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March 26, 2008
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Wired by classictrains Wired by classictrains
It's not just a coupler and a brake line between a couple of Metra bi-level cars... it's lots, lots more!

Thanks to Hoyt :iconherrdrayer: for summarizing what's here: You have the automatic brake hose plus three more air hoses... one for the Reservoir... one for Actuation (releases the engine brakes w/o altering the automatic brake set)... and one for the Engine brake cylinder. Then you have the MU cable and head end power. In order to operate in push pull mode, the cab car has all the controls of the engine replicated at the end of the train. Therefore, all the same hoses and cables used for connecting engines in multiple must be connected the whole length of the train. Although I'm not familiar with passenger cars from a railroader's perspective, there is also some type of cable (air or electrical I don't know) that replicates the door controls between the cars as well, so the conductor need only operate one set of doors and that command input will be cloned on all cars set to do so.
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jimzim66 May 12, 2008   Photographer
Out here in NJ Transit land, we use 2 air connections: Brake Pipe and Main Reservoir. We then have the MU cables, Communication cables, 480V HEP cables, and on our newer stuff, the emerging IEEE 1472 trainline control network. (Think of it as firewire or USB for trains). Our doors are controlled by the Communication cables. Our locomotives have a switch to flip between Amtrak's door communication and ours.

[link] is what our door control panels look like. This was taken behind the engineers seat in the cab car, where there is no door, All the other panels have 3 buttons replacing the switches: OPEN HIGH LOCAL, CLOSE LOCAL, OPEN LOW LOCAL which controls just the door next to the panel.

I've never seen the actuating, engine brake, and equalizing res hoses through the coaches though. Just locomotives.
Thanks for the info and links!
jimzim66 May 14, 2008   Photographer
No problem! Another thing worth mentioning is as far as I know, NJT is the only agency who uses the OPEN HIGH/OPEN LOW button combo. We have 'long doors' which cover the stairs as well, and they allow us to open the traps without the door being open. The center doors (high platform only) will only open on an OPEN HIGH command, AND if both traps on that side of the car are down. Our older equipment (the ex-Pullman Standard Comet I's and the ex Arrow I (now Comet IB), and our EMUs) use the 6 open/close buttons, as does Amtrak's Amfleet I cars.
Buslady Mar 27, 2008
I'm just glad I'm not the one who has to try to fix these things :P

too many wires & hoses!
on more than one occasion I've heard calls on the scanner where a commuter in push mode shut down and the crew had to go back to EVERY dang car and check every DANG connection.... except "dang" wasn't the word.
Maybe it's just the angle, but they look to be hanging low.
i was thinking the same thing.
Hidden by Owner
As I recall on the old NW bilevels the door controls did not operate the whole train... there were 3 controls over each door which you could (and I did on a couple of occasions) operate with the eraser end of a pencil... this car, cars to the left, and cars to the right.
HerrDrayer Mar 28, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, that would mean that if the controls on the car behind the engine are used, and the "Cars to the Right" button is hit, then every door on the train would open... That would also explain how they are able to open only select doors when trains stop at short platforms like Gladstone Park. The conductors don't have to work any cutout cocks outside the train, they just use those controls as needed to set the outer limits of cars to open. I never looked too closely at those controls...although I remember a train arriving in Chicago once with a head end power failure, and the conductors had to walk along the outside of the train and manually open the doors.
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