• Moose

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Other images in SC4 Scraps

The Wreck of the MV Rivacoma

A work crew sets up near the wreck of the MV Rivacoma, which had run aground and rusted on the bank of the Slate River for a decade after suffering a rudder malfunction. The wreck will be removed and sold for scrap, along with the remains of several fishing and pleasure vessels that had broken their moorings after a flood.

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    • By Takingyouthere
      *disclaimer* This is a revival of an older entry, but one not previously featured. It's not an aesthetic masterpiece or anything like that but contains some very useful information. Recently I've spoken to a couple members who are going through a hard time in their lives related to their current/future work situation and I'm sure their are many others in the same boat. Likewise I also struggled with finding stable work before I started on the railway as a conductor. Perhaps this might be the field for you too? It's actually a lot easier to get into then people realize. If you want more information about it please feel free to ask below or pm me.

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      The objective here is to switch out the Eastgate Intermodal Facility(EGI for short) in Mayfield, Middle East District, Pretoria Metroplitan Area.

      IRL the switching out of a facility such as the one above it can either be done by;
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      B) a mainline crew can come into the yard and do the switching themselves before either returning back to their home yard/terminal or moving on to the next terminal down the line.
      The EGI is a small terminal and as such does not have crews stationed at the terminal itself. Instead what is called a road switcher, a train that switches out industries and or terminals in a localized area around a yard, is employed. The road switcher that switch out the EGI comes from Moncton yard, which is located a few miles east of the metropolitan city limits. Crews reach this facility by first heading west out of Monton yard along the Almera Sub. After about 5 miles the train will have arrived in Lexenborg, the town just south of Mayfield. From there they will transfer onto the Calico sub via the Calico-Almera connecting track. The Calico sub continues northward through Mayfield. EGI can then be reached via the Eastgate spur which in tern branches off the Calico sub.
      track schematic of Calico Sub within the metropolitan limits

      Aerial overview

      The conductors job at this point is largely to make sure the engineer doesn't screw up! i.e obeying track speeds and especially stop signals. As you can imagine, if a train goes by a stop signal without authority there can be serious consequences - i.e. derailment, collision. Even going by a stop signal by as little as 1 foot and therefor there is no real danger, can still result in termination. Therefore you definitely want to memorize exactly where the signals are located. In foggy or snowy conditions they won't be visible to the eye so you can't just operate based on what you see ahead of you like driving a car.
      The ESL in the image doesn't stand for English as a Second Language but rather an electric switch lock

      Normally all you'd need to turn a switch is a key to unlock the switch lock. Truth is people do make mistakes from time to time or trespassers come around and mess with the switches, keys can be purchased on the internet IRL. Either way this is extremely dangerous because often by the time a train is able to see that a switch is not properly line its too late to stop or slow down to the safe speed. The electric lock is an additional level of security, it will not release if there is a train in the occupying the signal block, basically if its close by. If a train is outside a signal blocks(normally two) it will release because the signal itself will serve to warn an approaching train that the switch is now "open" and has been turned for a route other than the mainline.
      Getting back to the task at hand, before you can be a conductor working on the mainline you need to be familiar with and qualified to operate on any specific mainline.
      Pertinent information can be found in what's called a timetable. The timetable is a document that provides territory specific information that train crews need to be aware of in order to operate over that section of track, such as maximum track speeds. It's important to know these well ahead of time because as we all should know by now, a train cannot speed up or slow down anywhere near as fast as a car or truck, despite what the in game U-drive-it might have you believe Though the UDI is accurate in that going too fast on a section of track will likely lead to a derailment.
      The most recent Timetable of GWR's Calico Sub

      In many countries measurements were originally made using the imperial system and remain so to this day despite having since adopted the metric standard. But which ever system is used, kph & mph would never both be referenced in the speeds section as having all those numbers side by side could result in accidentally referring to the wrong number - I did the conversion just for the CJ.
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      As mentioned in the last update the EGI has 4 yard tracks numbered from the east E1 to E4. Each track has 320ft of useable space, which is enough for 6 "Azura standard" freight cars. The lead track however is only long enough for a 10 car train. So a train is typically split apart into two sections of 5 cars. On average, 160 freight cars are transferred in/out of the EGI daily. The facility is therefore switched out by 16 trains in a day, which means 32 total train movements(16 northbound 16 southbound). In addition there are other road switchers servicing local industries, plus long haul trains coming to and from Cole Harbor. As you can image that's is quite a bit of rail traffic for a single track, hence the need to signalize the mainline in this particular area, as doing so greatly increased the track capacity.
      Time for the switching activates to begin.

      The reasons for not blocking a public crossing is quite obvious - in case emergency personal need to get by.

      Blocking Howland Rd. must be avoided at all costs as it is a particularly vital road since the area east of the crossing is isolated from the rest of the city due to the rail line and nearby highway. In addition the train may have to wait here for some time for another train to leave the EGI facility.

      Occasionally the RTC can forget about a specific train as there many be several trains they are monitoring and directing at a particular moment - sometimes a dozen or more! And then there are times when they decide to go out for a smoke break because its only you out there, sometimes they take too long though and keep you hanging for a bit.

      In-game pic's of the train movement ends here for a while as the UDI train disappears the second it touches the 4 track lot.

      In game reference of the yard

      The hand brake is typically located on one end of a freight car and can be applied by simply turning the wheel until it is tight.

      Trains cars can be separated from each other by lifting up the uncoupling lever

      Note to any would be vandals out there, you will not be able to lift the lever if the train is bunched in or stretched out. In simple terms the couplers in between each car have a heavy duty spring inside them and can move a little - if the cars are in either squeezed in together or pulled out from one another, the uncoupling lever cannot be lifted, which is how freight cars are usually left. Only when the engine is attached to the train can this arrangement be change.

      Forgetting to take off a freight car's hand brake can result in flat spots on the wheels due to friction created from the steel wheels sliding along the steel rail. If the rail cars with flat spots are not identified and repaired or replaced, they essentially act as a giant hammer slamming down on the track with each revolution of the wheel. This in term can cause the rail to buckle or break which can then result in a catastrophic derailment.
      The Railways now use whats called a wheel impact load detector to monitor the amount of force being applied to the rails in this way. A rail car impacting the rails above a set limit will trigger an automated alarm. That train will then be told to stop and inspect the car, if safe to proceed(i.e. the car is not already derailed) it may proceed slowly to the nearest place where the car can be removed from the train. However these detectors are only placed every so often and it's impossible to monitor the entire system. So employee vigilance is still key to preventing mishaps.

      Since the train will not be split up again there is no point in putting a handbrake on it when the engine brakes will hold the train in place. How do we know that the engine breaks will work? Because the train breaks are tested and inspected every day before it leaves the main yard, which in this case would of been Monton yard. If we were going to add more cars to the train the brakes on those cars would also have to be inspected before we could go on the mainline i.e. travel at high speeds. But in this case no freight cars are being added or removed, we are simply rearranging the order of cars in the train to facilitate loading.

      Shipping documentation much be kept on the train in case of an accident or derailment. For there it must be given to(if possible) first responders as soon as possible so that they know what exactly it is they are dealing with in case of a leak or fire.

      ...for a red light at signal 02. Unless he actually goes by it, then its no holds bar.

      In all:

      A little bit slower...

      That concludes the switching job at the Eastgate Intrermodel Facility, which I might add would be considered a relatively easy and straightforward switch IRL.
      Hopefully I was able to takeyouthere, a day in the life of a train conductor.
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