TfL employs RATs to tackle low adhesion problems
Two new Rail Adhesion Trains (RATs) have been launched by Transport for London, to tackle leaf fall that has caused delays and disruption on the Piccadilly Line over the past two years.
Two 1973-Stock trains have been converted, and will be used on the route applying sandite.
As part of the launch, TfL is carrying out its most intensive trackside vegetation clearance programme to date, which it says is close to completion.
It is also securing access to more detailed weather prediction data, to enable a quicker response to changing leaf fall conditions and aid the decision on when the RATs are deployed.
New trackside signage will be erected to warn drivers of low adhesion and temporary speed restrictions, while a new autumn timetable is being developed to enable a reduction in train speeds in areas where low adhesion is expected. This follows plans used by the Metropolitan Line and Network Rail.
Additional maintenance staff are also being recruited, while spare wheelsets are being bought to provide a 24/7 wheel changing facility.
“We are confident that this approach will help reduce any possible delays and provide our customers with the level of service they expect,” said Nigel Holness, London Underground’s Director of Network Operations.
The interior of a converted 1973-Stock with the new rail adhesion equipment installed.