Latest Rail News

06.12.17

ScotRail puts severe weather plans in place for winter

ScotRail has outlined its extreme winter weather plans as Scotland prepares to be hit by Storm Caroline.

Winter impacts on the railway, with the effects ranging from speed restrictions to service suspension.

To avoid objects which may have been blown onto the line by high winds, trains travel slower to ensure that they can stop safely, and heavy rain can cause flooding and landslips, meaning that trains need to be stopped until a thorough safety inspection of the track has been carried out.

Low temperatures can freeze points, preventing trains from accessing certain routes, and can sometimes prevent carriages attaching, leading to fewer carriages on a given service.

Trains can be damaged by snow and ice paling from the undercarriage and bouncing back up, which takes the trains out of service for safety checks.

In its efforts to limit the impacts of winter on its service, ScotRail has announced that it will use meteorologists to map adverse weather, and deploy engineers and chainsaw teams where required, and will seek to remove any potentially dangerous trees prior to the arrival of high winds.

To combat cold weather a helicopter with thermal imaging will be used to highlight areas where cold weather could cause problems.

To defrost key parts of the railway affected by snow or ice a ‘winter train,’ featuring hot air blowers and heat-lances, and costing £1m, will be used across Scotland, and the operator has said that 10 snow ploughs will be on standby.

Maintenance depots are being fitted with heated polytunnels, space heaters and heated, high pressure ‘jet washes’, to reduce the time required to defrost trains.

ScotRail has also said that contingency timetables will be created if severe weather is expected.

David Dickinson, infrastructure director at ScotRail Alliance, explained that winter is “challenging” for the railway due to the damage that snow and ice can cause to trains.

He said: “That’s why we have invested in specialist equipment, so that when bad weather strikes we can keep our customers moving.

“Our staff will be working flat out, night and day, to get customers where they need to be, while ensuring that the safety of our customers and staff remains our number one priority.”

Minister for transport and the islands, Humza Yousaf, added: “We are working closely with the ScotRail Alliance to ensure they are ready for the challenges winter will bring, including Storm Caroline.”

He continued: “At the forefront of that effort are the scores of staff working round the clock in all kinds of challenging weather to keep trains moving.

“The ScotRail Alliance is doing all it can to minimise seasonal disruption as far as possible but some disruption is inevitable.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

NIC chair: Government must commit to clear plan for Crossrail 2 and NPR

16/02/2018NIC chair: Government must commit to clear plan for Crossrail 2 and NPR

Progress on Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail has been branded “hugely disappointing”, by the National Infrastructure Commission... more >
RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

16/02/2018RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

Further strike action on Merseyrail and Northern has been confirmed by RMT, whose members will strike for 24 hours on 3 March as part of a long-run... more >
Northern line extension: TfL warns of 5-month disruption to Bank branch services

15/02/2018Northern line extension: TfL warns of 5-month disruption to Bank branch services

TfL has cautioned passengers on the Northern Line about upgrade works which mean Bank branch services will go for a 5-month period without stoppi... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major...
  • 09/11/2017What next for safety?

    As rail businesses edge towards their target of zero injuries, improving safety performance can plateau. Amey’s sector director for rail, Lee...
View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018: Exciting details announced

09/02/2018Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018: Exciting details announced

The first details of this year’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge have been revealed and it’s safe to say the 2018 edition is set to be m... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

NCHSR: The possibilities are limitless

06/02/2018NCHSR: The possibilities are limitless

The National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) has been gifted with a brand-new lab dedicated to surveying and scanning technologies designed t... more >
Keeping Britain's railway on track

06/02/2018Keeping Britain's railway on track

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, argues investment in track maintenance and rail infrastructure is fundam... more >
The Intelligent Infrastructure approach

06/02/2018The Intelligent Infrastructure approach

Network Rail is seeking to improve asset management whilst cutting down on expenditure by implementing a new Intelligent Infrastructure programme... more >
Project Aura: Changing the game

02/02/2018Project Aura: Changing the game

Paul Boyle, head of ERTMS at Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), describes how Project Aura has been revolutionising training across the organisatio... more >