Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Rescue me again

Posted in Commuter, Customer service, Infrastructure, London, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 6 June 2011

There were some major delays this evening out of Cannon Street – often this will be due to a signal failure, but this time apparently it was owing to a failed train in the station throat, which presumably meant that the train (seemingly a Class 375) was stuck there for quite some time. This got me to thinking. The beauty of the railway lines to Cannon Street, Blackfriars and Charing Cross is that there is a single track loop connecting the pair of routes that is only used for passenger services in the event of engineering work, which can be used to store trains that have failed. Further, Cannon Street, which now has seven platforms, used to have eight; what used to be Platform 1 has been for the most part filled in to provide more work space, but the far end could still be used as a siding if it were reconnected to the network. So how difficult would it then be to station a pair of shunters as thunderbirds? Given that you often see a DB Schenker Class 67 at Kings Cross, not to mention Virgin’s Class 57s dotted around the network, why not have a couple of Class 08s made available to clear away any failed trains in the area between London Bridge and Cannon Street/Charing Cross, which could well deal with any delays a lot faster than they can at the moment.

Would stationing Class 08s at Cannon Street enable failed trains to be cleared away faster, so preventing the serious type of delays such as today that cause such disruption to the busiest commuter network in the country?

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