Latest Rail News

01.09.20

Solar-powered scarecrow used to keep trains on time in Manchester

A solar-powered scarecrow that sends out the calls of a hawk is being used to scare away birds that have been causing delays to passengers travelling between Manchester and London Euston.  

Significant numbers of birds have been causing damage to the electric arms of Avant West Coast’s Pendolino trains and overhead line equipment giving them power at Alstom depot in Longsight, Manchester.

The new device, installed by Network Rail and Avanti West Coast, humanely scares the birds away while protecting them from possible electrocution.

The £2000 equipment was effectively trialled and installed by Network Rail’s Manchester Maintenance Delivery unit team.

Since December last year Avanti West Coast has experienced a total of 20 incidents across the North West relating to birds on overhead lines or being struck by trains.

Deterring the birds away from the depot means long-distance trains will stop no longer be unexpectedly damaged, potentially taking them out of services or delayed in the depot while repairs are made.

This will mean more reliable journeys for commuters, holiday-makers and business people in future.

The birds are thought to be roosting on top of overhead line equipment and stationary trains because there is a recycling centre close by.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West Route Director, said: “As we start to welcome back passengers back on to North West railways, they want to know their services are reliable and on time. Birds at Alstom’s depot have become a real nuisance but this solution is a win win, protecting both the wildlife and the trains from harm.

“The electronic scarecrow is one of many methods we’re deploying across the North West to make our infrastructure more reliable, so we can deliver on-time train services that people of the North West can be proud of.”

Nick Westcott, Operations Director at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re always exploring new initiatives to make our route resilient to various scenarios and customers’ journeys more reliable. Birds can delay our trains or cause damage to them and the overhead wires, so working with Network Rail to install an electronic scarecrow will help to deter birds from the railway – improving the reliability of our customers’ journeys between Manchester and London.”

Images: Network Rail 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >