TfL em­ploys RATs to tackle low ad­he­sion prob­lems

Rail (UK) - - Network -

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.

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