I’ve just arrived at London St. Pancras to see all Thameslink trains at a standstill, due to overhead wires damage between St. Pancras and London Blackfriars.

Thameslink services starting to queue up on the MML, heading into London now, too.

Picture from Twitter appears to show damaged sustained to the pantograph on this 700.
Looking at that image, could this be another case of a pantograph striking the building above the railway on the climb from City Thameslink to Blackfriars, where it shouldn’t have been up? Think it happened last year.
 

OliverH68

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Looking at that image, could this be another case of a pantograph striking the building above the railway on the climb from City Thameslink to Blackfriars, where it shouldn’t have been up? Think it happened last year.
Correct.

I literally left Blackfriars about 5 minutes or so before this happened thanks to a late Gatwick train :D
 

Horizon22

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Thats the photo (and location) you normally expect when a southbound train has run off the end of the wires, isn't it?

Yep looks like the short section between City Thameslink and Blackfriars on the rising gradient.
 

DanNCL

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Ahh, this again…. I’m amazed there isn’t anything in place to prevent trains from departing City Thameslink heading south with the pantograph raised.
 

Horizon22

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Ahh, this again…. I’m amazed there isn’t anything in place to prevent trains from departing City Thameslink heading south with the pantograph raised.

There are BIG signs, next to the stop car markers at Farringdon and I think City Thameslink too, but it does seem to happen at a frequency that is far too high. For something that can disrupt train running as dramatically as the Thameslink core, more hard and soft solutions may be required going forward.
 

43066

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Ahh, this again…. I’m amazed there isn’t anything in place to prevent trains from departing City Thameslink heading south with the pantograph raised.

It’s supposed to happen automatically these days triggered by track balises (at Farringdon not City TL), part of the same system that triggers door opening. The fact that apparently hasn’t worked suggests some kind of fault, assuming that’s what’s happened of course.

There are BIG signs, next to the stop car markers at Farringdon and I think City Thameslink too, but it does seem to happen at a frequency that is far too high. For something that can disrupt train running as dramatically as the Thameslink core, more hard and soft solutions may be required going forward.

Those date back to the 319s which also played an audible alarm in the cab at Farringdon to remind drivers to lower the pan!
 

skyhigh

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Are there automatic changeover balises (such as OHLE-Diesel used for 80x) or do they just rely on drivers remembering to switch over at the right point?

It’s supposed to happen automatically these days triggered by track balises (at Farringdon not City TL).
Ah well that answers my question :lol:
 

Taunton

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What happened to the Automated Dropping Device, where approaching the end of wires they rise up high, the pantograph goes right up, trips an integral limit switch, and is automatically dropped?
 

swt_passenger

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What happened to the Automated Dropping Device, where approaching the end of wires they rise up high, the pantograph goes right up, trips an integral limit switch, and is automatically dropped?
In a previous discussion it was thought it takes time and is still doing that when it hits the obstruction…
 

skyhigh

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Has it ever been looked into as to whether it is feasible to extend the overhead wires to Blackfriars?

Or is the building above City Thameslink too low for overhead wires?
I imagine if it should automatically change over already extending the wires would just move the issue seen today to another location.
 

zwk500

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Has it ever been looked into as to whether it is feasible to extend the overhead wires to Blackfriars?

Or is the building above City Thameslink too low for overhead wires?
I imagine the building problem could be overcome with a bit of thought. The bigger issue would be the mix of electrical systems at Blackfriars. There's a fair bit of kit at City Thameslink to keep the 2 systems separated.
I imagine if it should automatically change over already extending the wires would just move the issue seen today to another location.
If the issue is with a specific location, then moving the problem to a different location could well solve it.
 

choochoochoo

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Don't see this problem on the NCL at Drayton Park very often !! What's the difference, apart from it's not auto-changeover on the NCL yet (They've been promising it for 2 years) ?

Is there no Auto Power Controller magnet to trip the VCB so it can't take power after arriving into the station ? Works a treat at Drayton Park
 

ComUtoR

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Has it ever been looked into as to whether it is feasible to extend the overhead wires to Blackfriars?

All that would happen is the pan incidents will still happen, just outside Blackfriars instead.
 

Domh245

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I imagine the building problem could be overcome with a bit of thought. The bigger issue would be the mix of electrical systems at Blackfriars. There's a fair bit of kit at City Thameslink to keep the 2 systems separated.

Could you not just have 'dead' wires as with the discontinuous electrification proposals for the Cardiff Metro? It stops the pantograph hitting things and won't have (m)any clearance issues beyond minimum pantograph height. You could even use it to set off a sign at or near blackfriars reminding the driver that they've failed to switch over to DC.
 

aleggatta

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Has it ever been looked into as to whether it is feasible to extend the overhead wires to Blackfriars?

Or is the building above City Thameslink too low for overhead wires?

I imagine if it should automatically change over already extending the wires would just move the issue seen today to another location.


This is the one location, where if they extended a guide wire (earthed after a neutral section) through to the far side of Blackfriars, you potentially could get the pan through the core to a point where there is enough time for the ADD to operate and not cause any damage to pan or infrastructure. I'm sure there are many other reasons why this cannot happen in practice though.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
I imagine if it should automatically change over already extending the wires would just move the issue seen today to another location.

I imagine the building problem could be overcome with a bit of thought. The bigger issue would be the mix of electrical systems at Blackfriars. There's a fair bit of kit at City Thameslink to keep the 2 systems separated.

If the issue is with a specific location, then moving the problem to a different location could well solve it.

All that would happen is the pan incidents will still happen, just outside Blackfriars instead.

Thanks all.

The reason I had asked was that it would potentially eliminate the pantograph strikes at City Thameslink, being as this is not the first time that has happened.

Another quick question: does Blackfriars have platform staff? If so, they could observe to see if the pan has lowered for southbound trains.
 

zwk500

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Could you not just have 'dead' wires as with the discontinuous electrification proposals for the Cardiff Metro? It stops the pantograph hitting things and won't have (m)any clearance issues beyond minimum pantograph height. You could even use it to set off a sign at or near blackfriars reminding the driver that they've failed to switch over to DC.
I really don't know, I'm afraid. It sounds perfectly plausible.
Another quick question: does Blackfriars have platform staff? If so, they could observe to see if the pan has lowered for southbound trains.
I think it does, although getting them in a position where they can alert the driver whilst seeing the pantograph is not that easy.
 

Taunton

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In a previous discussion it was thought it takes time and is still doing that when it hits the obstruction…
Ok, can an insulated and inert wire not be taken under the building, thus without needing any electrical clearance, to hold the pantograph down until clear?
 

E759

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This is the one location, where if they extended a guide wire (earthed after a neutral section) through to the far side of Blackfriars, you potentially could get the pan through the core to a point where there is enough time for the ADD to operate and not cause any damage to pan or infrastructure. I'm sure there are many other reasons why this cannot happen in practice though.
See Post #17. The first of many signal gantries is just outside the station.
 

zwk500

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Ok, can an insulated and inert wire not be taken under the building, thus without needing any electrical clearance, to hold the pantograph down until clear?
What would the wire gradient be? if it's too steep all you'll do is break the wire with the pan.
 

ChiefPlanner

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From previous experiences - this is going to be a nightmare , assisted of course by a nasty sounding points failure at Herne Hill - impacting on what is left of Thameslink and of course South Eastern.
 

Bald Rick

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The offending train came from Smithfield sidings. As did the last two to have done this. Hence why it’s not picked up by the auto Changeover.
 

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swt_passenger

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Ok, can an insulated and inert wire not be taken under the building, thus without needing any electrical clearance, to hold the pantograph down until clear?
I don’t know I’m afraid. Just remembered what had been said before about times.
 

ungreat

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The 700 with the pan damage..5V55..came out of Smithfield sidings ecs and put the pan up.
Auto change over is at Farringdon so the pan stayed up.
 

Horizon22

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The offending train came from Smithfield sidings. As did the last two to have done this. Hence why it’s not picked up by the auto Changeover.

That would make sense. Seems like there should be better operational instructions and signage (+ reminders) coming out of Smithfield then to not raise the pantograph as it is occurring issue.
 
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