Wednesday, 24 January 2007

wrong kind of snow

London has received its first snowfall of the season and, yes, the trains didn't work properly. For London commuters, this is not a surprise and the two cliches for travel disruptions are, in Autumn, "leaves on the line" and in Winter, "wrong kind of snow".

So today's light dusting caused Network Rail to admit that if there had been more, the electric point heaters would have switched on. And they would have used more anti-freeze on the switchy bits. So the 'loose wet snow' pressed between the points caused them to jam and not switch the tracks.

"When you get extreme weather conditions there will be disruption," the spokesman said, referring to the overnight sprinkling. Good to see the senior executives have just been paid bonuses for the improvement in reliability.

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