Clearing or Moving a Stabled Load

by Zubin Dotivala

Disclaimer: The information presented here is neither complete nor accurate. Complete details on the topics here are available only from Indian Railways and other official organizations. The material here is not a substitute for the official documentation or official training procedures, which are provided to duly authorized personnel. Do not use the information here to design, build, operate, repair, or maintain any equipment.

In goods train operation, a load may be stabled at a roadside station for various reasons such as poor brake power of the train, engine failure, C&W problems with the load, etc. Such loads need to be brought to their destination or at least to the next crew change point.

Whenever a load is stabled for more than 24 hours for any reason, the brake power certificate become invalid. If the load has been stabled at a roadside station, this has to be brought to the next TXR examination station for proper examination of the load and issuance of a new brake power certificate. When a load is stabled for a long period, there can arise defects of various kinds in the load (brakes, wheels/axles, etc.). Therefore, when working such trains from a roadside station, the crew should be very careful.

  1. After taking the loco up to the load, the load should be coupled with the loco and exhausters should be switched on for creation of vacuum in case of vacuum-braked stock; and in case of air-braked stock all the three compressors of the WAG-5 loco should be used to create air pressure quickly.
  2. The crew of the train should examine the entire length of the train rake looking especially for any leaks or deficiencies in the connections of air/vacuum hoses and ensuring air/vacuum continuity along the length of the train.
  3. The guard of the train should observe the vacuum or air pressure creation in the brake van. For this purpose the guard may use his vacuum or air pressure gauge. If the pressure or vacuum in the brake van reaches the right value suitable for the length of the train (according to the working rules in force), the driver and guard should carry out a continuity test.
  4. CONTINUITY TEST: The driver of the train should destroy the vacuum/air pressure until it reaches about 20cm or 1kg/cm^2 for vacuum or air brake stock, respectively. The driver and guard should observe that the brakes are applied on the train from the first wagon/coach next to the loco to the guard's brake in the last one. The driver should now release the brake and the air/vacuum should build up to the value achieved earlier. After this, an examination should be carried out to see that brakes are released along the entire length of the train.

    Similarly, the guard of the train can also apply the brake from the brake van to test the brakes and the air/vacuum continuity.

    If during the continuity test the brakes are not applied or not released as expected, it indicates a lack of continuity in the air/vacuum along the length of the train. In such a case the train must be examined intensively to locate the defect and any flaws found should be fixed to ensure continuity. In no case should the train be started without satisfying the air/vacuum continuity from loco to last vehicle.
  5. After starting the train from the road-side station, the driver must test the brake power at the first opportunity by destroying the air pressure or vacuum suitably. Based on this he should judge for himself the adequacy of brake power and run the train accordingly. If the brake power is found inadequate or poor the section controller should be informed about this for further action.