Wednesday 9 February 2011

The Many Excuses of National Rail

If you live in England, you most likely have heard jokes about "the wrong type of snow" which was a phrase coined by the Evening Standard after British Rail (now known as National Rail) said "we are having particular problems with the type of snow" when asked for the cause of major service disruptions following heavy snowfall.  The phrase is now humorously used to refer to any lame excuse, implying that one doesn't believe it.

It will therefore come as no surprise that National Rail has received a bit of flack after issuing another hard-to-stomach weather related excuse following disruption in the South East yesterday - get ready for it - dew on the tracks.

Dew?  Yes, like morning dew.  Oy Vey.

Other unlikely weather-related excuses include:

Leaves on the line - It happens every Autumn without fail and National Rail says (and I'm not saying I don't believe them) that "leaves, compressed by passing trains create a thin, black ‘Teflon’ like layer on the rail, which compromises train braking and acceleration. The best way to describe the effect is to compare it to black ice on the road".

Sun - In September 2010, the Office of Rail Regulation and National Rail blamed the balmy temperatures that summer for delays and disruptions saying that a rise in temperature means that some equipment – including cabling, signalling systems and electrical items are subject to overheating when temperatures rise above 30C (86F).  Apparently, overhead power lines can sag and rails buckle, meaning that speed restrictions have to be imposed to prevent a train coming off the track.

Happy Commuting!

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love this, love this, love this. I am forwarding this to my husband at work and his family who used to live here and took the train often. Have a great weekend XOL