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Storm Doris

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Storm Doris

Postby MisterC » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:33 pm

I thought that the forum might be a good place to document the impact of Storm Doris on the railway.

In my part of the world we have a tree obstructing the down line at Meldreth and some roof blown onto the tracks at Sandy blocking all lines.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby windsor_lad » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:58 pm

At 09.00 local radio reported that there were no services between Reading and Guildford due to a tree that had fallen and blocked the line.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby pdeaves » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:42 pm

Arriva Trains Wales reports:

Speed restrictions imposed on a number of routes including:
  • Holyhead - Llandudno Junction (via Bangor)
  • Aberystwyth - Caersws (via Machynlleth)
  • Pwllheli - Machynlleth
  • Shrewsbury - Birmingham International (via Wolverhampton & Birmingham New Street) - ATW services will not operate between Wolverhampton and Birmingham Intl between the hours of 09:30 - 16:30
  • Crewe - Manchester Piccadilly
  • Warrington Bank Quay - Manchester Oxford Road

The following routes are closed:
  • Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog
  • Shrewsbury - Birmingham International via Wolverhampton
  • Chester - Shrewsbury
  • Chester - Crewe
  • Crewe - Manchester Piccadilly
  • Crewe - Shrewsbury
  • Machynlleth - Shrewsbury
  • Wrexham General - Bidston
  • Llandrindod - Shrewsbury (Heart of Wales line)

Also warnings about effects elsewhere caused by trains getting damaged.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby MisterC » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:00 pm

MisterC wrote:I thought that the forum might be a good place to document the impact of Storm Doris on the railway.

In my part of the world we have a tree obstructing the down line at Meldreth and some roof blown onto the tracks at Sandy blocking all lines.


The line at Sandy had been cleared but Meldreth still blocked.

Another tree down at Brookmans Park and the OTT map is showing "-OLD BAG-" at Potters Bar.

Various lines also blocked in the Kings Cross/Finsbury Park area.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby pdeaves » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:04 pm

Yesterday (23 February) GWR had weather-related issues (not counting broken down freight trains, level crossing incidents, etc.!):

  • Tree on line at Sandhurst;
  • Tree blocking the line between Dorchester West and Maiden Newton.;
  • Obstruction on the line between Malvern Link and Worcester Foregate Street;
  • Tree on the line at Earley;
  • Tree blocking the railway near St Columb Road;
  • Tree blocking line somewhere between Acton and Paddington;
  • Obstruction on the track between Reading and Didcot Parkway;
  • Tree on the line in the Dean area;
  • Tree on the line between Woolston and Bitterne;
  • Obstruction on the track between Charlbury and Ascott-under-Wychwood;
  • Tree on the line between Bedwyn and Hungerford
  • Tree on the line between Liskeard and Looe
Last edited by pdeaves on Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby MisterC » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:17 pm

There were virtually no GN trains north of Cambridge after lunchtime, and absolutely nothing beyond Ely. Repairs at Littleport were not finished in time for start of service but that did not matter much as Kings Lynn only had one unit, which formed the 0651 departure.

Traction wise the highlight yesterday was 313043+045 working both 1723 and 1921 Kings Cross to Royston.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby Ian Prince » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:09 am

Why NR don't have a stronger policy of cutting back all vegetation and trees that are within influencing distance of their lines is beyond me. Would reduce the amount of leaf clearance as well as avoiding trees falling on the lines.

Too many lines also have trees brushing trains as they pass which in itself is indicative of a lack of maintenance and causes paint/vinyls damage on the rolling stock amongst other things.

So give it a bit of wind and line closures are no great surprise.
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby pdeaves » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:12 pm

Ian Prince wrote:Why NR don't have a stronger policy of cutting back all vegetation and trees that are within influencing distance of their lines is beyond me. Would reduce the amount of leaf clearance as well as avoiding trees falling on the lines.


Whilst I see your point, and agree in theory, there are often cases where this isn't possible. Examples that spring to mind are where there are tree protection orders (TPOs) in place or where the trees are outside the railway boundary (and thus someone else's property), or where the area is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). [As an aside, a SSSI is causing some difficulty for the MetroWest Portishead line scheme with what can and what cannot be done].

Agreed that this will not apply to all 'guilty' trees by any means. Some effort is put into removing trees: as it happens, just today I saw severe tree removal over one of the Devon banks (possibly between Totnes and Plymouth, I cannot remember properly). All trees within the railway fence were cut back to ground level. The resulting fresh chippings looked like a snow drift!
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Re: Storm Doris

Postby Ian Prince » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:08 am

If there is a TPO (Tree Preservation Order), then permission usually has to be sought from the local planning authority to maintain or remove a tree. Lots of red tape, in many cases for good reason, but where there is an obvious danger, or the tree is dead or damaged already (Much more likely to fall or be blown down), then a good case can usually be made.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... 127793.pdf

If the tree is on someone else's land but not protected by a TPO, then the rules are more straightforward and any part of the tree that overhangs may be trimmed back. (Of course this can unbalance a tree and cause it to be more susceptible to collapse), or action taken against the owner.

The type of subsoil is likely to be relevant to the likelihood of a tree falling too, especially if it is say on a steep embankment (although sometimes roots can stabilise and remove moisture in such circumstances). Ensuring that unstable soils are well drained is vital to prevent landslips, and this applies to soils and rock generally. (Think Hatfield Colliery a few years back and how that affected the Doncaster - Barnetby line in 2012?, or the Aberfan disaster back in 1966, - not railway related, but the fact that Hatfield happened, suggests some lessons were not properly learnt or carried forward, despite the mass rush to level coal tips in the aftermath).

Trees cut back to base, usually leave the roots in place and these commonly regrow unless treated properly at the time, creating the same problem in years to come.

Further reading for those interested could include:-

Foundations of Engineering Geology by Waltham and published by Spon ISBN 978 0415 46960-9
Tree Roots in the Built Environment by Roberts, Jackson and Smith published by the TSO. ISBN 011-753620-2

Leaving matters for maintenance in the future rather than being dealt with properly and comprehensively by design and action at the time is a often false economy, as the excuse of 'no money' will later be utilised to avoid the necessary costs.
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