The Baltimore Light Rail System
How the Light Rail Vehicles Work




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CHAP   1 - Introduction
CHAP   2 - Some Basic Specs
CHAP   3 - Locations of Major Equipment
CHAP   4 - the "TRACS" Computer System
CHAP   5 - the High Voltage, Auxiliary and Propulsion Systems
CHAP   6 - the Low Voltage Systems and Batteries
CHAP   7 - the Air System
CHAP   8 - the Braking System
CHAP   9 - the Suspension System
CHAP 10 - the Trucks
CHAP 11 - the HVAC Units
CHAP 12 - the PA and Intercom System
CHAP 13 - the Pantographs
CHAP 14 - the Doors
CHAP 15 - the Couplers
CHAP 16 - the Lighting System
CHAP 17 - the Destination Signs
CHAP 18 - Winterization
CHAP 19 - Operation
CHAP 20 - Maintenance
CHAP 21 - Floobydust

21.1   Short chapter here, so you can get to bed and get some sleep….. Stuff I just didn’t know where else to put.

21.2   First things first.   What is the origin of FLOOBYDUST?.  Well, the first time I saw it was in a NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR data book on TTL IC's (integrated circuits).  I don't know if someone there came up with the term, but it has stuck since I first saw it some 40 odd years ago.  I use it all over the place now, even in my railfan guides.

21.3   Way back when, when I first got hired on, they called car 5004 "the bullet train".  This is because, a year or so before I got hired, the LRV got hit by a random bullet.  The hole was on the west side of the car near one of the outside speakers.  No-one around now down there, except for Dave, probably remembers this :-)

21.4   For those of you who don't know, the strange looking "bumpers" are called anti-climbers.  They are designed to interlock in the event of a head-on collision and prevent " telescoping".  Also, the frame has been designed to transit impact loads to the center of the car, where the center slewing ring can absorb the force.

21.5   Speaking of the run number, or block number signs, they are the only thing on the LRV's that is made by the same company as the ones for the old streetcars.

21.6   This one qualifies as a rant (and personal opinion).  Although some in management has expressed an interest in providing a quality assurance function, I'm not totally convinced of their qualifications for the job.  Why, Say You?  The cars are five years old (OK, so I started writing this in 1995 -- nothing has probably changed!), and none-nada-nyet of the speedometers have been calibrated.  The meter movements themselves need to be checked for accuracy (he says we don't have the ability.  But all you need is a stable, regulated and variable power supply, and a DMM (Digital MultiMeter) to perform the test that will hold up to anyone's inspection (as long as records are maintained).  The other part of calibrating the speedometers is adjusting the outputs on the computer boards.  This can be accomplished by first calibrating the meters, then doing a speed check on mainline using a (calibrated) radar speedgun (FYI-I have an extensive background in electronic calibration).  But no-one seems to care.  As a sidebar, the same foreman had myself and another replace one inoperative speedometer with another, even after being told the NEW one was defective.  So I rest my case.

Phew, we're done!!!



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New 11/15/2007....
And hadn't been touched till 1/28/2012
Last Modified Friday, 28 April 2017