About the blog

British railways are run on a foundation of paperwork. Everything must have an instruction; a list; a rule. The railway was once such a huge, chaotic system that the only way to manage it was with reams and reams of paper. Today the system is much more compact but the mountain of literature upon which it is run is greater than ever. This is simply a collection of pages from railway documents. They may be old or new, interesting or tedious, large or small. Most are obscure and esoteric. Many feature interesting diagrams and all share the same strange mix of dry railway language and exotic nomenclature that has hardly changed in 200 years. I love these documents and have a large collection to share. If you want to see more of something or less of another, please get in touch or leave a comment.

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

High and low vacuum..


From - Diesel Traction *Manual For Enginemen*; British Transport Commission, 1963

With the exception of a small number of carriages for use in steam charter sets, vacuum brakes aren't used on the UK national rail network any more. The quick-release system seen above was used in diesel multiple units of a certain vintage and was easy and quick to operate, if not explain. If you can remember sitting at the front of a train with the driver seperated from you by a glass partition, then these are the sort of things I'm talking about. Do you remember the big silver handle that made a whooshing noise when the driver moved it? That was the brake handle for the QUICK-RELEASE VACUUM BRAKE FOR DIESEL-MECHANICAL RAILCARS ('C' in Figure 168A).

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