Network Rail teams tackle ice across West Yorkshire to keep vital services moving

Network Rail tackle snow across West Yorkshire

With more wintery weather forecast across West Yorkshire over the next few days, Network Rail’s teams are working tenaciously to keep train services moving.

Standedge Tunnel on the route between Leeds/Huddersfield and Manchester, is around three miles long, with the temperature inside staying around eight degrees all year round.

When the temperatures outside the tunnel drop, icicles often appear at each end of the tunnel which can cause damage to passing trains and disruption to services. Icicles on bridges and other structures can also damage the overhead power lines.

Standedge Tunnel

Keeping lines open and moving is crucial during lockdown so that passengers making essential journeys can get to and from work, and so vital freight services can continue transporting food, medical supplies and fuel across the country.

Snow and ice can build up on the railway, blocking points on the track and if ice coats the overhead power lines, it can also stop trains getting the power they need to run, disrupting the railway even further.

Network Rail operates special winter trains, complete with all the right gear to tackle whatever the bad weather brings. When snow is forecast, Network Rail also works with train operators to fit now plough attachments to the front of trains. Empty trains, known as ghost trains, also run overnight to keep the tracks clear.

Chris Gee, Operations Director for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “Work to remove the ice from Standedge Tunnel is vital so passengers who need to make essential journeys can travel on this key route, which connects West Yorkshire and Manchester.

“Winter is always challenging and I’m proud of our teams who work tirelessly in all weathers to monitor the railway, maintain the tracks and make sure trains can run safely.

“All year round, we plan for snow and ice, as well as strong wind, heavy rain and extreme heat in summer, so services can continue.”

Images: Network Rail 

RTM Aug/Sept 21

RTM JUN/JUL 21

Milestones | The markers of success which HS2 is targeting over the coming years

Our August/September 2021 edition of RTM covers many of the changing aspects of the rail industry, including key changes involving infrastructure and stations. Read our breakdown of the key milestones with HS2 between now and 2024, while elsewhere we investigate the role which hydrogen fuels could have on UK rolling stock. We also delve into the ever-growing digital world of the rail industry, while from Page 65 onwards, we include our Railtex / Infrarail 2021 supplement – your chance to gain a wealth of valuable information about the exhibition, right at your fingertips.

Videos...

View all videos
Net Zero Rail

RTM365 Online Festival

Net Zero Rail
21st October 2021

The net-zero mission is only just getting started. Join #RTM365 on the 21st October to join the journey as we unite with industry leaders and energy experts to determine the 'green' future of the rail industry.

Podcast

The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all