Latest Rail News


Specialist trains keep Wales moving through autumn

Specialist ‘railhead treatment’ trains are in use across the railway in Wales and the Borders as Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales step-up their plans for autumn.

The railhead treatment trains are designed to use high pressured water jets to clear the top of the track, improving traction between the track and the rain.

Engineers are poised 24/7 to ensure the trains remain in service for the whole of autumn.

With 50% more rail passengers than 10 years ago, and a record number of services running on the Wales and Borders network, keeping passengers on the move is vital.

The collaboration between Arriva Trains Wales and NR has seen £2m invested in specialist railhead treatment this year.

In order to combat slippery rails, the tracks are treated with a gel to help to minimise the impact that leaf fall and dew have on traction, in turn reducing delays on services.

NR has invested an additional £1.5m in vegetation management, removing vegetation from near the railway.

In the run up to autumn, train drivers have received additional training for the adverse weather conditions that autumn can bring.

Arriva Trains Wales are investing in their wheel repair facilities and training staff to use wheel repair equipment, which it hopes will maximise the availability of trains.

Lynne Milligan, customer services director for Arriva Train Wales, said: “Autumn can be a difficult and unpredictable time on the railway, with the weather playing a huge part on our service delivery.”

She continued: “We have contingency plans in place to ensure that should we get bad weather and a big rise in the impact of the slippery rail conditions, our drivers and our operations team are able to reduce the impact as much as practically possible.”

Chief operating office for Network Rail in Wales, Bill Kelly, added: “We understand how important the railway economy is in Wales and Borders.

“We are working with Arriva Trains Wales day in, day out to make sure we keep passengers moving as quickly and safely as possible.”


Mark Hare   16/10/2017 at 11:05

Why is this newsworthy? RHTT trains run the length and breadth of the UK railway network at this time of year and have done for a number of years. And the line 'Engineers are poised 24/7 to ensure the trains remain in service for the whole of autumn.' - the RHTTs run to a daily schedule, the same as any other train so they will be diagrammed to run throughout the leaf fall season. I fail to see how this is news compared to the same action being taken by TOCs and NR in many other regions.

J, Leicester   17/10/2017 at 10:29

Mark - the pedant in me assumes that stories like these are the result of "soft advertising" from TOCs - essentially an advert disguised as an article, which is increasingly common practice online. The article is essentially parroting an ATW press release.

Mark Hare   18/10/2017 at 14:18

J - you could well be right, in which case shame on RTM for publishing the story as news, unless of course they were paid for doing so?!

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Tram passengers demand better value for money from services

21/03/2018Tram passengers demand better value for money from services

  Satisfaction with value for money for tram passengers has dropped slightly, the latest Tram Passenger Survey has revealed. Fare-payi... more >
West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

21/03/2018West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

Rail companies across the west of England have set out a long-term plan for the region’s railway, which will boost the economy by £9.45... more >
First Virgin Azuma trains arrive in UK after two-month journey from Japan

21/03/2018First Virgin Azuma trains arrive in UK after two-month journey from Japan

Two brand new Hitachi trains completed their two month journey from Japan yesterday, arriving at Teesport, Middlesborough. The two five-car trai... 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


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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

In this article biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed look at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance healt... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The North has a plan

13/03/2018The North has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >
EWR: Getting it right

13/03/2018EWR: Getting it right

Peter Austin, delivery director at East West Rail Company (EWRco), argues that completing the link between Oxford and Cambridge as quickly as pos... more >