Is progress always a good thing?

Dorsetmike

New member
I was just reading a bit about reliabilty of trains; the UK electric stock of the 1960/70s averaged 150,000 miles between faults, the modern ones average between 16,000 and 30,000 a lot of it due to the complexity of the electronics now being fitted which doesn't like the harsh conditions of railway operation.

Where once BR used tried and tested methods and had years of experience, now commercial companies try to introduce all sorts of equipment which is not fit for purpose, (some probably driven by elfin softy). They tried experimenting with a form of ABS braking only to find trains don't stop like cars, the ABS resulted in much longer stopping distances - in miles from 90MPH. Steel wheels on steel track ain't quite the same as rubber on tarmac!

With driver only operation - with no guard - they found that the CCTV cameras the driver is supposed to use to check along the length of the train before starting couldn't see round curves on some platforms when they tried running 12 car trains instead of 8 car. Door sensors are all very well, but the Mk 1 eyeball can spot other things than closed/open doors

They should never have privatised the railways; BR may not have been perfect but much of that could be attributed to government stop/go policies.
 

teddy

Duckmeister
As far as trains are concerned I am a great believer in guards on trains, as I am in manned railway stations, rather than just ticket machines. As for mechanical faults could this be anything to do with the fact that everything used to be made in this country rather than abroad? Answers on a postcard please.

teddy
 

White Knight

Spectral Warrior con passion
Just like in this country, Ted; where we used to make so many things with good quality and high standards which were regulated by the government, now a lot of the stuff we import {food included} is gotten from the Chinese, with often disastrous results in terms of quality, pureness, etc., etc. Not only do they hold us hostage--literally--by owning most of our debt, they now are one of our major suppliers. :shake:
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
Is progress always a good thing?

Generally yes.

Remember when TV’s broke down every 18 mths or so, now they just keep going and when they do eventually give up it’s cheaper to get a new one, the latest model of course.
Cars now go for 20,000k - 25,000k between services remember when you changed the oil and filter every 2000k.
To day most kids 5-6-7 can read very well 100 years ago a lot of adults could not read beyond the basics.
Medicine and medical procedures are miraculous to day compared to just 50 years ago
Music look at what the digital technology has done to music in the home.
Plus you can get free pawn on the internet.

Mike the railway fiasco sounds like very poor implementation to me carried out by people that did not know what they were doing. As for the Guard we did away with them about 20-25 years ago.
 

Dorsetmike

New member
I find it strange that this same topic posted on a UK photo forum has had 51 replies, many of them debating the meaning of progress and similar hot air and twaddle.

My main thought is similar to Colin's
very poor implementation carried out by people that did not know what they were doing
that does go much of the way to summing it up.

I think Elfin Softy must take some of the blame, for example the old style so called "slam doors" that the passengers opened manually (at no cost to the company) had been working very well for well over 100 years, yet because the very occasional numpty managed to fall out (or was pushed) they took the passengers ability to do it themselves (at no cost to the company) and tried sliding doors which they didn't implement properly so grit off peoples shoes got into the tracks the doors slid in, eventually causing one to jam, the sensors they had built in would not allow the train to start, now they use "plug" doors that swing out.

Now to me a hinge and a latch with a handle must be a lot cheaper than a sliding or plug door mechanism, all that was needed to satisfy nanny surely was a simple locking device remotely operated by train crew, or if they must get technical then a sensor which unlocks only when the train is stationary
 
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teddy

Duckmeister
To much stuff, from train door locks to traffic roundabouts, is designed by someone sitting in an office, who has little practical experience. There is no substitute for seeing how things actually work befor trying to change them.

teddy
 

Chi_townPhilly

New member
Sr. Regulator
Mini-rant...

...debating the meaning of progress and similar hot air and twaddle.
Actually, the clarification of the term "progress" is not just a semantical distinction- and recognizing this is important to an honest view of the issue...

"Progress" is a pre-loaded term- and carries with it its own assumption of improvement. Doesn't take a lot to think of examples. "We made progress in achieving our latest goals." "Thanks for your efforts- you've really contributed to our progress."

I suggest that a more useful term for this discussion would be "modernization." We can then have the discourse on whether certain previously impossible technologies actually constitute improvements. Put me in the column that believes that usually, they do. "Usually," of course, does not mean "invariably." I think most of us can concede that we can have "modernization" and "regress" at the same time.

I have a good example- the more ubiquitous of the major "Social Media" interactions- pursued as a substitute for interpersonal interaction, rather than a supplement to them. Impossible in the 20th Century. Very modern. But (if used as a substitute), a step backwards.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief


I have a good example- the more ubiquitous of the major "Social Media" interactions- pursued as a substitute for interpersonal interaction, rather than a supplement to them. Impossible in the 20th Century. Very modern. But (if used as a substitute), a step backwards.
Hey, I don't understand these long words, bl**^y Americans
 

Dorsetmike

New member
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Chi_townPhilly


I have a good example- the more ubiquitous of the major "Social Media" interactions- pursued as a substitute for interpersonal interaction, rather than a supplement to them. Impossible in the 20th Century. Very modern. But (if used as a substitute), a step backwards.


Hey, I don't understand these long words, bl**^y Americans

I suspect a reference to Farcebook and twatter if so I am in complete agreement.
 

Ella Beck

Member
Actually, the clarification of the term "progress" is not just a semantical distinction- and recognizing this is important to an honest view of the issue...

"Progress" is a pre-loaded term- and carries with it its own assumption of improvement. Doesn't take a lot to think of examples. "We made progress in achieving our latest goals." "Thanks for your efforts- you've really contributed to our progress."

I suggest that a more useful term for this discussion would be "modernization." We can then have the discourse on whether certain previously impossible technologies actually constitute improvements. Put me in the column that believes that usually, they do. "Usually," of course, does not mean "invariably." I think most of us can concede that we can have "modernization" and "regress" at the same time.

I have a good example- the more ubiquitous of the major "Social Media" interactions- pursued as a substitute for interpersonal interaction, rather than a supplement to them. Impossible in the 20th Century. Very modern. But (if used as a substitute), a step backwards.

I do agree that 'progress' is a loaded team. In general, I am in favour of modernisation. But technical improvements can have their downside.

For example - we now have a new car with a 'touch screen' to operate if we want to put the heating on in the car. The trouble is, it's difficult to operate and get it just right when you're driving. The knob and dial was much more efficient, even though not as swish.

Another example is the TV remote control. If something goes wrong with that, it's very difficult to get the right station etc. I think it would be nice if TVs had a few knows as well as the remote.

And of course, another downside of the remote is that once again a small opportunity for exercise is lost. Couch potatoes once needed legs!
 
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