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ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
The Seagram crossing was stuck on this evening. Gates were up, but the lights and bells remained on.
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I spotted the same error on the weekend:



I suspect what's happening is that the arms are going down for a train, then coming back up... but failing to make the "Up" switch. That is why the lights are still on, bells are still on, and the "Lunars" (the white lights which face the train) are flashing. They flash when the arms are moving or "traveling" and are not in a fully-engaged position. When this happened on the weekend, about 30 minutes later when I passed back by an employee arrived and cycled the arms down and up a bunch of times and left.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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Might this have something to do with the cold weather? I mean it should be able to handle it, but it's the first time this year it's been this cold for a prolonged period.
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(5 hours ago)Spokes Wrote: Might this have something to do with the cold weather?  I mean it should be able to handle it, but it's the first time this year it's been this cold for a prolonged period.

Sure, that's probably the case here.

But I don't understand why all this equipment is so one off and flakey.  We have cold weather, we have railway signals in cold weather, why didn't we just copy exactly what we had at those other locations here?
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(5 hours ago)danbrotherston Wrote:
(5 hours ago)Spokes Wrote: Might this have something to do with the cold weather?  I mean it should be able to handle it, but it's the first time this year it's been this cold for a prolonged period.

Sure, that's probably the case here.

But I don't understand why all this equipment is so one off and flakey.  We have cold weather, we have railway signals in cold weather, why didn't we just copy exactly what we had at those other locations here?

Software. I'm sure it's software. (Seriously, the whole signaling thing is different from past systems because it has a lot more software.)
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Are they the exact same as other railway crossing equipment?
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(5 hours ago)danbrotherston Wrote:
(5 hours ago)Spokes Wrote: Might this have something to do with the cold weather?  I mean it should be able to handle it, but it's the first time this year it's been this cold for a prolonged period.

Sure, that's probably the case here.

But I don't understand why all this equipment is so one off and flakey.  We have cold weather, we have railway signals in cold weather, why didn't we just copy exactly what we had at those other locations here?

It has nothing to do with cold and everything to do with Sir Isaac Newton's 3rd Law of Motion.
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(4 hours ago)Spokes Wrote: Are they the exact same as other railway crossing equipment?

Nope, the FIEs talk to them... Of course they are also still subject to mechanical failure as well as the novel software failure mode that we get in 2019.

(On balance it is probably good that they have software. But it complicates things.)
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(4 hours ago)plam Wrote:
(4 hours ago)Spokes Wrote: Are they the exact same as other railway crossing equipment?

Nope, the FIEs talk to them... Of course they are also still subject to mechanical failure as well as the novel software failure mode that we get in 2019.

(On balance it is probably good that they have software. But it complicates things.)

Software should have nothing to do with whether they go up and down reliably. The software can reasonably do things like tell the crossings to go down based on something more sophisticated than a track circuit, and it can report the status to the vehicles and to transit control, but I agree that we have existing, reliable, methods for actually controlling the motion. Those existing methods should not be replaced unless and until the new method is proven more reliable than the existing techniques.

A real difference that might be relevant is that we now have probably at least a couple of dozen new crossings installed all at once. How reliable are other new railway crossings? I have no idea.

What I want to know is how well the system does at telling transit control about problems. I would say that anytime a crossing arm remains down more than maybe a minute with no track circuits in the area indicating presence of a train, transit control should get an alert so they can monitor the situation and send out a repair crew promptly in the event it doesn’t clear by itself. It sounds like they might possibly have something like that — presumably the person Canard observed was dispatched that way.
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