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Understanding the vehicle behaviour and train driving technique

SK Sen, PROF/DSL IRIMEE, JAMALPUR

Vehicle Behavior
Due to coning of wheel trade and play between wheel flange and gauge face of rail, the wheels of vehicles tend to run in a snake sinusoidal motion. So the vehicles behaviors becomes as below :-

Linear and Rotational Motion of Vehicle in three different Axes

Axis X Y Z

Mode of Oscillation Linear Shuttling Lurching Bouncing Rolling Pitching Nosing (also called Yaw) Rotational

Train as an Elastic Mass

Concept of Slack :
 Slack is inherent in any chain of vehicle.  Tightening connections can reduce it but it cannot be eliminated altogether.  Slack causes severe shock loads unless driving is properly adjusted.

Slack is of Two Types :


Free Slack :

It is the free relative movement of vehicles without change in the draft gear spring. It could be 1 to 2 .
Free Slack Etc.

Spring Slack :
It is the additional slack caused due to spring compression and/ or elongation. It could be 4 to 6 . Combined slack per vehicle could be 6 . Relative movement between loco and the last vehicle could be :25 ft for a train of 50 vehicles.
50 ft 75 ft for a train of 100 vehicles. for a train of 150 vehicles.

Free Slack

Spring Slack Etc.

A good driver caters to all the slacks to avoid shock loading and consequent damage to components and/ or accidents.

When do Run-in & Run-out occur ?

RunRun-in and Run-out Run-

When length and load of a train

is more. The stress and strain on draft gear will also be more. Such train experience Run-in & Run-out.

Why do Run-in & Run-out occur ?

RunRun-in and Run-out Run-

It may occur due to

- sudden application of brakes. - change in gradient. - sudden change in speed. - in-built gap between locked knuckles.

RunRun-in and Run-out RunWhat will be the effect ?

The intensity of Run-out is the

major cause for sudden jerk. It results into breakage of coupling component.

RunRun-in and Run-out RunPractically, when does it occur ?


When restarting the train, stopped on an up-gradient. While restarting a train, after sudden application of brakes. While accelerating a train, on up-gradient or plain, after a down gradient. While accelerating a train, after releasing dynamic brake. While applying sudden brake from rear brake van.

Shock Loads/ Jerks :


What is Jerk ? Instantaneous and sharp variation in momentum of anybody moving with a uniform velocity can be termed as jerk. The intensity of a jerk depends upon mass. velocity and range of speed variation during jerk. How jerks are formed ? Sudden increment or reduction of tractive effort due to : Poor Engineman ship Loco defects such as
power ground wheel slip automatic shutting down or

 Sudden application of brakes from rear by guard/ banker driver on run.

For Avoiding Jerks During Starting :


Ensure all the coupling are properly secured. Ensure complete release of train brakes. First open throttle and wait for 10 sec. So that the load ammeter will stabilize then release the loco brake. In case of level gradient and lighter trains 1st notch will be sufficient to move the train. In case of starting on up gradient and heavier trains, throttle should be advanced suitably to develop sufficient tractive effort for moving the train before releasing the loco brake. If the train is starting from down gradient, gradually release the loco brake so that the train will start rolling due to gravitational force. No jerk will develop since the all couplings are in bunched condition.

How to Avoid Jerks on Run :


Advance the throttle notch gradually giving sufficient time for engine RPM and load meter to stabilize. Through knowledge of road is essential for maintaining uniform drafting force in undulating gradients. Uniform and steady acceleration and decelerations. Apply brakes judiciously and control the train will in advance taking advantage of the permissive signals. Ensure complete recreation of vacuum/ air pressure and free rolling after each brake application, before taking notches further. In case of wheel slip due to wet rails or up gradient bring the throttle to lower notches.

How to Avoid Jerks While Stopping :


Apply the brakes gradually as far as possible. Apply the loco brake after stopping the train. Always try to stop the train by raising vacuum/ air pressure. Working heavy train in up gradient. If we stop the train by destroying vacuum/ air pressure, restarting may be difficult due to brake binding. Marshalling of trains is also an important factor contributing to train parting. Loaded vehicles may preferably be marshalled in front portion and empty vehicle at rear.

Heavy Ascending Grade :


Grades of more than - 1 in 100

Starting The Train :


Train brakes to be fully released. Advance throttle sufficiently to hold the train. Release the independent brake very slowly. As the train starts moving, notch up gradually keeping a watch on load meter to ensure that power at a particular notch is absorbed before moving to next higher position. If the wheel slips, reduce one or two notch position and apply sand. Once the wheel slip stops, reapply power smoothing. If the train does not move, reduce throttle sufficiently to hold the train and apply independent brake. Then investigate the reason for not moving.

Heavy Ascending Grade :


Accelerating The Train :
Advance throttle to higher notch duly observing load meter. Fast notching up may result in high draw bar pull and should be avoided.

Negotiating :
 Maintain free running in the slack stretched condition.  Do not change throttle notch position frequently as this disturb the propulsion control circuit unnecessary.

Heavy Ascending Grade :


Slowing Down :

Slowly reduce throttle. handle position. Allow sufficient time between notch positions to keep the slack stretched. Control the train speed only by reducing throttle. Do not apply automatic brake, except in emergency.

Heavy Ascending Grade :


Stopping The Train :
Reduce throttle slowly. Allow the train to stall in one or two notch position. Apply independent brake. If automatic brake is applied, create the vacuum (or) brake pipe pressure to initial level just before the train comes to dead stop. As soon as the train stops apply independent brake to avoid roll back.

Heavy Descending Grade :

Grades of more than - 1 in 100

Starting The Train :


For loaded train move the selector handle to big B (or) D and then release the independent brake slowly. For empty train, release the independent brake slowly and then apply dynamic brake gradually. As the train starts moving, apply both dynamic brake and automatic brake to the required extent.

Heavy Descending Grade :


Accelerating The Train :
Allow the train to accelerate by suitably releasing the automatic brake and dynamic brake. Slack bunch should be maintained to avoid run out.

Negotiating :
 Allow free run in dynamic brake mode operation to maintain the slack bunch.  In order to maintain the train speed on heavy descending grade automatic brake should be supplemented by dynamic brake.

Heavy Descending Grade :


Slowing Down :

Slack bunch braking method can be used to slow down. For loaded train automatic brake can be used to a higher degree than for empty train.

Heavy Descending Grade :


Stopping The Train :
Use slack bunch and cyclic braking method. Do not allow vacuum (or) brake pipe pressure to build up to initial level, before the train comes to dead stop. How ever allow the vacuum or brake pipe pressure in the raising trend, when the train comes to dead stop.

Cresting Grade

Cresting grade is defined as a long ascending grade which changes to a long descending grade.

Cresting Grade
Front on ascending grade, rear on level Front portion in ascending grade and rear portion in level track/ light grade. As front portion approaches ascending grade, reduce the throttle temporarily to prevent severe slack action or train parting. This temporarily throttle reduction may be performed though train is not running with maximum permissible speed. This should be retained until the slack is again stretched through out the train.

Cresting Grade
Front on descending grade, rear on ascending grade Front portion in descending grade and rear portion is on ascending grade. In such situation, at a crest, there may be chance of increase of draw bar pull sufficiently exceeding coupler strength. Thus train parting may be there. This may be avoided by reducing tractive effort of locomotive i.e. reducing throttle notch as locomotive approaches to descending grade.

Cresting Grade
Front on level, and rear on descending grade

When front portion is on level track and rear portion on descending grade. As soon as the complete train comes over descending grade, make extensive use of dynamic brake. If require automatic brake should also be use to control the train and speed. Allow couplers-slack to run-in position till the descending gradient is passed by complete train.

Hump Territory :
A rapid increase in grade followed by a rapid decrease in grade is termed as hump territory. The slack condition with in the train will change due to change in speed of vehicles within the train. While working a train on hump territory, driver must ensure.

Hump Territory :
Starting The Train :
Release train brake fully. Keeping the slack condition in mind, open throttle to first notch and then release independent brake very slowly. As the train starts moving, increase throttle notch by notch duly considering the draw - bar pull.

Hump Territory :
Accelerating The Train :
Gradually increase the throttle duly considering the slack with in the train. Sudden increase of throttle may result in parting.

Negotiating :
 As the loco starts up the hump, increase the throttle to avoid slack bunching.  As the loco passes the hump, reduce throttle to reduce slack stretch.  As the rear portion of the train starts down the descending side of hump, slack will tend to run - in and then followed by a run-out at the bottom of the hump.  Higher notch as practicable to be maintained to reduce run-in.  Lower notch as practicable to be maintained to reduce run-out.

Hump Territory :
Slowing Down :
When approaching a hump, with throttle in power mode --using train brake slack stretched slow down may be used. When approaching a hump with dynamic brake mode --using dynamic brake and train brake, slack bunch slow down may be used.

Stopping The Train :


Slack stretched method of braking is normally advisable for stopping to avoid harsh bunching of slack.

Sag or Dip Territory :

Descending grade followed by an ascending grade is termed as sag or dip territory. Train operating through a sag has a tendency for the head and to decelerate when entering a level or ascending grade, while the portion of the train is still on the descending grade resulting in runin of slack.

Sag or Dip Territory :


Starting The Train :
Release train brake fully. Keep the loco speed slow until the entire train starts moving.

Accelerating The Train :


Open throttle gradually notch by notch. Sudden notching up will result in parting.

Sag or Dip Territory :


Negotiating :
 When approaching the sag use train brakes if required, to reduce the train speed.  Reduce the throttle when head portion descends into the as.  Just before the head portion, reaches the ascending grade advance the throttle.  Continue to advance the throttle until the rear portion approaches the bottom of the sag this will prevent heavy slack run-in from the rear of the train.  Reduce throttle sufficiently as the rear portion starts damping up the ascending grade to permit slack to adjust.

Sag or Dip Territory :


Slowing Down :
When approaching sag with power mode with train brake, slack stretched slow down may be used. When approaching sag with dynamic brake mode using dynamic brake and train brake. Slack bunch slow down may be used.

Stopping The Train :


Slack adjust method of braking is normally advisable for stopping to avoid harsh bunching of slack.

Undulating Grade
It is defined as a track profile with grade changing frequently, and three or more ascending and descending grades in a stretch. Train slack is constantly adjusting as vehicles in descending grades tend to roll faster than those on ascending grade. Grade more than 1 in 100 is defined as a severe undulating grade. An undulating grade with track curvature greater then 2 degrees should be treated with special consideration.

Undulating Grade
Train handling in this type of territory depends on the following :

Train formation Train speed Train length Train load Train features

Undulating Grade
Starting The Train :
Head end of train on descending grade.
Release independent brake slowly. After the slack is stretched, open throttle handle to first notch to move. If the train moves rapidly, while releasing independent brake, apply train brake to control the

speed.

Head end of the train on ascending grade.


Open throttle to first notch. Release the independent brake slowly. Advance throttle as the slack is stretched.

Undulating Grade
Accelerating The Train :
Advance throttle very slowly than normal condition. As the slack can not be stretched-throttle should be very slowly adjusted.

Negotiating : Employing throttle manipulation.


 Maintain train speed as constant as possible.  Do not change the throttle position frequently as this will increase the in-train forces.

Employing dynamic brake.


 Maintain train speed by slowly adjusting the selector handle.  Do not change the selector position rapidly, as this will increase the in-train forces.

Undulating Grade
Slowing Down :

Employing throttle manipulation. Use lower throttle position on ascending portion of grade. Employing throttle and train brake. Only minimum reduction of train brake is advisable duly controlling the train reducing throttle well in advance. Employing dynamic brake and train brake. In conjunction with dynamic brake, train brake can also be used to slow down. Dynamic brake should be carefully adjusted to avoid severe in-train forces.

Undulating Grade
Stopping The Train :

Use slack bunch braking method to stop. Train brake may be applied to minimum reduction position before applying train brake further. The dynamic brake and train brake has to be adjusted to reduce in-train forces.

Banking Operation:
In banking services, an extra locomotive is temporarily coupled to the rear of the train. When the banker loco is used in vacuum brake system, the VTP isolation cock is kept closed position. While operating the air brake system, the brake isolation cock is kept in closed position, which is provided in between additional C2 relay valve and brake pipe.

Leading Loco Banker Loco

General :

Ghat Section

The ruling gradient of 1 in 50 or steeper are considered as Ghat section. Ensure :100%/ 90% of brake power on formation. Dynamic brake in working order. Speedometer in working order. Sand gear in working order.

Starting : Ascending :

Ghat Section

Ensure train brakes are fully released. Advance the throttle sufficiently to hold the train. Release the independent brakes slowly, so as the train start in the slack stretched condition, open the throttle notch by notch keenly watching load meter without wheel slip. Apply sanders to avoid any slipping during starting. Note : Banker operation instructions strictly if banker loco is provided.

Negotiating : Ascending :

Ghat Section
in slack

Maintain free running stretched condition.

Maintain the section speed and do not change the notch frequently to avoid Heavy in train forces. Wheel slip/ stalling.

Stopping : Ascending :

Ghat Section

By reducing the throttle to lower notches so as to stop & hold the train in a stretched condition. Fully apply the independent brake and formation brakes to min reduction to avoid roll back. Bring the throttle to idle.

Starting : Descending :

Ghat Section

Ensure the brake power continuity on formation. Apply dynamic brake and release independent brake so as to start the train in slack bunched condition. As the train starts rolling, control the train in bunched mode by the manipulation of dynamic brake.

Negotiating : Descending :

Ghat Section

Keep on control over the train running with in the speed limits by the maximum effort of dynamic brake application along with automatic brake application, if necessary. Train speed should be controlled/ reduced by cyclic brake application.

Stopping : Descending :

Ghat Section

Along with dynamic brake application apply train brakes to bring train to dead stop. Apply independent brakes fully. If necessary apply train brake to minimum reduction to avoid pushing.
Special Note : To avoid rolling back of the train at the time of engine failure (loco shutdown) immediately apply train brakes fully and take precautions as per the GR & SR instructions.

Curvature :
While working a train on curvatures drivers must ensure that special care is taken in negotiating curves in excess of two degree, especially those of four degree and more.

Starting in Curve :
Notching up should be done carefully minimum required to start the train This is essential to minimize draft forces which can generate excessive inward lateral forces. Rapid notching can result in String lining of curve which can shift the track, turn the rail or even cause a derailment.

Running Over Curvature :


Always avoid throttle manipulation, dynamic braking, or air brake application near the beginning, within, or near the end of any curve. Speed should normally be reduced to the prescribed speed or lower, prior to entering the curve.

Stopping on a curve :
Use dynamic brake in addition to A-9 Brake application. Total braking effort of dynamic and air brakes should be kept at the lowest desirable level when slowing or stopping in curve territory.