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How does a train get from A to B? Watch

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    Hi I was sitting on my train the other day, just having a grand time, getting from A (let's say A is Euston Station) to B (let's say B is ... Brimingham New Street Station).

    I noticed the train just sped out of the station and seemed to know exactly where it was going? It changed tracks, moving from one set of track to the other. How does a train do this when it is attached to rails?

    I know this sounds really stupid, but I have no knowledge on how a train gets from A to B safely? And no, I haven't been smoking pot.

    Do they program the entire route from A to B on a computer which changes all the signals and tracks for the train all the way? Or can the train driver control the track from the train in order to change tracks/signals/ direction?

    I just don't udnerstand. It gets so much more complicated when you start adding in all the other trains, and traisn overtaking eachother.

    Explain...please... they freak me out, and I'm getting a bit of a train phobia, no joke.
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    I haven't been smoking pot.
    Are you sure lol?

    The routes are pre-planned and monitored in real time at various control stations, and drivers ensure the correct route is being followed when they drive the train. They don't tend to go wrong. It's really not that complicated lol.
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    (Original post by DJkG.1)
    Are you sure lol?

    The routes are pre-planned and monitored in real time at various control stations, and drivers ensure the correct route is being followed when they drive the train. They don't tend to go wrong. It's really not that complicated lol.
    So all a driver needs to do is sat back and control the speed of the train? And when, for example, they approach a busy section of tracks at a station, like Euston, the track should be in the correct position when they arrive so it glides smoothly over it into the correct platform?
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    This thread is just cute.

    The tracks are all controlled by signallers in control centres up and down the country, each controlling up to 50 miles of track. The signallers have a computer system that says where each train is going and they set routes according to what this says. On some really really remote lines (I can think of Cornwall, mid-Wales, Scottish Highlands) the driver can change the tracks and signals themselves as there are very few trains running.

    Don't worry though, ludz and ludz of really complicated computer systems and electrics to make sure it's all safe - a signaller can't send two trains on the same track at the same time, for example.

    Hope that helps, lesbo
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    I just rofled at the fact you said you hadn't been smoking pot. What a comment.
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    (Original post by lesbionic)
    So all a driver needs to do is sat back and control the speed of the train? And when, for example, they approach a busy section of tracks at a station, like Euston, the track should be in the correct position when they arrive so it glides smoothly over it into the correct platform?
    Almost yeah - the control people do all the work to ensure the trains are in the right places at the right time.

    Though the driver does need to be aware to watch for signals to tell the train to wait at various places if needed so the tracks up ahead are clear of other trains/the points are set right for them to go down the correct track. Not wanting to play down the job of a train driver too much, they probably also have the responsibility for the train and do have to control it's speed etc and watch out for problems or obstructions on the track. Missing something, going too fast or ignoring a signal could be disastrous (as has happened in the past) - though there could now be systems in place to help avoid such disasters, but I'm not sure...
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    (Original post by RK)
    Though there could now be systems in place to help avoid such disasters, but I'm not sure...
    There are indeed, both on train and in control centres. I won't go into specifics as it's all ****ing boring jargon.
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    (Original post by RK)
    Almost yeah - the control people do all the work to ensure the trains are in the right places at the right time.

    Though the driver does need to be aware to watch for signals to tell the train to wait at various places if needed so the tracks up ahead are clear of other trains/the points are set right for them to go down the correct track. Not wanting to play down the job of a train driver too much, they probably also have the responsibility for the train and do have to control it's speed etc and watch out for problems or obstructions on the track. Missing something, going too fast or ignoring a signal could be disastrous (as has happened in the past) - though there could now be systems in place to help avoid such disasters, but I'm not sure...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat...itish_Rail_AWS and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_P...Warning_System
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    I am not amused
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    Sounds a pretty sensible system. I didn't know anything about it before. It's good to know it's there, even if there are a couple of down sides, as indicated in the wikipedia article.
 
 
 
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