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Surrey and Hampshire's rail network gets ready for Winter

Surrey and Hampshire's rail network gets ready for Winter

Published by Carol Musgrave at 11:43am 18th January 2019. (Updated at 12:14pm 18th January 2019)

As icy weather takes its hold in Surrey and Hampshire, Network Rail has been telling us how they have prepared for winter conditions.

Measures are in place to help keep services going during cold spells, such as de-icing train doors, keeping points heated, and keeping tracks clear of snow and ice.

Eight multi-purpose vehicles, based at Effingham Junction in Surrey and Totton in Hampshire, will travel 67,000 miles - more than two-and-a-half times around the world - up until the end of March.

The vehicles will spray anti-icing fluid to stop ice building up on the electrical conductor rails which power trains.

Special heating strips have also been installed on the conductor rail in high-risk areas.

Low temperatures can also cause points, the movable sections of track trains use to move from one line to another, to freeze up, preventing trains from accessing certain routes or platforms.

Network Rail will use heaters on high-risk points and have installed NASA-grade insulation to keep them in working order.

South Western Railway will also be running 'ghost' trains at night, to help keep the tracks clear of snow and ice, and will be spraying external passenger doors with de-icer to stop them jamming.

David Dickson, chief operating officer for Network Rail's Wessex route, said:

"We have been working hard with South Western Railway, and our other train operators, to prepare for cold weather on this route so we can keep our passengers moving when the temperature falls....We will also have extra teams of people on the ground to respond to incidents and carry out regular inspections of our infrastructure throughout the winter period."

A network of monitoring stations, and detailed forecasts, will also provide real-time weather data during adverse weather.

The forecasts cover not just the weather but how the conditions will impact on specific railway infrastructure such as the tracks and conductor rails.

Alan Penlington, customer experience director for South Western Railway, said:

"We work with Network Rail round the clock to keep our trains moving but when extreme weather does hit our network, they can be subject to speed restrictions or short notice timetable revisions."


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