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Author Topic: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014  (Read 990208 times)
IndustryInsider
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« on: October 06, 2014, 05:47:36 am »

Major disruption expected this morning due to signalling problems near Slough.
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 06:57:29 am »

No signals working at all between Slough and Iver caused by a damaged signalling cable.

In otherwords, we suspect Network Rail have cut through a signal cable whilst undertaking engineering works at about 00:30 this morning.
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 07:38:06 am »

Topic split off from http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14258 - a major discussion concerning delays on 14th July 2014.

This morning's diagram ...



Those of the team who met up on Saturday were discussing (in relation to CrossCounty) how the trains go a very long way but most of the traffic is for much shorter journeys ... stand at York, see a Penzance train, and know that few passengers joining will be going to Cornwall ... or even Devon.    Let's hope there's a lot of that about this morning ... with sets that would normally be used for runs like Exeter to Paddington doing Castle Cary to Reading instead.
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 07:59:41 am »

Absolute shower of s***

I was on a PLY» (Plymouth - next trains)-PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) service yesterday, grossly overcrowded to the point of danger due to other train failures (there was luggage in the vestibules and aisles blocking access as there was no room for people, never mind bags) and am aware of numerous other services with similar conditions, complete under provision of replacement transport at Didcot etc (bustitution now seems about as reliable as the trains they are supposed to replace, if they turn up at all), and now the week starts with colossal volumes of cancellations due (it is suspected) to some clown cutting through a cable.

Last time we were told that Hopwood would be "signalling" his displeasure to Network Rail, what's the message today I wonder?
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BBM
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 09:36:50 am »

Groundhog day again. I managed to rush to Twyford to get the 0643 stopper which after lengthy waits at Slough West and in Slough P3, and a crawl to Iver, eventually made it to Ealing Broadway at 0821 some 48 mins late where I bailed for the Central Line. However from RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) it looks like I might have been quite lucky, I see that the 0600 Bristol TM(resolve) - Paddington HST (High Speed Train) has just taken slightly over TWO HOURS to travel from RDG(resolve) to PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains).

Yes same old, same old, but what's just got my goat is listening to some NR» (Network Rail - home page) spokesbot on BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) Radio Berkshire saying "we'll learn our lessons for next time". No you bl**dy won't, you'll just send along some other faceless bloke to say exactly the same thing.  Angry Angry Angry
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 10:45:05 am »

I see that Journeycheck is saying "signalling problems" led to all these cancellations, while the code in RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) is "power failure (IE)". Presumably that means the power supply to the signals has gone ... in which case restoring it should be a simpler single task (though not necessarily any quicker).
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 10:52:47 am »

Apparently, some 1640 metres of 650v cable has needed to be replaced.
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2014, 11:13:44 am »

I see that Journeycheck is saying "signalling problems" led to all these cancellations, while the code in RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) is "power failure (IE)". Presumably that means the power supply to the signals has gone ... in which case restoring it should be a simpler single task (though not necessarily any quicker).

All the signals between Slough and Iver are black on all four lines.  Currently operating what is known as Temporary Block Working on the up and down mains only with Network Rail handsignallers at both Slough and Iver.  It should take around 20 minutes to pass through the affected area once a train leaves the point of entry to the TBW (Temporary Block Working) section. 
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 11:44:01 am »

Replacement 650v cable now installed and power restored. However there are still some 650v power supply problems in nearby locations.
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2014, 12:04:44 pm »

The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)'s Tom Edwards has just tweeted: "Network Rail say repairs at Slough have been completed BUT a further fault has been identified. Only able to allow 4 trains ph each way."

(Just checked the latest on RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) and the 0628 SWA» (Swansea - next trains)-PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) which left RDG(resolve) at 0916 didn't make it into PAD until 1151^, 141 minutes late)
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tomL
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2014, 12:14:23 pm »

Seemed to be more staff out and about at Swindon this morning. Perhaps a sign that they (FGW (First Great Western)) are learning their lesson about getting people and information out there?

As usual the most up to date information seems to be coming from this forum, something we can all be proud of.  Grin

EDIT: I guess it's an advantage having line control upstairs.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 12:21:53 pm by tomlane » Logged

bignosemac
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 12:29:01 pm »

Following replacement of 650v cable in affected area and powering up the system it was discovered that there was no power further along at the next relay location. Fortunately, new cable is already in place at this location and work is now in hand to connect that up. Testing should be underway by 1300.
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 12:37:23 pm »

Following replacement of 650v cable in affected area and powering up the system it was discovered that there was no power further along at the next relay location. Fortunately, new cable is already in place at this location and work is now in hand to connect that up. Testing should be underway by 1300.

I'm hearing the cable was crushed during engineering works, although obviously I can't confirm it.

What I find astounding is how the infrastructure is so fragile and contingency planning so feeble that damage to a pretty basic bit of kit can cause total and utter chaos for what is likely to be getting towards 24 hours by the time it's all done and dusted......no doubt we will get the usual platitudes from FGW (First Great Western) about expecting better etc etc but frankly it is difficult to take them seriously........what a way to celebrate a 5 year franchise extension.......no doubt the best is yet to come!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 12:40:09 pm »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
Signalling problems at Slough cause rail delays

Rail commuters are facing travel misery after signalling equipment was damaged near Slough during overnight engineering work.

First Great Western (FGW (First Great Western)) is operating a "severely reduced" service into Paddington, adding up to an hour to journeys.

The rail company has advised passengers to avoid travelling between Reading and Paddington.

It said attempts to repair the problem had "so far been unsuccessful".

The problems are also affecting services to and from the west of England, Swansea, Bristol, Oxford, Cheltenham Spa and Worcester.

'No announcements'

A message on the FGW website earlier said: "Following overnight engineering work, signalling equipment has been damaged between Slough and West Drayton affecting all four lines. Because of this, a severely disrupted train service is operating between Reading and London Paddington this morning."

An updated message read: "Engineers have been working all morning to rectify the fault, but have so far been unsuccessful. At present, we are only able to run four trains per hour in each direction between Reading and Paddington.

"Many services will be cancelled and there will be delays of up to 60 minutes affecting those trains which can run. We strongly advise customers to avoid travelling where possible. Disruption is expected to last until at least 16:00 today.

"Your tickets will be valid on other operators' services and on alternative routes which avoid the affected area."

Some passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration. Mark Waine said: "@FGW 9.04 from Reading to Paddington hasn't moved for an hour, no announcement for over 30 minutes, trains passing us, have we been forgotten?"

Julian Crump said: "@fgw We're at slough. No announcements/no guidance. Should we continue to London? Are there rtn trains? Will refunds be given? Anything?"
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2014, 01:54:34 pm »

Passenger Focus are carrying out a National Passenger Survey today at Bristol PW (Permanent Way), Bristol TM(resolve), Exeter Central, Paddington, Oxford and Reading stations.

As these surveys are 'based on your journey today...' they'll no doubt be getting some interesting responses!
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