The Railway’s War Against The Elements
September is well and truly underway, and that means one very important thing: the weather is about to take a drastic turn for the worse. Sure, it’s all sunshine out there at the moment, but autumn is just around the corner- and it’s bringing blustery winds and icy rains along with it.
Even though this happens every year, the rail companies are still scratching their heads as to how they can possibly keep on top of this change in the elements. By now, we’d have expected that there would be some form of plan in place to make sure that a bit of rain or snow didn’t get the better of us; rather inevitably, rail bosses have already warned that there may be further delays in the near future.
Major train companies, including Southeastern and Northern trains, are preparing to impose a timetable revolving around the possibility of leaves falling onto the track and providing unwanted blockages. This is ultimately going to result in a longer wait time between services and a higher number of delays.
However, the Rail Safety and Standards Board are looking into a series of solutions as a way of battling the upcoming change in weather. Among these ideas is one that involves fitting small, 30 millimetre cables to the front of train wheels. The cables will produce powerful rays when the train brakes, which will be used to blast leaves out of the way of oncoming trains.
In the train companies own words, the invention is to “dissipate water from the rail surface”, and is essentially a way of zapping away some leafy debris without the need for any major train delays. As it currently stands, there are longer delays between trains to ensure the safety of the track.
This new technology is due to be trialled in the West Midlands over the next couple of months, with a view to rolling it out across the nation in the near future.
If you find yourself falling victim to the inevitable train delays throughout autumn, then take a look at our Train Delay Compensation App to check out whether you are eligible to claim some of your money back!