Jump to content

pete_mcfarlane

MP kicks up fuss because trains need to be periodically serviced

Recommended Posts

According to this BBC news item, some backbench MP has kicked up a fuss because a couple of Network Rail's deicing trains were undergoing maintenance work last week when it was snowing (plus being the BBC there's the obligatory Bob Crow/renationalise the railways quote).

 

Presumably these trains are the Network Rail MPVs that are used all year round, not just in the winter for deicing? And he's complaining because at any one time a certain number of them will be stopped for planned maintenance and not available for use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Max Stafford

Well, they'll know for next year now a precedent has been established! Probably a good plan to have all major servicing completed in time for the high demand periods of leaf fall and ice/snow in future.

 

Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the de-icing work is mostly now done by the MPV's. They probably could have been made available in time but whether or not the right decisions based upon the best possible information were made will need to be reviewed.

 

Back in 1963 the SR de-icing units, which then used to make timetabled runs coupled into passenger trains as well as running full overnight duties, were stranded when the amount of snow and ice was under-forecast and not thought to be a sudden threat to the SR lines. Similar events have occurred since at times.

 

On a joined-up railway we might still have the ability to adapt certain vehicles in passenger units to spread de-icing fluid as the London underground network does. But in the disparate and franchised environment where there is not even a standard coupling system any more this has gone out of the window along with many other good practices of the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the de-icing work is mostly now done by the MPV's. They probably could have been made available in time but whether or not the right decisions based upon the best possible information were made will need to be reviewed.

 

I think the early onset of snow & ice is partly responsible. When the big falls came some areas (including mine) were still operating under special Autumn Operating Instructions (IE working TCB reg 3.5, CCTV/MCB crossings in manual raise, daily jetting trains) so the MPVs would still have been configured for rail-head treatment- though in our area RHTT duties have this year been 100% 66 that were in previous years undertaken by an MPV set and a top'n'tail 66 pairing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess NR organises the MPV maintenance so all of them are available during leaf fall season, then expects a few weeks respite before they may be needed for de-icing. As Tommy suggests, winter has arrived unusually early this year and it is possible that (as well as the need to re-configure them) some of the MPVs were already reaching their maximum interval between maintenance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess NR organises the MPV maintenance so all of them are available during leaf fall season, then expects a few weeks respite before they may be needed for de-icing. As Tommy suggests, winter has arrived unusually early this year and it is possible that (as well as the need to re-configure them) some of the MPVs were already reaching their maximum interval between maintenance.

The situation wasn't helped by at least one MPV being blocked between two stranded trains at either Sevenoaks or Orpington. I think, but can't be sure, that I saw another shot of one being blocked in at Gatwick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

It's amazing how people always look someone to blame, even with natural causes!

 

Network Rail, couldn't of predicted that this snow fall could of come this early and so couldn't put maintainence work back. They may say that the snow was forecast, but if a de-icing train was in the depot for a week, it wasn't ready for work and this forecast came in the middle of the week, it's not a case of sticking the part back and sending it out, it needs to be safe to work.

 

I'm sure people would rather be told their late for work rather than the driver of the de-icing train was killed because Network Rail were told to get it out and running without it being safe.

 

Simon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NR don't have an infinite number of these things, on grounds of cost, and this MP would sharp shout if NR started spending more money. It's quite standard with all companies to have a small number of units out for maintenance at any one time, for example Northern only have the number of units required to work the services plus one spare, and that is the one that's pulled for maintenance - so I am told anyway.

 

I think some of this has to come back to expecting the TOCs and others to run as a business not as a Government body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stuartp

for example Northern only have the number of units required to work the services plus one spare...

 

Not quite. Number of units required to work services, plus units in programmed maintenance, plus in-service spares (which may or may not be one). There's more than one unit in maintenance at any one time otherwise two and a half of the three maintenance depots would have shut a long time ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't Thameslink used to have some old units converted for de-icing which BR then converted the couplings on to work with the 319s? Assume these are long since scrapped now but it is a sensible approach in my book rather than lots of independant MPVs although you would still need these to run overnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remain to be convinced that any sort of de-icing train would be much use when several inches of snow have accumulated on the conductor rail. These trains are designed to de-ice using fluid anti-freeze and as far as I know are not fitted with some sort of 'sleet-cutter' to clear the rail before coating - all they will be doing is dropping the liquid on snow in conditions that severe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as far as I know are not fitted with some sort of 'sleet-cutter' to clear the rail before coating

 

Hi,

 

The Ex-Gatwick Luggage Van's that have been converted with 'teeth' on the collecting shoe to scrap ice off the Third Rail

 

Although this is designed to deal with a light fost and not the several inches of snow and ice experienced on the Southern Region.

 

Siimon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The unavailable de-icing trains were not MPVs, but the Ex GLVs awaiting work at Eastleigh.

 

I work for NR and it was not a good idea to overhall them in the winter.

 

See what we fitted at many stations this year in Kent.

 

post-1373-002464800 1292013097_thumb.jpg

 

Of course there was too much snow here for them to be of much help.

 

Cheers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparantly there have been questions asked at the highest level

 

 

Enjoy.................

 

Regards

 

Simon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:laugh_mini: Thanks :laugh_mini: for that. :laugh_mini: Simon.

Best laugh :laugh_mini: I've had all day.

 

:good_mini:

 

By the way, (without getting too political) which constituency does the Honourable Member represent ? :laugh_mini:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

By the way, (without getting too political) which constituency does the Honourable Member represent ? https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_laugh_mini.gif

 

Tunbridge Wells!! Genuinely disgusted thereof... Presumably he was annoyed he could not get into London for a busy day at work filling in all his expenses claims forms. If he is anything like my 'local' MP, that is about all he will be any good at...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See what we fitted at many stations this year in Kent.

 

That must be the heated third rail I read about somewhere recently. Perhaps the same should be fitted to the other two?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noticed the motorist got wind of what was about to happen!

 

Keith

Edited by Mod5
Original quote and video removed as not needed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember winters past with Class 56's hauling EMU's in Kent to kept services running. Anything similar these days is almost impossible as fleets of translator coaches are required because of the different coupling systems. - Ah well this is progress! :rolleyes:

 

Xerces Fobe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See what we fitted at many stations this year in Kent.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_12_2010/post-1373-002464800%201292013097.jpg

 

Of course there was too much snow here for them to be of much help.

Impressed! Really useful innovation - as long as someone keeps putting shillings in the meter! Great idea!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't Thameslink used to have some old units converted for de-icing which BR then converted the couplings on to work with the 319s? Assume these are long since scrapped now but it is a sensible approach in my book rather than lots of independant MPVs although you would still need these to run overnight.

 

 

I think the de-icing/ sanding cars use with 319s were former 414 driving cars, which I presume had 'Buckeye' couplings fitted (which can be used with the 319s 'Tightlock' coupling thanks to the 'mushroom and toadstool') as they were based at Selhurst and were doubtless used with southern region stock aswell. Most if not all are scrapped. I remember when I was younger, seeing one headed north through Leagrave and wondering what the [heck] it was, only time I ever saw one in use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the de-icing/ sanding cars use with 319s were former 414 driving cars, which I presume had 'Buckeye' couplings fitted (which can be used with the 319s 'Tightlock' coupling thanks to the 'mushroom and toadstool') as they were based at Selhurst and were doubtless used with southern region stock aswell. Most if not all are scrapped. I remember when I was younger, seeing one headed north through Leagrave and wondering what the [heck] it was, only time I ever saw one in use.

 

Pretty sure the cab could control the 319s when it was at the front, so it must have had the full coupler including the electrical bits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.