View Full Version : One for the train buffs....


Shaggy Sheep Driver
14th Dec 2006, 11:41
On Mr Branson's shiny new Virgin 'Pendelino' trains, there's a loud beeping noise that's heard at seemingly random intervals. Six loud beeps in three groups of two... beep beep - beep beep - beep beep. It happens several times on the journey from Cheshire to the smoke. Anyone any idea what it signifies?



Buster Hyman
14th Dec 2006, 11:42
Drivers snooze button on his alarm clock?

VnV2178B
14th Dec 2006, 12:07
Thinks,

as far as I know on the Virgin Cross Country trains there were several sound signals which asked the crew to call the train manager or the driver, perhaps the Pendolinos have a similar system.

VnV

groundhogbhx
14th Dec 2006, 12:25
Drivers snooze button on his alarm clock?

Close, sounds like the modern addition to the dead mans pedal (can't remember the name just now). If you don't cancel it within the time limit (5 seconds) the train comes to a grinding halt and the driver has a trip to the managers office:(

Shaggy Sheep Driver
14th Dec 2006, 12:55
Close, sounds like the modern addition to the dead mans pedal (can't remember the name just now). If you don't cancel it within the time limit (5 seconds) the train comes to a grinding halt and the driver has a trip to the managers office:(

Any such device would be in the driver's cab. This sound is in the coaches, and very loud - which makes me think it might be some sort of signal to the Train Manager (wot used to be the guard).

muppetofthenorth
14th Dec 2006, 13:22
Am under the impression it is some form of distress or 'aid required' alarm from the disabled facilities...

Whenever Ive been on Virgin trains [thankfully, very rare occasions] these have been constantly tripped, with repeated calls over the tannoy from the Train Manager to customers to 'take care when using the facilities'...

Design flaw in the system perchance? Methinks they're too easy to trip.

groundhogbhx
14th Dec 2006, 14:19
Any such device would be in the driver's cab.

And can easily be heard in the front coach:ok: Maybe somebody had a very irritating text message tone:sad:

Crepello
14th Dec 2006, 18:17
I believe the Driver's Safety Device emits a continuous horn-sound, rather than intermittent pips - though I guess they may have changed this since I were a lad.

Credit where it's due, I sampled Pendolino in September, doing Liverpool to Euston in about 2'20. Pretty impressed - comfortable ride, good catering (in First at least - apex ticket so didn't cost much extra) and a friendly crew.

There did seem to be an issue with the toilet doors though - I couldn't get 'mine' to lock, so had to whistle. Loudly. Maybe that was what you heard SSD. :)

Loki
14th Dec 2006, 19:10
I can confirm that the normal Virgin trains do the same thing.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
14th Dec 2006, 19:29
I believe the Driver's Safety Device emits a continuous horn-sound, rather than intermittent pips - though I guess they may have changed this since I were a lad.
Credit where it's due, I sampled Pendolino in September, doing Liverpool to Euston in about 2'20. Pretty impressed - comfortable ride, good catering (in First at least - apex ticket so didn't cost much extra) and a friendly crew.
There did seem to be an issue with the toilet doors though - I couldn't get 'mine' to lock, so had to whistle. Loudly. Maybe that was what you heard SSD. :)

They're fast, and can accellerate at a much higher rate than the old locomotive propelled trains that the Pendolinos replaced. However, they have an 'aircraft-like' interior with short seat cushions that dig into ones thighs (First class is OK - the seat cusion extends as the seat reclines). The windows are narrow, almost letterbox-like compared to the big picture windows in the old trains (MK111 coaches, as used in Inter City 125s). And to facilitate tilt within the loading guage, the coach sides slope inwards conveying a claustrophobic feeling and emphasising the 'aircraft' feel to the whole experience.

For comfort, the old trains win hands-down. IMHO Instead of Pendelinos, Virgin should have completely refurbished the MK111s, and developed new electric locos, one each end, to give the required performance and reliability increases. The lack of 'tilt' would not be significant at West Coast Main Line speeds - Pendolinos have very limited tilt anyway compared to tilting trains in mainland europe (probably because of our limited loading guage and lower main line speeds).

Evening Star
14th Dec 2006, 19:51
The windows are narrow, almost letterbox-like compared to the big picture windows in the old trains

From Fictitious Liveries (http://fictitiousliveries.fotopic.net/), a Pendolino with "decent sized windows":

http://thumbs.fotopic.net/203032000434.jpg

As for the beeping, it will not be the DSD because, as pointed out already, that is entirely cab based. Beyond that, at a loss.

G-CPTN
14th Dec 2006, 20:13
The suggestion that it is the alarm from the toilets 'rings a bell' with me. I recall hearing this story that 'distortion' of the carriage is setting-off the 'call attendant' alarm. Of course the staff HAVE to investigate every time in case there is an old dear on the floor. It was quite a while ago that I heard this.

http://www.linkovitch.me.uk/blog/?p=443
Each train journey there were these random shrill breif alarms went off (not horribly loud, audiable warning really) for no apparent reason.. no tannoy announce after.. just odd…
On the way back there were a LOT of these seemingly random events, it all became clear however when there was an announcement made along the lines of “Thankyou for traveling on this virgin train, however would all passengers please be aware that that big red button in the toilets marked ‘Alarm’ is infact, an alarm. It doesn’t lock the door, it doesn’t flush the toilet, it’s an alarm. There are clear simple instructions within the toilet to explain how it is all operated, thankyou”

TBirdFrank
14th Dec 2006, 22:03
Thats it exactly - and yesterday they announced that they are giving Branson 1.26bn to run the damn things until 2012.

Bring back the MkIIIs - or is thi a clever ploy by the airline industry?

TheDesertFerret
14th Dec 2006, 22:24
It's the disabled alarm, as was earlier observed by others, which is a design flaw.

The toilets have another design flaw - many folk don't quite undertand the door locking protocol in the disabled toilets and often find themselves merrily "seated" whence the large "barn door" opening behind their shoulders. (Maybe thats why so many folk hit the alarm?)

In Virgin's defence the 1.25 billion subsidy is to pay for the West Coast Main Line upgrade (est. 8bn outturn capital cost against the original 2bn estimate - and thats for a scheme that delivers less than the original). That was a f*** up by Railtrack, not Virgin.

Crepello
15th Dec 2006, 04:33
I suspect my problem was a faulty toilet, rather than the wrong procedure. Back when Sprinters came in, people learned to use the interior 'close' button or the locking mechanism wouldn't work. I tried several combinations on the Pendolino but the doorlock wouldn't play.

Agree with SSD about Mark IIIs being superior internally. The idea of top and tail reminds me of a cherished ride aboard an ECML 'surrogate' HST, powered by a '91 and a '43... accelerated quite nicely as I recall. However, I'd venture that a Pendolino's considerably lighter, and ergo friendlier to the permanant way.

Apologies for the lingo... was a rail enthusiast until I discovered wine, women and emigration... ;)

under_exposed
18th Dec 2006, 11:31
There are various sounds:

Automatic warning system. Sounds a horn when reaching a red signal in the cab, rings a bell in the cab if it is green (at least it used to be a bell).

Bell Codes. driver/conductor communication system. Uses high pitched beeps and can be heard in all coaches. Currently it appears to be three beeps for close the doors and two beeps for depart. The code is repeated by the receiving end.

Toilet Alarm. about a six beep tune. Would make a good mobile phone ring tone.

Call to conductor. A similar sound to the above.

(Last two with the help of the conductor of the 9:41 Patchway to Newcastle on Saturday)

Evening Star
18th Dec 2006, 13:35
The idea of top and tail reminds me of a cherished ride aboard an ECML 'surrogate' HST, powered by a '91 and a '43... accelerated quite nicely as I recall. However, I'd venture that a Pendolino's considerably lighter, and ergo friendlier to the permanant way.

Do recall once taking a train from Leeds to Wakefield with 89001, MkIII's and one of the DVT 43's. With a Co-Co laying down the traction, the acceleration and climb out of Leeds was relentless.:ok: