RAIL HEAD TREATMENT TRAIN SUPPORT
Between September and December, the UK Rail Network is subjected to heavy amounts of leaf fall during the autumn months causing adhesion issues for trains operating on the network. These adhesion issues can lead to potential safety incidents due to the slippery surface on the rail heads.
During the autumn months, Network Rail provide Rail Head Treatment campaigns across the UK Network. The purpose of these campaigns is to operate specialised Rail Head treatment trains over the Rails every night, the Rail head treatment trains spray water jets over the rail heads to clear the build up of leaves and foliage, ensuring that the rails are suitable for the passage of trains. One of the hazards with operating these trains is that the wheels can be flattened off due to a lack of grip on the rails, also known as ‘wheel flats’. When a Rail vehicle has significant wheel flats, the asset owner can either replace the wheelset, or have the wheels put onto a lathe to remove the flat surface.
During the autumn months of 2022, Freightliner provided support to Direct Rail Services during their Rail Head Treatment campaign in the Ipswich and Leeds areas. Freightliner have a wheel lathe facility at both of our Ipswich and Leeds Vehicle Maintenance Facilities. Freightliner provided more than 30 wheel lathe slots for Direct Rail Services during their Rail Head Treatment Train campaigns between both facilities. These services were provided with 100% reliability and no cancellations, in turn, allowing our customers to provide a robust service for Network Rail and ultimately keep the UK Rail Network operational.