Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

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David Collins
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Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by David Collins »

I’d thought I should ask this because I’ve got no power at home,I know RR Xing’s have backup batteries in case of a power outage, but is there a way to tell if a crossing is running on a battery? I know there’s a light on the outside but does that indicate anything?
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SD80MAC
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by SD80MAC »

Yes, they have batteries for backups. So do most signals.
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

I know you specifically referenced grade crossing warning devices, but in CTC we had a "power off" (PO) indication at each controlled location that would illuminate if the local power was off. We would normally notify the responsible signal maintainer that the location was on battery power.

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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by David Collins »

C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 5:09 pm
I know you specifically referenced grade crossing warning devices, but in CTC we had a "power off" (PO) indication at each controlled location that would illuminate if the local power was off. We would normally notify the responsible signal maintainer that the location was on battery power.
But what happens if it’s blinking?
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C&O Dispatcher
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

There was no blinking; either the local power was on or off. It was up to the signal maintainer to maintain the battery back-up.

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TomArrGP49
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by TomArrGP49 »

If the light on the bungalow is lit, all is good. If its flashing, local power is out and it is on battery power. If its out, then its malfunctioning and not working.

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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

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SD80MAC wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:19 pm
Yes, they have batteries for backups. So do most signals.
To add, many signals and switches at key locations like control points will actually have permanent generator backup installed. NS has done this up and down the Chicago Line. I don’t think they’ve done this to many intermediate signals, so it’d still be slow going if the batteries run out and no portable generators are hooked up, but at least the dispatchers can retain full control of the control points to line switches and clear trains.
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

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TomArrGP49 wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:33 pm
If the light on the bungalow is lit, all is good. If its flashing, local power is out and it is on battery power. If its out, then its malfunctioning and not working.
I've worked many RR crossing locations where the light is on indicating the AC power is present & was off to indicate the location is running on its back-up battery - it didn't have a flashing feature. Just saying, not every RR crossing utilizes a flashing lamp, it all depends on they the type of equipment that is in service.

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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by ns8401 »

Tom49801 wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:08 am
TomArrGP49 wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:33 pm
If the light on the bungalow is lit, all is good. If its flashing, local power is out and it is on battery power. If its out, then its malfunctioning and not working.
I've worked many RR crossing locations where the light is on indicating the AC power is present & was off to indicate the location is running on its back-up battery - it didn't have a flashing feature. Just saying, not every RR crossing utilizes a flashing lamp, it all depends on they the type of equipment that is in service.
The Upgraded equipment Amtrak installed on the Michigan Line does the flashing. It could be a feature that a specific signal manufacturer includes with their system.
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Tom49801
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by Tom49801 »

ns8401 wrote:
Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:13 am
Tom49801 wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:08 am
TomArrGP49 wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:33 pm
If the light on the bungalow is lit, all is good. If its flashing, local power is out and it is on battery power. If its out, then its malfunctioning and not working.
I've worked many RR crossing locations where the light is on indicating the AC power is present & was off to indicate the location is running on its back-up battery - it didn't have a flashing feature. Just saying, not every RR crossing utilizes a flashing lamp, it all depends on they the type of equipment that is in service.
The Upgraded equipment Amtrak installed on the Michigan Line does the flashing. It could be a feature that a specific signal manufacturer includes with their system.
Hi, yes, the newer crossing equipment, depending on the manufacturer, can offer the flashing light option for power off conditions. That is a nice feature & would get the train crew's attention quicker. On the Grand Rapids sub, for those crossings that are within view of the Bangor, Mi live cams, the Power Off light doesn't have the flashing option, it's just either on or off.

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R.E.A.P.E.R.
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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by R.E.A.P.E.R. »

On the CN Flint, Holly, & South Bend Subs:
Light On=Power is from the local source
Light Flashing=Local source is out, power is from battery backup
Light Out/Extinguished=Batteries are dead or other issue.

If the the light is flashing or out, crews are to call RTC.

I was sitting at a signal one evening as a thunderstorm was going thru and when a bolt of lighting struck nearby, all the lights in the neighborhood went out and the crossing bungalow light began to flash. The power came back on a moment later.

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Re: Railroad Crossings and Power Outages

Unread post by kckorienek »

This is the most accurate thread I have ever read on foam boards regarding signal equipment lol
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