Look Mum, New Toys!


Rail workers on the Western Line this afternoon appear very excited about playing with their new toys.

Last week, new flash cabinets and related electrification gear appeared at various parts of the line especially between Kingsland and Morningside.

Today workers were testing the gear or unwrapping it.

Talk about Christmas coming early for some people!

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  1. signalhead says:

    The new cabinets contain generally the new Westrace solid state interlocking processor, fiber optic failsafe network equipment, points controllers, signal modules, axle counter evaluation boards, power supplies etc.
    The new looking points machines are Westinghouse M23A units which will be standard throughout the Auckland network with a dozen or so exceptions.
    Those orange topped mushroom thingies are termination boxes for the axle counter heads and some other track gear yet to be installed.

  2. DanC says:

    Good stuff. Great to see the latest technology being implemented.

  3. Jon C says:

    @Signalhead Thanks for the details.

  4. Matt L says:

    Thanks Signalhead. I suspected the orange topped mushroom things were for the axle counters but one thing that has surprised me was the number of new cabinets being installed. In some locations you will see 2 or 3 of them then some more a few hundred meters further up the track, why so many?

    Also my understanding was that this would enable signaling for one train every 10 minutes along the line, how much more work would it be to have the signaling to allow one train every 5 mins? (providing Britomart is sorted out of course). Will it be easy enough just to add more signals in or would we have to redo the network again?

  5. signalhead says:

    The number of cabinets is due to the fact that they are a standard design with up to a maximum of four or six points machines fed from each one. There is also a temporary one next to most that will be removed at a later date. There is also the issue of volt drop and size of cables to be factored in, I’m sure the engineers have factored it all in.
    The question on the number of trains per min. is a very complicated one as you cant just bang in more signals as all sorts of things have to be taken into account like braking distances, track condition, locomotive breaking and acceleration characteristics. Ten minutes is pretty good i think, but everything on the signaling side has safety coming first in any calculation and decision. Needless to say the money being spent on the rail is aimed to address the issues of track condition, rolling stock and signaling. They will even have the ability to wrong main run trains (run two trains in the same direction on both mains) like for the world cup from Kingsland to town.


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