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Thursday, 05 March 2009
Daffodils and Snow


Well there’s no snow in this photo (taken this afternoon) but this morning I woke to a smattering of snow in Oxted. The snow itself vanished as fast as a CEO’s private jet, but left a legacy of local rail cancellations.

In this Guardian article about heavy snow in other parts of the country today, we even get a local look-in:

The cold snap brought widespread disruption to the rail network across southern England with “severe weather” blamed for delays on the Brighton to London line, as well as other services in Kent and Sussex.

Problems were also reported on Southern-operated trains between Redhill and Tonbridge; Brighton and East Croydon; East Croydon and East Grinstead; Purley and Caterham; and services from the Sussex coast into London Victoria and London Bridge. Southeastern trains reported short-notice alterations, cancellations and delays on its website.

Both operators said a combination of freezing temperatures and rain meant a heavy frost and ice had formed on the conductor rail, the so-called “third rail”, and prevented them from running services.

A Southeastern spokeswoman, Sarah Boundy, said: “We try our best but despite our best efforts, if there’s thick ice, we’re just not able to run a train service.” She admitted it was a “very frustrating morning” for passengers but insisted: “We do the best with the infrastructure we have.”

On Southern trains, some lines became impassable due to the heavy frost and several trains also became trapped when they lost power, blocking more lines.

A spokeswoman said precautions – including putting trains into “ice mode” and running “ghost trains” overnight – were taken, but many services were subject to alteration, delay and cancellation.

She added that there were knock-on effects across the network.

So there’s a fundamental design flaw in these electric trains - the power fails with a bit of snow-frost?

Posted by bigblue on 05/03/2009 at 05:31 PM
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