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It’s just a bit of snow…

In fact, snow and ice can coat the electrified third rail and overhead lines, preventing your train from drawing the power it needs to keep going


How can snow and ice impact the railway?

During the winter, snow and ice can build up on the railway. Ice can coat the overhead lines and electrified third rail, which prevents trains from drawing the power needed to run. This can leave trains stranded. Icicles on bridges, tunnels and other structures can also cause damage to trains and overhead lines.

If heavy snow builds up deeper than 30cm this can also prevent trains from running safely, unless they have been fitted with a snow plough.

Find out more about why trains need to slow down when there is snow and ice on the tracks.

Planning ahead of winter

To help keep trains moving, Network Rail use technology such as thermal imaging to identify a potential issue before it becomes a problem.

Passenger trains are fitted with snowplough attachments when snow is forecast. There is also a special fleet that operates during winter, including snowploughs, hot air blowers and steam jets, which clear snow from the track.

Find out more about how Network Rail treats the tracks and the specialist trains that can help during extreme weather.