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Train Delays - Hot Weather  
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1757 times:

The trains in the UK are having to run slower because of restrictions imposed due to the hot weather we are having. Apparently the heat can buckle the lines and therefore causes a risk of derailment.

Now we get these excuses all the time in the UK. Wrong kind of snow, leaves on the line, sun in the drivers eyes etc, but hot weather? How do they survive in countries where it is really hot?

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1718 times:

Other places I've travelled by train have lower utilisation of track and rolling stock - so there's more "slack" in the system. The UK actually achieves quite a lot with what it's got.

There are lots of countries in eastern Europe (think of winter weather...) that have similar ratios of trains to routes, but only provide one or two trains per day on each route.

France, Belgium, Spain, Germany &c have a very good network of high-speed trains but this is only possible with much bigger investment in tracks, signals, &c. On Eurostar you can feel when the train is about to emerge from the tunnel, because it has to slow down for the British tracks.

Also, the UK has relatively optimistic timetables  Smile
In other countries it's not uncommon to encounter arbitrary delays just so the train sticks to a more forgiving timetable.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineDelboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1717 times:


Ever since Hatfield, rail bosses have been running scared when it comes to safety.

Unlike in the past, rail lines now are long strips of rail, that are laid in lengths of up to 2km. When they are positioned and 'tightened' the engineers have to take into consideration a temperature average that the rails will endure during their working lives. Sadly, for poor old Britain, we are experiencing temperatures well above the considered safe average, hence speed restrictions and delays.

I'm not knocking overseas rail companies but I'll bet that their levels of tolerance and acceptable risk are greater than ours.


User currently offlineJaspike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 1 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1715 times:

I don't use the trains very often. It said on the news last night that we have these problems because we have such an unpredictable climate.
The tracks are streched before they're put down so they can contract in the winter without cracking, and so there's room for them to expand when it gets very hot like it is this week. You can't win either way - if you strech them more so there's more room to expand they'll crack in the winter. If they're not streched enough then they'll buckle in the summer.

Josh


User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1711 times:

I'm not knocking overseas rail companies but I'll bet that their levels of tolerance and acceptable risk are greater than ours.

No; but they spend more on track, and/or they have a few minutes spare in the timetable.

The tracks are streched before they're put down so they can contract in the winter without cracking, and so there's room for them to expand when it gets very hot like it is this week. You can't win either way - if you strech them more so there's more room to expand they'll crack in the winter. If they're not streched enough then they'll buckle in the summer.

This isn't really a good explanation. The UK's climate is tempered by the sea; annual temperature variations are smaller than some other western European countries that operate fast reliable trains year-round.

You can find even bigger temperature ranges if you're willing to go further afield. Some sections of Russian railway have at least 50°C (I wouldn't be surprised if it was more like 60°C) between annual min and max. The civil engineering is hardly state of the art, but the trains keep rolling.


[Edited 2003-08-05 12:12:32]


Cunning linguist
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1722 times:

Oops - my figues were too small. Anyway...

London has 44°C between record min and max. Helsinki has 66°C, but Finland doesn't face such track problems (it even runs Pendolinos).




Cunning linguist
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1701 times:

I'm not knocking overseas rail companies but I'll bet that their levels of tolerance and acceptable risk are greater than ours.

As an interesting example - AFAICR the Shinkansen has never had a fatal accident in 40 years, it has an amazing punctuality record, and it faces worse climate, earthquakes, ...

It also has the highest train density in the world (even higher than the UK) - there's no slack.

How is this achieved? Lots more money spent on track, rolling stock, safety inspections...

UK railways are funded by compromise (although not nearly as badly as the USA). Either fund them properly, or don't do it at all.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1694 times:

I had a long travel with the German railway company "Bahn" and on a travel from Frankfurt to Munich and back I didn't expierence any delays. I was travelling in an ICE though, maybe this makes a difference compared to slower trains.

BTW, is there something similar to airliners.net for trains?

[Edited 2003-08-05 13:20:08]

User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1871 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1701 times:

All the problems faced by the Brittish railways system is for me the result of the privatization.
Companies who thook over the system thought that, since the infrastructure was there, no further investment to improve it was needed. And this money could go in their pocket. I don't blame them. The role of a company is to make profit, isn't it.
As a result, the country that has given the train to the world has one of the worst railways systems, and one of the worst safety records !!!
My concern is that EU wants its members to "liberalize" their railways, based on UKs example.
For me, it is just frightening.
BTW, temperature is not an excuse for me. If you look at France, Bobrayner mentioned the high investment on the high speed infrastructure. But, despite of this, the traditional network works very well (even if it didn't receive a lot of investment, because money is going to TGV). And we have record temperatures in France too.
teva



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineJaspike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 1 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1683 times:

They must have different sort of tracks in other countries then. I got that info off the news last night - it was a guy from Network Rail that said all that, so there must be some truth in it.

Josh


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1696 times:

Someone just told me the problem is probably due to welded lines. The lines have been welded to eliminate the noise that trains make as the wheels go over the gaps between the individual tracks. Now that they are just a continious length there is no where for the tracks to expand when they heat up. Seems obvious now that it has been pointed out.

User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1678 times:

The privatisation was appallingly bodged.

I'm adamant that the private sector could run trains more efficiently than the public sector ever could, if only they were handed over and regulated appropriately. This applies in the UK as well as elsewhere.

One of the flaws of the franchise system is that it doesn't really encourage things like route rationalisation.

BTW, is there something similar to airliners.net for trains?

There are lots of sites... depends what you're into. Photos? Spotting? Chat? Technical stuff? Routes & timetables?  Smile

even if it didn't receive a lot of investment, because money is going to TGV.

Ooh - time to check the statistics?
I thought general SNCF services got more public funding per RPK than UK companies, could be wrong...

DB really deserve a lot of credit. Their online timetable is excellent (and quadrilingual too) - it's just a shame that they can't always sell tickets for other countries. I often plan non-German journeys with the DB engine - it's vastly better than some other national railway sites. http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/d



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1871 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1677 times:

Bobrayner, I don't say SNCF doesn't get a lof of money. I just say most of this money goes for high speed train.
And despite the lack of interest by SNCF, the non high speed network works very well.
About privatization, their could be a long discussion in an other topic. Just look at electricity in California (power outages 2 or 3 years ago). Or look at water companies. In France, some cities have given their water distribution to private companies, "because only private companies are well managed". (One of those companies is Vivendi....an example of good management....)
As a result, prices are up (min 30 to 50%) with no changes in the service. Even worse... When a city breaks the contract, despite the penalties, they can lower immediately the price of water by the same percentages.
But to come back to the topic, the trains, do you know why the French governemnet had to create the SNCF? Just because all the well managed private companies from the 19th century were bankrupt.
Teva



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1674 times:

Just look at electricity in California (power outages 2 or 3 years ago). Or look at water companies.

Inept regulation is responsible for both of these  Big grin

Part of the blame for failure of French private railway companies is also due to poor regulation - which encouraged a strongly hub-and-spoke system. Travel between any two arbitrary cities usually had to go through Paris.

Combien nous a été funeste l'absence de lignes transversal ... unissant nos grandes artères was an officer's report to the inquiry into the failings of the Franco-Prussian war. For example - by road, Lyon and Clermont-Ferrand were 120km apart; by rail, 700km. This left the railways unable to compete with road travel - so they got into difficulty when the economy failed.

The metre-gauge network was an additional handicap.

[Edited 2003-08-05 15:42:24]


Cunning linguist
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1651 times:

"There are lots of sites... depends what you're into"

Photos please  Smile


User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1616 times:
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Winter = Snow on the line

Autumn = Leaves on the line.

Spring = Water-logged tracks

Summer = It's too hot!

Typical.



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1619 times:

Racko:

http://www.railpictures.net

It's a new site, but they have now started accepting photos from places beyond just the US and Canada, though I don't know if the menus were updated to reflect this. Of course if you uploaded a helluva lot of pics of trains in Germany, it might speed things along.  Smile

B4e-Forever New Frontiers


User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

Here in Sydney we sometimes get delays for various reasons:

: Heat, excessively hot days sometimes cause track buckling or slowgo's in the western suburbs. Also power trips at substations caused by trains either delayed or stacked up behind each other drawing huge amounts of power from the overhead lines for aircon systems.

: Fatality, someone has jumped in front of the train causing untold delays across the network as crime scene investigators need to acess the area.

: Millenium Train bug, our new Millenium trains have had a huge amount of bugs and problems in regards to it's TOS (train operating system - similar to an aircrafts) which can leave the trains stranded without power, failing doors, failing aircon and all sorts of glitches. Thankfully they are fixing them but not before causing large delays nearly every day.

: Bushfires, large amounts of the Cityrail network travels through bushland, national park or leafy areas. Whenever there are bushfires nearby obviously trains will not run.

: Power outages, caused by heat or bushfire or lines down or lightning strike - trees on lines or tracks.

As for leaves on tracks / snow / water? I haven't heard of anything like that delaying our trains.

mb


User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1584 times:

It's a new site, but they have now started accepting photos from places beyond just the US and Canada, though I don't know if the menus were updated to reflect this

Ooh. I mailed them earlier this year about it, they never replied... will try submitting again.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1562 times:

Bob, they recently got pictures of the Soviet Union Railways, some Austrian trains, the German ICE, and Italian rail/highspeed rail. Also some trains from Brazil. So I think they've now got it down. Takes awhile for the site to grow, and it is one of Kilroy's sites (other one being Jp.net). So, scheduling I imagine can be a hassle.

B4e-Forever New Frontiers


User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1562 times:

Thanks for the link Boeing4ever. Too bad I'm such a bad photographer. There are indeed not many international trains, but the US locomotives are quite interesting, too. I hope the site grows in the future.

I found another page, this time only european trains. They have many pictures, however they lack a good database like railpictures has. The navigation is not as easy as it is with a database :/

But they have tons of pictures:
http://mercurio.iet.unipi.it/pix/pix.html

[Edited 2003-08-06 14:07:55]

User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1535 times:

If you think there's a gap in the market, we could start our own competitor  Wink/being sarcastic

Too bad I'm such a bad photographer.

Be reassured - you're not the only one!



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineJaspike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 1 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

So hot they've closed the BA London Eye.. I'm off to get a drink..

Josh


User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1510 times:

BTW, is there something similar to airliners.net for trains

OMG, I was beginning to worry.....I was looking to see what people's reactions were on this latest excuse, and suddenly there's all this specialised train talk..I'm like "what are these guys ON!!"  Laugh out loud

Anyway, I find the UK railways to be patchy...some really cheap fares, especially with student cards, but then all these delays, excuses, alterations bla bla bla......anyway, I'm getting used to it.....slowly.

Let's not even start a discussion on the state of the railway in Argentina......no doors, no windows, buskers galore and speeds of up to 30 mph!!  Wow!



User currently offlineTekelberry From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1459 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1510 times:

It's true. I remember one example when an Amtrak train derailed due to the lines buckling around Washington DC. It wasn't very serious, but it was enough to cause several injuries and major delays across the network.

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