How strong winds can cause delays - and what the industry is doing to reduce them
High winds can blow debris and trees from the trackside and from neighbouring land onto the track. If a train hits any debris it can cause a derailment.
Overhead power lines sway in high winds and can tangle around a train’s pantograph (which connects it to the overhead lines), pulling the lines down. When this occurs trains are unable to run and services may be re-routed.
What the industry is doing to reduce delays caused by high winds
- Teams inspect the track on foot, removing dead and diseased trees and any vegetation from our land that is at risk of coming in to contact with the overhead power lines
- Reducing the distance between supports for overhead power lines at locations prone to high winds
- When wind gusts of 60-69 mph are forecasted, trains slow down to allow drivers time to stop if they see an obstruction on the track
- When high winds are expected, a cross-industry Extreme Weather Action Team meets to agree a revised timetable which can be safely and reliably delivered