Posted: Thu 19th Nov 2020

Updated: Fri 20th Nov

Updated: Lines back open between Wrexham and Bidston

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Updated: Lines reopened in the afternoon.

Earlier report: Train services between Wrexham and Bidston have been disrupted for a second day because of slippery rails, or low railhead adhesion.

Transport for Wales website states:

“Cancellations to services between Wrexham General and Bidston

Due to slippery rails between Wrexham General and Bidston all lines are blocked.

Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 minutes or revised.

Disruption is expected until 10:15 19/11.

Replacement road transport is currently being sourced.”

The website also says, “If your train journey has been delayed you may be entitled to compensation.”

“Please keep your ticket to accompany any claim. For more information please visit where you can claim online, or pick up a form from your nearest ticket office.”

The issue is caused primarily from leaves falling onto the rails which are crushed by passing trains, causing wheels to slip.

These adhesion problems mean trains slip and need to travel slower on approaches to stations, and can have problems leaving stations – this leads to cancellations of services as well as wheel flats on trains.

Yesterday the Wrexham-Bidston Rail Users’ Association​​ told, the railhead treatment train didn’t run overnight.

The maintenance train operates once passengers services cease, it blasts away the leaf debris from the rails.

Network Rail and Transport for Wales say they have been working “closely together all year to prepare and to keep customers moving this autumn and winter.”

“Both organisations are committed to safety, punctuality, and delivering a first-class customer experience for everyone travelling with us.” The TfW website says,

Why does Autumn cause problems on the rail network?

  • Extreme weather events can cause flooding, obstructions on the line, and landslips, and climate change is increasingly making autumn unpredictable.
  • Changing conditions can cause rails to become slippery.
  • Leaves, debris, and atmospheric conditions can also lead to slippery rails which can affect braking and acceleration. They can also cause a train to slide, causing damage to wheels, which then need to be repaired or replaced.
  • When trains are damaged and have to be repaired, it means less overall capacity on the network, meaning some services may be busier than usual or cancelled altogether.
  • Small delays can have a knock-on effect on multiple other services. Line closures can also mean significant pressure on road transport and other services.

TfW said: “We will be doing all we can to deliver a seamless service this Autumn and have prepared thoroughly.”

“However, experience tells us autumn and winter weather can be unpredictable and hard-hitting, some services may be delayed due to temporary speed restrictions.”

“Some lines may be forced to close temporarily due to flooding, landslips or fallen debris and some trains may need additional repairs, meaning reduced capacity on some routes.”

“Both Network Rail and Transport for Wales have prepared thoroughly based on our experiences in past years and using the latest technology.”

“If things go wrong, we will be working quickly to rectify all problems, please be patient with our hard-working colleagues.”

“Customers should check for the latest travel information before they travel.”


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