Storm-proof signalling on stilts helping to minimise rail network disruption
A storm-damaged section of the UK’s West Coast main line in Cumbria was recently reopened in less than 24 hours, thanks to raised signalling equipment by Network Rail.
Following a storm in 2015, Network Rail engineers carried out complicated repairs to vital signalling equipment on the West Coast main line in Cumbria, which forced closure of the busy main line to Scotland for 14 days.
In the months that followed the storms, Network Rail raised the signalling equipment on to three metre-high stilts.
When recent Storm Ciara flooded the line again, the railway at this location fared far better than 2015, and was reopened to trains within 24 hours.
Although the vital signalling system remained intact on its stilts, point motors which sit beneath the track were damaged and needed replacing.
Adam Checkley, Weather Resilience Programme Manager at Network Rail, said: “While not perfect, one day of disruption is far better than 14. Small improvements like this are helping us cope better with the increasingly extreme British weather. With Storm Dennis forecast to hit Britain this Saturday, we’re expecting more flooding at this location and others. River levels are high and ground is saturated following Storm Ciara. We have bolstered teams of front-line engineers poised ready to clear debris and keep passengers moving safely.”