Greater Anglia and Network Rail work together to prepare for summer challenges
Greater Anglia and Network Rail are taking action to minimise disruption to rail passengers during hot weather.
The UK, and particularly East Anglia, is seeing hotter summers and when the air temperature is 30 degrees, the temperature on the rail can be up to 20 degrees higher.
This can cause a type of signalling problem called a track circuit failure and in extreme cases can cause a buckled rail.
To tackle this issue, Network Rail has painted rails white at critical points around the network.
The white paint prevents the rail absorbing as much heat and can keep it between 5 and 10 degrees cooler than an unpainted rail, reducing expansion and helping to prevent signalling problems and buckled rails.
In addition, Network Rail’s planned programme of engineering works, including the renewal of overhead lines and installation of new rails, is already helping to make the railway more reliable in hot weather.
Modern overhead lines, such as those in place on the Great Eastern Main Line, the West Anglia Main Line and currently being installed on the Southend line, do not sag in high temperatures, avoiding the need for precautionary speed restrictions.
Greater Anglia is also reassuring passengers that they will be doing everything to get them from a to b reliably and in comfort this summer.
The train operator’s fleet maintenance teams will be working to ensure that the air conditioning systems on trains are in working order and to repair any faults as quickly as possible.
Extra staff will also be on hand at stations giving out water to any customers caught up in any disruption and new water fountains are being installed at some stations to help keep passengers hydrated while travelling. They can also claim a free refillable water bottle to help us reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.
Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, commented, “We are acutely aware of the frustration and inconvenience felt by our passengers when things go wrong, so we are pleased to be taking action in partnership with Network Rail, making additional preparations to make travelling more comfortable in hot weather.
“We will be doing all we can, as ever, to make lives a little easier for our customers, getting them from A to B reliably, on time and in comfort.”
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We understand the inconvenience caused when problems occur, so we have engineers out monitoring the track and putting measures in place to prevent issues in the first place. In the event that failure does occur, we have extra staff on stand-by to provide a quick response.”