Wales to leverage new technologies to maintain rail services in autumn

16 October 2020 (Last Updated October 16th, 2020 11:49)

Wales is set to utilise new technologies in a bid to maintain railway services in the difficult autumn season.

Wales to leverage new technologies to maintain rail services in autumn
TfW and Network Rail have developed a number of plans to ensure normal services this year. Credit: Network Rail.

Wales is set to utilise new technologies in a bid to maintain railway services in the difficult autumn season.

The poor weather conditions during the autumn season often damage rail tracks and trains, disrupting normal services.

Transport for Wales (TfW) and Network Rail have developed a number of plans to ensure normal services this year.

This includes the use of automated intelligent video review (AIVR) cameras installed at the front of the trains. The cameras are capable of mapping around a thousand miles of track in Wales in four weeks.

This data will be utilised to minimise the risk of tree strikes, wheel damage and debris blocking rail lines.

A new sustainable technology called PlasmaTrack will be used to thermally clean track contaminants such as oxidisation and leaf debris.

Network Rail will also utilise drones for surveillance, as well as deploy rapid response teams to support track works.

Separately, TfW has stocked additional wheels this year for train repairs to address any contingencies.

Network Rail Wales route director Bill Kelly said: “Autumn is a challenging time for the whole rail industry but particularly here in Wales and Borders. We are seeing more storms and extreme weather than ever, which can have a devastating effect on the railway and leads to delays for passengers.

“That is why Network Rail and our colleagues at Transport for Wales are working closer than ever to ensure we are well prepared for the autumn months ahead.”

Transport for Wales CEO James Price added: “We are working in partnership with our colleagues in Network Rail to ensure we’re utilising the most up-to-date technology, including new AIVR cameras on our trains, as well as extra wheel replacements, to ensure that we’re fully prepared this year.”