Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Compressed-air powered guard's whistle.

A genuine improvement in rail safety.
  [vote for,

On steam-hauled trains that aren't fitted with automatic air or vacuum brakes, the driver is reliant on the guard operating a brake in the guard's van to help keep control of the train on gradients, be they up or down.

The driver can signal to the guard by blowing a steam whistle; many locomotives have two, a "standard" whistle and a "brake" whistle.

But the guard has no means of signalling to the driver, other than coloured flags (during the day) or an oil lamp with a coloured lens (at night).

BorgCo are now able to offer a new and innovative system to rectify this omission. In the guard's van is an air receiver made of riveted iron plates, similar to a locomotive boiler. A compressor is driven by a belt from the axle of one of the van's wheels to keep the reservoir topped up. A safety valve and pressure gauge are provided. The main reservoir feeds (via a non-return valve) a smaller secondary reservoir, to which is attached a whistle located on the roof of the van. A hand-pump attached to the small reservoir allows it to be pressurised by the guard in an emergency; there is a second pressure gauge on the small reservoir.

The whistle is operated by a piece of strong cord tied to the operating handle, which reaches to both ends of the van. This means the guard does not have to leave his post to operate the whistle, and the van is fully reversible.

8th of 7, Aug 19 2011


       If I've gotten this straight, you're suggesting an improvement on ridiculously obselete technology? How prevalant (outside of the PRC) is steam locomotive rail traffic these days?
Alterother, Aug 20 2011

       // A safety valve and pressure gauge are provided.//   

       Are you feeling alright?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 20 2011

       // you're suggesting an improvement on ridiculously obselete technology //   

       Sp. "obsolete".   

       You got a problem with that ? Wanna make something of it ? Eh ? EH ?   

       //Are you feeling alright? //   

       Mr Jelly ! Mr Jelly !   

       +++ Out of cheese error +++   

       We've got a spoon, you know.   

       ? Redo from Start   


       That thump from [po] seems to have had a more serious effect than we first assessed....
8th of 7, Aug 20 2011

       // Wanna make something of it ? Eh ? EH ? //   

       Always! Choose your weapon, sir! Shall it be insults, as last time?
Alterother, Aug 20 2011

       If requested I am willing to act as [8th]'s second in this affair of honor. I'm certain that there's an idea in there, somewhere, halfbaked dueling, but I'm not awake enough yet to develop it.
normzone, Aug 21 2011

       // Shall it be insults, as last time? //   

       No, you should be allowed at least some sort of a chance ...only the Ferengi take pleasure in triumphing over an unarmed and defenceless opponent.   

       Custard cannons, at ten paces ...   

       [norm], you should write that up ...
8th of 7, Aug 21 2011

       I'm having difficulty reconciling steam engines, safety devices and custard with a hegemonising swarm.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 21 2011

       As I'm still a little laid up at the moment, I am forced to request that our custard-cannon duel be fought on this side of the Pond. There's plenty of room on my front lawn, and refreshments will be served by The Good Fairy Jenny.   

       Pre-bun for HB dueling.
Alterother, Aug 21 2011

       //an improvement on ridiculously obsolete technology//   

pertinax, Aug 23 2011

       With digital technology you could also make a compressed-air powered guard's whistle blower.
pashute, Aug 28 2011


       The compressed air supply can also be used to operate the brakes on the van, with minimal effort and much, much faster than can be achived with a screw mechanism.
8th of 7, Aug 07 2014


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