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Thread: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

  1. #1
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    Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    The end of this clip shows a female driving a 150mph express.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sXYmxspFL4

    I already posted the link. The trains are almost in central London, uphill. Some are diesel, most are designed for 160mph+. apologies and many links from this stie.

    America uses aeroplanes.
    There have been accidents because track north was not perfectly maintained, most are single-manned. To run a train at 140mph in fog... you can make good money, but the work is hard, the art of driving steam on these lines was different.

    A woman is driving the intercity in the last part of the clip. Could this happen in Middle-America?

    With yo all believin..?

  2. #2
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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    What does it take to drive a train? I mean, they don't even have to steer...

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    What does it take to drive a train? I mean, they don't even have to steer...
    Yoiu have to be physically fit, sober, and do shift work.

    You have to have driving and braking skills comparable to motorbike-racing. with usually 15-20 years before you can drive an High Speed Train let alone a TGV., because in Britain the lines are still essentially the same as engineered in the 1840s and 50s, and at 140mph you still have to "drive"... the pics in the youtube link at Hadley Wood in bad weather, the trains are still going at over 100mph with about four miles to a stand at Kings Cross, and it's downhill and there are teacups being served in some trains.

    These are not bus drivers. It's actually very tricky demanding work. Schedules are as complex as getting aeroplanes in and out of US airports, but withall, it dpoes feel great to be in control of the machine.
    One thing which takes drivers out of the loop is hitting drunk or suicide. Even with the weight of the train you feel the bump when you hit a drunk man and you have to stop, which can take over 800 yards, and in the weather you run back and sometimes that stuff is hard.
    The delay will maybe two hours if bad.
    Not every taxi-driver can deal with this. The tech details of running trains at high speed, well, on demending track ptrofiles, it's as tricky as sound engineering can be. In the steam days, we had driver and fireman, alone it not such an easy job.

    A few drivers like the LNER's Sparshsat were slightly mad but constrained; he drove the 'Flying Scotsman' at over 100mph in 1930 but that engine was never what we call "a good 'un"... it didn't steam very well, and Sparshat (sp?) was of the generation of WW1 trenches.

    Few like him had the skill an nerve to run a train so fast, but men like him lapped the IOM at 90mph average.

    The current drivers of trains like the Caledonian Sleeper are actually using throttle and brake quite often.

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Early in this clip, don't spill the tea!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM0-B...eature=related

    The Caledonian Sleeper is in inner-city London at Hadley Wood, still running at about 100mph., a few miles before stopping at King's Cross where passengers are within walking distance of Chelsea... and it's downhill braking, and the train has been running in ice, snow, on privatized no-mantenance track.

    Could this be done in the USA?

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Why couldn't a woman do it? I've seen women hauling 50 cal machine guns under each arm to load on a B-52. If anything, we may be better because our reflexes tend to be a bit better than a man.

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    Why couldn't a woman do it? I've seen women hauling 50 cal machine guns under each arm to load on a B-52. If anything, we may be better because our reflexes tend to be a bit better than a man.
    But you are hindered by a superior intelligence.

    And, I sometimes wonder about the need for great reflexes in the aviation trades. All you gotta do is stir the stick and throttle around until something good happens.


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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    I guess that's why there is a girl in Indy, and she is good. I forget her name, Dana someone?.

    but when running, women don't get near males.

    Where are the female 747 pilots?
    There are no women driving the heavy coal trains around here, as far as I know.

    I am tempted to say, "keep 'em barefoot and pregnant"... but don't let them compete with me in weightlifting,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=830lV...eature=related

    This is where bomb damage from Germams was extreme.


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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Dare I say "Old Boys Club" that's keeping them out. One reason I can think of on the pilots is that the military didn't start letting them fly until the late 70s and that's where a majority of the heavy pilots come from. Many of your female pilots today not from the military are on the commuter airlines or are still first officers. We are getting there, slowly but surely. Just as we now have our first 4-star female general. We are still fighting the glass ceiling, even if it's in the skilled trades.

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    There are some very silly anti-female things going on.... but I am male and rather lazy...

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    Dare I say "Old Boys Club" that's keeping them out. One reason I can think of on the pilots is that the military didn't start letting them fly until the late 70s and that's where a majority of the heavy pilots come from. Many of your female pilots today not from the military are on the commuter airlines or are still first officers. We are getting there, slowly but surely. Just as we now have our first 4-star female general. We are still fighting the glass ceiling, even if it's in the skilled trades.
    Somewhere I got the idea that the only glass ceiling in that business is spelled, "seniority." And maybe turbine time.


  11. #11
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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    Dare I say "Old Boys Club" that's keeping them out. One reason I can think of on the pilots is that the military didn't start letting them fly until the late 70s and that's where a majority of the heavy pilots come from. Many of your female pilots today not from the military are on the commuter airlines or are still first officers. We are getting there, slowly but surely. Just as we now have our first 4-star female general. We are still fighting the glass ceiling, even if it's in the skilled trades.
    On a couple of AA trips there was a woman as captain. Granted, an MD-80 run so not quite up to the elite as yet but getting there.

    BTW - Where did you see people carrying .50 cal MGs to a B-52? IIRC, that bird had 20mm in the tail (and only) turret - until they were all removed.


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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Is driving an high speed train comparable to 747 guidancre?

    How much is-are children an issue? Given that *on average* women are carers.

    Mop my fevered brow, nurse...

    When I were lad, railway engine-drivers, I think you furriners call them "engineers" had to to a twenty year apprenticeship as a fireman, some call it 'stoker', before they were given a first class express 'ticket', and even then many declined because the pay was poor and it was hard shift-work. Easier to take softer work close to home.
    As a result some of the drivers on express work were mlore in love with their job than anything. Some were genuises at their work; being on time was everything, and the team of fireman and driver really had to combine on a 7hr night express in foul weather. A good fireman could 'bring around' a poorly steaming engine. At most levels, both driver and fireman could exchange jobs, to an extent.

    Perhaps there is similar in the cabins of 747s?


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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Here is a 1963 train in the south of England.

    The grate is 47 sq. feet so hot that 5 seconds in three feet will make denim catch fire, the engine might use four tons in a single shift, 8,000 gallons of water, but this is Southern Train and didn't use scoops. It is a London-Southampton service seen here at New Milton on the coastal side of the New Forest.

    The 'Southern' had trains running at 80mph sometimes with 3-minute headways, and you don't do that with ease. The trains to the north were similar and had water-scoops, a few had coal tenders with 22"-wide tunnels to exchange crews without stopping, a practice started in 1928.

    In the pic, the train is about 100 miles from Waterloo, starting work at Nine Elms in freezing /blizzard weather at 6am., snow drifts at Fleet and hard work over the hill to Southampton, and JDM must have cleared the points, because this train is putting a run on over the slight rise to Bournemouth, probably running at about 60mph before reaching 75 and a late stop...




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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    for what it's worth,

    I will try to describe what was like to work a 10-hour shift as a keen fit man.

    pics will be attached.
    1949 and it's 3am., and the clockwork alarm. It is freezing. Your railway clock says 3.02am. You are fit and 24 yrs with one year in France, you are still in a 2-up, by 3.25am you have shaved with cold water, and now you are on a bicycle for the mile to the locomotive shed, where there is no one around, a few guys in the mess room, it's either of two engines, 60135 or 60039 standing.
    You sign on at 3.48am in winter in Edinburgh Waverly, while a freight train rumbles past, fish train with a V2.

    He is going for it, the shed foreman hates shift work, he never got over WW1 and with your smile he looks down, and says without meeting youreye, "lucky you, you have 158"... and adds, "she's brand new. Don't break her".

    60158 is standing on the 3rd line, someone has made a fire, only 80lbs on the clock, a bit of raking and the blower and we get 160lbs., the coal has a lot of rubbish in it. Might be a new engine but the coal looks diffifult, a 5am departure, the train is from Inverness and north, a turn for the new guys, built to 16-total with three postal vans, the train is brought into Ediniburgh Waverley with two engines, they look tired.

    The driver is McTavish, old, doesn't say a lot. We back down to to the train he is all watcing for signals and no talk, I am down for the coupling and it hurts my hands even through the gloves... I had fired for him on a relief "Queen of Scots" ... he backed-up sober and he knew me well enough. I climbed into the roaring cab with the only light from the firebox, by now truly roaring, and this freezingl hour there was, I think, a gleam in his eye




  15. #15
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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    That is 1960, Leicester, the 1949 stuff?

    I took photos like these, but where is the money?

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    What does it take to drive a train? I mean, they don't even have to steer...
    Yoiu have to be physically fit, sober, and do shift work.

    You have to have driving and braking skills comparable to motorbike-racing. with usually 15-20 years before you can drive an High Speed Train let alone a TGV., because in Britain the lines are still essentially the same as engineered in the 1840s and 50s, and at 140mph you still have to "drive"... the pics in the youtube link at Hadley Wood in bad weather, the trains are still going at over 100mph with about four miles to a stand at Kings Cross, and it's downhill and there are teacups being served in some trains.

    These are not bus drivers. It's actually very tricky demanding work. Schedules are as complex as getting aeroplanes in and out of US airports, but withall, it dpoes feel great to be in control of the machine.
    One thing which takes drivers out of the loop is hitting drunk or suicide. Even with the weight of the train you feel the bump when you hit a drunk man and you have to stop, which can take over 800 yards, and in the weather you run back and sometimes that stuff is hard.
    And it's different if the trains hits a sober woman?

    All it takes to drive a train is enough sense to go, stop, and back up along with being able to understand the semaphore. And that was really yesterday, now the semaphore has been replace by radio voice instructions.

    The main qualification for being an engineer is a long history of promptly paid union dues.

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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    All it takes to drive a train is enough sense to go, stop, and back up along with being able to understand the semaphore. And that was really yesterday, now the semaphore has been replace by radio voice instructions.

    The main qualification for being an engineer is a long history of promptly paid union dues.
    Thankyou Atilla for that sensitive caring view...
    Trains in NZ and the UK are single-manned nowadays. I'm not sure if the USA has managed this, with unions...

    Methinks you underestimate the nature of RR track and signalling tech., and the skill-set required to operate a civilized land-transport system, unless it be long-haul freight re-stocking Walmarts from CA ports.

  18. #18
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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Um,

    for what it's worth,

    I will try to describe what was like to work a 10-hour shift as a keen fit man. again.


    1949 and it's 3am., and the clockwork alarm. It is freezing. Your railway clock says 3.02am. You are fit and 24 yrs with one year in France, you are still in a 2-up, by 3.25am you have shaved with cold water, and now you are on a bicycle for the mile to the locomotive shed, where there is no one around, a few guys in the mess room, it's either of two engines, 60135 or 60039 standing.
    You sign on at 3.48am in winter in Edinburgh Waverly, while a freight train rumbles past, fish train with a V2.

    He is going for it, the shed foreman hates shift work, he never got over WW1 and with your smile he looks down, and says without meeting youreye, "lucky you, you have 158"... and adds, "she's brand new. Don't break her".

    60158 is standing on the 3rd line, someone has made a fire, only 80lbs on the clock, a bit of raking and the blower and we get 160lbs., the coal has a lot of rubbish in it. Might be a new engine but the coal looks diffifult, a 5am departure, the train is from Inverness and north, a turn for the new guys, built to 16-total with three postal vans, the train is brought into Ediniburgh Waverley with two engines, they look tired.

    The driver is McTavish, old, doesn't say a lot. We back down to to the train he is all watcing for signals and no talk, I am down for the coupling and it hurts my hands even through the gloves... I had fired for him on a relief "Queen of Scots" ... he backed-up sober and he knew me well enough. I climbed into the roaring cab with the only light from the firebox, by now truly roaring, and this freezingl hour there was, I think, a gleam in his eye.

    Union dues? They might be hamstringing the USA ., but in 1949 things were very hard in Britain, and the train made Grantham on time, with two cars from Wick and Thurso, through Inverness the train was 9-total, then at Aberdeen 4 more cars, so 60158 had a full 13 on in pitch dark freezing rain, ....what are unions? Keen fireman, steady driver, pitfall slacks either side of Darlington the train was at 10mph where it could have made 80... there was a fish train in front of us until York, where we came through on the fast line and was allowed to overtake, giving the V2 driver a rude gesture and long blast on the whistle, but I'm sure the V2 driver saw the smile from the cab.

    Still pre-dawn , or at least dark freezing rain, we got to see how this Peppercorn Pacific could make 100mph down Stoke Bank...

    Not back in Edinburgh for two days, still in a 2-up, three kids, another on the way, and you JDM talk about unions...


  19. #19
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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg


    Methinks you underestimate the nature of RR track and signalling tech., and the skill-set required to operate a civilized land-transport system, unless it be long-haul freight re-stocking Walmarts from CA ports.
    Nonsense, it goes like this:

    You no joina da union we breaka you leg.

  20. #20
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    Re: Can a Female Drive a High Speed Train?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Um,

    for what it's worth,

    I will try to describe what was like to work a 10-hour shift as a keen fit man. again.

    Up at tennish, a couple of pints of lager, and then down to the picket line.

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