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Train Services Cancelled 'due To Heat'

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13926651

Heat on overhead power lines has caused the cancellation of trains between London Liverpool Street and Suffolk and Essex.

The National Express East Anglia hourly service from London to Ipswich will be cancelled from 1202 BST while others will terminate at Colchester.

The Southend to Liverpool Street line is also hit with a total of 35 trains affected.

The company said it intended to operated a full evening service.

Speeds reduced

National Express East Anglia said: "Due to high temperature on Monday 27 June, speed restrictions have been imposed due to the design of the overhead line equipment.

"This equipment is subject to major renewal which will prevent the need for speed restrictions in the long term.

It's amazing how trains managed to function in places such as Siberia or in hotter countries.

At least we can look forward to poor GDP figures being blamed on the heat now....

So our trains can't function with falling leaves, snow, heat...

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13926651

It's amazing how trains managed to function in places such as Siberia or in hotter countries.

At least we can look forward to poor GDP figures being blamed on the heat now....

So our trains can't function with falling leaves, snow, heat...

Overhead lines seem pretty unreliable- yet the government wants more of them. Diesel is the way to go - reliable and sturdy in bad weather and hot weather.

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re: leaves on the line.

They reckon the trams have a sanding system to get them over the slippy leafs - so why couldn't they just retro fit a system to the trains that used to run up to oldham rather than cancel 50% of the services in autumn?

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It's amazing how trains managed to function in places such as Siberia or in hotter countries.

And they would also have problems if the temperature changes much beyond what it's been optimised for. I suppose in climates with greater extremes you can make more allowance for expansion and contraction, but presumably requiring larger gaps and lower speeds.

Correction - just noticed that this is problems with overhead lines and not track (track has to be pre-stressed to the expected temperature, or something like that). Electric trains seem far too prone to equipment failure. Half the snow problems aren't due to the lines being blocked but due to it getting in to things and shorting them out.

Leaves have always been a problem for railways. There's not much friction between steel wheels and steel rails to begin with. I know steam trains carried equipment to drop sand in front of the wheels for extra grip in such circumstances. Don't modern ones?

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With such unreliability I would not fancy being on a UK train today - people will become ill or even die if the air con fails or some berk forgets to switch it on.

Underground must be awful in London today.

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It's amazing how trains managed to function in places such as Siberia or in hotter countries.

What's the point in the UK spending lots of money making our trains work in temparatures of desert or arctic temparatures, when they hardly ever happen?

Better to spend the money elsewhere, and accept the odd day of train disruption.

I bet the Siberean trains aren't built to work at 30C, and I bet the Dubai trains don't run if it were -20C.

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"The National Express East Anglia hourly service from London to Ipswich will be cancelled from 1202 BST while others will terminate at Colchester."

The circumstances necessitating a trip from London to Ipswich on a hot, sunny, Monday afternoon must be the stuff of a box-office record-breaking movie.

p-o-p

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With such unreliability I would not fancy being on a UK train today - people will become ill or even die if the air con fails or some berk forgets to switch it on.

There's something to be said for the older rolling stock with windows you can open.

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What's the point in the UK spending lots of money making our trains work in temparatures of desert or arctic temparatures, when they hardly ever happen?

The leaves that fall every autumn meant a 50% reduction in train services on the Oldham line.

That's a guaranteed reduction in service. So they've spent billions putting the tram in and reckon that'll be fine.

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And they would also have problems if the temperature changes much beyond what it's been optimised for. I suppose in climates with greater extremes you can make more allowance for expansion and contraction, but presumably requiring larger gaps and lower speeds.

Correction - just noticed that this is problems with overhead lines and not track (track has to be pre-stressed to the expected temperature, or something like that). Electric trains seem far too prone to equipment failure. Half the snow problems aren't due to the lines being blocked but due to it getting in to things and shorting them out.

Leaves have always been a problem for railways. There's not much friction between steel wheels and steel rails to begin with. I know steam trains carried equipment to drop sand in front of the wheels for extra grip in such circumstances. Don't modern ones?

yes they do, but the vehicle weight on modern rail vehicles means they still don't grip so well,apparently

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It's the word 'design' in the spokesman's statement that I don't like. Temperatures in the low 30s in Britain are unusual, but by no means unheard of. We get a few days like this every year, and in some years significantly more than them. If he really is correct in that the infrastructure of Britain's railways is no longer speced to withstand even these temperatures, then if we get an intense and sustained heatwave, we really are buggered.

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yes they do, but the vehicle weight on modern rail vehicles means they still don't grip so well,apparently

Presumably the lack of weight and, come to think of it, the comments about "leaves on the line" seem to have increased with the spread of crappy multiple units instead of a big heavy lump of metal up front.

It's the word 'design' in the spokesman's statement that I don't like. Temperatures in the low 30s in Britain are unusual, but by no means unheard of. We get a few days like this every year, and in some years significantly more than them. If he really is correct in that the infrastructure of Britain's railways is no longer speced to withstand even these temperatures, then if we get an intense and sustained heatwave, we really are buggered.

I suppose that given the material properties of steel there's always going to be a limit at either end. The question is whether optimising it differently from where it is now would result in fewer disruptions. I also wonder if it's mostly another introduced modern problem. Affecting overhead lines certainly is, but when temperature affects the rails too could it be? There are obvious advantages in having long stretches of rail welded together with the odd expansion joint in terms of lower wear and tear and smoothness of ride but it's possible that their operating temperature range is lower than the old jointed stuff.

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My guess is that the overhead lines on this line are old and out of date. Ipswich-London Liverpool Street sounds like one of the minor routes into London tbh. Wouldn't be surprised if it has not been updated recently due to more important lines taking precedence.

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Presumably the lack of weight and, come to think of it, the comments about "leaves on the line" seem to have increased with the spread of crappy multiple units instead of a big heavy lump of metal up front.

The trams have a sanding system apparently which helps them stick to the line...

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... Electric trains seem far too prone to equipment failure. Half the snow problems aren't due to the lines being blocked but due to it getting in to things and shorting them out.

They're all electric trains, including 'diesels'.

Some draw their power from overhead lines or third rail, others just carry a portable gennie around with them, but they're all electric powered.

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With such unreliability I would not fancy being on a UK train today - people will become ill or even die if the air con fails or some berk forgets to switch it on.

Underground must be awful in London today.

It's awful everyday. ;)

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Trains still run here when it's low 40s

31 is too hot to run these trains? what a joke.Most days in summer here are 31 or hotter.

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My guess is that the overhead lines on this line are old and out of date. Ipswich-London Liverpool Street sounds like one of the minor routes into London tbh. Wouldn't be surprised if it has not been updated recently due to more important lines taking precedence.

You're right. When this line was electrified it was deliberately specified to an unusually low level to keep costs down.

It was recognised at the time of design that this underspecification would result in a high risk of wind damage, and poor performance in both hot and cold weather. These were taken to be acceptable trade-offs at the time.

A higher degree of train electrification and higher speed trains, mean that an upgrade is badly needed and is, in fact, planned.

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What's the point in the UK spending lots of money making our trains work in temparatures of desert or arctic temparatures, when they hardly ever happen?

Better to spend the money elsewhere, and accept the odd day of train disruption.

I bet the Siberean trains aren't built to work at 30C, and I bet the Dubai trains don't run if it were -20C.

You should have a google about the climate of Siberia. It generally gets colder than here AND warmer than here. ;)

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They're all electric trains, including 'diesels'.

Some draw their power from overhead lines or third rail, others just carry a portable gennie around with them, but they're all electric powered.

There have been diesels that aren't diesel-electric, although I don't know if any are still running. The key difference in this thread is their suceptibility to outside problems. Relying on wires or a third rail is an extra possible point of failure that can bring an entire train to a halt, and is more easily affected by outside influences (e.g. weather) than one sitting inside a train. One of the few good things about having most of our trains being generally hopeless undersized noisy multiple units these days is that if one engine fails there are still others there to keep the thing moving.

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I bet the Siberean trains aren't built to work at 30C, and I bet the Dubai trains don't run if it were -20C.

They are, Siberian summers have appaulling heat and humidity. It was hitting 39c when I was in Irkutsk, and when I got near Vladivostok it got even hotter, so hot and humid during the day there were cloud formations above rivers.

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Btw Russian stuff tends to run VERY VERY hot. On the blacksea ferry for instance it was absolutely baking onboard 40C in the cabins. Another rider said the Japan vladivostok ferry was equally hot. As is the Siberian train to Beijing. All are roasting hot all of the time.

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Btw Russian stuff tends to run VERY VERY hot. On the blacksea ferry for instance it was absolutely baking onboard 40C in the cabins. Another rider said the Japan vladivostok ferry was equally hot. As is the Siberian train to Beijing. All are roasting hot all of the time.

How fast does it go? The faster a train goes the better the trackwork and electrical equipment needs to be, and is therefore probably less robust to changes in conditions.

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How fast does it go? The faster a train goes the better the trackwork and electrical equipment needs to be, and is therefore probably less robust to changes in conditions.

Not very.... considering I slept next to the railway and heard clacktey clack clacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clack all night long the trains were both long and fairly slow.

OK I raise you Korean KTX, Japanese Shinkanshen and Chinese Harmoney railway. This area has horrible winters baking summers droughts floods, earthquakes and yet still manages to run through out the year. Heh you even get north south trains which go from the baking south to the cooler north in a day.

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Not very.... considering I slept next to the railway and heard clacktey clack clacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clackclacktey clack all night long the trains were both long and fairly slow.

OK I raise you Korean KTX, Japanese Shinkanshen and Chinese Harmoney railway. This area has horrible winters baking summers droughts floods, earthquakes and yet still manages to run through out the year. Heh you even get north south trains which go from the baking south to the cooler north in a day.

All the clackety clackety will be jointed track, where relatively short lengths are bolted together, leaving some room for expansion and contraction (the bolt holes are elongated and greased to cope with it). Being fairly short sections that works pretty well. Most (new, there's plenty of other stuff left on secondary lines) UK track is delivered in sections and welded together on site, with occasional special expansion joints that have to cope with a greater length of expansion / contraction due the longer lengths. This gives a smoother ride and longer track life due to the ends not being constantly worn by wheels hitting the joints. It's possible (I'm guessing here) that

that may not be able to cope with quite as high a temperature range as the old sectioned stuff.

My assumption is that the problems are largely due to expansion and contraction of metal with heat, which affects track much more than trains so a north-south train shouldn't be an issue provided the track at any particular place is laid with the conditions in mind there. A high-speed line over somewhere with large temperature difference that doesn't suffer due to that? No idea, if that works then it was built by someone who knows a lot more about the properties of metals and laying railway tracks than I do (although I'd hope that was true for every single railway ever built!) All I can guess is perhaps different alloys that don't expand and contract as much but cost more so don't get used here.

I've no idea why we are having problems with heat and overhead wires though, even if it's cheaply done old electrification that needs replacing. Possibly some transformers supplying it overheating?

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