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Distance Indicators Alongside Train Lines

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  • 21-04-2009 11:09pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 5,492 ✭✭✭


    I was on the Cork-Dublin train on Monday. I was looking out the window at the thirty one and a half miles from Dublin mark. The reason I know this was distance exactly was because as we were passing someone was painting the distance stone marker in black and white, which struck me as a complete and utter waste of time. I was wondering if there was any legitmate reason for these stone markers or was the employee just wasting their time?
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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,900 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Navigation systems fail, new-ish drivers don't know local landmarks should they break down between stations...

    Similar markers are being added to all UK motorways and our toll motorways at the moment as it happens. Same reason.


  • Registered Users Posts: 577 ✭✭✭Typewriter


    The mile posts appear every quarter mile. The reason they exist is because on the old steam trains there was no speedometer so the train driver hadn't a clue how fast he was going.

    I can’t remember how to do it but by taking note of the amount of time (seconds) between the posts you can work out the average speed that you are travailing at (my dad used to do this all the time).

    You also know how many miles are left in your journey and when to slow down as you approach. Let’s say that Charlavile is 80 miles from Dublin. When you see that you are 84 miles from Dublin then you start to slow down.

    Its an old system and its outdated now but it’s a bit of fun for the enthusiast and I don’t see anything wrong with that. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    The milepost you saw being painted is an important piece of the railway infrastructure - the whole railway system is mileposted into quarter mile sections. These mileposts are important for maintenance purposes, speed restrictions etc.etc. many of them are in place for well over 100 years and need/receive little in the way of maintenance.

    If you are seriously worried about the cost of having somebody paint them once in a blue moon you need to get back on your medication!! There are very, very serious problems within CIE/IE and a few euros spent on painting mileposts is a complete red herring. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulm17781


    Thank GJ & JD. I always knew they were the distance to the next station (I think) but I never knew why.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    Because the original mileposting was carried out by the various private railway companies some interesting abnormalities occur such as all mileposts on the Connolly/Rosslare line start from Pearse as far as the site of Shanganagh Junction (I think) and from there the mileposts are measured from Harcourt Street which was regarded as the mainline. Between Rosslare Strand and Rosslare Harbour the mileposts are measured from Waterford (in fact from Mallow via the closed line by way of Lismore and Fermoy). On the former MGWR Galway line between Athlone and Galway the mileposts refer to the distance from the long closed Dublin (Broadstone Station)..There are are plenty of other strange ones but only of interest to nerdy ex.railway enthusiasts like myself. :D

    www.irishrailways.blogspot.com


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulm17781


    Because the original mileposting was carried out by the various private railway companies some interesting abnormalities occur such as all mileposts on the Connolly/Rosslare line start from Pearse as far as the site of Shanganagh Junction (I think) and from there the mileposts are measured from Harcourt Street which was regarded as the mainline. Between Rosslare Strand and Rosslare Harbour the mileposts are measured from Waterford (in fact from Mallow via the closed line by way of Lismore and Fermoy). On the former MGWR Galway line between Athlone and Galway the mileposts refer to the distance from the long closed Dublin (Broadstone Station)..There are are plenty of other strange ones but only of interest to nerdy ex.railway enthusiasts like myself. :D

    www.irishrailways.blogspot.com

    If they're used for safety reasons, should these not be moderised, considering they're wrong?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    No need to change them as the mileposts that are in situ correspond with those shown in the Weekly Circular, engineering notices etc. regardless of their origins or where they refer to. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,544 ✭✭✭kingshankly


    Mile posts are measured from Huston and Connolly and are a vital land mark and location aid to drivers so they can report any incidents flooding etc . Not to be confused with gradient boards


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,026 ✭✭✭✭A Dub in Glasgo


    As someone who has used these mileposts extensively when working on the track in Britian, I can assure you that they are not for the enthusuist or a waste of time


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    paulm17781 wrote: »
    If they're used for safety reasons, should these not be moderised, considering they're wrong?

    As Judgement day states, they aren't wrong, as the relevant internal documents (such as the weekly circular / working timetable etc. which detail all the engineering works and speed restrictions) show the mileages as they are beside the track.

    The mileposts are vital for indicating temporary and permanent speed restrictions, locations of engineering works, and braking points for drivers, so they are far from redundant, rather they are an essential element of the permanent way.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    And if you take a disused line like the Navan line, you could pinpoint every culvert, bridge, engineering feature etc by using these measurements, even if it is all overgrown. If they were update, you could lose something in translation..! I remember reading about some hand-written gazeeter of railways in Britain which was found to have discovered some massive innacuracies in official plans and mileages as a result of human error, and it may be the case because these mileages reflect 150 years of works etc on the lines, it might be easier just to use them as they are


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    IIMII wrote: »
    And if you take a disused line like the Navan line, you could pinpoint every culvert, bridge, engineering feature etc by using these measurements, even if it is all overgrown. If they were update, you could lose something in translation..! I remember reading about some hand-written gazeeter of railways in Britain which was found to have discovered some massive innacuracies in official plans and mileages as a result of human error, and it may be the case because these mileages reflect 150 years of works etc on the lines, it might be easier just to use them as they are

    Exactly - if it's not broken, don't change it!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 101 ✭✭NedNew


    At least change them to show kilometres though. Miles are dead and old fashioned.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    Not in the world of CIÉ. They still operate from the plans designed 150 years ago, so if they changed, they would have to change back everytime they consulted the records.. It's not really about the numbers that run along side the track, it's about the measurements used in the records


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    NedNew wrote: »
    At least change them to show kilometres though. Miles are dead and old fashioned.

    Not on the railways - everything is still measured in miles (speeds, distance).

    Again there would be the risk of losing information by doing something like that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,544 ✭✭✭kingshankly


    KC61 wrote: »
    As Judgement day states, they aren't wrong, as the relevant internal documents (such as the weekly circular / working timetable etc. which detail all the engineering works and speed restrictions) show the mileages as they are beside the track.

    The mileposts are vital for indicating temporary and permanent speed restrictions, locations of engineering works, and braking points for drivers, so they are far from redundant, rather they are an essential element of the permanent way.
    spot on and also in emergency situations say a driver derails ring the signalman for help and is asked where are you."beside the green field with the big house" doesnt go down to well " 100 yards south of 54 1/4 mile post" is preferred


  • Registered Users Posts: 494 ✭✭interlocked


    was on the Cork-Dublin train on Monday. I was looking out the window at the thirty one and a half miles from Dublin mark. The reason I know this was distance exactly was because as we were passing someone was painting the distance stone marker in black and white, which struck me as a complete and utter waste of time. I was wondering if there was any legitmate reason for these stone markers or was the employee just wasting their time?
    Navigation systems fail, new-ish drivers don't know local landmarks should they break down between stations...

    Similar markers are being added to all UK motorways and our toll motorways at the moment as it happens. Same reason.
    The mile posts appear every quarter mile. The reason they exist is because on the old steam trains there was no speedometer so the train driver hadn't a clue how fast he was going.

    I can’t remember how to do it but by taking note of the amount of time (seconds) between the posts you can work out the average speed that you are travailing at (my dad used to do this all the time).

    You also know how many miles are left in your journey and when to slow down as you approach. Let’s say that Charlavile is 80 miles from Dublin. When you see that you are 84 miles from Dublin then you start to slow down.

    Its an old system and its outdated now but it’s a bit of fun for the enthusiast and I don’t see anything wrong with that. smile.gif
    If they're used for safety reasons, should these not be moderised, considering they're wrong?
    At least change them to show kilometres though. Miles are dead and old fashioned.

    Isn't this thread fascinating, in demonstrating how so much drivel can be posted on the internet as factual knowledge, by people who have no idea what they are talking about?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,793 ✭✭✭✭Hagar


    The mile posts appear every quarter mile.
    Wha...? :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,544 ✭✭✭kingshankly


    Hagar wrote: »
    Wha...? :confused:

    He is correct they do appear every 1/4 mile or at least they should


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    They are called mile posts, but they appear as 17.5 miles, 30.25 miles (using the halves and quaters symbols etc - can't do them on the computer). They are named milestones because they mark the number of miles (in miles and fractions) eg 7, 7.25, 7.5, 7.75, not because they only appear at every full mile point. Don't ask me about chains


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,857 ✭✭✭Bogger77


    He is correct they do appear every 1/4 mile or at least they should
    Maybe the term "mile post" is confusing, "distance marker" might be more suitable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,544 ✭✭✭kingshankly


    Bogger77 wrote: »
    Maybe the term "mile post" is confusing, "distance marker" might be more suitable.

    They are only know as mile post never anything else . You can't use the term distance markers as there are marker boards on the railway


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,793 ✭✭✭✭Hagar


    IIMII wrote: »
    They are called mile posts...Don't ask me about chains
    It is a bit misleading as a term but I suppose it has historical usage on its side.

    FYI
    A chain is 22 yards long.
    10 chains make 1 furlong, 8 furlongs make 1 mile, so there would be 20 chains between mile posts.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,900 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Isn't this thread fascinating, in demonstrating how so much drivel can be posted on the internet as factual knowledge, by people who have no idea what they are talking about?

    Explain what's wrong with every one of those posts, in turn, please.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    Hagar wrote: »
    A chain is 22 yards long.
    10 chains make 1 furlong, 8 furlongs make 1 mile, so there would be 20 chains between mile posts.
    There you go. I had never bothered to find out, though I had presumed they were a physical means of measuring


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭D'Peoples Voice


    The milepost you saw being painted is an important piece of the railway infrastructure - the whole railway system is mileposted into quarter mile sections. These mileposts are important for maintenance purposes, speed restrictions etc.etc.
    Spot on - Sat Nav wouldn be too accurate for a company that thinks being 15 mins late is on time!:D
    If nothing else -they're consistent and we love for that:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,303 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Because the original mileposting was carried out by the various private railway companies some interesting abnormalities occur such as all mileposts on the Connolly/Rosslare line start from Pearse as far as the site of Shanganagh Junction (I think) and from there the mileposts are measured from Harcourt Street which was regarded as the mainline. Between Rosslare Strand and Rosslare Harbour the mileposts are measured from Waterford (in fact from Mallow via the closed line by way of Lismore and Fermoy).
    Nearly right. Wexford - Rosslare (whatever that junction is called) is on its own again. :)
    Not to be confused with gradient boards
    What are these, where are they?
    Hagar wrote: »
    The mile posts appear every quarter mile.
    Wha...? :confused:
    They are indicating the mileage, not the number of whole miles.
    Hagar wrote: »
    A chain is 22 yards long.
    10 chains make 1 furlong, 8 furlongs make 1 mile, so there would be 20 chains between mile posts.
    Showing your age ;) A "chain" would often be measure with an actual metal chain - made of bars, not links.
    Spot on - Sat Nav wouldn be too accurate for a company that thinks being 15 mins late is on time!:D
    If nothing else -they're consistent and we love for that:)
    Ehhhhhh, if we knew they were 15 minutes late consistently we would then know what time to expect the train. The problem is variability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭Captain Chaos


    KC61 wrote: »
    Not on the railways - everything is still measured in miles (speeds, distance).
    .

    Speeds are in km on the speedos and have been since the DARTs in 1983 and everything else since. Only the old GM locos have mph displays.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,900 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Victor wrote: »
    What are these, where are they?

    Trackside markers showing the gradient of an approaching slope, think we use an upright with a slanted board on it here?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    NedNew wrote: »
    At least change them to show kilometres though. Miles are dead and old fashioned.

    Why waste money when they continue to serve the purpose for which they were installed? Does the phrase 'a fetish with modernity' sound familiar. Mileposts and, indeed, miles are no more outdated than slips of paper for voting on. :D

    P.S. Given that the country outside Ireland that Irish drivers are most likely to drive in is probably the UK which, even under the poxy Labour Govt is unlikely ever to switch over to kilometres, it would have made sense for Ireland to have stuck to miles too. Why do we have to do everything the European bureaucrats tell us? We always seem do the stupid things and ignore important things like protecting the environment. Sorry for, yet again, wandering off topic. :)


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