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Coupling

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by sophieclarke1983, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. sophieclarke1983

    sophieclarke1983 Active Member

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    How do you couple the class 377 electrostar got units close press couple button but nothing happens in east coastway
     
  2. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    Just checked the manual: no mention of coupling procedure, nor is this covered in the tutorial. You should probably submit a support ticket for this and, if you receive a response, please share it here -- but in the troubleshooting section, where you should probably place a copy of your original post as well.
     
  3. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    Pressing the ‘couple’ button electrically connects the units together but first you need to mechanically couple the units. It has a ‘dellner’ coupler which allows for mechanical, electrical and pneumatic coupling. So to mechanically couple the trains, you need to physically ‘crash’ (not really the correct word but to help you understand) into it at no more than 2mph. Then you may press the ‘couple’ button to electrically connect the units. Here’s a detailed explanation of what to do if you wish to follow how it’s done in real life.

    1. As you’re entering the station on position lights (2 white lights), be prepared to stop short of any obstruction. You cannot get main aspect because this is ‘permissive working’ as there is another unit already in the platform

    2. Stop 10 feet short of the other unit

    3. Continue slowly and stop 6 feet short

    *ensure that the unit you are to couple to has doors locked, no cabs activated, coupler head in good order*

    4. Continue slowly and stop 2 feet short

    5. Now, couple onto the unit at no more than 2mph (I.e. by driving into it)

    6. Check TMS to ensure other unit(s) display correctly

    7. Now a ‘pull test’ needs to be done to ensure units have coupled correctly. Put the master switch into reverse, take notch 1 of power, as soon as you starting moving, stop the train to ensure you have not gone further than than 2 feet (rulebook instruction)

    8. Now press the ‘couple’ button for 2 seconds

    9. Unfortunately, the TMS is not fully operational so you are unable to check further to ensure trains are completely coupled but you would do this in real life

    10. Turn the exterior lights to ‘OFF’ on the switch in BOTH CABS. Even though it should automatically go off in intermediate cabs (in real life not in TSW), you must ensure that the switch has been put to ‘OFF in BOTH CABS.’ I have explained this in detail in the thread below.


    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/tail-lights-and-short-platforms.19779/#post-112501


    11. Release train doors and deactivate cab as necessary.

    This is general summary for all modern units with dellner couplers. There may be some minor differences but the above is a good guide. I have not coupled a unit up for sometime on the East Coastway but the last I did it, it worked so it should be ok.
     
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  4. sophieclarke1983

    sophieclarke1983 Active Member

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  5. Oo7 BELL 7oO

    Oo7 BELL 7oO Member

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    Couling isn't fully functional but first you would connect the two units and tru to pull away IRL you would not move in TSW the whole set moves then press the couple button for 5 seconds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  6. Oo7 BELL 7oO

    Oo7 BELL 7oO Member

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    How do you always post such thorough and in depth comments/ threads.
     
  7. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks haha :)
    I’m a high speed train driver in the UK.

    Edit: I realise I probably come across as an annoying 10 year old kid because of my profile :cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  8. Oo7 BELL 7oO

    Oo7 BELL 7oO Member

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    To check the coupler head firstly you need to:


    1. Check the main resivoir air connection block (top). Make sure the rubber seal is not damaged or missing otherwise a main resivoir leak will occur.
    2. Check that the main coupling block (middle) is not damaged otherwise it may be impossible to coule or worse still the units may come apart during service.
    3.Check that the electrical connection block (bottom) is not damaged and that the cover can fully raise and lower. Once coupled check that you can not see daylight between the blocks (Electrical).

    Now set the brake controller into step 2 and enter the intemidiate cab using a gangway door if there is one provided and check that the brake cylinder gauge reads the same step 2 reading now shut down and move to the leading cab.

    Your post also applies for the BSI standard automatic coupler (which I have based this on)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  9. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    Spot on.

    The reason why I write some of these posts is because I know it will interest some people as there are obviously a lot of rail enthusiasts here but also to help people appreciate procedures that may seem simple are actually more complicated than they look. I’m not saying it is particularly hard but how many people know about the 10 feet, 6 feet, 2 feet procedure? Or the need for a pull test and the importance of not going more than 2 feet back? Or the checks on the TMS? Or the reason the Couple button is pressed? Or the importance of changing lights to OFF?

    (I know I’ve said setting back no more than 2 feet rule is a rulebook instruction but if anyone wants to guess the reason why that is...)

    And that’s without going into faults and failures of which there can be countless. And of course there are differences between units. For example:
    1. On the Desiros (e.g. class 450s), there is no need to do a pull test as the cab light will switch on when successfully coupled
    2. On the other hand, when coupling a locomotive to a unit (I.e. during assistance), a pull AND push test must be done
    3. On trains that have a cover such as the Class 800s, the cover obviously needs to be open before coupling hence you have the ‘FORWARD PREPARATION’ button in the cab
    4. Some trains have a low speed control that are used for coupling such as again the Class 800s which has a WASH button

    I mentioned the dellner coupler has capabilities for pneumatic coupling which I’m sure will confuse some people because since when do modern units have a conventional air brake- not talking about assistance from a locomotive. Well, some units do indeed have air brake capabilities albeit not used in normal circumstances. For example, Class 220/221s (voyagers) are able to rescue another 220/221- the failed voyager will use the air brake while the assisting voyager can use the normal Electropnuematic brake. By default, the voyager has brake pipe pressure LOVE isolated in the cab so brake pipe pressure cannot be created and this is checked if you are doing a preparation at the depot (also brake pipe reservoir and brake pipe isolating cocks in each coach’s pneumatics cupboard will be isolated). These cocks would only be unisolated during assistance.

    EDIT: That shouldn’t say love...cocks without the s
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  10. Tomas9970

    Tomas9970 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. So it's basically an advanced automatic coupler with an added twist of having to make a software connection? It reminds me of the Taurus that can automatically pull train data from "computerised" coaches like the railjet or the doppelstock. Is is done like that as well that relevant train data gets updated when you couple to a new consist?

    Since you menitoned that a train does not need air brakes for a normal stop. How is this done from the technical point of view? I thought that the dynamic brake becomes very unefficient at low speed so your braking would be very slow. I got reminded to the ČD 150/151 locomotive which also has a forced dynamic brake but it automatically switches to air brake below certain speed or if the power output is too low.

    I was also looking weirdly at you when I first saw you but since realised that Frozen is one of those movies that can speak to not just kids but anyone (including me) for various reasons. Not trying to derail this topic. Please don't discuss this here further.
     
  11. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Well-Known Member

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    When I was referring to the air brake, I actually should have said the brake pipe because air is still required regardless for the brake cylinders. The electro-pneumatic braking on modern trains such as the Class 377 is controlled by an onboard computer rather than a brake pipe. Air is still involved but there is no brake pipe on a Class 377. When you apply the brakes let’s say to step 1, the computer interprets what the driver has chosen on the brake controller and the Brake Control Computer sends an electric message via the Train Wires to each coach’s Brake Control Unit (BCU) which then sends a message to the Analogue Control Unit (ACU) in each coach’s pneumatic cupboard. This will in turn cause the brakes to apply on each axle as the brake supply reservoir causes air to flow to the brake cylinder (assuming pure friction, I will come to dynamic in the next paragraph). This allows for a much quicker response of the brakes hence why it is almost instantaneous compared to an air or vacuum braked train because to put it as simple as possible, the BCU acts as en electrical distributor instead of the conventional mechanical distributors or triple valves.

    The Train Wires run throughout the train and when energised (I.e. enough air in main reservoir, pass comms and emergency egress all set, door interlock obtained) the brakes can be released. Anything that causes it to deenergise it will result in emergency brakes applying/unable to release. It runs throughout the whole train which ensures brake continuity.

    With regards to dynamic (regenerative and/or rheostatic) braking, this is controlled by the ACU in the pneumatics cupboard. The ACU will automatically work out how much friction braking is required depending on vehicle loading and amount of dynamic braking available. So for example, let’s say that step 1 would normally require 1.5 bar of brake cylinder pressure if pure friction braking. With dynamic braking, you may see that the gauge is only showing 1 bar of friction braking because it is being supplemented by dynamic braking. The important thing however is that the retardation force desired by the driver (I.e. step 1) is maintained- it is a fail safe system so if dynamic braking cannot provide the correct retardation force, it will automatically revert to pure friction braking. For example, during severe wheelslide in wet weather you may see the friction braking increase as dynamic braking cuts out.

    Dynamic braking becomes less effective at lower speeds and you know this on the Caltrain, for example, because you can see the negative amps decrease (get closer towards zero). The reason for this is because dynamic braking is the transfer of mechanical energy (I.e. the movement of the train) to either electrical energy if regenerative or heat energy if rheostatic which then provides a retardation effect. At lower speeds, your mechanical energy is less therefore you’re unable to convert that to as much heat/electrical energy thus the retardation force is less. So friction braking will have to increase to ensure the same retardation force. Eventually, at very low speeds, the effects of dynamic braking are so weak it is cut out. The exact speed will vary by traction- it could be 5mph, 8mph, 12mph, 25mph, etc....

    Most traction, certainly modern traction, do not have any dynamic braking gauge or controller so you’re unable to see how much dynamic braking is taking place. The reason is the onboard computers work it all out for you. You can obviously hear the dynamic braking because of the traction motors becoming generators such as on the Class 377. And the other way that you’ll indirectly know if you are getting any dynamic braking is by looking at the brake cylinder gauge- like I said before, if you normally expect 1.5 bar at step 1 and it’s only showing 1 bar, you know dynamic braking is taking place.

    I hope this helps and I’ll come to the other question later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  12. Tomas9970

    Tomas9970 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot. Certainly a lot more advanced than just an automated switch between brakes. I looked it up and found that while ČD 150 had a binary switch with brake types switching at 45 km/h, ČD 151 got this changed so that air brake cuts in at 45km/h and the dynamic brake cuts out at 25 km/h so there's an overlap. This was done to improve it's braking distance due to a top speed increase. No digital control or smooth blending as far as I'm aware other than the fact that air brake takes time to apply and that the dynamic brake cuts out when it has almost no power.
     

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